Self-aware devices can acquire and process data, such as diagnostics, and then act based on that data.
Rockwell Automation has designed motion control systems that include multiple self-aware devices working together to create a system-aware asset. This system can be a production line that autonomously reroutes products to a different packaging line after a smart palletizer communicates that it is down. It can also help the line reduce its speed and schedule a maintenance work order after it detects the bearings of a conveyor are overheating.
A self-ware motion control system uses software to analyze sensor data in order to optimize performance. The system is a collection of devices that are aware of the system. They hear the heartbeat of the system. By default, the system is self-aware. It gives itself feedback on position and speed.
The self-aware motion control system also has the capability to monitor the health of its components. Sensors help users make decisions. Both maintenance and the design engineer can do better with this information.
A self-aware system has the ability to compensate for imbalances and adjust accordingly, without human intervention. An implanted load observer operates in real time as the machine is running. It provides signals for low torque and it helps the machine to maintain stability. It goes beyond traditional auto-tuning to become self-ware in real time.
Like a lot of the new smart manufacturing tools, the intelligence is embedded in the equipment and the system. Even while the system is growing in sophistication, it is becoming easier to deploy.
>> Read more by Rob Spiegel, Design News, March 16, 2017