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Mitsubishi Servo Drive vs Allen Bradley Servo Drives

Servo drives are automated electronic devices that form an integral part of closed-loop servo systems. A closed-loop servo system controls connected devices using a feedback signal instead of applying variable input signals. The feedback signal is generated by evaluating the difference between the reference input signal/command signal and the output signal from the controlled device. A servo system providing closed-loop control primarily consists of a servo motor, controller, servo drive, feedback element, and cabling & communication elements.

The servo drive receives a command signal for velocity, position, or current from a controller and compares it with a corresponding feedback signal from the servomechanism. It then corrects any deviations from the commanded motion status by adjusting or amplifying the voltage and current applied to the connected servo motor, in order to attain the required motion profile. Note, that the command signal can be supplied by a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), Computer Numerical Control (CNC), or a dedicated motion controller.

Simple servo drives mainly control motor output torque by regulating the current supplied to the servo motor, while higher-level servo drives include additional features for torque, speed, and/or position control.

Communications between the servo system elements can be via Fieldbus communication protocols like CANopen, PROFIBUS, and DeviceNet or through industrial Ethernet protocols such as EtherNet/IP, CC-Link IE TSN, EtherCAT, PROFINET CC-Link IE Field Network Basic, etc.

Note: Servo drives are often referred to as servo amplifiers because they amplify the command signal from the servo controller to deliver a specific amount of current and voltage to the connected motor, so as to attain the necessary motion profile at a given time.

Mitsubishi and Allen-Bradley Servo Drives Overview

Mitsubishi and Allen-Bradley servo drives can control the speed, position, and torque of rotary servo motors, induction motors, linear servo motors, or direct drive motors (torque motors). For speed control, a tachometric generator is used while relative or absolute position control makes use of a linear-mode encoder or a rotation-mode resolver, and torque control involves current regulation. Servo speed reducers and Synchronous Serial Interface (SSI) or Incremental SinCos (Sine-Cosine) encoders can also be used for speed control.

Most of these servo drives are equipped with RS-232 serial ports for programming and can include CANOpen, DeviceNet, PROFIBUS, and Ethernet ports for communication field buses. Note, servo drives synchronized by real-time field buses can execute multi-axis commands for motion control. They also generally feature start-up, stopping, and braking assistance systems (i.e. braking resistors) as well as control handbrakes. They are mainly used in automated industrial applications like material handling, packaging lines, labeling and printing systems, CNC machining, or to control transfer gantries and robots, among other uses.

When selecting either a Mitsubishi or an Allen-Bradley servo drive consider its field buses or compatible Ethernet protocols for communication purposes, and the type of servo motors or induction motors the servo drive can control.

Mitsubishi Servo Drives

Mitsubishi Electric offers a wide variety of advanced and flexible servo drives, providing motion control solutions for applications ranging from single-axis, and point-to-point servomechanisms to fully synchronized 96-axis servo systems. The hardware components of all Mitsubishi servo drives are complimented by an extensive range of programming and setup software packages for setting up and configuring the MELSERVO drives.

A) MR-J5 Series

The MELSERVO-J5 Series offers high-performance servo drives equipped with cutting-edge control technology and advanced servo features, enabling users to unlock unutilized potential in existing industrial machines. These drives are characterized by a high-speed response frequency of 3.5 kHz, which significantly reduces the cycle time of manufacturing machines. They also have predictive maintenance capabilities integrated within the servo system.

MR-J5 servo drives operate HK Series MELSERVO-J5 rotary servo motors (HK-KT Series, HK-MT Series, HK-ST Series, and HK-RT Series) with high-resolution encoders (67,108,864 PPR) for stable positioning and reduced motor torque fluctuations. They are also compatible with MELSERVO-J5 Series linear servo motors (LM Series) and direct-drive motors(TM-RG2M Series, TM-RU2M Series, and TM-RFM Series).

In addition, MR-J5 servo drives are compatible with a general-purpose interface and the CC-Link IE TSN®–a high-speed industrial Ethernet communication network–for easier IoT adoption and advanced edge computing. CC-Link IE TSN® servo drive connections to enable total drive solutions that can perform high-speed, high-precision motion control.

