Networked Automation System Speeds Helical Insert Production (August 2001)

Motor Technology has designed and developed a networked automation system for new machinery that has recently been installed at WTI Fasteners of Measham.

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The new machines, designed and built by WTI to their own specifications, produce helical inserts that are used in fastening applications to prevent threads from becoming worn or stripped, and to enable higher torque settings for fixing bolts and screws.

The servo systems installed by Motor Technology form part of a fully networked automation system that enables remote access to each machine and allows interrogation and control functions to be performed from either local or remote PCs. It also provides full data logging of production and system operations on faster machines that are capable of producing a new helical insert every two seconds.

The system design was based on Ormec Orion digital brushless servo systems with controllers that are based on an industry hardened PC. DSP based axis modules provide fully integrated high-performance motion control, so freeing the main processor from other tasks. Machine I/O is fully configurable for software interrupts and open standard ISA or PC card expansion slots provide cost effective third-party Ethernet adaptors and connectivity via an Ethernet TCP/IP interface for remote access using Orion’s web enabled software tools.

Ormec Orion’s MotionDesk provides a suite of software development tools to help create, manage and maintain automation and motion control projects. This software suite includes Ormec’s motionBASIC, a superset of Microsoft BASIC with enhancements for motion and I/O control, and QuickDesigner, a potent tool for developing touch-screen panel applications for Ormec Orion’s monochrome and colour HMI’s.

The Orion provides two PC card slots giving extensive and rugged memory capability for storing application and product programs. All the application programming for WTI was developed and written by Motor Technology.