AZ - designed for efficiency

19th August 2022
Tom Anstee

Characteristics of Oriental Motor’s AZ series of stepper motors mean automation system developers can reduce expense while increasing efficiency.

One of the key challenges for automation system developers have the reduced available space for the production equipment. The drive to increase productivity seems at odds with the reduce working areas available. Within the AZ stepper motor series which has AC and DC input driver models, the DC powered models in particular have been developed by Oriental Motor to be compact and efficient. They are engineered to deliver positional accuracy in a form factor that is equally suitable for conveyor production lines as it is for automated warehouse equipment.

Based on stepper motor technology, the AZ series does not require a PID (Proportional-Integral–Derivative) loop for positional accuracy. This not only reduces the cost but also allows modules to be manoeuvred with ease to meet changes in the production line requirements.
Further cost savings are achieved because the AZ series eliminates the need for external sensors typically used, such as the home sensor and the limit sensor. In addition to savings in the cost of sensors required, there are no sensor-based equipment stoppages due to water, oil or dust ingress, for example. The subsequent reduction in downtime contributes to improved productivity. There are also associated benefits in the elimination of these sensors, including reduced electrical design time, cable and maintenance costs.
The AZ series does not require a battery which contributes to the compact housing and a compact control box if multiple devices are used.
Microstepping increases positional accuracy, delivering up to 10,000 steps per revolution. This precision ensures a wide degree of acceleration and deceleration and also eliminates the need for a PID loop – conventionally used for positional accuracy – further contributing to cost efficiencies in the automation system.

Typical uses for the AZ series are in automated sensor line assembly robots used to transport products between stations sited along the production line.

For the connected automation, the AZ series supports a wide selection of communications protocols for operation with a very broad range of PLCs. In addition to EtherCAT, which is popular in automation systems and multi-axis systems requiring true linear interpolation in particular, the stepper motors support EtherNet IP and Profinet in addition to CANOpen, Modbus RTU, Mechatrolink 2 and Mechatrolink 3 IP drivers.

Oriental Motor also offers a range of EtherCAT-compatible multi-axis drivers for the AZ Series includes two- , three- and four-axis driver connection models for the AZ Series DC input stepper motors and electric actuators.

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