Unidrive M Family Launched At SPS IPC Nuremberg

SPS IPC Drives Show, Nuremberg, Germany: Enrique Miñarro Viseras, President of Control Techniques, has today launched Unidrive M: the groundbreaking new family of seven AC and servo drives, each tailored to meet specific needs within the manufacturing automation sector. 

“Unidrive M is the most significant product that we have launched to date and it will meet the needs of manufacturers better than any other drive on the market,” says Enrique.  “Unidrive M’s key strengths lie in four areas: performance, enabling innovation, choice and ease-of-use.” 

Unidrive M’s high performance will allow all manufacturers to increase the throughput of their machines via advanced motor control.  Control Techniques’ engineering and design achievement in Unidrive M has doubled the bandwidth of the control loops and has developed unique motor control algorithms, combining them with the latest microprocessor technology.  The result is extreme stability and high performance in all applications.  The Unidrive M family’s highest performing drives include servo control with up to 3,300 Hz current loop and 250 Hz speed loop bandwidth.  As well as the family’s extremely advanced core capabilities, another key strength of Unidrive M is its ability to auto-tune and self commission to obtain a very high level of performance, without the need for intervention by skilled personnel. 

Unidrive M’s performance is enhanced by advanced machine control, integrated motion control and high performance MCi200 and MCi210 machine controllers.  Each module in the MCi family provides a powerful second processor, allowing advanced machine control using the industry standard CODESYS programming environment.  MCi210 also provides one megabyte of memory and a two port Ethernet hub for use with CODESYS, further extending performance.  This enables the most complex drives in the family to have simultaneous connectivity to two separate Ethernet networks.  Machine safety is also achieved with Unidrive M: Safe Torque Off is present on five of the family’s seven drives and SIL 3 rated Dual Safe Torque Off is also a feature.  Performance is further improved by sub 100 nsec synchronisation using precision time protocol for coordinated motion.

In addition, each drive in the Unidrive M family has been carefully designed to provide choice to the manufacturing automation market.  The open creation capability ensures that the design environment is compatible with a very wide range of design tools meaning that machine designers using Unidrive M have the widest possible choice of components and will not be restricted by closed systems. 

As well as increased customer choice, the open environment enables increased innovation from machine builders.  The use of universal programming and language tools is designed to provide access to the largest possible pool of engineering talent and allows an assembled team to work more efficiently.  In order to enable the open creation environment Unidrive M uses the CODESYS programming platform with standard IEC 61131-3 programming languages and standard Ethernet for communication across drives, remote I/Os, HMIs, PLCs and a wide variety of other industrial devices through Ethernet/ IP, Modbus TCP/ IP, PTP and many more standard industrial communication protocols.  Additionally, Unidrive M supports HTTP, SMTP and FTP.  

Ease of use for machine designers, programmers and operators has also been a key consideration underlying every aspect of the development of Unidrive M.  One element improving ease of use is that the drives can be configured prior to installation, reducing commissioning time and training for machine designers.  For commissioning and maintenance staff, processes have been greatly simplified through a user interface that prioritises the most commonly performed tasks.  Meanwhile, for monitoring and operating staff, easy observation is made possible with performance indicators displayed in real process variables and fast fault diagnostics through plain language messages and time stamped events. 

Enrique says: “Our new drives address the needs of manufacturers in a way that has never been done before.  The high performance of our drives means that customers can increase their machine throughput and our open creation environment ensures that no customer need ever be held hostage by closed systems.  Our open capability also means that the scope for innovation from machine builders is radically improved.  Meanwhile, ease of use for all classes of users is guaranteed.  With Unidrive M, Control Techniques is bringing a revolution to the manufacturing industry.”