B) MR-JE Series

The MR-JE Series offers three-phase 200V AC servo drives available in up to 3 kW. These drives can accept either analog or pulse train general-purpose interfaces in a single module designed for quick and easy start-up and maintenance. MR-JE servo drives are compatible with the following MELSERVO-JE rotary servo motors: (i) HG-KN Series (100 to 750 Watts); (ii) HG-SN Series (0.5 to 3 kiloWatts). In addition, MR-JE servo drives leverage leading-edge technology and advanced functionality features such as machine diagnosis functionality, One-Touch Auto-Tuning™, and vibration suppression.

C) MR-J4 Series 

The MELSERVO-J4 Series offers 2/3-axis servo drives that are compatible with SSCNET III/H optical network for smooth, high-accuracy, and high-response drive operations. These servo drives also incorporate innovative user-friendly functions that minimize the elaborate and time-consuming interfacing of mechanical and electronic systems. They are equipped with a general-purpose interface for analog and pulse inputs. MR-J4 servo drives are also compliant with numerous safety standards, making them the safest and most eco-friendly Mitsubishi servo drives.

MR-J4 servo drives are compatible with the HG-Series high-speed, high-torque MELSERVO-J4 rotary servo motors for fast and precise machine operations. They can also control the LM-Series MELSERVO-J4 linear servo motors for high-accuracy, high-speed linear drive systems. In addition, MR-J4 servo drives are compatible with the compact and robust TM-RFM Series of direct drive MELSERVO-J4 motors for high-accuracy applications.

D) MR-J4-TM Series 

The MR-J4-TM are multi-network servo drives from Mitsubishi Electric that combine the high-machine performance of the MR-J4 Series with common industrial Ethernet communication protocols including PROFINET®, EtherNet/IP™, and EtherCAT®. For excellent compatibility with different automation controllers, the EtherCAT® protocol features a standard application protocol referred to as IEC61158 Type12 CAN.

MR-J4-TM servo drives are also equipped with a One-Touch Auto-Tuning™ and Advanced Vibration Suppression Control II™ for suppressing vibration on both the machine base and the connected load. In addition, with a 2.5 kHz high-speed response frequency, the MR-J4 servo drives are able to minimize settling time.

E) MR-JN Series

This servo drive series features simple operation functions such as tough drive function, one-touch tuning, and built-in positioning function available with program method and point table method. It can be integrated with a general-purpose interface for pulse train command and analog voltage input.

MR-JN servo drives are compatible with the MELSERVO-JN 200V AC class of rotary servo motors with power ratings ranging from 50 Watts to 400 Watts. These rotary servo motors are HF-KN Series (with a 131,072 PPR encoder) and HG-KR Series (with a 262,144 PPR encoder and a gear reducer).

F) MR-JET Series 

The MELSERVO-JET Series provides high-performance servo drives that are compatible with EtherCAT® interface and CC-Link IE TSN industrial Ethernet protocol. Note, the MR-JET-G servo drive within this series is compatible with the CC-Link IE Field Network Basic. These drives also feature a unique and very powerful control engine.

MR-JET servo drives are compatible with 200V AC-class MELSERVO-JET rotary servo motors with a power rating of 100 Watts to 3 kiloWatts. These rotary servo motors include (i) Small capacity, low inertia HG-KNS Series (ii) Medium capacity, medium inertia HG-SNS Series.

MR-JET servo drives can also be used to control the following MELSERVO-JET linear servo drives: (i) LM-H3 Series for space-saving, high-speed, and high-acceleration/deceleration applications. (ii) LM-AJ Series suitable for compact X-Y tables with low installation height. 

Note: The other MELSERVO Series servo drives from Mitsubishi Electric that are not discussed in the above section have been discontinued. They include:  

  • MELSERVO-J3 Servo Drives, discontinued in May 2019. They were compatible with MELSERVO-J3 Series rotary servo motors (200V class and 400V class) and MELSERVO-J3 Series linear servo motors. 
  • MELSERVO-J3W Servo Drives, discontinued in May 2019. They were compatible with MELSERVO-J3W Series linear servo motors, direct drive motors, and rotary servo motors. 
  • MELSERVO-J2-Super Servo Drives, discontinued in August 2015. They were compatible with the following MELSERVO rotary servo motors: (i) HC-KFS series; (ii) HC-MFS series; (iii) HC-SFS series; (iv) HC-LFS series; (vi) HC-RFS series; (vii) HC-UFS series; (viii) HA-LFS series 

Allen-Bradley Servo Drives 

Allen-Bradley servo drives are designed to enhance the flexibility of servo systems, simplify machine designs, extend machine capabilities, and increase the overall performance of servomechanisms. They allow seamless connections to Logix controller platforms to simplify control architectures for quicker development times and improved motion control.

