The motorized size changeover of machine spindles or machine axes is now being implemented in various ways. The solutions to this are often relatively rudimentary and result in the fact that no handwheel or crank is rotated, with one or more buttons being pressed instead. Whether this meets the requirements of a smart process chain or Industry 4.0 is questionable. Intelligent positioning drives can be an efficient solution in such a case.
The more complex systems become, the more sophisticated the required data exchange is. What is the advantage of a highly efficient production process when the entire production is suddenly halted by unexpected maintenance?
Intelligent networks, such as Industrial Ethernet, also require a high degree of diagnostic capability for fault analysis, as well as an efficient and fast exchange of process data. For the smart size changeover, actuating drives are therefore necessary. In addition to the purely motorized changeover, these drives permit a complex data exchange with control systems, reliably detect operating states outside the fixed range, and communicate status or error messages, for example. As a result, a constantly increasing load current could signal that the adjustment axis may be heavily contaminated by pollutants and has to be cleaned during the next maintenance service. This is precisely where INSTROTECH’s offering of SIKO intelligent actuators fit the bill. In addition to the pure exchange of process data, these actuators also make all diagnostic values available in order to be able to prevent unplanned downtime from format setting.
The all-in-one drive
With the new AG24, SIKO has now expanded its portfolio of positioning drives with intelligent RTE (real-time Ethernet). In addition to the tried and tested SIKO positioning drives AG25 and AG26, which are characterized by their ultracompact design, the AG24 has now been released to expand the portfolio of actuators. Despite the considerable output power and speed of the AG24, all the components are still integrated into one housing. No external components or junction boxes are needed to connect to your higher-level controller. This means that the drive is connected only to the supply voltage and the port for data exchange has to be connected directly to the controller or the next drive in the network. A simpler network connection is hard to imagine.
Communication standards
In industrial automation it is important that standards be met which make it easier for the system integrator to integrate the peripheral equipment into its control environment. The AG24 serves the leading standard communication interfaces Profinet, Ethernet IP, Powerlink and Ethercat. Numerous function blocks, add-on instructions as well as different libraries are important software tools which offer the user a substantial simplification of system integration. Due to the extensive experience gained from the applications of the AG25 and AG26 drives, which have already become successfully established in the market, SIKO also offers a large selection of corresponding software tools for the AG24.
Power pack in all situations
With a maximum rated torque of 14 Nm, the AG24 is a real power pack. The compact drive reaches its maximum changeover speed of 150 rpm at a nominal torque of 6 Nm and can fully automate virtually any manual adjustment effortlessly. Due to the hollow shaft with clamping ring and torque support, the drive is very simply adapted to the existing machine shaft without the basic construction of the adjustment unit having to be changed. Other shaft diameters or the force transmission via a feather key groove is available as an option. The robust metal housing is designed with a protection class of up to IP65.
Monitoring desired
With the integrated 2-line LCD and the integrated keypad, not only can the individual IP addresses be assigned; the current actual value and the respective setpoint can also be directly monitored for diagnostics. Furthermore, via the display and the keyboard, it is possible to check each stored parameter and to adjust it if necessary. Possible operating data can be read out and errors can be diagnosed without an analysis via the fieldbus being necessary.
Maintaining position
With the integrated position controller, the setpoints are approached accurately with up to 1024 steps per revolution. With an optional integrated electromechanical brake, the position is also held securely in the case of external mechanical loads. Even without a brake, though, users never lose control of the positions. The integrated absolute value sensor also detects motions in the currentless state, which is why the real position of the drive can be read back at any time when the system is switched on again.
With the AG24, SIKO serves applications in which difficult manual changeovers have previously only been possible to automate with great effort. This is why here too the governing philosophy is that all modules which form an intelligent drive are integrated into one unit, so no external additional components need be installed and wired. The AG24 is a compact drive which deserves the name even apart from the impressive performance data.
Test equipment
Positioning drives, including function modules and software tools, are made available for test purposes free of charge. This enables users to test the equipment under no obligation and to convince themselves of the quality and problem-free integration of the positioning drives.

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