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23 June, 2024

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AI-driven servo tuning ‘outperforms human experts’

14 May, 2024

Panasonic Industry has announced a servodrive system that uses AI to achieve precision tuning that, it claims, is better than can be done by human experts. It also says that the Minas A7 servo system delivers the industry's best motion performance with a 27-bit encoder resolution (equivalent to 134,217,728 pulses) and a response frequency that hits an industry high of 4kHz or more (1.25 times higher than Panasonic’s earlier Minas A6 servomotors).

The new drive was launched recently in Japan and will make its European debut at the Italian SPS show from 28–30 May.

Panasonic says that conventional automated tuning technologies have not been able to achieve satisfactory results for applications that require ultra-precise positioning, such as semiconductor manufacturing and surface-mounting machines. These have therefore needed sophisticated manual tuning of many parameters by expert engineers, sometimes taking several days to complete.

The new drive uses the industry's first commercialised AI-equipped servo tuner (called precAIse Tuning) to cut position settling times – an indicator of performance – by 45% compared to human results, and tuning times by 90% or more. The technology allows users to achieve superior positioning performance using simple initial settings.

The new servodrive’s 27-bit encoder resolution will help to improve the positioning and processing accuracy of equipment. The servomotor has a top speed of 7,150 rpm, making equipment faster and helping to reduce cycle times.

Usually, servomotors require complex control programs running on devices such as PLCs. The direct feedback (displacement control) amplifier in the new system is said to improve responsiveness from the sensor input to the motor output, with the amplifier capturing sensor data directly without having to going through controllers. Eliminating the need for complex control programs results in precise, high-speed control, according to Panasonic, and will shorten development times.

Panasonic says its Minas A7 servo system delivers the industry’s best motion performance

Initially the drives are available in 200W or 400W versions, with other ratings planned for later release. There are single-phase 100V AC and single-phase/three-phase 200V AC versions now, with three-phase 400V AC models in the pipeline.

Models are available for either EtherCat or Panasonic’s Rtex (Real-Time Express) communications technologies. There are plans to release versions that support analogue, pulse train and Modbus communications.

In addition to electronics applications, other potential uses include machine tools and industrial robots. In the future, Panasonic Industry says it will offer application-specific servo amplifiers, for uses such as precision gantry control and direct sensor feedback (pressure control) products.

The new drives will be manufactured in Japan and China.

Panasonic Industry:  LinkedIn  Facebook

The AI-powered tuning system is claimed to cut settling times by 45%

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