Turn-key control solutions for automatic machines

Ever Elettronica has been active in the electronic and industrial automation sectors for more than forty-five years. Based in Lodi, the company develops solutions for motion control using synchronous stepper and brushless servomotors that comply with international standards and are open to the main fieldbuses on the market.

In December 2009, company management met with the technical press in Milan for an update on its offerings that we want to share.

Open and ready-to-use hardware and software packages

Ever Elettronica's offer consists of complete hardware and software packages with open architecture for applications of different complexity, from the more basic ones requiring simple single-axis motion control in "slave" mode to those requiring sophisticated control functions in intelligent stand-alone mode of multi-axis systems. Ever Elettronica is in fact able to modify automatic machines according to customer requirements, even for small series production, thus representing the ideal partner of companies looking for customized, integrated and ready-to-use solutions. The Lodi-based company's reference market is that of automatic machines operating in a wide variety of industrial sectors: from packaging (food packaging machines, filling machines, labeling heads and so on) to mechanotextiles, the printing sector (flexography, converting and so on), and the medical sector - to mention only the main ones.

Intelligent stepper drives with servo performance

The "package" provided by Ever Elettronica typically consists of motor, drive, software, manuals, and accompanying accessories. Historical core business is stepper (or stepper) motors: permanent magnet synchronous motors with a large number of poles.

According to Eng. Felice Caldi, president of the company, this type of motor has experienced a much more pronounced development than other types of motors, but its evolution has not been fully understood by the market. It is a motor, particularly suitable for direct drives (direct driving) for precision positioning, capable of marrying high performance, comparable to that of brushless motors, with economy. The flagship product is the clever drive, a line of intelligent drives controlled with innovative and patented high-pole count motor control software technology that combines drive functionality with PLC and motion control.

Features and benefits of Servostep technology 

At the core of the development of the clever drive is Servostep technology, a term that summarizes seven key points: the high number of motor poles; patented motor control algorithms; full digital drive; specific motion control applications; breadth of range; integration; and cost-effectiveness.

Let us see them below in summary:

  • In opposition to other types of motors that require the use of numerous other devices to control motion-gearboxes, universal joints, encoders, and so on-with consequent disadvantages in terms of positioning accuracy and others, stepper motors not only require no additional mechanical parts, but are capable of performing precise, dynamic positioning with simple installations, operating in both open loop and, optionally, closed loop with a significant increase in performance. 
  • Innovative proprietary motor control algorithms used in the f4d2 firmware of Ever Elettronica's devices enable rapid execution of the real time calculations required for phase current regulation and motion trajectory tracking with camming and interpolation. This results in: perfect regulation and maximum value of drive torque at any speed, quiet rotation without jerks and resonances of high pole count motors, precise speed and position control in both open and closed loop. With such technology, closed-loop torque-speed-position control functionality has also been integrated, obtaining a high-performance servo motor.
  • All new drives from Ever Elettronica incorporate innovative Full Digital technology. With this technology, the power stage delivering current to the motor is controlled, via the f4d2 algorithm, in PWM mode by a DSPC (Digital Signal Processor and Controller) controller that replaces the general-purpose microprocessor used in traditional mixed analog-digital technology drives. By replacing the general-purpose microprocessor with a DSPC controller, 'Full Digital' drives can improve the qualities and functionality of an older D/A technology system by offering the user versatility, easier installations, and better manageability of the device.
  • Ever Elettronica's Full Digital servo drives are designed to independently realize, in either open or closed loop, specific 'turnkey' motion control applications. These are made possible by the limited fraction of machine time dedicated by the DSPC to motor control thanks to the f4d2 algorithm. For updating the firmware parameters of the various available applications, appropriate PC software tools are made available to the user that enable: on-line and real-time diagnostics of connected devices; firmware updating; configuration of all working parameters; debugging of user firmware for fast application startup; and optimization of feedback parameter functionality.
  • Wide range: diversified drives are available in terms of: level of intelligence and programmability; housing; type of power supply; number of I/O; communication interfaces.

Finally, several advantages are offered by integrated systems: a single device incorporating motor, drive and feedback encoder (optional) leads to simplification of electrical wiring; reduction of thermal dissipation even at maximum power output; reliability even in the presence of vibration and severe working temperatures; and savings in the electrical cabinet, no longer needed to contain drives.

The appropriate price was achieved through an engineering and design process that was curated to minimize manufacturing and material costs, but without sacrificing performance, robustness, and safe and reliable operation as required by today's automatic machine manufacturers.

Multi-axis systems with Axis Control, Gateway and PLC in one device

Ever Elettronica's automation devices can be configured in any application by simply connecting them together via CANBus fieldbus and setting them via software using simple Windows® PC interfaces.

To extend the performance and facilitate the implementation of this technology, the GWC unit was created, which can provide three functionalities in a single device: that of programmable logic controller (PLC) via the TR.I.P.O.S.GW software development environment, that of motion controller by controlling and synchronizing up to 64 drives, and that of communication converter between devices with different types of fieldbuses (gateway). The latter functionality allows data interchange between the various fieldbuses present: CANBus (canopen), DeviceNet, ProfiBus, Ethernet and RS232/485 serial (modbus).

With the GWC unit, in association with the SDM and SM2A series servo drives, it is easy to create complete, versatile, compact, high-performance multi-axis motion control systems with 'closed-loop' operation capability with torque, speed & position control, taking advantage of all the benefits that various fieldbuses can offer.

Ready-to-use and easily field-settable applications and firmware are available for these systems for applications such as: canbus control, modbus control, cam management, labeling, indexing, digital traker, thread winding, and so on in various industries such as packaging, bottling, and printing. In addition, SDM and SM2A are programmable through the Atomic IDE (lntegrated Development Environment), a complete development environment with easy wizards to customize your application in a few simple steps.

Other drives, such as the SlimLine SW1 series models, are also suitable for use in multi-axis mode in conjunction with GWC motion control. The common features of the entire SlimLine SW1 line of drives are: 'Full Digital' circuitry and firmware integrating the f4d2 algorithm for optimal stepper motor control under all circumstances, microstep operation in open loop or stepless operation in closed loop, CANbus (canopen) or R5232/485 serial (modbus) fieldbus, opto-isolated digital inputs and outputs, analog inputs, wide range of powers and power supplies with DC bus or AO with or without transformer.

It is also possible to program these drives via the eePLC interface, a software development environment derived directly from Atomic, whose main feature is to provide easy support for quick, immediate and intuitive programming of the entire SlimLine SW1 line.

Easy installation: control each axis with various modes

Let's conclude with the ease of installation; Ever Elettronica has developed several Advanced Motion Modules thanks to which it is possible to control each axis in various modes: from simple step & dir to control with analog references, from control via fieldbus to control with integrated electronic cam management, to even reach closed-loop control of torque-speed-position transforming the employed motor into a real servomotor. Thanks to complete PC interfaces, all application parameters can be configured. The devices can be configured either in stand-alone operation mode or as slave units where a master controller is already present.

Turn-key control solutions for automatic machines
Turn-key control solutions for automatic machines
Turn-key control solutions for automatic machines
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