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Baumüller introduces its new drive-integrated control unit b maXX PLC di

With its new drive-integrated b maXX PLC di, automation specialist Baumüller implements highly synchronized motion control with short cycle times, enabling smart monitoring without external sensors directly in the drive
Photo by Baumüller Nürnberg GmbH

With its new drive-integrated b maXX PLC di, Baumüller is making highly synchronous motion control, maximum speeds and modular machine and system mounting a reality.

Baumüller has been successfully implementing the principle of drive-integrated PLCs for decades and, with the new PLC di, has made it fit for the future and for the Internet of Things (IoT). The drive-integrated control unit b maXX PLC di – “di” standing for “drive integrated” – can execute complex motion control, technology and control functions directly in the drive.

This provides the machine builder with a number of advantages: By integrating the Baumüller motion modules directly in the drive, the user can apply a number of pre-programmed functionalities without having to make costly adjustments to the higher-level control unit.

This reduces the load on the fieldbus, while faster communication between the PLC and the drive optimizes the precision and accuracy of the machine – and thus its productivity. Highly synchronous processes at high speeds are now possible.

In addition, the integrated PLC paves the way for a modular machine design. The advantage: Individual machine modules can be manufactured independently and commissioned in advance. This considerably simplifies and accelerates commissioning of the entire machine on site at the user’s premises.

Since the b maXX PLC di can also control other drives as an EtherCat master, in some cases the higher-level PLC can even be omitted altogether. This reduces costs for the machine builder and machine operator.

Thanks to its integration in the drive, the PLC di achieves minimum cycle times of up to 250 μs and is thus even faster than its predecessor model.

Open system

When it comes to control technology, Baumüller relies on open systems. With the new runtime environment IEC 61131, developed entirely in-house, Baumüller offers a platform that supports current standards such as high-level programming languages, e.g. with C++, and IoT connectivity. The runtime system is based on Linux, thus ensuring maximum openness for integrating other systems and absolute flexibility when implementing customer-specific projects.

With interfaces such as OPC UA, MQTT, EtherCAT and Ethernet, the b maXX PLC di is ideally set up for future requirements regarding automation or the Internet of Things. This comprehensive openness improves development efficiency, time-to-market and flexibility for the machine builder.

Real-time communication

The digital and analog inputs of the PLC di are also fully tuned for speed. Through digital inputs, the b maXX PLC di reacts in real time to important events such as touch probes. The advantage: The control unit operates more efficiently and reliably, a plus point in particular for applications with high requirements for dynamics and precision, where fast response times are needed.

The analog high-speed inputs (without additional hardware, minimum scanning time 1 μs) make completely new IoT solutions possible. External sensors can be connected directly. Analyses, e.g. vibration analyses, take place in the PLC in the drive and reactions to external events are also processed directly in the drive-integrated PLC without the need to detour to additional components.

Communication between the PLC di and the servo-controller does not take place via the fieldbus but via an internal interface. This provides access to drive parameters such as voltage, current, power, torque, speed or position in “hard real-time”. The servo drive thus performs the tasks of a sensor and enables smart monitoring with a minimal extent of work. With the intelligent modules from the Baumüller SmartValue toolkit, processing then also takes place directly in the drive-integrated PLC di.

For more information, please visit http://www.baumueller.com.