Drive technology is one of the key elements in mechanical engineering because it is responsible for motion control. With the advent of Industry 4.0, it is becoming increasingly important to control motion as simply as possible, in machines that have to become more and more flexible. More than ever before, there is a need for machines that require parameterisation instead of programming. This is why Lenze’s goal in engineering is to make life easier for machine-builders – for example with interaction options that make it possible to commission machines in new best times.

Three minutes for a simple roller belt with fixed speed settings, five minutes for a more elaborate speed-variable belt conveyor, and seven minutes for a multi-axis robot application. These fast times are evidence that the specialist for Motion Centric Automation is determined to develop drive solutions where the time required for commissioning – seen in relation to the application concerned – is really reasonable. Especially in the smart factory, this is a factor that is becoming more important. With its new “3, 5, 7” standard, Lenze is highlighting both the specific results that are featured in its applications and also the benefits that emerge for the end-user in the operating phase.

You Have Three Minutes

In materials-handling technology, drive dimensioning is still required to perform a balancing act: provide relatively low torques in continuous operation, and high breakaway torques at the start. Anyone who wants to go for the easiest solution will think “the more the merrier” and simply design the motors that provide maximum power for the breakaway torque. There is no doubt about it: the result is a solution that works, but its hunger for energy can in some cases waste up to 60% of the current it uses. With the mechatronic drive package consisting of the Lenze Smart Motor and the g500 gearbox series, Lenze has created a solution that is not only economical in its consumption of energy, but it is also easy to use. The motor speed can easily be adjusted by using a Lenze app and an NFC-capable smartphone, and this also makes it possible to reduce the number of variants needed by up to 70 %.

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Lenze performs another balancing act in the combination of space-saving design, easy commissioning and impressive performance that can be found in its speed-variable drives with frequency inverters. One of the most important objectives in the development of the new i500 series of inverters was to create well thought-out structures and straightforward dialogues that save time and improve user-friendliness. Lenze has made the complete installation so easy that even untrained employees can get the drive going without difficulty. The same principle of easiness has also been applied to the parameterisation of the inverter during commissioning. This includes the pluggable memory module, which can be used to copy already created parameter settings onto other inverters, and the wireless LAN unit for unobstructed communication with the devices’ settings level. As a result, the commissioning can be completed in only a few minutes.

You Have Seven Minutes

Today more than ever, successfully building and selling machines with convincing competitive advantages requires innovation, flexibility and performance combined with shorter development times and faster times to market. When – for example in handling and packaging technology – motion control is required, Lenze turns to the Application Software Toolbox FAST. Thanks to standardised and modularised software, ready-made motion functions can very easily be integrated into the machine control and re-used.

The Lenze FAST technology modules use the same standardised interfaces, they can be easily and freely combined, and they can work together with the user’s own self-created components. This quickly covers the machine’s basic tasks, and the programmer then has more time for developing and testing special machine functions. He can focus on what really matters: extending the company’s technological lead over competitors and pleasing the customer.

The same is true of apparently complex robotics applications. For pick & place tasks there are complete ready-made FAST robotics solutions. Everything that the machine builder needs for fast, productive handling technology is already integrated into the powerful software modules with a fully fledged robotics core. They make the integration of robotics kinematics into the overall automation system as easy as possible – regardless of what kinematics will ultimately be required. Pick & place movements can thus be programmed simply by means of parameter settings, without any prior knowledge of robotics. This brings a massive reduction in the amount of engineering required by the OEM.

3, 5, 7: Creating Practical Benefits

Space-saving, energy-efficient and innovative drive technology is most effective when it offers clear practical benefits and can be easily utilised. In order to prevent machines from becoming infinitely more complex for the machine operators and users, Lenze has created some important basic conditions which ensure that the complexity remains manageable. In Industry 4.0, too, certified standardised usability analyses will become more significant. It won’t be long before the market sees the first devices with a certificate of user-friendliness.