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Press Release

Increased flexibility for motion system integration with expanded drive range: Heason Technology adds Novanta IMS integrated stepper drives to product portfolio

Heason Technology has added two new integrated stepper motor lines from Novanta IMS (formerly Schneider Electric Motion) to its product portfolio - expanding its motion system integration capability towards lower-cost projects where performance requirements do not warrant highly specified servomotor-based motion system.

The Liberty MDrive and MDrive Plus all-in-one motion solutions variously cover NEMA 14 to 34 frame stepper motors with integral microstepping drives, motion controls, I/O as well as Ethernet and CANopen protocols packaged in IP20 to IP65 protected housings. With optional encoder feedback, the choice of open or closed-loop operation further maximises application flexibility. Competitively priced and easy to integrate into automated positioning systems, these compact, decentralised drives simplify machine design – benefitting from reduced wiring and reduced EMC whilst removing the need to accommodate drive electronics in control panels.

The Liberty MDrive and MDrive Plus series drives are programmable with Novanta IMS’s Mcode software through an RS-422/485 interface. Mcode includes logic, branching, trip and maths functions for comprehensive machine control. Both drive series also feature, CANopen to CiA DS301 and DSP402 with pre-programmed sequences called across multi-axis set-ups. They can also be set-up for simple position control using step/direction pulses from an external control source or operated in a speed control mode. A complement of eight I/Os are configurable for standard or high-speed performance, for example for fast registration on labelling machines or on-the-fly position synchronisation. Both drive series’ feature IP20 rated pluggable and colour coded connectors, or optionally with industry standard M12 circular connectors rated for IP65 protection levels. Specifically, the MDrive Plus is aimed at open loop motion tasks and, with a slightly smaller housing, suits applications where machine space is at a premium. The MDrive Plus’s application flexibility includes an input power requirement that ranges from +12 up to +75 VDC as well as direct-on-line 120 to 240 VAC.

The more sophisticated control capability of the Liberty MDrive offers exceptional performance and smoothness and is essentially aimed at Ethernet controlled system set-ups with a choice of EtherNet/IP, Profinet, ModbusTCP protocols. Automation libraries including networking add-on instructions are available for Rockwell RSLogix 5000, Siemens S7 and Novanta IMS’s own (SoMachine and SoMachine Motion series PLC and PAC systems. With a choice of open loop or closed loop operation - with optional incremental or multi-turn absolute encoders - the drive offers a wide application flexibility. Closed loop versions can also be equipped with Novanta IMS’s advanced hMT hardware control system which significantly increases the torque and positioning capability of the motor towards full servo performance, and also offers an advanced current control feature that includes programmable motor run and hold current. With an integral auxiliary logic power supply input and a power requirement range from +12 up to +70 VDC, the drive can be applied to battery operated applications with hMT configured to maximise efficiency with variable current controls available to save energy and reduce heating.

Heason Technology has already integrated these drives into various custom designed positioning systems. This includes Pharmweigh’s Draft Master automatic livestock drafting machine which includes four MDrive Plus integrated drives programmed and configured with Heason supplied gearboxes to operate belt driven gates during animal weighing and sorting.

Image: Pharmweigh’s Draft Master Auto Drafter – weighing, identifying, and sorting sheep. Showing the MDrive Plus drives on the top of the machine.

This machine is operated in the harsh outdoor conditions faced in agriculture and has been well proven in extensive trials and is now in use on British and European farms. The new competitively priced drives will also, for example, suit integration with Heason’s range of electric actuators from its distribution partner Thomson Electric. The assembly would provide a complete yet simple positioning solution where a separate control panel is not required, and low voltage 24/48 V DC operation opens the market for portable machinery and equipment.

Image: The MDrive Plus assembled on a Thomson Electric actuator

Heason’s system integration capability includes software programming and network interfacing with customer’s preferred machine control systems. The Company has a full complement of experienced applications engineers, design engineers, programmers, and assembly teams. Heason supplies and supports a wide range of motion and automation components through distribution partnerships with leading motion equipment suppliers and offers stepper and servo motors, intelligent drives, motion controls and mechanical positioning components through to multi-axis motion systems that include custom mechanics complete with drive electronics, automation controls, industrial bus interfaces and software. For further information, please visit www.heason.com, email sales@heason.com or call +44 (0)1403 792 300.

Article published on: 31/01/2022

Article last updated on: 31/01/2022