Smooth motion control strategies

Cover story: Integrated systems, efficiency, motion profiles: Automated guided vehicles integrate power, without batteries; Variable frequency drive configuration, high-efficiency operation, and permanent magnet motors; and motion based profiles, libraries ease integration.


Automated guided vehicles can advance asynchronously with careful integration of multiple systems. Courtesy: SuperiorControls

The Control Engineering December 2014 cover story discusses: Integrated systems, efficiency, and motion profiles. See more about each, and a link to the longer online version of each, below.

Automated guided vehicles integrate power, without batteries

SuperiorControls doubles assembly line throughput without increases in floor space or staffing by integrating battery-free automated guided vehicles (AGVs) with controls and manufacturing execution system (MES). A manufacturer of large, off-road vehicles had three objectives for an existing assembly line:

Key concepts

  • Battery-free automated guided vehicles (AGVs) use inductive power transfer.
  • AGVs integrated with automation and tracking software.
  • Assembly line doubled throughput without an increase in staffing or floor space. 

Variable frequency drive configuration, high-efficiency operation, and permanent magnet motors

Permanent magnet alternating current (PMAC) motors are seeing increasing demand in variable-speed, high duty-cycle motion control applications due to their higher efficiencies and energy saving potential across different speed and torque ranges.

Key concepts

  • Properly configure variable frequency drives for permanent magnet alternating current (PMAC) motors for optimal system performance and desired energy savings
  • Heed safety concerns if PMAC motors rotate in an unpowered state. 

Motion based profiles, libraries ease integration

When determining the best standards, protocols, and solutions for a motion application, it’s always best when done from the point of reference of the motion profiles. Electrical engineers and programmers must ask what must be accomplished with the motion system and work toward solutions that push the user to the correct methodology.

Key concepts

  • Software can simplify integration of numerous motion-specific technologies (drives, actuators, motors, etc.), and auxiliary components, while managing multiple fieldbus networks for seamless integration.

See additional Control Engineering stories related to motion control from the December issue here on the Control Engineering archive page.

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.