Common Conveyor Aggravations Addressed with New Rugged Controller

Encased controller by PulseRoller can handle dusty or moist environments.

By Donna Hedge Burns

PulseRoller’s flagship conveyor controllers are compact, precise, and IP20 rated. The standard open casing design could expose parts of its advanced circuitry to the environment. For most distribution warehouses, this isn't a problem. The risk of dust and moisture coming near the circuitry is unlikely. 

However, the same can't be said for conveyors used in manufacturing productions where debris from welding and cutting could come in contact with this open design. 

A New, Hardy Conveyor Controller

Fortunately, PulseRoller, a family of 24-volt DC motorized drive roller products and controls, has introduced it successful ConveyLinx Ai2 conveyor controller to the United States market.

It's been in Europe for the past three years. European conveyor designers are driving the standard for more rugged controllers that fit the more protected IP54 standard. The standard includes requirements such as being dust tight and incidental water safe.

ConveyLinx Ai2 controls the motions of modern materials handling systems from simple zero-pressure accumulation conveyor to complex packaging and machinery using repeatable linear motion. ConveyLinx Ai2 drives the powerful Senergy Series Drives,  an advanced series of intelligent low-voltage, motor gearbox combinations, such as Senergy Ai, Pallet Ai, PGD Ai, and PMD Ai.

When used together, the two technologies simplify many of the hassles and aggravation involved in conveyor set up and installation.

Longer Cable with Half the Wires 

PulseRoller Ai technology simplifies conveyor installation by reducing the number of wires from the controller to the motor to four from the traditional eight. This has been accomplished by using a microcontroller inside the motor which analyzes the position and sends that to the Ai control with one wire instead of three wires. Senergy Ai also has a new cable length which has increased to one meter from the motor shaft and uses an M8-style connector. As Senergy Ai uses a standard connector, extension cables (up to three meters in length) can be purchased from most electrical store suppliers.

Compact Design

In Europe, conveyor systems are built with very shallow side frames from top to bottom. They average around 100mm x30mm.  This new control was designed to fit in a very narrow conveyor frame. It is physically small and can be tucked into machinery. This modified design means it can fit in more places.

Two Positioning Options: Time or Distance

PulseRoller designed all of its conveyor controllers to provide engineers the option to program positioning either by distance (millimeters) or time. 

This is valuable if you're trying to position a load or device that you are driving with the motor. While engineers are used to dealing with time-based controllers (as most manufactured models are time-based), there's often a great deal of trial and error involved in getting the load to the optimal position. 

With a distance-based system, you can reach optimal position faster as you only have to measure where your load starts and where you wish it to end. 

One instance where distance-based control could be beneficial is in packaging applications. In these applications, you often have to position a package where a robot is picking up something to place in a box. Many times you have to do this with special equipment because you have to guarantee the position of that package. Now, with PulseRoller’s control and motor drives you can obtain positioning up to a quarter of a millimeter in accuracy. You may find that you don't need any type of special encoders or equipment at all.

Economical Option Compared to Servos

The best part about the new encased Ai technology from PulseRoller is its cost. A controller and motorized drive can cost a few hundred dollars compared to a couple thousand for a servo drive motor and control. 
Size and environment are also much less likely an issue with the PulseRoller Ai controller. Manufacturers and others with dusty or moist environments can now consider less-expensive motor-driven technology for their conveying needs.

Get More Control!