I received this press release yesterday and had a ton of questions. So, this is a preliminary post. I have an interview tomorrow to get more indepth information. For example, I’ve been waiting for years for the release of products with CIP-motion (motion profile on the Common Industrial Protocol of EtherNet/IP from ODVA). Rockwell has tried very hard to do things just on the Ethernet TCP/UDP/IP protocol platform and commercial off the shelf Ethernet silicon. Competitors have all found they had to implement the time-critical syncing in silicon. I’ve heard that Rockwell finally had to follow suit to get the product out.

Anyway, this release does not discuss CIP-motion. It’s a little weird, but ODVA does not see itself as a marketing organization. Katherine Voss told me that she leaves it up to the members to market the advances. Then Rockwell people always act surprised when I don’t know something. Well, more Wednesday afternoon.

Here’s what we know so far:

The new Allen-Bradley Kinetix 300 EtherNet/IP indexing servo drive from Rockwell Automation “provides machine builders and end users with the ability to standardize on a single communication network for easier commissioning, configuration and startup. With the new drive, the entire control solution – including HMI, programmable automation controllers, I/O and motion – can be connected over a standard EtherNet/IP network.”

“Many machine builders and end users are moving toward single network solutions,” said James Grosskreuz, product manager, Rockwell Automation. “By leveraging EtherNet/IP technology, the world’s leading industrial Ethernet, the Kinetix 300 servo drive can eliminate the need for a dedicated motion network while maintaining high-speed connectivity with excellent reliability.”

The drive has the ability to support up to five indexing types and 32 indices and is designed for indexing tables, intermittent horizontal and vertical form/fill/seal machines, as well as simple sleevers, case packers and erectors. 

The Kinetix 300 servo drive also comes equipped with safe torque-off functionality. With the safe-off capability, tasks such as machine setup, cleaning, removal of jams and other typical maintenance work that previously required power-down conditions can now be accomplished without removing power from the entire machine. Instead, drive output can be safely disabled, allowing faster machine restart and shorter machine downtime. In addition, components such as input contactors are not required, simplifying machine design and helping reduce both panel space requirements and overall system costs.

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