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Smart Ethernet drives add flexibility to motion systems

24 June 2010

Smart drives offer economic,space-saving solutions for common single-axis automation requirements. Baldor's new smart drive range provides this capability together with an Ethernet interface compatible with the deterministic motion control networking standard, Powerlink. The embedded programming capability allows standalone drives to provide solutions for common automation tasks such as cutting or feeding to length, indexing axes, simple pick and place motion, and machine adjustments.


If used in a Powerlink system, the local intelligence adds versatile new system building capabilities. Critical events can be acted on directly, eliminating the impact of network and controller scan time latencies; the faster response of critical axes can be translated directly into higher throughput.

Another fundamental difference a smart drive can make is by using the local intelligence to offload a centralised Powerlink network controller. The programming capability is a version of Baldor's well-known Mint language. It supports many basic motion requirements including performing relative and absolute moves, S-ramp profiles, jog and homing movements, changing target positions on the fly, registration moves, and reacting to real-time trigger events. Called Mint Lite, the facility is now fitted without charge on all of Baldor's MicroFlex e100 and MotiFlex e100 single- and three-phase drive ranges. The versatile drives may be used to control rotary and linear servo motors, linear motors, closed-loop vector motors, and in V/Hz control modes.

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