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Ensuring Safety and Efficiency in Woodworking Machine Drive Solutions

by Anna

In the realm of material, surface, and solid wood processing, the significance of selecting the right drive solution for woodworking machines cannot be overstated. The choice of drive controllers holds the key to both operational efficacy and, perhaps most importantly, ensuring the utmost safety within these precision-driven environments, according to Mark Checkley.

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In the pursuit of minimizing risks stemming from technical equipment to both human operators and the environment, the concept of functional safety emerges as a guiding principle. Machinery like processing machines and machine tools, characterized by high-speed rotating tools, inherently carries the potential to pose threats. To mitigate these risks proactively, drive solutions with integrated safety functions come to the fore, irrespective of whether they incorporate encoders. Such safety functions vigilantly monitor factors such as speeds, rotational directions, or axis positions to avert hazardous conditions. These built-in safety features synergize seamlessly with safety controllers, allowing users to efficiently implement functional safety measures that prove cost-effective.

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Delineating the scope of safety features, the “PRO” version of COMBIVERT F6 drive controllers and COMBIVERT S6 servo drives exhibit Safe Door-Lock Control (SDLC) functionality, attaining Performance Level d (PL d). This innovative feature is engineered to secure the machine’s door or bonnet. The SDLC mechanism ensures that the door can only be accessed when the motor is at a standstill, facilitating tasks like tool changes or machine cleaning. Moreover, additional safety functions rooted in speed and position monitoring, such as Safe Speed Monitoring (SSM) or Safely Limited Speed (SLS), reinforce the drive’s safety spectrum. When combined with Safe Direction (SDI), the drive effectively monitors speed, intervening with error reactions when set speed limits are breached. A focus on robust communication solutions emerges as well, embracing the established Safety-over-EtherCAT and PROFIsafe options integrated into the “APPLICATION” version of the drives.

The specter of fires looms in woodworking machinery, as even modest leakage currents of 300mA can potentially kindle a fire. To address this hazard, the COMBILINE E6 filter series, integrated into the latest inverter generation, ingeniously channels leakage currents back into the inverter-cable-motor network. The filters, available in different iterations, work cohesively to minimize leakage currents and curtail fire risks.

In the case of TechnoWood, a company reliant on high-performance woodworking CNC machines, tool spindles assume a pivotal role. These spindles are tasked with sustaining precise milling speeds under extreme loads, while simultaneously guaranteeing a secure halt in the event of a malfunction. Conventionally, optical encoder systems serve this purpose. However, challenges have arisen due to faults in these measuring systems caused by spindle crashes without a rotating tool. To address this, COMBIVERT F6 drive controllers, in conjunction with TechnoWood’s setup, enable functionally safe speed measurement without the need for intricate optical systems. This not only streamlines speed detection but also bolsters spindle reliability and efficiency.

Furthermore, ensuring safety extends to the CNC controls, with a focus on user-friendly installation. The integration of COMBIVERT S6 servo drive and the modern FSoE (Fail Safe Over EtherCAT) protocol promises seamless operations by bypassing potential line-related obstacles. The innovative approach not only declutters control cabinets but also guarantees unparalleled reliability and failure safety in continuous operational scenarios.

In the realm of woodworking machine drive solutions, the synergy between safety and efficiency underpins the transformative strides achieved by technology leaders like Burckhardt Compression. Their innovative approaches promise not only optimized operations but also peace of mind when it comes to safety in high-stakes machining environments.

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