Drives and Controls Magazine

Modular approach could simplify machine-building

01 May, 2002

Modular approach could simplify machine-building

The German drives specialist Lenze is working on a technique for designing and implementing complex drives-based installations by breaking the overall machine into a series of modules representing partial processes. It suggests that a modular approach of this sort could simplify the installation of large schemes and save time and money.

The idea is to create libraries of basic machine modules which could be stored and adapted for each project by choosing key parameters. These software modules would encompass not only the machine`s mechanical and electrical components, but also its communications systems and interfaces for distributed software. The larger and more complex the machine, the more modules that would be needed.

The software tools share the same database. Everyone involved in a project - from sales, through designing and commissioning, and on to servicing - works from this database. Information from the various steps can be transferred without having to be re-entered. And, by using standard interfaces and XML descriptions, components from any supplier can be integrated into the machine.