Beutler Nova AG, a leading Swiss manufacturer of stamping presses, has opted to use the new Unidrive M drive from Control Techniques (CT) in its latest, highly flexible C-press range. Features such as continuously variable stroke rate adjustment and high energy efficiency made the Unidrive M first choice for this progressive machine builder, which now intends to purchase around 50 of these innovative drives every year.
The stamping presses produced by Beutler Nova need to offer exceptional performance to end users operating in highly competitive sectors. For instance, high dynamics and maximum precision must be delivered in the shortest possible cycle times – and at press forces of up to 500 tons. In response, Beutler Nova, which is located at Gettnau near Lucerne, has developed its new C-press range featuring the Unidrive M.
The C-press, which is designed for manual loading and automatic operation, has been optimised with the help of extensive customer feedback. The information collated led to an exercise that sought to identify a new drive.
«We looked for a drive that would enable us to meet market requirements, namely, it had to be cost effective,» says Benedikt Schenker, Board Member and CTO at Beutler Nova, which is part of the well known Schuler Group. «Market prices are dropping rather than rising. Therefore, the basic machine should offer more functions for the same price as previous models.»
Beutler Nova had already successfully completed many servo drive projects through collaboration with CT which, along with the drive specialist’s proven service expertise, prompted the enquiry regarding this smaller application. In the first instance, the stamping press manufacturer wanted a frequency converter and/or drive system that controls the primary drive in the presses and/or adjusts the machine speed.
«Due to the machine’s new functions we didn’t want to install any additional PLCs,» explains Schenker. «Instead, we preferred to integrate these into the drive control system. A special time-critical application proved to be a challenge here. On the one hand, this is a drive control, on the other hand a real-time application for a machine function. So we were looking to combine two functions in one assembly.»
Designed specifically for manufacturing automation applications, the new Unidrive M series platform from CT allows the implementation of rapid intelligence with an on-board system far more easily than competitor systems. Furthermore, flexibility is an inherent part of the design. Unidrive M delivers seven function-focused drive models, all with superior motor performance and an individual feature set to best match the customer’s application and system connectivity needs.
«Our application had to calculate a machine function in real-time via the actual speed of the press,» says Schenker. «However, operating parameters change constantly during production. For example, if the operator sets the frequency converter to reach 1500 rpm on the motor, this corresponds to 100 rpm on the machine. Accelerating and decelerating requires a certain amount of time. Also, stamping machines do not always maintain a constant speed during each individual revolution.»
Clearly, a degree of drive intelligence was required. With this in mind, the industry standard CODESYS (IEC 61131-3) for motion and PLC programming, integrated within Unidrive M, proved vital. Furthermore, onboard real-time Ethernet with hardware-based Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588 V2) provides fast and flexible communications and synchronisation. This of course improves user-friendliness and supports short set-up times.
«Ultimately, the stamping press has to work and we have to make it user-friendly,» concludes Samuel Kreyenbühl, who is responsible for Marketing and Project Management at Beutler Nova. «With the integration of this component from CT, we have taken a huge step forward with our new generation of presses, benefiting our end users enormously.»
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