Motion Control and Collisions

Rexroth makes the best motion control equipment on the planet, and it’s used to solve all kinds of problems. Recently, Rexroth made headlines with anti-collision systems for stage motion control. Rexroth powers sets and curtains on some of the most famous stages in the world, including that of the Bolshoi Ballet. So when stage managers look for a way to keep the pirate ship from crashing into the forest in the middle of a play or film, Rexroth is the place they go.

Big, heavy items are moved by electric motion control systems on modern stages, but the operators often can’t see all the moving pieces. Curtains and decorations get in the way.

Rexroth has a stage collision management system that recognizes potential collisions between items handled by different drives. The system also takes fixed stage elements into account. If a collision is imminent, a drive’s action is prevented or stopped. The result? Safer stages and less damage to scenery.

Similar problems come up in factories. One solution Rexroth created in collaboration with the Cama Group works with multiple robots picking and packaging chocolate bars. Rexroth was able to use Indramotion MLC, a combined motion, logic, and robotic control unit, to control four robots working in the same space envelope.

With a single motion control system instead of separate drives for each robot, the system is able to integrate the actions of as many as four robots in a single space without a need for communication systems among the various machines. The motion control hardware occupies a single cabinet, and complex operations are not just possible but practical.

In the case of the chocolate robots, three robots pick up multiple chocolate bars and pack them into an outer wrapper at impressive speeds and without breakage.

As factories try to do more in a smaller space, collisions will continue to be a challenge. As collaborative robots are added to the mix, these challenges will be even more important. Damage to robots or to other machinery is costly and generally undesirable, but human-robot collisions can be a matter of life and death.

Whether you need to avoid collisions or just to keep your legacy Rexroth electric motion control machinery humming, we can help. We specialize in Rexroth servo motors, drives, and controls, from legacy units to the most cutting edge. Call us at 479-422-0390.


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