The SPS Drives show in Nuremberg Germany is one of the best attended shows in the world. And one of the reasons why has to the with the outstanding technical effort and preparation that all the vendors put forward. Demonstration systems are sophisticated and perform flawlessly. Exhibitor personnel are all very professional and technically astute. And multi-lingual which is great for me because my German is almost non-existent, so its great having so many people able to bridge the gap.
What is also interesting is that new suppliers are not afraid to show off the latest innovations. While there were many linear motors in the show, I was particularly impressed with the Jenny Science products which integrate the bearing structure into the motor reducing overall size and weight. They also showed a “wedge” arrangement of the motor which was very unique. The wedge can increase resolution by translating the motion along an acute angle. This can increase resolution by 10 times in some cases. In addition the Jenny Science controller uses Ethernet to coordinate motion and reduce communications overhead.
When I thought there wasn’t much to talk about in rotating motors, Heinzmann Gmbh had an interesting “spin” (pun intended) on the flat axial motor that really makes sense of the size and weight of material needed to produce a meaningful power source. Their target markets include electric bicycles, light electric vehicles and compact pump solutions. The flat design really helps reduce package size and weight. And a light Electric Vehicle with in-wheel rotor motors is made much more practical with lightweight in-wheel drives.
Baumer Electric offers encoder feedback products that can be run on all the major networks elminating a major source of maintenance problems: all the discrete wires and power supplies. This is something we should expect to see a lot more ofl
And Danaher Motion had to have the ultimate X_Box peripheral: a full size F racecar whose suspension was fully articulated to provide the driver the sensation of turning and banking while running with a race track simulation on a pair of large flatscreens
The marriage of vision and motion continues with a number of demos that really requires “focus” (I did it again) with some impressive work shown at the Lenze booth, among others.
And all of the technology suppliers are trying see if there is ever going to be a standard clear winner in the network arena. The dominant technologies by installed base are CAN, Devicenet, Profibus, Ethernet, but new options exist like EtherCat and Power Link.
So there’s no lack of innovation to be found in Germamy. Its the place to be if you can. (CAN?)