Hirata originally started the machine design using standard cells of their ACS; however, because of the required machine footprint reduction, Hirata needed to use one ACS for multiple operations.
To accomplish this, Hirata analyzed the operation of each piece of equipment and took a new approach to incorporating up to four operations in one station. To realize this concept, Hirata deployed multiple (up to three) gantries into one ACS. The gantries were controlled by Kinetix® 5700 servo drives that support a maximum of 23 axes. Each axis needed to operate in high-speed synchronously and move in three dimensions without interference.
Hirata designed the optimized axis architecture and programming with Rockwell Automation support and successfully created the smaller footprint, large scale, high-speed, high-precision and sophisticated production machine using the new ACS concept.
The machine connects to the end-user’s manufacturing execution system (MES) through Ethernet so machine data can be utilized to support real-time remote diagnostics and maintenance. Hirata can access machine data from anywhere in the world, eliminating travel costs. If onsite maintenance is required, technicians are prepared as they can access information – which also shortens troubleshooting time.
Rockwell Automation ControlLogix® control systems use a common control engine with a common development environment to provide high performance in an easy-to-use environment. For this machine, ControlLogix controllers were attached to each cell to control the servo motor to move and assemble battery materials. For high performance and safety control, Hirata used ControlLogix L8 and GuardLogix® L7S controllers.
Kinetix 5700 servo drives with safe torque off function and safety Ethernet (CIP safety) help expand the value of integrated motion on EtherNet/IP. In addition, these servo drives can help reduce commissioning time and improve machine performance, offering the wiring simplicity and space savings Hirata needed to get the machine up and running faster.
To move the conveyer between the cells, Hirata used PowerFlex® 525 AC drives which feature an innovative, modular design to support fast and easy installation and configuration. These drives were used to control multiple motors (one drive controls two motors).
The metrics that are typically most important to Hirata include cycle time, operating rate and yield ratio. This time, Hirata also counted footprint reduction.