The rise in direct-to-consumer delivery requires increasingly flexible manufacturing and packaging operations. Supporting this shift are low-voltage compact motion control technologies that can be used in autonomous mobile robots and automated guided vehicles used on the factory floor as well as automated storage and retrieval system in warehouses.
At Modex 2022, Beckhoff displayed several compact motion control technologies suited for such applications. Key aspects of the products highlighted by Beckhoff are their safety features. Doug Schuchart, global intralogistics industry manager at Beckhoff, noted that the compact motion control products highlighted at the event can meet up to a Category 4 PLe safety.
Schuchart also detailed Beckhoff’s EP7402 EtherCAT Box compact controller. In the demo at Modex 2022, Beckhoff used this controller to control motor-driven rollers from different manufacturers on a conveyor system. He underscored the importance of the real-time EtherCAT communications of this controller, noting compliance with NFPA 79, which provides safeguards for industrial machinery to protect operators, equipment, and facilities from fire and electrical hazards.
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The EP7402 controller is a two-channel motor output stage for brushless DC motors used in motor-driven rollers. Beckhoff says the controller offers “optimal conveyor control through zero-pressure accumulation logic in its firmware, programming in the TwinCAT 3 engineering environment, and high-performance EtherCAT industrial Ethernet communication.”
Designed with conveying tasks in intralogistics, packaging, food and beverage, and assembly in mind, the EP7402 is IP67 rated, does not require a protective enclosure, and features Beckhoff’s One Cable Automation, which allows for one cable to deliver communications and power via two B23 ENP hybrid connectors. The hybrid B23 cables can carry 28A to distribute power to up to 16 motor-driven rollers. Built-in motor protection features of the EP7402 include voltage monitoring, thermal overload protection, and overcurrent protection.
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