SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2006 show turned out to be
an excellent show in terms of scope and technologies presented, and
kept a clear fresh focus on drives (DC/AC/SERVOS), controllers
(MOTION/PLC/SAFETY), and networks (CANBUS, SERCOS III, Ethernet I/P,
EtherCAT, ProfiNET, PowerLINK, & others).
The results in short:
77,500 sqm (2005: 73,000 sqm)
1,203 (2005: 1,160)
more than 43,000 (2005: 34,653)
478 (2005: 446)
SERCOS III had big splash at show with ODVA announcement of CIP Motion.
EtherCAT had several companies showing their E/C drives. SEW and Stober included. EtherCAT claims over 400 member companies, although it is not clear what constitutes being a member. Another contender in the battle for Ethernet networks is ETHERNET-Powerlink. Baldor's adoption of ETHERNET-Powerlink gives it substantial backing.
SERCOS III was displayed at the Bosch Rexroth booth and the big players in I/O WAGO and Phoenix have announced SERCOS III couplers to be released in next 3 to 6 months with WAGO showing several “beta” units working at show.
Mitsubishi released their FX3U PLC controller with SSCNET.
VRAM of Sigmatek were displayed at SPS. VRAM is an open network based on Ethernet physical layer but optimized for speed and ease of use with devices such as sensors. http://www.varan-bus.net/index_en.htm
Mechatrolink the motion network primarily used in the East had a good show with global participation of over 170 members. A key product development for the technology was the Phoenix Contact Mechatrolink bus coupler that has been released and is gaining considerable interest as it adds needed functionality to Yaskawa's and OMRON's machine controllers.
Wireless and RFID technolgies were represented with many vendor solutions on display.
Key trends in motion/safety
Motion and Safety are being merged on OEM machinery. The trend is integration of both motion and safety under a single network (SERCOS III, CIP Safety) and/or plug-and-play with two different networks, eg. Ethernet I/P and PILZ, SICK, EUCHNER. Both hardware and software need to be tied together to provide this level of control.
Traditional manufacturers are crossing over to add more products and functionality, even complete system solutions. PILZ is good example of a company that has made the move toward combined safety and motion acquiring a German servo company to help expand market presence and fulfill more compete solutions.
Stober Gear is moving more into SERVO solutions with EtherCAT servo drives and motors. Alpha Gear has also made steps to offer more of a complete package. One has to stop and wonder if their OEM servo manufacturing customers will take kindly to the competition. Only time will tell.
Also very commonplace at the show were product combinations of motor/amp/controller in one package. Show here is esiMot:
Danaher Motion had several new products. Stand-outs were with their combo AKM + TRUE Gearhead solution and S700 Servo Drives.
Why attend the SPS show in the future?
Even though this show caters to a more European & German based audience, it continues to attract more international attendees and exhibitors. This show is a venue to see a wide range of automation companies compete in one place. The value for exhibitors besides creating sales leads is product and service feedback in a very targeted venue where competitive information is invaluable.
SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2007 will take place at the exhibition centre Nuremberg
from 27 – 29 November 2007.
:: Design World ::
Filed Under: Factory automation, Drives (servo) + amplifiers, I/O modules, Motion control • motor controls, Motors • servo, PLCs + PACs