EC: Lenze FAST
Software - Control design: Lenze Americas' FAST engineering tool simplifies modular machine programming—application template and field-proven software modules create 80% of machine software—so machine builders can focus on value-added features and bring machines to market faster. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Lenze has simplified efficient machine programming with its FAST application template and ready-made standard software modules. Machine designers and programmers can use the FAST software tool to quickly and reliably handle a majority of the software engineering requirements for standardized machine modules.
Approximately 80% of software developed for most new machines can be generated using code developed for previous generations. Field-tested function and technology modules vastly improve the efficiency of machine programming. Standardized, re-usable modules offer machine builders greater freedom and time to focus on developing and refining the value-added features of a new machine.
FAST provides a complete range of standard software modules for positioning, registration, cam profiling, multi-conveyor coordination and other synchronized motion control tasks, including modules for feeding, unwinding, sealing, cross-sealing and discharging applications. The pre-configured software modules are designed to significantly expedite machine programming. Lenze tests and continuously improves on modules based on extensive customer experience.
The FAST application template comes equipped with the necessary structures for standardizing software, so users can more quickly develop machine modules. This allows a significant reduction in engineering and software development time and expense, which more companies are demanding. The template includes important structures for key functions, including switching over machine states, error handling and communication interfaces.
Machine motion and control functions are contained in individual, autonomous modules which can be selected, exchanged and tested completely independently. Software modules created using the application template can be assembled with minimal effort to create complete and reusable systems. Repeat use of tested modules on new machine iterations further reduces errors and drives down cost.
The FAST application template and software modules build on the Lenze commitment to streamlined engineering tools for easy motion centric automation—so machine builders can deliver important features and benefits that provide decisive purchase incentives to their customers.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.