Edited By Michael Jermann, Assistant Editor
JL Audio’s subwoofer drivers, all of its marine speakers, most of its enclosed subwoofer systems, and all of its Stealthbox products are built in-house, which allows the company to monitor and upgrade production whenever the latest engineering demands.
Recently, the company focused on the upgrade of their gluing operation, particularly on one of their speaker production lines. The line needed to easily interface with a PLC used for production control. This meant that the gluing operation controller language had to be fully comparable with what they were already using on the line. The company wanted something that was reliable and self-contained, and something that didn’t need to integrate with a computer or controller in order for it to complete its operations.
After searching their options, the engineering team at JL Audio chose to use an AllMotion EZ4Axis controller and four step motors in a configuration that mimics the operation of a standard CNC machine. Through an x-y-z function, this configuration engages a valve, which extrudes a bead of adhesive into the speakers in a circle and a straight line at specific locations for assembly. The positioning of the glue must be accurate, even while speakers are moving down the production line.
The EZ4Axis controller is easy to install and implement. It was designed specifically to allow customers to implement the device quickly in a multi axis step motor operation. The controller only measures 2.25 in. x 2.25 in. x 0.6 in. high, which means that it can fit into most automation situations requiring compact controls that are highly functional.
The cycle speed of the driver operation during production is about 35 seconds long. The EZ4Axis stepper motor controller (plus drivers) can operate four fully independent stepper motors from a 9 V to 30 V source. Commands can be downloaded from any serial terminal program or from EZStepper Windows application. Commands are intuitive and simple, and the control can be used with other controls or in a stand-alone operation with no connection to a source controller at all.
Additional features for the EZ4Axis controller include fully programmable acceleration ramps and speeds, four independent 1 Amp (2 Amp peak) chopper drives (PWM), an optional heat sink for high power applications, and dual encoders.
JL Audio is presently using the AllMotion EZ4Axis controllers and motors in three locations on their production line, and hopes to increase that number as time permits.
Filed Under: TECHNOLOGIES + PRODUCTS, Design World articles