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Article | January 24, 2012
Rockwell Automation: On-machine motor controllers
The Allen-Bradley ArmorStart LT distributed on-machine motor controllers from Rockwell Automation provide simplified installation and space savings for machine builders.
Designed for light-industrial, material-handling applications the compact distributed motor controller easily installs on the machine without an enclosure, and quickly connects to the enterprise network. The distributed motor controllers provide On-Machine architecture--a pre-engineered system that helps simplify wiring, speeds up commissioning time and reduces the need for extra cabinet space. ArmorStart LT with EtherNet/IP connectivity improves the exchange of critical information about machine performance and component health, while allowing operators to access parameters, status and diagnostics, regardless of location.
The distributed motor controllers provide enhanced motor control at a lower price point and smaller package than other On-Machine motor control products, according to the company. The size and weight of the controller is useful for most general material handling applications, making it easy to integrate on or near the conveyor or machine. Installation also is simplified by the distributed motor controllers’ dual-port EtherNet/IP switch technology, which supports device-level ring (DLR) network topology. DLR-based networks reduce configuration time and costs by minimizing the number of managed switches and reducing cabling needs. Users can create a single DLR network that connects all components at the device level locally. Information can be communicated in real time to various levels of an organization, without requiring additional complexity. The distributed motor controllers include an add-on profile for Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000, the software used to program Allen-Bradley CompactLogix and Allen-Bradley ControlLogix programmable controllers from Rockwell Automation. The add-on profile’s automatic, predefined tag names provide manufacturers with a common language that can help improve consistency, and programming speed and efficiency. The motor controllers support a transparent clock to synchronize motor devices on an EtherNet/IP architecture, accommodating delays introduced by other devices on the network. To help enhance safety, the devices contain a standard, local disconnect feature that allows operators to turn off the motor and perform lockout tagout procedures during maintenance. They also are group-motor listed so multiple units can be grouped under one branch circuit protection device.
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