New motor control platform rolls out
Dunkermotoren faces the task of changing the wheels of a train in full speed. Although this is meant only as a symbol, it shows what challenges must be overcome to continue running ahead and to be able to increase speed even further in the future.
The wheels are the software and hardware of a DC servo motor. Without them, no servomotor moves and all functionality rests on it. Thus, core components are exchanged while demand is high. And here begins the challenge. Backward compatibility must be guaranteed, but at the same time, the drives must have new features to ensure that they are up to the state-of-the-art technology over several years. A task that companies repeatedly set themselves. But how did Dunkermotoren solve it?
Dunkermotoren has been developing and producing integrated DC servomotors based on brushless DC motors for about 20 years. During this time, a variety of functions has been created, developed and optimized. All these existing functions, now called "features", were examined carefully in a first step. Already this step has made it clear how extensive a new motor base must be. The demands of many hundreds of customers have flowed into previous developments and had to be mapped in a new world. But are all these features still required or can new features replace the original ones as well? How do we prepare ourselves for newly requested features in the future?
This question has led to a new way of thinking. Away from a rigid system that adds one function after another to a modular system where features can be combined when required. This system was not only shown in the software, but also for the hardware. Flexibility came to the fore during development. This resulted in a Motor Control platform that, on the one hand, reflects all previous functions and, on the other hand, can react flexibly to new requirements. The latest generation of 32-bit processors were chosen to create a future-proof platform. This allows to use existing functions even more effectively and new ones, previously not possible functions, to be introduced. Electronical labels are only the beginning. In addition to the motor data, the labels also indicate the overall data of the whole drive, including the gearbox, encoder and brake. Also, possible in the future are drives with functional safety, many versions of the high-performance Industrial Ethernet or the free assignment of digital inputs and outputs, fast inputs and outputs for encoder signals – fully integrated in the motor housing.
Does the question come to mind, who should pay for it? After all, Dunkermotoren has been synonymous with very economical drive systems. This balancing act was also recognized and incorporated into the platform development. In the future, there will be two types:
dMove – are designed for economic efficiency, dMove drives can control speed, positioning without high-resolution encoders and can assign functions to digital inputs and outputs. Even CANopen communication with profile CiA 402 is possible. On request, even less demanding communication via an RS 485 interface is possible.
dPro - Customers who want to outsource all or only parts of their PLC functions to the motor will find their solution in dPro drives. dPro drives are also used for interpolation, communication via Industrial Ethernet, jerk-optimized ramps, absolute encoders and high-end motion functions.
The development of this Motor Control platform has now been largely completed. To talk about the comparison of the moving train, the new wheels were designed per previous experience and future challenges, qualified to the smallest detail and tested and prepared for the conversion. Gradually, all wheels are replaced now. Back to the DC servo motors, this means: At last, the product launch can begin. Already available is the BG 95 dPro. A very powerful motor with integrated electronics and a maximum output power of 2.6 kW, which offers the maximum functionality with the "dPro" characteristic. It can operate as a slave in the CANopen network, can be controlled directly via digital inputs without a communication interface or, can similar to a PLC, be freely programmed. The BG 95 dPro has already demonstrated that the concept of the new Motor Control Platform has proven itself in practice. Whether in fully automated intralogistics applications, in electromechanical presses, in mechanical test equipment, in door drives, in special pumps and in many other applications, the requirements could be met precisely.
The next products to be rolled out are BG 65 and BG 66 dMove. These two DC servo motor series have the same size but different output power. BG 65 is around 120 W continuous and 260 W peak line. Due to high-quality neodymium magnets, the BG 66 is in the range of 170 W continuous output power and more than 400 W maximum output power. For the first time, the modularity of the Motor Control platform has been fully exploited in these series. Both software and hardware modules from the dPro series could be specifically omitted to bring an easy-to-use and economically very attractive motor into the market.
In the medium term, BG 65 and BG 66 dMove will primarily replace the hundred thousand times proven Dunkermotoren classic BG 65 SI. In addition to the basic functionality, namely the speed control, functions such as fixed speeds, preset positions or values for current limitation can be assigned to the digital inputs in the future with the new "Drive Assistant 5" commissioning software. Since the control is done via the digital inputs, this version is called dMove IO. If even greater flexibility is required, dMove CO motors (CO - CANopen) can operate as a slave via a CANopen interface. If no high-resolution encoder is required, it is in many cases also possible to replace existing BG 65 CI motors.
The modularity does not end with the motor electronics. Gearboxes, encoders and brakes from Dunkermotoren modular system also turn a DC servo motor into a DC servo drive. The electronics adapts perfectly to the expansion components and thus protect the complete drive and the application against critical operating conditions. Sophisticated algorithms ensure that the drives can be overloaded by a multiple of the continuous output power for a certain period, without getting damaged.
Thus, Dunkermotoren is perfectly prepared to roll out the new generation of DC servo motors. The customers and in our comparison the passengers of the train in full speed will notice a smooth change to the new wheels of the train and can then take even more drive.
As a leading manufacturer of motor technology, Dunkermotoren develops and produces high-quality linear and rotary drive systems with around 1.200 employees. The company, headquartered in Bonndorf in the Black Forest, presents itself as a global partner for solutions in the field of electric drive systems. Dunkermotoren offers its customers a high level of flexibility due to the modular system with drive components with a continuous output power of up to 1100 watts and the integration of logic and power electronics with various bus interfaces. Dunkermotoren is the world market leader in integrated, smart BLDC servo drives.
Author: Michael Burgert, Product Manager Brushless DC Motors, Dunkermotoren GmbH