Drives and Controls Magazine
Integrated EtherCat servodrives can be mounted on machines
Published:  09 March, 2020

The German controls manufacturer Beckhoff has announced an integrated machine-mounting servodrive for implementing automation outside of control cabinets. The AMI812x servodrive combines a servomotor, output stage and fieldbus connection in a space-saving design that is available in ratings up to 400W.

The drives, which can act as EtherCat slaves, can be installed directly onto machines, in any position, without needing a control cabinet or upstream I/O, allowing compact cabinet-free designs to be implemented. There are three lengths available, with standstill torque ratings from 0.5–1.1Nm. Higher torque levels can be achieved by using planetary gears from Beckhoff’s AG2250 series.

The drives are optionally available with multi-turn absolute encoders without battery backups, and with backlash-free holding brakes. Using an additional sealing ring, the drives can achieve IP 65 protection. The STO safety function can be integrated as an option via TwinSafe Logic.

Fast control, based on vector current and PI speed control, supports dynamic positioning. Monitoring options include over- and under-voltage, over-current, and motor utilisation using an I²T model. The drive’s operating state is indicated by status LEDs.

Beckhoff's compact integrated servodrives can be mounted directly on machines, avoiding the need for a control cabinet.

Signals and power for the motor are connected via an M12 interface. An M8 EtherCat interface offers a second port for simple daisychain cascading. A version with a power-carrying EtherCat P connection is planned. The M8 I/O interface can be used to connect two sensors or 24V DC actuators up to 0.5A. Connection cables are available with straight or angled outlets.