The steam-powered machinery that was the norm in the early days of industrialization has now given way to electric drives in virtually all areas. How many such drives are normally required simultaneously or permanently in a single machine, though? In robots and machine tools, the answer in most cases is all of them - but the time they are actually in use is limited in many other applications. Machines with automatic format adjusters, for example, are simply set to specific product geometries, machining depths or filling quantities at the start of the batch. During production as such, the format adjustment drives are inactive and have only a minor influence on the machine’s cycle time. In the case of material flow lines, too, which often consist of multiple segments, it would be sufficient only to activate the drives required for each particular operation. In addition to reducing the number of servo drives needed, intelligent drive control would thus also significantly cut energy consumption. The new cyber motor select switch from WITTENSTEIN cyber motor GmbH puts this theory into practice.

The motor select switch forms part of the company’s new, modular small servo drive system and is designed to adapt perfectly to any combination of servo drive, motor and gearbox in terms of control and connectivity. It works like a kind of turnout that can be used to control several motors selectively with one single servo drive. WITTENSTEIN explains that both the motor phases and the encoders are connected to the active motor - without compromising on functionality or performance, and with minimal switching times of just a few tenths of a second. Servo drive solutions in stationary material flow systems, driverless industrial trucks with integrated load handling device, packaging and bottling plants, labeling systems and machine tools are just some of the possible applications WITTENSTEIN envisages for its new development.

WITTENSTEIN cyber motor GmbH (97999 Igersheim, Germany)