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A real-time Ethernet motion-control system has helped Advanced Coating Robotics (ACR) to create a conformal coating machine that combines 3D spraying accuracy with very high throughput.

The multi-axis system is based entirely on Baldor Electric motion-control products, with three axes making use of the company’s Ethernet-compatible Powerlink servo drives.

Key reasons behind the choice of this motion-control technology were the flexibility of Baldor’s motion-control software, the ease with which real-time interpolated control could be applied across the machine’s five-axis servo and stepper-driven motion, and the simple plug-together system building approach offered by the Ethernet-based modules.

ACR’s MACCS 400 machine provides a fast and highly flexible means of selectively applying protective conformal coatings to printed circuit board (PCB)-mounted components and can accommodate inline and batch-processing operations.

Capable of coating PCBs as large as 500 x 480mm – with on-board components as high as 90mm – the programmable machine uses a five-axis motion control system to combine high-speed throughput capabilities with ultra-precise spray head positioning to an accuracy of 25um.

The X and Y axes of the machine’s motion-control system are based on a novel ’H-belt’ actuator, driven by two Baldor BSM servomotors linked to Baldor Microflex e100 drives.

The two motors are static – they occupy fixed positions at the bottom of the ’H’ – and jointly act on a single belt.

The advantage of this approach is that the motors do not contribute to the load inertia and therefore permit very fast and accurate movement – the machine can accommodate X-Y velocities as high as 800mm/sec.

The Z axis controls the above-board height of the spray head and is driven by a third BSM servomotor and Microflex e100 drive.

All three drives are very tightly synchronised to facilitate high-speed Cartesian movement of the spray head, the angle and orientation of which are controlled by two rotary axes, driven by Baldor stepper motors.

All five electrical axes on the MACCS 400 are controlled by a Baldor Nextmove e100 controller, using full interpolation to allow smooth, high-speed tangential moves.

Overall control of the machine is handled by ACR’s proprietary coating software, which runs under Windows XP on a built-in host PC, equipped with a large HMI (human-machine interface).

The coating software provides an intuitive graphical user interface and is written in the VB.NET object-oriented programming language.

The MACCS 400 can apply a range of conformal coatings, including Parylene and many Humiseal products, and offers a choice of cartridge or pressure vessel feed.

Standard features include an integral camera for manual alignment, a remote teach pendant and built-in purge and solvent cups for flushing.

The machine also offers numerous optional facilities, such as multiple spray heads, fluid viscosity control, a barcode reader and a laser pointer.


Baldor Electric Company, a member of the ABB Group, designs, manufactures, and markets the broadest line of industrial energy-efficient electric motors, power transmission products, adjustable speed drives, linear motors, motion control products, gear products, industrial grinders and generators. The Baldor range provides a complete motion solution for machine automation and utilizes our acclaimed MINT motion language.

Range includes:.

* Rotary and linear servo motors.

* Intelligent Servo drives.

* Inverter and vector drives.

* Multi-axis motion controllers: Boxed and board level solutions.

Baldor is the largest motor and mechanical power transmission company in North America and the second largest worldwide.

Baldor-Reliance motor products now range from 15 watts to 11,000 kW and includes:.

* ‘Super-E’ motors that exceed the new IEC 60034-30, IE3 efficiency level.

* NEMA Premium Efficiency rated motors, meeting the new EISA legislation covering motors supplied into the USA.

* Custom motors to meet client specific requirements.

Dodge power transmission products offer a wide variety of engineered mounted bearings including Grip Tight Adapter range and enclosed gear products including the Quantis modular, High Efficiency range. Baldor operates plants in the USA, United Kingdom, China and Canada with products available from our worldwide network

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