AC Servo Beginner Guide

For someone who is new to servo mechanisms and configurations, the features of the servo motor may seem a little daunting. Even after years of experience, I still get a moment of nervous anticipation when I press the START button. Anything that can go wrong, will occasionally go wrong. Becoming familiar with the servo system alleviates the unknown and reduces obstacles to a stable, steady-running servo system.

Servo? Servo Mechanism? Servo control system?

When first becoming acquainted with servo systems, you see these three terms and wonder, “What’s the difference?”   These terms are interchangeable and simply refer to a control mechanism that monitors physical quantities. These qualities could refer to speed, torque, position, and such. The word servo comes from the Latin word for servant, and that is precisely the function of the servo. It takes on the appointed tasks assigned by the programmer and faithfully carries out instructions with precision.

According to Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) terminology, a “servo mechanism” is defined as a mechanism that uses the position, direction, or orientation of an object as a process variable to control a system to follow any changed in a target value (set point). More simply, a servo mechanism is a control mechanism that monitors physical quantities such as specified positions. Feedback control is normally performed by a servo mechanism.

Soure: JIS B0181

There are two ways to help define a servo system. It is a mechanism that first moves at a specified speed and second it locates an object in a specified position.  For the servo system to function, an automatic control system must be designed using feedback control, or a control that returns process variables to the input side and forms a closed loop. How does feedback control operate? It controls the output data to match the input data by detecting the machine position (output data) and feeding the data back to the input. The system then compares it with the specified position (input data) which accordingly moves the machine by the difference between the compared data. For example, let’s say your specified position changes. The servo system will recognize the position change and will change accordingly. In this example, the servo system reflected the changes identified by the specified position being altered. The input data is the position in this example, but input data determines other input as well. It may be identifying any physical change such as orientation (angle) water pressure, or voltage. Some other values typically used as control values include position speed, force, electric current, to name a few.

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KUKA Creating a Fusion of Technology and Art

KUKA, a German manufacturer, is known globally for production, performing automation tasks such as welding and assembly. However, coming up this Fall, the prominent industrial group will be dipping its toe into another kind of performance.

KUKA Robotics Ballet Experience

This is not the first time KUKA has branched out to the arts to showcase the future of automation. In the past, KUKA has been displayed as part of an art installation at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The installation showcased a KUKA robot writing Hebrew across a roll of paper at the speed of human writing using a quill and ink. During a festival in Düsseldorf in 2019, Huang Yi, a dancer, and choreographer, found a dance partner in a KUKA KR CYBERTECH. And at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria, a festival that celebrates the connection of arts and technology and their relation to the human experience, KUKA was a part of the “Creative Robotics” exhibition. The exhibition explored the role of robots and creative expression.

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Siemens Alarms SINUMERIK 840D sl, SINAMICS S120 Alarm Diagnostics

Accurately diagnosing faults and alarms as quickly and specifically as possible help achieve optimal performance and helps avoid mechanical failures. When the integrity of your automation system is monitored inefficiently it impacts all the components and can negatively influence performance and alter cost efficiency for overall building operation. Whether you are a project engineer, commissioning engineer, machine operator, or service/maintenance personnel, adopting fault detection in building management is a key strategy to cut costs, save energy, and better use resources.

Understanding Siemens diagnostics

We will be covering Siemens alarms and messages from the NC area, HMI, and SINAMICS. This article will aid in three areas.

· Assess special machine operation situations.

· Ascertain the reaction of the system.

· Use applicable possibilities for continued operation.

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Fanuc Series 0i Alarms and Error Codes

Chances are, if you are working in the automation industry, you are familiar with the intricacies that go into the myriad of connections within the CNC system.  What are some of the parts that comprise the CNC system? A few of the components included within the CNC machining system are the Central processing unit (CPU), input devices, machine control panel, programmable logic controller (PLC), servo-control unit, and display unit.  These parts work together to deliver precision and power to your automation or manufacturing industry.

With all that encompasses the CNC system, what could go wrong? As it turns out, the multitude of exchanges in areas like data and power can lend itself to unforeseen fault issues.  Plenty of misfiring and faulty connectivity occurs on the plant floor producing fault codes. Rapidly identifying a fault delivers an early opportunity to correct it. Early intervention contributes to benefits in time and money.

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5 Leading Alarm System Mistakes to Avoid

Effectively discerning the alarm codes is an important element in proper management, but it is only a part of the equation. Improperly arranged alarm systems can unwittingly self-sabotage which can unintentionally pose several problems. Poorly arranged alarm systems are a potential safety risk and can financially affect the bottom line as well as the potential to infringe on the environment. Passive alarm settings lack the ability to acclimate to diverse manufacturing conditions. Operators are only as accurate as the alarms informing them, which is why we put together this list of the 5 leading alarm system mistakes to avoid.

The primary mechanism for identifying system interruptions is the alarm code. It is the first line of defense for the plant operator, analyzing and determining correct and rapid action necessary to control plant interruption. Operators must be familiar with a myriad of alarms, but more importantly, they can learn from the alarms to avoid them with the proper settings.

