Press Release

September 28, 2015
The space-saving AX8000 multi-axis servo system delivers high-precision positioning and extremely short machine control cycles via EtherCAT
Compact, Multi-axis AX8000 Servo System Offers Maximum Control Speed, Fast Installation

LAS VEGAS, September 28, 2015 – Making its North American trade show debut at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2015, the upcoming AX8000 servo drive system is designed to meet high control speed and accuracy requirements while offering significant reductions in installation space. This dynamic, multi-axis servo system features a highly modular design and includes various power supply modules, single and dual-axis modules, and a capacitor module.

With a height of just 223 mm and a width of either 60 or 90 mm, the individual AX8000 modules and the complete AX8000 multi-axis systems are exceptionally compact, facilitating space-saving and cost-effective design of control cabinets and switchgear enclosures. Fast and simple installation of the components enables further cost reductions for all kinds of machine types and manufacturing environments. One Cable Technology (OCT), the one-cable solution for motors and drives from Beckhoff, is used to simplify connection and feedback systems, reducing the amount of required motor cabling and connectors by up to 50 percent. Further OCT benefits include cleaner cable runs and reduced machine footprint.

Fastest possible performance with highly precise positioning

The EtherCAT-enabled AX8000 compact drive system combines powerful FPGA technology with multi-core ARM processors. FPGA-based control algorithms with multi-channel current control technology enable sample and response times of less than 1 µs for current control, as well as velocity control cycle times as low as 16 µs, depending on the configured switching frequency. The minimum EtherCAT cycle time is 62.5 μs.

For motion applications, this means that with this powerful new drive technology system from Beckhoff, the fastest possible control performance and high-precision positioning can be achieved, along with increased contour sharpness in processing and higher production output, boosting the bottom line for machine builders and manufacturers.

Modular system design suits a wide range of applications

Two 60 mm and two 90 mm wide power supply module variants are available for different worldwide voltage systems: 100 to 230 V AC with 20 or 40 A for Asia and North America, as well as 400 to 480 V AC with 20 or 40 A for Europe and North America. A brake resistor, brake chopper and mains filter are integrated in all four versions. Therefore, no further external components are required, reducing the variability of parts along with space requirements.

In order to implement the desired axis configurations, two 60 mm wide modules ̶ a single-axis with a rated current of 8 A as well as a double-axis module with 2 x 6 A rated current are available. Also, a 90 mm single-axis module provides a rated current of 18 A. Additionally, the AX8000 system provides four digital inputs per axis – two of them preconfigured for onboard safety functions.

Simplified logistics and installation

The AX8000 simplifies logistics and inventory management, for example, through the integration of a mains filter and brake resistor and through the use of fewer, more flexible system components. Due to the highly scalable motor current measurement, a comprehensive range of applications can be completely covered with just 8 A and 18 A modules, effectively reducing the required number of different module types.

The TwinCAT runtime integrated into the AX8000 series provides convenient software modules for highly precise control of speed and position, among other functions. The user can program motion control projects using IEC 61131-3 languages, C++, and MATLAB®/Simulink®. Efficient diagnostic tools are provided in the TwinCAT Scope software oscilloscope and the axis optimization functions provided with TwinCAT Bode Plot.

Fast and efficient installation is enabled via the integrated AX-Bridge quick-connection system, which connects the AX8000 modules in a fail-safe manner, all without tools through the use of spring force accessories. This bridges the DC Link, 24 V DC, and the EtherCAT connection. Other useful features include centering for easier alignment of the axis modules and the simple connection of motors via OCT with a quick-connector, driving reductions in the number of required cables.

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  • The modular AX8000 multi-axis servo system meets the highest requirements for speed and accuracy of control while reducing required space inside control cabinets.

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    The modular AX8000 multi-axis servo system meets the highest requirements for speed and accuracy of control while reducing required space inside control cabinets.

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