The available Allen-Bradley Servo Drives are classified into three categories, namely:

A) Multi-Axis Control Servo Drives

These servo drives are available in a comprehensive range of configurations to handle the challenges of complex multi-axis processes, which should be flexible and optimized for productivity in order to compete in today’s industrial marketplace. They also provide critical production data that helps to advance smart manufacturing goals and improve machine performance.

Examples of Multi-Axis Servo Drives from Allen Bradley:

Kinetix® 5700 Servo Drive

Kinetix® 5700 Servo Drives: These are multi-axis EtherNet/IP servo drives that help in expanding the value of Integrated Motion over EtherNet/IP networks to large and customized system-integration applications. They feature dual-axis drive modules, a wide power range of between 1.6 to 112 kiloWatts, and they support different types of feedback. They also include dual-Ethernet ports to support linear and DLR (Device Level Ring) network topologies. In addition, these servo drives offer integrated (drive-based and controller-based) Advanced Safety functions and a Kinetix 5700 Regenerative Bus Supply that makes use of EtherNet/IP to monitor the system’s energy usage.

Note, Kinetix® 5700 drive modules connect to and operate by using GuardLogix® controllers, Compact GuardLogix controllers, CompactLogix™ controllers, or ControlLogix® controllers.

Multi-axis Kinetix® 5700 Servo Drives control 200V and 400V-class of induction and servo motors. Compatible servo motors include: (i) Kinetix VPL; (ii) Kinetix VPC; (iii) Kinetix VPF; (iv) Kinetix VPH; (v) Kinetix VPS; (vi) Kinetix MPL; (vii) Kinetix MPM;(viii) Kinetix MPF; (ix) Kinetix MPS; (x) Kinetix HPK; (xi) Kinetix RDB. They also control Kinetix LDAT integrated linear thrusters, Kinetix MPAS and Kinetix MPMA integrated linear stages, Kinetix VPAR, Kinetix MPAR, and Kinetix MPAI electric cylinders as well as Kinetix LDC linear motors.

Kinetix® 2000 Servo Drives: The Kinetix® 2000 drives provide multi-axis Integrated Motion capabilities via the Sercos interface. They extend the benefits of Kinetix® Integrated Motion to motion control applications with low-power requirements. When interfaced with CompactLogix 1768-L4x controllers, these servo drives are suitable for small to mid-sized applications aiming at improving productivity, quality, and manufacturing lead times while reducing the system’s total cost of ownership (TCO). They are available with a continuous output current (RMS current) of 1.0 A (Ampere)…9.5 A.

Multi-axis Kinetix® 2000 servo drives can control the following servo motors: (i) Kinetix MPL; (ii) Kinetix MPM; (iii) Kinetix MPF; (iv) Kinetix MPS.

Note: Kinetix® 2000 Servo (Bulletin 2093) is due to be discontinued as of December 2022.

Kinetix® 6500 Servo Drives

The Kinetix® 6500 multi-axis servo drives provide Integrated Motion over an EtherNet/IP network using CIP Sync™ and CIP Motion™ technologies. DLR topology for EtherNet/IP applications is supported by a dual-port embedded switch while standard Ethernet networks eliminate the need for a dedicated motion network. Servo drives in the Kinetix® 6500 series are available with input voltage requirements ranging from 324 to 528V AC three-phase and continuous power output of 1.2 kW… 22kW.

These drives also include various safety features like Safe Torque-Off (ISO 13849-1 PLe/SIL3 certified), Safe Direction Monitoring, Safe-Speed Control (PLe/SIL3 certified), Safe Maximum Acceleration Monitoring, and Zero Speed Monitoring. Built-in safety features help increase system productivity and protect personnel when a process or machine is in operation.

Multi-axis Kinetix® 6500 servo drives are compatible with the following servo motors: (i) Kinetix MPL; (ii) Kinetix MPM; (iii) Kinetix MPF; (iv) Kinetix MPS; (v) Kinetix RDB.

B) Single-Axis Control Servo Drives

These servo drive solutions enable users to get the most out of single-axis processes, as they can run motion applications on a single controller platform utilizing a single network that simplifies the design, maintenance, and operation of the servo system equipment. They are available with innovative features and a comprehensive range of power options, bringing improved machine performance and advanced capabilities to a wide variety of servo applications.

