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Advanced drive solutions for the auto industry

Home Engineering Automation & Control Advanced drive solutions for the auto industry

MOST local motor vehicle plants export into international markets, which means they must all adopt world-class manufacturing processes using state-of-the-art equipment.

SEW-EURODRIVE has a long history of innovating solutions for the global automotive industry. “A large portion of our product range was developed in cooperation with one of Germany’s prestigious automotive OEMs, and we are listed as one of their global best-practice suppliers,” said MAXOLUTION engineer, Dylan Enslin of SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa.

Vehicle assembly in the automotive industry depends on just-in-sequence (JIS) processes, which require highly flexible and efficient drive solutions. Parts required by each vehicle must be identified and then delivered to the exact position on the assembly line at the exact time of need. Any errors or delays can cause very costly downtime across the whole assembly line.

SEW-EURODRIVE has developed an integrated portfolio of modular drive solutions specifically tailored to these production needs, which can be used in any combination imaginable. The MAXOLUTION packages for conveyor lines, for example, can be precisely tailored to individual plant layouts and applications, while seamlessly interconnecting a range of other complex assembly and tracking activities.

Typically consisting of standard MOVIMOT gear motors, each with a built-in inverter and all controlled by our MOVIFIT MC master controller, MAXOLUTION systems can also be set up to run completely integrated overhead, guided-vehicle or traditional conveying lines with multiple interconnected systems. The modular and decentralised structure of these systems makes maintenance extremely user-friendly, delivering high availability while the cost-optimised materials handling concept significantly reduces installation complexity and costs.

MOVI-C: an end-to-end solution

SEW-EURODRIVE’s new MOVI-C range combines four modules to give automotive plants access to a complete modular automation system that can be fully integrated into the overall automation system of assembly operations. These are:
1. MOVISUITE engineering software for planning, start-up and operation.
2. MOVI-C CONTROLLER.
3. MOVIDRIVE inverter technology.
4. MOVIGEAR or MOVIMOT drive technology along with a full range of gear units, linear actuators, and so on.

The MOVI-C module range also includes gear units for standard and servo applications that come in different sizes and with different outputs, speeds, torques, designs and varied finishes, all combined with asynchronous or synchronous (servo) motors. Linear motors, electric cylinders, brakes, built-in encoders and diagnostic units provide the finishing touches for this wide-ranging portfolio.

“Typically, each interconnected sub-system will be driven by its own MOVIMOT mechatronic drive system, with all the necessary decentralised peripherals such as position and speed sensors. These will all be linked to a MOVI-C CONTROLLER via EtherCAT or SBusPLUS to achieve real time synchronisation,” said Enslin.

MOVISUITE engineering software runs on a laptop and covers commissioning and all aspects of the motion control in operation as well as diagnostics. “All the components in a MOVI-C automation system, from inverters and controllers to motors, gear units and drive systems, can be configured, commissioned and monitored, end-to-end, using this software,” Enslin added.

The company recently invested R200-million in a local assembly plant, which helps support localisation initiatives in the automotive industry. “Our new assembly plant in Aeroton, Johannesburg is enabling us to reduce lead times for all of our standard products, while also enabling us to rapidly engineer customised solutions for automotive clients.”

SEW-EURODRIVE engineers are familiar with the MAXOLUTION and MOVI-C products for the automotive industry. They also understand the automotive industry’s needs for an increasing range of models, faster throughput, and a smarter and safer environment that is energy efficient and minimises production costs.

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