Festo Fosters Fieldbus Flexibility

Festo Fosters Fieldbus Flexibility
Festo Fosters Fieldbus Flexibility

Festo recently augmented its pneumatic and automation portfolio. In addition to introducing new online design tools, the company made its technologies fieldbus configurable. The news came in a press conference held by the company in August.  

IP address reduction

Festo CPX-AP-A smart pneumatic valve terminals joins the established CPX-AP-I remote input/output (I/O) modules as part of the company’s Automation Platform (AP), a backplane-based remote I/O system. Both the CPX-AP-A and CPX-AP-I connect to a bus interface and pass data to the programmable logic controller (PLC). Festo recently augmented its pneumatic and automation portfolio.

Figure 1: The Festo Automation Platform (AP) offers topology flexibility. Distributed and decentralized I/O are under a single IP address.

 Festo’s AP continues to give machine builders machine optimization flexibility by adding I/O where needed. Instead of all remote I/O points having individual IP addresses, the AP has one integration point resulting in PLC overhead of only one IP address to accommodate the connectivity of all downstream devices (Figure 1). “AP gives us one connection point for all of the I/O and valves on the entire machine or in an area of the machine; it reduces integration points,” said Eric Rice, product market manager, electric automation at Festo. “Physically attached on-terminal or connected via cable, all components such as PLCs, valves, motors, drives, and I/O appear to the programmer to be incorporated within one smart terminal under a single IP address.”
The Festo AP is compatible with the major Ethernet protocols: EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, EtherCAT, Modbus, and I/O Link. According to Rice, the AP ecosystem can switch between these Ethernet protocols.

Configurable fieldbus also for servo drives

Festo introduces the CMMT MP family of multi-protocol servo drives (Figure 2). Like the CPX-AP-A and CPX-AP-I, every drive in this family is configurable as EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, PROFINET, and Modbus TCP. To choose the protocol for a CMMT multi-protocol servo drive, engineers log into the drive using the free online productivity tool Festo Automation Suite, select the protocol of choice from a drop-down menu, and configure the unit.

Figure 2: The CMMT MP family of multi-protocol servo drives is configurable as EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, PROFINET and Modbus TCP.

“With the multi-protocol functionality built in, [OEMs or users] don’t have to select when they order,” said Tom Worsnopp, product market manager, electric automation at Festo. “They just order the power class they need for that drive, and when they commission their machine, they configure which fieldbus type they want to use. There are benefits like inventory management to that functionality.”

The Festo CMMT family includes CMMT-ST-MP compact dc servo drives. The drives are rated up to 300 W. CMMT-AS-MP compact ac servo drives are rated up to 6 kW. Higher power 9- and 12-kW CMMT-AS-MP units will be available in late 2023.

Productivity online

Festo recently introduced its lates productivity tool—Electric Motion Sizing—to help engineers size linear and rotary electromechanical systems. Multi-axis handling systems can be specified with Electric Motion Sizing’s sister productivity tool—Handling Guide Online—which offers similar benefits.

Electric Motion Sizing allows users to input key parameters such as mass, stroke/travel distance, and cycle time. The tool performs the mass moment of inertia calculations, identifies the combination of components most effective for the application’s parameters in real time. Up to five optimum solutions and motor curves are presented for consideration. The specified components work together, so interoperability is not a concern. Designers can fine tune the selected system by choosing encoder type, brake, and mechanics.

Figure 3: A single CAD file of the actuator/accessory assembly simplifies the design process by eliminating individual CAD files for the various components. The tool also consolidates and simplifies parts lists.

Festo’s Handling Guide Online has the same functionality as the online Electric Motion Sizing tool. “Whereas the Electric Motion Sizing is a tool for selecting a single axis,” explains Rice, “the Handling Guide Online is a tool for selecting multi-axis systems. So it’s the same basic three steps as our other tool: Enter parameters, select the desired system, and configure that system with final options and accessories.”

More design tools

Earlier this year, Festo introduced the 3D CAD Configurator for pneumatic actuators and associated accessories such as fittings, lengths of tubing, and sensors (Figure 3). Once the actuator is selected from a choice of either cylinder, drive with guides, or semi rotary drive, users point and click on accessory hot spots to identify and select each accessory including fittings, tubing, sensors, rod ends, and mounts. The configurator ensures compatibility between actuator and accessory and eliminates possible type code errors.

About The Author

Jack Smith is senior contributing editor for Automation.com and ISA’s InTech magazine. He spent more than 20 years working in industry—from electrical power generation to instrumentation and control, to automation, and from electronic communications to computers—and has been a trade journalist for more than 25 years.

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