Examples of Single-Axis Servo Drives from Allen Bradley: 

Kinetix® 5500 Servo Drives: The Kinetix® 5500 servo drives (Bulletin 2198) can provide single-axis or multi-axis motion control solutions. They support Integrated Motion on EtherNet/IP by connecting to and operating with CompactLogix™ 5370 controllers. They include a dual Ethernet port that supports both Linear and (DLR) Device Level Ring topologies. Also, they provide innovative shared AC-DC bus connections used for configuring multi-axis motion control applications.

In addition, these servo drives feature Safe Torque-off (ISO 13849-1 PLd/SIL 2 certified), real-time Load Observer tuning technology, and a Disturbance Observer that allows an inertia mismatch of up to 80-1. They also provide digital feedback via single cable technology.

With Kinetix® 5500 servo drives, you can run induction and servo motors on a single drive platform. These drives are compatible with the following rotary servo motors: (i) 400V and 200V-class Kinetix VPF, VPL, VPS, and VPH. (ii) 400V and 200V-class Kinetix MPM, MPL, MPF, and Kinetix MPS if used with a feedback converter kit like Hiperface-to-DSL.

They also control the following linear actuators: (i) 400V and 200V-class Kinetix VPAR, Kinetix MPAS ballscrew, Kinetix MPAR, and MPAI, as well as Kinetix LDAT (requires Hiperface-to-DSL feedback conversion kit). In addition, Kinetix® 5500 servo drives can support induction motors with open-loop frequency control.

Kinetix® 350 Servo Drives: These are single-axis EtherNet/IP servo drives that were developed to provide scalability for motion control systems by simplifying the integration of an entire motion control solution on a single network. By connecting to and operating with Allen-Bradley ControlLogix controllers, the Kinetix® 350 servo drives can support Integrated Motion on an EtherNet/IP network.

Kinetix® 350 servo drives are compatible with the following servo motors: (i) Kinetix MPL; (ii) Kinetix MPM; (iii) Kinetix MPF; (iv) Kinetix MPS; (v) Kinetix TLY.

Note: Kinetix® 350 Servo Drives (Bulletin 2097) are due to be discontinued as of December 2022.

C) Standalone Control Servo Drives 

Standalone servo drives from Allen-Bradley reduce the complexity of production machines and accelerate time to value by providing optimized motion control as needed. They are available for traditional servo solutions and low-power applications looking to enhance motion performance and improve overall manufacturing outcomes.

Examples of Standalone Servo Drives from Allen Bradley: 

Kinetix® 3 Component Servo Drives: Kinetix® 3 Component servo drives provide cost-effective servo solutions for smaller, single-axis motion control applications. With these servo drives, you can apply the appropriate level of motion control that your application requires along with automatic motor recognition and download-able configuration software. They are compact size servo drives with lower power ranges ideal for semiconductor processing, indexing tables, laboratory automation equipment, and medical manufacturing applications.

Single-axis Kinetix® 3 Component servo drives are compatible with the following servo motors: (i) Kinetix TL (TL-Axx-B); (ii) Kinetix TLY.

Note: Kinetix® 3 Component Servo Drives (Bulletin 2071) are due to be discontinued as of December 2022.

Kinetix® 5100 Servo Drives: These are single-axis servo drives that provide scalable and cost-effective servo control solutions in a single product. Designed for versatility, they offer an extended power range of up to 15 kiloWatts to support servo drive applications controlled by stand-alone, MicroLogix™, Micro800™, and Logix 5000 Allen-Bradley controllers for a range of machine performance requirements. In addition, Kinetix® 5100 servo drives feature different modes of standalone control, Integrated Architecture™ capabilities, dual port EtherNet/IP for different network topologies, plus Safe Torque Off, and standard I/O.

Kinetix® 5100 EtherNet/IP servo drives are compatible with the following servo motors: (i) Kinetix MPL; (ii) Kinetix MPM; (iii) Kinetix MPF; (iv) Kinetix MPS; (v) Kinetix TLP; (vi) Kinetix TL; (vii) Kinetix TLY.

This entry was posted on September 8th, 2022 and is filed under Allen-Bradley, Hardware Comparison, Mitsubishi, Uncategorized. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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