Flex keeps it simple
Taking the fear out of specifying motors is what the Flex range of products from Oriental Motor is all about.
When it comes to the purchasing motors and control equipment, possibly the most commonly-asked question (after the machine's specifications have been established) is: "Will it communicate with my PLC?"
The fear of purchasing equipment incompatible with their existing control system or network protocols often leads to customers choosing systems that are more expensive or more complex than they need – simply because the alternative loss of connectivity is too frightening to contemplate.
Given this, a group of products with the broadest possible range of compatibility regardless of network protocol would seem invaluable. And that is exactly what Oriental Motor's 'Flex' range of products offers the consumer.
Flex is a product family name for Oriental Motor products that are designed to work directly with popular Factory Automation (FA) networks via I/O control, ModBUS (RTU) control, or indirectly through network converters for other communication protocols such as EtherCAT.
Flex products allow for simple wiring, quick setup, flexibility of communication protocols, faster communication, and an overall reduction of system complexity. Flex stepper motor and driver packages are equipped with an integrated controller. Operating data is set in the driver, which means that no positioning module or pulse generating module are necessary and that the motor can start and stop with hand switches.
Easy Control without the use of a PLC is possible. The motor normally starts and stops via I/O, and Modbus (RTU) communication is used when setting the alarm and operating data. Setting changes as well as monitor and alarm displays are performed on the touch screen (HMI). If multiple configurations exist, parameters can be entered on the touch screen.
All functions can be accessed via Serial RS485 communications using ModBUS RTU protocol. It also has options to communicate via other protocols when using network converters or via I/O signals when using the OPX-2A or MEXE02 software set.
Of course, the ability to communicate is all very well, but the quality of the products themselves is just as crucial. And here, the Flex system again offers peace of mind. The high-efficiency AR series of stepper motors, for instance, can eliminate the need for a servomotor, being able to handle a 30:1 inertia mismatch ratio between load and motor (compared to the 5:1 a servo would be able to handle. Equally, there is no need for a planetary gearhead, further reducing the overall cost.
Because the software and driver are common to all products, once one product is online, more can be added without difficulty. This 'plug and play' aspect of the products is crucial to making the installation process as simple as possible, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum and offering the end user complete peace of mind.
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