Automation components  
  Definition: Automation components

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Type: Glossary & Dictionary

Category: Conveyor System

Dictionary Definition

Decentralised drive range reduces costs and complexity in large conveyor applications ideal cost- and space-saving solutions for production facilities, baggage handling, warehousing/logistics centres … Nord Drivesystems has expanded its range with a comprehensive portfolio of decentralised drives and related automation components. By eliminating traditional panel building and cabling requirements, the technology can radically simplify the construction of large conveyor applications in, for example, production lines, warehouse and logistics centres, or baggage handling lines. The resulting network-based automation provides a clear and logical plant structure that is simpler to plan, install, operate and maintain. Nord's decentralised drive range includes everything required for conveying and related material handling applications, and ensures that cost-effective solutions are available for any scale of automation project. Options range from simple motor/starter combinations to smart geared motors with integral speed control electronics and I/O for process automation. One of the unique attributes of Nord's decentralised range is a configurable 'field distributor' module. The modular architecture of these components allows drives to be customised with the exact fieldbus, I/O, local user control/HMI and connection facilities required to provide cost-effective and compact decentralised automation solutions. For example, configurations might combine variable speed conveyor control with interfaces for photoelectric or proximity sensors, and actuators for rotation tables or product diverters. A very wide-ranging choice of network interfaces ensures that OEMs and end users can build complex systems very easily and integrate them with existing factory networks. Plug-on communications options include Profibus, CANopen, Interbus, AS Interface and DeviceNet. One of the major advantages of the decentralised approach compared with traditional system building techniques is the elimination of long cabling between motors and panel- or cabinet-mounted drives and controls. The switching frequency of an inverter combined with long cable runs can give rise to a number of problems that can complicate system building, including interference, power loss, and spikes that can damage motors. The very close coupling between Nord's decentralised motor and drive products avoids such issues. Nord Drivesystems' German parent has already employed this decentralised technology in a number of large-scale applications. In one recent example on an automotive production line, around 400 electronically-controlled geared motors are connected on an Interbus network via field distributor modules to provide intelligent, highly-automated parts handling. Other applications include smart conveying systems for food and beverage manufacturing lines, and industrial warehousing control.

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