HEIDENHAIN at the SPS IPC Drives 2017 – encoders tailored for the unique requirements of demanding industries

At the SPS IPC Drives, HEIDENHAIN will be presenting encoders designed specifically for the requirements of the robotics, medical technology, and drive technology industries. HEIDENHAIN will also be providing a demonstration of how Connected Machining makes the machine tool the hub of a company’s digital job management, thereby facilitating operating data diagnostics.

Significantly higher accuracy for robots at the tool center point
At the SPS IPC Drives, HEIDENHAIN will be presenting the ECI 4000 absolute inductive rotary encoder for hollow shaft diameters of 180 mm. This encoder is specifically intended for robotics applications. Not only is it robust and accurate, but, as a modular system with a scale drum and a separate scanning unit, it also features ideal mounting characteristics for use in robots. These characteristics include direct mounting, flexible mounting options thanks the modular design, and generous mounting tolerances. What’s more, the ECI 4000 is suitable for safety-oriented applications up to SIL 2, category 3 PL d.

The ECI 4000 rotary encoder, as well as the ECA 4000 angle encoder from HEIDENHAIN and the WMRA from AMO, significantly improves the absolute position accuracy of the tool center point on industrial robots (by 70 to 80 percent). For this purpose, the encoder is mounted as a so-called secondary encoder to each robot axis following the respective gear train. At this location, the encoder captures the actual position of each robot joint and always takes the zero position error and backlash into account. On each axis, it also measures the retroactive forces arising from the work being performed. When equipped in this manner, robots can manage assembly tasks requiring greater accuracy and perform machining operations on large workpieces.

Accuracy in the service of healthcare
Of particular importance for medical technology machines and systems is the gentle and safe handling of patients and examination equipment. This includes, for example, being able to move a patient table or examination chair as smoothly as possible during an examination. It also plays an important role in the precise control of a CT scanner’s X-ray system for delivering the greatest number of cross-sectional images possible at high resolution. And being able to precisely orient the linear accelerator of radiation equipment is clearly vital for targeted radiation therapy.

HEIDENHAIN will be presenting linear and angle encoders for the linear and rotational positioning of medical technology machines. In addition to providing accurate position measurement, these encoders meet the demands of manufacturers desiring compact dimensions, high reliability, and radiation safety. These encoders include the LIC 4000 absolute linear encoder and the ECI 4000 inductive rotary encoder for a hollow-shaft diameter of 90 mm.
As an absolute linear encoder, the LIC 4100 makes the current position available immediately after the machine has been switched on. Reference runs are not required, meaning that a patient table can be moved immediately and without inconvenient jerking. In addition, the LIC 4100 is particularly resistant to contamination thanks to the 16 mm² scanning field for its scale. The scanning head itself is contained in a sealed housing that fulfills the IP67 degree of protection. This ensures a high level of encoder availability and protection against system failure. At the same time, the LIC 4100 features a high resolution of up to 1 nm. HEIDENHAIN achieves these extremely small measuring steps by highly interpolating the measuring signals of the incremental track and by combining these signals with the absolute track to yield absolute position information.
The inductive rotary encoder of the type ECI 4000 is built modularly from a scanning head and a scale drum. This enables a hollow-shaft diameter of 90 mm with an overall height of only 20 mm. In addition, the encoders without integral bearing can be directly mounted with ease in challenging or confined mounting situations. They also feature exceptional control-related characteristics, as are required in the field of medical technology. These encoders follow the scanning principle of circumferential scanning, in which the entire graduation structure of the scale drum (rotor) with the associated scanning band of the scanning unit (stator) is involved in obtaining position signals. In this way, the rotary encoder evaluates two incremental scanning tracks of differing periodicity. This scanning principle has an extremely positive effect on the mounting and operating tolerances, as well as on position accuracy in the application.

Inductive rotary encoders for highly dynamic drives – highly accurate and robust.
The inductive rotary encoders of the type ECI/EQI 1100 without bearing (with a diameter of 37 mm) and those of the type ECI/EQI 1300 (with a diameter of 65 mm) provide position feedback in highly dynamic applications. Such applications play to these encoders’ strengths, which include high control quality and system accuracy as well as high resistance to vibrations and electromagnetic influences. All variants support safety integrity level SIL 2, category 3 PL d. When additional measures are taken on the control, these encoders can even achieve SIL 3, or category 4 PL 3. A further advantage in this regard is their mechanical fault exclusion against the loosening of the shaft and stator connection. An important criterion for evaluating the suitability of an encoder for an application is the desired system accuracy. The inductive rotary encoders of the type ECI/EQI 1100 and of the type ECI/EQI 1300 feature greatly reduced measurement errors within one signal period. Thanks to these encoders’ large bandwidth, high-performance systems can be implemented in which the achievable dynamics of the overall system are limited not by the system’s encoders but rather by its complex control paths. These encoders feature very large mechanical mounting tolerances and support numerous diagnostic functions (e.g., monitoring of the rotary encoder temperature, the motor temperature, and the tolerances of the motor during operation). The rotary encoder evaluates this data, and, via the purely serial EnDat 2.2 interface, the subsequent electronics are able to digitally read out the data without interrupting the control cycle.

Simple and continuous operating data diagnostics with Connected Machining
At HEIDENHAIN, the operator working at the control of his milling machine or lathe stands at the center of digital job management. To this end, the options of Connected Machining, as well as its software and hardware solutions, provide the operator with access to all of the information he requires within the company network—all from the HEIDENHAIN control. At the same time, he can feed production data back into the process chain so that all participants are able to work with real production data.

At the SPS IPC Drives, HEIDENAHIN will be turning its focus to aspects of continuous operating data diagnostics. A demo application on a TNC 640 control will provide an impressive display of how easy it is to receive and process job and production data right on the control using Connected Machining.
- With the help of the StateMonitor software and the Extended Workspace expanded display, other applications such as process monitoring and status information can be shown on the control. Whether it is a workspace camera or the display of a multi-machine status at the push of a button—a clear status overview helps the user to quickly locate and correct problems, such as a tool failure, on a machine.
- In an automated production setup, Connected Machining can implement a targeted data exchange over the DNC interface. In this way, handover units or tool and workpiece handling systems always provide the correct information at the right time in order to keep the flow of automation trouble-free. Communication occurs via the Ethernet interface, which is supported by commonly available fieldbus systems. The advantage of Connected Machining is workload reduction thanks to easy data utilization, time-saving workflows, and transparent processes in the relevant company areas—in the shop, of course, but also in the areas of design and production planning, as well as in administration, logistics, service, and in other departments. Legwork is reduced, and errors are virtually excluded by means of direct access to data via the Remote Desktop Manager. Productivity increases, and processes become streamlined. In this way, uniformly digital networked job management with Connected Machining supports the production strengths of modern machines.

HEIDENHAIN at the SPS IPC Drives: Hall 7, Booth 190