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Increased safety and fast communication with SMC step motor controller

Increased safety and fast communication with SMC step motor controller

Any machine builder looking to simplify and reduce the cost of adding higher levels of safety, while simultaneously seeking faster and broader communication capabilities should consider the new JXCLF step motor controller from SMC. The JXCLF features an IO-Link communication interface and a Safe Torque Off (STO) function, thus presenting machine builders with the opportunity to deliver better control of the manufacturing process and increase their system’s safety integrity level (SIL 3) and performance level (PL e) in a cost-effective way.

Play it safe and relax
STO is a safety function that ensures no torque can act upon the motor. Users can deploy STO as an emergency stop function, reducing torque-generating energy immediately and allowing the motor to come to a dead stop using natural inertia and friction from the load. Importantly, the zero-torque condition remains in place and the motor cannot restart until removal of the STO.

The new SMX JXCLF step motor controller combines both STO and SS1-t (time controlled) functions. The latter initiates the motor deceleration and triggers the STO function after an application-specific time delay. Once the controlled stop is completed, the SMC controller switches to the STO motor.

Users of the SMC JXCLF will find that the STO function improves the safety level of the installation when used in a suitable environment and in accordance with specific regulations. A further benefit is less wiring, which reduces errors and saves labour costs. Additional savings accrue from the need for less machine components: if the STO function was not available, the need for additional machine elements would make the system more expensive.

The STO function meets the requirements of EN 61508 SIL 3; EN 62061 SIL CL 3; EN ISO 13849-1 Cat. 3 PL e; and EN 61800-5-2 STO, SS1-t. This compliance makes the SMC JXCLF step motor controller with STO sub-function ideal for a host of machine-building applications, particular semi-automatic machinery where there is some risk for operators in loading, picking, placing, positioning or unloading materials, tools or workpieces.

Talking sense
Across the manufacturing sector, IO-Link is a growing IoT trend, providing a step forward in communications capability for all applications involving automation. An IO-Link communication interface ensures that SMC’s JXCLF delivers greater control of the manufacturing process and equipment status. Here, easy communication via IO-Link allows access to all numerical values in the controller and facilitates the remote control of industrial networks.

As well as greater process control, IO-Link instantly collects more valuable data, such as distances and supply/outlet pressures for preventive maintenance strategies. On-board product diagnostics and standard wiring are further advantages. It is also a cost-effective solution, cutting hardware and programming costs, along with reducing labour and mistakes during configuration.

OEMs adopting the new SMC JXCLF will find that the controller flags when any actions take place in error. Furthermore, system changes can take place while the system is operating. As a final point of note, it is possible to detect controller manipulation during the process, and even lock the device if necessary.

In a highly competitive machine-building arena, OEMs must seek out product solutions that provide technical differentiation and help to reduce costs. The cost-effective SMC JXCLF step motor controller, with IO-Link and STO function capabilities, provides both machine builders and end users with a clear advantage.