What exactly is the alarm management process?

Having a template to work with is recommended in every undertaking and is particularly crucial with alarm management. Shedding light on the process of alarm management is an excellent way to begin assembling tools to engineer a clear and concise plan. What are the steps to follow? In almost every industry, the following six steps are generally accepted as a tried-and-true blueprint for structuring the alarm management process. The six steps are:

  1. Gauging baseline
  2. Alarm philosophy
  3. Rationalization
  4. Implementation
  5. Renovation
  6. Maintenance
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Yaskawa GPD 506 / P5 and GDP 515 / G5 Alarm Codes

This helpful article will cover a few things you need to know about the basics of Yaskawa GPD 506 / P5 and GDP 515 / G5 alarm codes.

The GPD 506 / P5 and GDP 515 / G5 are able to store up to four faults. The GPD 515 / G5 inverter has a fault trace. The fault trace saves the drive status at the time of the fault. It also has a fault history that indicates elapsed time of stored fault.

Yaskawa GPD515C-A008 AC Drive

What is an alarm code?

If you are new to Yaskawa alarm codes and their ability to trigger a warning in the industrial setting, this article will help explain what the GPD 506 / P5 and GDP 515 / G5 alarm codes are and how these alarm codes assist you when a problem arises.

Yaskawa identifies three main categories of alarm codes, or fault codes. The three Yaskawa fault codes are a major fault, a minor fault, and a parameter setting error. These categories help determine a helpful intervention so let us look at these three fault codes in more detail.

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What Everyday Activity Would You Automate?

Title graphic for the home automation survey

If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you’re familiar with the 1999 Disney movie, Smart House, in which the Cooper family enjoyed all manner of lifestyle automations from their home’s then-unheard-of virtual assistant until it was tampered with and went haywire.

While the technological marvels depicted in the film—voice-activated locks, lights, entertainment, temperature control, home security, and more—were fantasy at the time of the film’s release, we can replicate nearly every automation from the Coopers’ smart home with real technology today. Ok, maybe not the floor absorbers. 

As automated routines, virtual assistants, and the Internet of Things saturate our homes and many modern industries, we wanted to see whether Americans embrace the change or reel against it. In other words, how far would they take artificially intelligent automations if anything were possible—like it was for the Coopers in Smart House?

To find out, we surveyed over 900 Americans on their current smart home devices and habits, the fictional automations they would be the most likely to adopt, and their thoughts on the future of increasing automation in all aspects of society. Read on to learn more.

Automated, Actually

Alt text: Chart graphic showing household A.I. use across the U.S.

According to NPR, there were already 20 million virtual assistants in U.S. households in 2017. Four years later, our data shows that an astonishing 91% of respondents are using a virtual assistant at home.

When we asked survey respondents which digital helper they primarily use, the top two contenders were Google Assistant (39%) and Amazon Alexa (36%). Surprisingly Apple’s Siri didn’t compare to these giants and was relegated to only 13% of respondents’ homes.

The usefulness of virtual assistants increases dramatically when paired with other smart devices on the Internet of Things. With many of us spending more time indoors over the past year, we aren’t surprised to see smart TVs and smart speakers topping the list of the most common smart devices Americans currently use.

The following four smart devices are more practical in nature. Based on our results, smart lights, security cameras, locks, and thermostats are all popular devices for automating home security and comfort. 

We can see that Americans are readily accepting artificial intelligence into their lives as a key component of daily activities. Virtual assistants like Google and Alexa are now dimming lights, playing music, forecasting the weather, watching over empty houses, and much more while Americans focus on other matters.

But how far is too far when it comes to allowing technology to take over aspects of our daily lives?

Automating Virtually Anything

Bar chart showcasing the activities that Americans would automate

To find out which fictional automations are most appealing to Americans, we asked respondents to rate a list of made-up automations on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 meaning low likelihood and 10 meaning high likelihood. 

The results surprised us. Americans are more excited than not for every automation we proposed. But of course, some are more appealing than others.

Respondents were most likely to automate fueling or charging their vehicle. Maybe after a year of working from home, stopping at the gas station is a relic of past commutes that Americans are not excited to return to. Who wouldn’t want their vehicle to automatically fill up with gas or recharge it with electricity!

On the other end of the spectrum, respondents were least likely to automate stealing their family and friends’ streaming subscription passwords. Yet even as the least likely automation, the activity scored a 5.1 out of 10, meaning respondents were still more likely than not to try it out.

Interestingly, respondents were more likely to automate facetime with their kids than with their fur babies. Playing with or walking pets (6.35) scored lower than dropping off and picking up kids from school (7.23) and changing diapers (7.31).

Automating Slices of Life

Graphic depicting how Americans would automate major areas of life

As suspected, Americans are most interested in automating family activities, with 37.6% of respondents agreeing. A quarter of respondents would automate their finances instead, and another 1 in 4 respondents are all about automated travel and commutes. Career was the least likely area of life respondents would automate, with just 10.6% choosing it.

