Glaston America, a manufacturer of glass tempering ovens, serves both the commercial and residential glass markets. Glaston selected the Unidrive M family of variable speed drives from Control Techniques to address the issue of tiny scratches that can occur as a result of the glass being tempered without precise speed control on the oven’s drives. To ensure its glass tempering ovens meet the demanding requirements of high profile customers such as Cardinal IG, a manufacturer of residential glass, every effort is made by Glaston to maximize quality.
“The solution arrived initially in the shape of Control Techniques’ Unidrive SP drive because of the flexibility of programming and option cards for feedback and communications,” said Cliff Matukonis of Glaston America. “However, we soon migrated to the Unidrive M701 as its new features and functionality better suited our needs. The integration of PROFIBUS communications and application modules for increasing the drives’ flexibility was also crucial in our decision.”
Led by the results of extensive customer-driven market research, and designed for manufacturing automation applications, each Unidrive M model suits specific application needs. For instance, the Unidrive M701 series drives offer benefits to sectors such as ovens and heat treatment equipment.
A total of 14 Unidrive M701 drives with SI-PROFIBUS are now deployed in the company’s glass tempering ovens, one for each roll section. Rollers pass glass through various oven sections to be treated and then through a cooling section prior to packaging. Glaston also uses 14 Unimotor highly dynamic, brushless servomotors from Control Techniques, one for each drive.
“The main benefit of the Unidrive M701 is the precise speed control we can now exert on the oven rolls, which greatly reduces scratches and imperfections on the glass,” said Matukonis. “Furthermore, we now have more capability and flexibility, and found integration to the control system extremely straightforward. The system’s design and interfaces, along with its extensive diagnostics capability, also ensure ease-of-use for the machine’s operator.”
The Unidrive M family of drives offer induction and permanent magnet servomotors with real-time Ethernet. Each drive delivers maximum machine throughput through greater control with single- and multi-axis network synchronization. On-board real-time Ethernet (IEEE 1588 V2), advanced motion control and high speed I/O for position capture has made it easier for machine builders to create more sophisticated and flexible machines.
“The new line-up of Unidrive M701 with SI-PROFIBUS is integral to all our new and upgraded installations,” said Matukonis. “The option cards give these drives incredible flexibility. For example, we are able to bring two encoder signals from other motors into a single drive. With minimal programming, we have been able to have the drives follow either of these encoders with smooth ramps between the two different encoder speeds.”
Between the Unidrive SP and Unidrive M series, the company has, to date, installed more than 100 servodrives at its production facility.
Filed Under: TECHNOLOGIES + PRODUCTS, Encoders • linear, I/O modules