Ethernet-based servo drive for machine automation

ABB Microflex e150 servo drive is designed for the Ethernet-based machine automation market and offer encoder interfacing, motion control programming and integrated functional safety capabilities.


The Microflex e150 servo drive is designed for the Ethernet-based machine automation market and offer encoder interfacing, motion control programming and integrated functional safety capabilities. Courtesy: ABBABB has launched a feature-rich servomotor drive range, the Microflex e150, for the fast-growing Ethernet-based machine automation market. The drives are compatible with numerous industrial Ethernet protocols, and offer a universal encoder interfacing capability, local motion control programming, and integrated functional safety capability. This breadth of features offers an enormously flexible platform for realising new machinery designs and is expected to appeal to OEM machine builders. 

The MicroFlex e150 drives have a wealth of capability. Real-time operation with EtherCAT, and compatibility with EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and TCP/IP protocols provide a 'universal' drive platform that can be employed in many different ways to suit different customers and applications - from networked systems hosted by PLCs or other devices, to motion control systems with distributed intelligence.

The drives are intelligent and feature a powerful embedded programming capability that is compatible with ABB's motion control language Mint. This feature allows the drives to be used standalone for a vast array of single-axis or distributed intelligence motion control applications, from performing simple moves to complex motion tasks such as flying shears or cam motion profiles. Built-in I/O - including fast latch inputs for registration applications - comes as standard to support such application configurations.

The drives also offer a flexible 'universal' encoder interfacing capability that provides exceptional versatility of use. The drives may be connected to dual encoders - one incremental encoder, and one serial base encoder such as EnDat 2.2, SSI or BiSS. This allows dual feedback configurations - with separate velocity and position feedback - to be used to eliminate mechanical inaccuracies in precision applications such as CNC machinery. It also simplifies integration into configurations where an axis is following a master axis or centralised 'line shaft' such as packaging machines.

The drives also have support for the Safe Torque Off or STO functional safety, in accordance with IEC 61800-5-2, and designed to meet SIL 3 and performance level e (PLe) standards. This helps machine builders to incorporate high-integrity safety into machinery designs by disabling the drive's output so that it cannot generate torque in the motor.

The drives can also be used i machine automation applications such as metal cutting machinery (plasma/waterjet), grinding or glue laying, as well as a variety of common packaging automation such as form/fill/seal. Two high speed registration inputs and multi-tasking programmability - also mean that the drives are ideal for speed-intensive applications such as labelling.

ABB can also supply the drives with the AC500 PLC, a scalable PLC platform for automation applications. This PLC can communicate using an extensive range of standard fieldbuses including Ethernet based protocols such as EtherCAT.


- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, 

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

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.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.