Modern servo drives are making manufacturing more flexible, but are placing an enormous strain on factory space, according to a new white paper from Bosch Rexroth, titled Drive Technology – the five catalysts for change. This details the rapid growth in the use of servo drives across industry and, most importantly, their impact on drive cabinet size, which is decreasing the amount of production space available.
Chris Nevin, Industry Sector Manager at Bosch Rexroth, comments: "Modern manufacturing has to be highly flexible, adjusting to demand or new product introductions, seemingly at the flick of a switch. Intelligent servo drives are indispensable to this process, being able to handle format conversions or changes in the motion profile at the push of a button – decreasing changeover times for machines significantly."
However, Mr Nevin says that as servo drives have grown in number, the size of the cabinets has also increased, which is impacting on production space. He notes: "The more space required by unproductive cabinets, the less space is available for the machinery and facilities."
The answer, for Bosch Rexroth, lies with cabinet-free drive technology, such as Rexroth's IndraDrive Mi, which maintains the advantages of servo drives and combines them with a wiring reduction of up to 90 per cent, offering a significant production area gain due to the elimination of cabinets.
Bosch Rexroth's white paper also identifies manufacturing flexibility as a key factor driving change. Mr Nevin says: "Manufacturers are faced with the challenge that product life cycles constantly decrease in all industries. Existing production lines are continuously adjusted to new tasks and supplemented with new processing stations. This production flexibility is much easier to accomplish with cabinet-free technology."
Mr Nevin says that the key benefit for the end-user is more production space: "Reduced footprint offers extra production from the same floor space with no need to plan for the cabinet position. What is more, there is no cable trunking between cabinet and machine, which means fewer traps for dirt and bacteria in food or packaging applications."
Follow the link to download a free copy of Drive Technology – the five catalysts for change from the Bosch Rexroth website.