There were, however, automations that appealed to respondents in all four areas of life.

Diaper-changing, carting children around, and pleading with kids to eat healthy food were the top three activities parents would delegate to artificial intelligence if they could.

In terms of finance, respondents were more prone to automate limits for their own untrustworthy spending habits (7.2) than spending limits for other family members (6.9).

Commuting to work is a struggle for many Americans, whether they are driving themselves or riding with others. In this category, the top automations were fueling their vehicle, changing the traffic lights in their favor, and interestingly, muting their carpool companions or rideshare drivers on a whim!

Lastly, respondents were not without want for automating certain aspects of their careers. They couldn’t be bothered to get up for the first hour of their workday, instead wishing a robot would stand in while they catch a few extra Zs. As asking for a promotion can be awkward and challenging, respondents want to automate it instead. And while we aren’t sure how many employees think their boss’ voice is grating, we know respondents would automate their boss with play/pause functionality if they could!

After learning that Americans are all about automating their lives when it comes to fictional technology, we had to find out how they feel about the very real future of artificial intelligence.

The Stormy Future of A.I.

Graphic of charts comparing perceptions of A.I. in the U.S.

Automation is becoming more ubiquitous, and Americans are ok with that. Nearly 3 in 4 respondents feel somewhat or very positive about the increasing use of A.I. in daily life and another 20% assume a take-it-or-leave-it approach. Only 7.4% of respondents harbor negative feelings about automation increasing in our daily lives.

But despite an overall positive perception of the outlook of automation, most respondents have not ruled out a robot takeover. In fact, more than 40% believe that one is likely to occur in the next 50 years! Just 18% are certain that robots won’t rise up against us before 2071. It seems Americans are willing to put a lot at risk in return for the casual conveniences afforded by automation and the Internet of Things.

However, this grim expectation of rebellious robots comes into focus when viewed through the following lens. Science fiction media plays a role in making 58% of respondents more excited for the future of artificial intelligence. Suddenly, a robot takeover doesn’t sound so bad when you have a T-1000 or Neo on your side.

Whether the robots rise up or not (they won’t), automation represents much more than conveniences within the home. It is essential to the smooth functioning of many industries, offering increased productivity, efficiency with materials, product quality, employee safety, and more. That’s why we supply factories with state-of-the-art automation equipment and replacement parts. We’ll even make the repairs ourselves to ensure you’re up and running in no time.

Impact of Drone Technology on Healthcare on the African Continent

Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are mini aircraft that can be flown autonomously. UAVs have a ground-based controller and a system of communications that enables a human on the ground to pilot them. They’ve got an autopilot feature that offers them a certain level of autonomy. In the last 5 years, drone technology has made significant advances in a number of industries.

While they differ in sizes, drones are usually smaller than regular aircraft, and because of their size, they serve various purposes. This ranges from undercover surveillance coverage to deliveries, policing, aerial photography, and weapons delivery for the military to hot battle zones. 

Drone Technology
Modern Drone Technology

More recently, there is increased adoption in healthcare. If there’s any sector where speed and promptness sit as top priorities, then it’s healthcare. This is primarily because lives are at stake. In other parts of the world, drones are deployed to help deliver medical supplies. 

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FANUC Expands Line of SCARA Robots

FANUC America, a leading manufacturer of CNC products, robots, and ROBOMACHINES has expanded its line of high-performance Fanuc Robot SCARA series. The line will now offer more reach and payload options, specifically targeting companies that use the series for assembly, packaging, and inspection lines.

FANUC’s line of 4-axis SCARA robots will now include the SR-3iA, SR-6iA, SR-12iA, and new SR-20iA models with 3kg, 6kg, 12kg and 20kg payload capacities along with a 400-1,100mm reach.

FANUC Robot Scara Series Lineup
FANUC Robot Scara Series Lineup

The smaller SR-3iA and SR-6iA SCARA Fanuc robot units have a smaller footprint and space-saving design to increase efficiency. Additionally, the SR-3iA/H and SR-6iA/H and 3-axis versions that offer strong performance and are an affordable alternative to small linear slide products. The higher-payload SR-12iA and SR-20iA are flexible offerings with a large vertical stroke, and have an environmental option for harsher installation conditions. All of the SCARA series robots include excellent robot motion, high-speed operation, and ultimate precision.

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How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business

AI is an acronym for Artificial intelligence, which refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines. Artificial intelligence enables machines to be programmed to think, act and make decisions like humans. 

These machines are programmed to be analytic and problem-solving computers and robots. While human intelligence may be subject to error, these machines are not.

Artificial intelligence is not restricted to robots alone. While Hollywood might have created this misconception, it is essential to know that AI is simply based on the principle that computers can mimic and execute specific tasks as humans would. These tasks can range from simple calculation to more complex and diverse things. The machine does not necessarily have to be a robot.

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