Connectivity

Ensure Optimum Performance In Hostile Welding Cell Environments

Guest contributor: Dave Bird, Balluff

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The image above demonstrates the severity of weld cell hostilities.

Roughly four sensing-related processes occur in a welding cell with regards to parts that are to be joined by MIG, TIG and resistance welding by specialized robotic /automated equipment: 

  1. Nesting…usually, inductive proximity sensors with special Weld Field Resistance properties and hopefully, heavy duty mechanical properties (coatings to resist weld debris accumulation, hardened faces to resist parts loading impact and well-guarded cabling) are used to validate the presence of properly seated or “nested” metal components to ensure perfectly assembled products for end customers.
  2. Poke-Yoke Sensing (Feature Validation)…tabs, holes, flanges and other essential details are generally confirmed by photoelectric, inductive proximity or electromechanical sensing devices.
  3. Pneumatic and Hydraulic cylinder clamping indication is vital for proper positioning before the welding occurs. Improper clamping before welding can lead to finished goods that are out of tolerance and ultimately leads to scrap, a costly item in an already profit-tight, volume dependent business.

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    Several MIB’s covered in weld debris

  4. Connectivity…all peripheral sensing devices mentioned above are ultimately wired back to the controls architecture of the welding apparatus, by means of junction boxes, passive MIB’s (multiport interface boxes) or bus networked systems. It is important to mention that all of these components and more (valve banks, manifolds, etc.) and must be protected to ensure optimum performance against the extremely hostile rigors of the weld process.

Magnetoresistive (MR), and Giant Magnetoresistive (GMR) sensing technologies provide some very positive attributes in welding cell environments in that they provide exceptionally accurate switching points, have form factors that adapt to all popular “C” slot, “T” slot, band mount, tie rod, trapezoid and cylindrical pneumatic cylinder body shapes regardless of manufacturer. One model family combines two separate sensing elements tied to a common connector, eliminating one wire back to the host control. One or two separate cylinders can be controlled from one set if only one sensor is required for position sensing.

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Cylinder and sensor under attack.

Unlike reed switches that are very inexpensive (up front purchase price; these generally come from cylinder manufacturers attached to their products) but are prone to premature failure.  Hall Effect switches are solid state, yet generally have their own set of weaknesses such as a tendency to drift over time and are generally not short circuit protected or reverse polarity protected, something to consider when a performance-oriented cylinder sensing device is desired.  VERY GOOD MR and GMR cylinder position sensors are guaranteed for lifetime performance, something of significance as well when unparalleled performance is expected in high production welding operations.

But!!!!! Yes, there is indeed a caveat in that aluminum bodied cylinders (they must be aluminum in order for its piston-attached magnet must permit magnetic gauss to pass through the non-ferrous cylinder body in order to be detected by the sensor to recognize position) are prone to weld hostility as well. And connection wires on ALL of these devices are prone to welding hostilities such as weld spatter (especially MIG or Resistance welding), heat, over flex, cable cuts made by sharp metal components and impact from direct parts impact. Some inexpensive, effective, off-the-shelf protective silicone cable cover tubing, self-fusing Weld Repel Wrap and silicone sheet material cut to fit particular protective needs go far in protecting all of these components and guarantees positive sensor performance, machine up-time and significantly reduces nuisance maintenance issues.

To learn more about high durability solutions visit www.balluff.com.

 

cropped-cmafh-logo-with-tagline-caps.pngCMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Balluff distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Why Rexroth? Top Four Reasons to Choose Rexroth Drives & Controls

Todd Sharp, Motion Control Sales Manager, CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne

CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is a leader in the design and commission of drive and control
systems for our customers for over 30 years, and one question that we often hear is
“Why is Rexroth the best?”  There are many brands Bosch Rexroth_2012competing for the drive and control market, and here at CMAFH, we have working experience with most if not all of them. Our engineers program,  repair and upgrade many of the brands of control systems, and we have the ability to integrate any brand into our custom projects at our customer’s request. Having specialized in Bosch Rexroth products for many years, we understand the unique strengths of the product line.

Rexroth drives and controls can be differentiated from competing brands in four very distinct ways.

1. Product Breadth

The IndraDrive product family spans the power range from 100W to 4MW. This product family can operate as an open loop frequency drive/sensor less vector drive up to a multi-axis integrated motion and logic controller that can be either stand alone or drive resident. The IndraDrive product family also includes a cabinet free drive integrated motor. This entire IndraDrive product family is supported by the same software.Indradrive 2016 13187

  • Power range from 100W to 4MW
  • Range of technology from open loop V/F and sensor-less vector control to multi-axis integrated motion and logic control
  •  Integrated motion and logic control – controller or drive resident
  •  Cabinet free drive integrated motor

2. Connectivity

Rexroth’s drive and control platform supports all common communication buses including Ethernet I/P, EtherCAT, Profinet, SERCOS, CANopen, Powerlink, Profibus.
We can control 3rd party motors regardless of brand or type, and we can operate all common feedback types including TTL, 1vpp, Endat, Hiperface, SSI, resolver. Our drives are available with a 2nd encoder input with a 1MHZ input frequency. Our control supports all common machine programming languages like ladder, FB, ST, IL… plus all common IT and engineering languages like C#, C++, Java, Labview, Matlab.

  • Supports all common communication buses including, Ethernet I/P, EtherCAT, ProfiNet, SERCOS, CANopen, Keyvisual_inkl_Logos_w486Powerlink, Profibus
  • Controls all 3rd party motors regardless of brand or technology type
  • Operates all common feedback types (TTL, 1vpp, ENDAT, Hiperface, SSI, resolver) with drive based second encoder input with up to 1MHZ input frequency
  • Supports all common machine programming languages (ladder, FB, structured text, instruction list) plus all common IT and engineering type languages like C#, C++, Java, Labview, Matlab

3. Functionality

Whether it’s drive or controller based, Rexroth offers multi-zone tension control, vibration dampening/anti-slosh control, high speed registration control, advanced electronic camming and hydraulic control. We also support zoned safety control with safe torque off and full safe motion; controller or drive based. Yes, drive based safe motion control!

  • PMK2801_02R_WEBMulti -zone tension control
  • Vibration dampening/anti-slosh control
  • High speed registration control
  • Advanced electronic camming
  • Supports all common hydraulic functions
  • Integrated safe torque off and safe motion control

 

4. Support

Rexroth designs, engineers and manufactures all products they sell. All are standard and sold throughout the world. In the US, hundreds of local high-tech distributors are Rexroth trained and certified to provide full sales, service and application support.  Additionally, Rexroth maintains sales, service and application support facilities in every region of the US, plus scores more globally.

  •  All products are standard and sold throughout the world
  • Bosch Rexroth maintains sales, service and application support facilities in every region of the US and scores more globally
  • In the US hundreds of local high-tech distributors are Rexroth trained and certified to provide additional sales, service and application support

Do you have questions about this post?  Please contact us:

About CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Bosch Rexroth distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Resources:

Engineered Systems Capabilities

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Rexroth Drives & Controls Training