Is unchecked vibration affecting your bottom line?
Vibration can bring any high-speed, high-precision process to an unexpected – and costly – standstill.
In industries as diverse as semiconductor manufacturing, machine tooling, and material handling, mechanical components are susceptible to excessive vibration. It can happen for a variety of reasons, such as mechanism compliance (or flexibility), uneven inertias between a machine’s load and its motor, machine resonance, loose couplings, improper belt tensions, and so on.
Unchecked vibration can wreak havoc on cycle times, especially for servo motors in complex mechanical systems that aren’t highly rigid. Consider a robotic arm in a pick-and-place facility. As it moves rapidly back and forth and up and down, it creates slight vibrations in its components. To be as accurate as possible, it must pause after each movement until the vibration stops. Even though it might stop for just a few milliseconds, those “settling times” can add up to significant delays in a facility that performs millions of pick-and-place operations per hour.
Vibration is also a problem in applications that require even, consistent motion, such as a robot welding a fine seam on a small product. Any unnecessary movement could push the weld path out of alignment and result in a defective part.
Long cycle times reduce throughput and kill efficiency. Production errors and defective parts increase scrap costs and eat into profits. But your products and processes aren’t the only casualties of vibration. It can also reduce the lifetime of electrical and mechanical components alike, which means higher equipment maintenance and replacement costs.
Most servo manufacturers have long offered products with a variety of built-in features, such as low-pass and notch filters, that can be set manually or automatically to mitigate vibration. These features help, but often have limitations that keep them from fully resolving the issue. For instance, low-pass filters dampen the servo system’s high-frequency response, which limits the system’s usable bandwidth.
Filters alone can’t fully eradicate the problem, either, because mechanical and environmental conditions change over time. Belts get looser, for instance, bearings wear down, and plant temperatures fluctuate. These conditions aren’t mitigated by preset filters, and while they can result in gradual changes that an operator might not notice for a while, they can have a significant effect on equipment vibration.
Advanced vibration suppression is the Answer
Today’s best answer to preventing problems caused by vibration is the use of advanced vibration suppression algorithms programmed directly into servo systems.
The servo motor in this type of system acts as a sensor. It uses information about torque, speed, position, and other factors to detect vibrations and resonance in the machine or system. It does this by comparing command data with actual conditions and noting discrepancies. The controller is programmed to make adjustments to compensate for those discrepancies and tune them out to bring the system back into optimal performance.
The latest vibration suppression features can identify and mitigate multiple sources of vibration in multiple components. For instance, some systems can resolve vibration of both the machine base and the load across three different inertias – of the load, the arm, and the machine base.
Beneﬁts of eliminating excessive vibration
By managing vibration issues in your machinery, you can avoid a number of costly and time-consuming problems. You can shorten settling times, which results in greater throughput, improved operational efficiency, and more parts per hour. You can reduce the number of defective parts because operations stay smooth, consistent, and precise. And you can keep your equipment running smoothly and quietly for a longer time, reducing wear and tear and avoiding premature machinery failure.\
How Mitsubishi Electric can help
Mitsubishi Electric offers an array of powerful vibration suppression features, the latest being the Advanced Vibration Suppression Control II algorithm, built into the latest MELSERVO-J5 Servo Amplifiers and Motors.
As a standard feature built into every MELSERVO-J5 system, the algorithm suppresses load-side vibration of frequencies from 1 to 100 Hertz. That means it works on mechanisms across a wide range of flexibilities. The solution suppresses vibrations in a mechanical system of up to three inertias (for example load, base, and arm).
The solution is also easy to use. It can be configured as an automated “set it and forget it” operation or finely tuned and controlled manually to meet specific requirements. Adjustments are simple to make through our MR Configurator2 software.
Don’t let unchecked vibration affect your machinery – or your bottom line. For the best servo performance across all of your high-speed and high-precision processes, look for advanced vibration suppression that keeps your business competitive and your operations efficient.
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