Trends for servo and torque-motors – what do users need and what do manufacturers offer?
For professional journal „ke NEXT“, publisher moderne industrie, issue 11/12 2019
Current trends go toward compact, light drives with maximum performance data at minimum construction volume. Precision and especially a high degree of reliability and thus availability of motor systems are the next evolutions. Furthermore, motors are getting increasingly smarter and easier to implement, thanks to the integration of sensor systems.
What industries respectively requirements drive the current evolutions of servo and torque-motor technology? The strive for compactness, energy efficiency and dynamic performance are omni-present. The market asks for servo motors with high motion dynamics and extensive control and regulation functions. For torque motors, precision and positioning accuracy are of particular interest.
Tobias Pfendler, Head of Marketing and Product Strategies at Dunkermotoren gives answers.
How and with which products do you respond to these challenges? What are the trends for servo and torque motors? How important is the need for customized components respectively complete solutions and how do your offers respond to this?
Dunkermotoren offers a large portfolio of BLDC synchronous motors. These motors possess a high efficiency and particularly high dynamics. Thanks to their overload capacity, highly integrated motion controllers and integrated sensor systems, the products are very compact. With the extensive modular system, the increased demand for customized solutions can be satisfied quickly and easily.
Sustainability and energy efficiency play an important role, especially in an industrial environment. What constructive opportunities exist in this context? What products do you have in your portfolio?
Many of our EC motors are more efficient than AC motors of the premium energy efficiency class IE4. If all electric motors employed in the German industry had the same efficiency as Dunkermotoren’s BLDC drives, 4.500.000.000 kg of CO2 could be saved annually. By dimensioning the motors at the optimum operating point with the help of gearboxes, engine builders can enhance their efficiency in most cases, the potential is rarely maxed out. Additionally, we offer smart electric cylinders to replace inefficient pneumatic cylinders. Only a few years ago, drives consisted of a motor, converter, controller and encoder. Nowadays, these formerly external components are integrated within the motor, which preserves resources.
Our manufacturing satisfies ISO 500001 standards.
What about additive manufacturing? Is the process already past the state of manufacturing samples for development and customer-projects? If so, what applications are the motors used for? What industries do the stimuli come from?
For now, we only use this procedure for manufacturing samples. Safety functions become increasingly important and are being more and more directly integrated into the motor.
What does your concept regarding integrated safety functions and highest availability look like?
External motor controllers from Dunkermotoren are available with STO (Safe Torque Off). Starting mid/ end of next year, all smart EC-motors of the dPro series, will be equipped with Safe-Torque-Off functionality by default.
In addition, SIMATIC MICRO-DRIVE, a new servo motor system with Safety Integrated Function SLT (Safety Limited Torque) is available on the market, harmonized with the Dunkermotoren BG 45 to BG 95 series.
Intelligent motors are a basic requirement, in order to be able to digitalize the industry. This is especially true as intelligence is becoming more and more cost-effective and technically easier to implement. Concepts of decentralized drive technologies relocate the intelligence as well as the controlling electronics increasingly from the control cabinet to the drive. Where do the trends for intelligent motors go? What data do your intelligent motors transfer to higher level controllers or the cloud? (catchword sensor systems, intelligent algorithms, self-learning systems, quick, real-time capable bus interfaces like OPC UA over TSN, Condition Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance).
Dunkermotoren is pioneer and market leader in this field. As early as 1999, we introduced the first EC motor with integrated control electronics and digital inputs, since 2005 with bus interfaces. Through these, information about speed, temperature or current are transferred to the higher level controllers (condition monitoring). In the future, it will also be possible to directly transfer data to the cloud via OPC UA or MQTT, or through edge gateways. Algorithms for intelligent diagnosis of a motor, based on the collected data, will be directly executed within the motor itself. Data of all motors will additionally be analyzed within the cloud using AI, for the purpose of predictive maintenance.
How do you perceive the topic of industry 4.0 in the manufacturing of motors, for users and in the development of new business models?
During assembly of the motors, production and test data will have to be stored coherently, centrally and accessibly. This is the prerequisite in order to offer the customer added-value from digital name plates to extensive digital twins. With the help of the information gained, we can advise our customers even better and e.g. offer an even better dimensioning regarding costs, efficiency or durability for the exact application, according to the needs of each individual customer. Via predictive maintenance, we will be able to provide predictions regarding the state of the motor to our customers, enabling them to avoid downtimes and realize new business models like pay per use.