- November 26, 2013
November 26, 2013 - Metronix announces blueServo servo motor drives combine a universal real-time Ethernet capability with safe torque off functional safety and comprehensive encoder interfacing capability - including the single-cable HIPERFACE DSL scheme. BlueServo drives are available in six packaged, panel-mounting single-phase and three-phase drives offering continuous output power ratings from 0.5 to 6 kVA. The hardware feature set chosen for the new drives is a combination of the most-commonly required features by Metronix's broad customer base, along with some brand new capability. The use of real-time Ethernet communications protocols is a major trend in the industry and to meet this demand Metronix has embedded a universal Ethernet capability into the drive. It allows the drive to be used in automation systems employing EtherCAT, PROFINET, Sercos III or Ethernet/IP protocols for example, in addition to the commonly-used CANopen network interface. A broad encoder interfacing capability is another major element of the servo drive family. Metronix blueServo drives allow connection to resolvers, analog/digital incremental encoders, and single/multiturn absolute encoders such as HIPERFACE or EnDat. The drives also support the digital HIPERFACE DSL interface - which allows automation engineers to cut system building costs substantially by using only a single cable connection between drive and motor. Enhanced machine safety is another important trend, and Metronix has included support for Safe Torque Off (STO) functional safety in the new drives. This is designed to meet Category 4/PLe according to EN 13849-1 - the maximum rating achievable single-axis safety level in this category. Further features include an integral line filter and brake resistors - a typical characteristic of Metronix drives - allowing blueServo to offer a standalone and ready-to-use solution for many common automation applications. A powerful and easy to use Windows-based software tool for parameterizing and analyzing the new drives is additionally available. A key element of the new drive design is its low cost. This has been achieved by several factors. These include a carefully selected feature set that satisfies a large proportion of applications, and the implementation of these features directly in the embedded system rather than by means of more versatile, but more expensive techniques such as expansion slots - as used on some of Metronix's existing drive families. Metronix also increased the flexibility of the drive - without increasing costs - by partitioning the electronics design across two boards to reduce printed circuit layers and allow single-sided component mounting, and assembly/manufacture using simple processes. The two-board design serves to support Metronix's large custom drive business. One common request for example is to integrate an OEM's application-specific drive control electronics with Metronix's power stage - this is easily accommodated with the carefully-partitioned blueServo design.