German technology major Siemens has expanded Simove its scalable automation solution for Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) applications, to include functionality for omnidirectional control.
The company says the new software supports unrestricted freedom of movement for AGVs. Together with Simatic Micro-Drive, the new addition to the Siemens converter portfolio specifically for the safety extra-low voltage range, plant and machine builders can create universal and flexible systems.
Siemens together with partner ebm-papst demonstrated an initial application example, a steering system that uses Simatic Micro-Drive, the universal Simatic controller and the new control software from Simove. The compact steering system features a special gearbox where the speeds of both motors in the steering system are overlaid, which means that the steering system does not require moving cables. This results in a 360-degree rotational movement of the wheel and therefore of the system.
In addition, the high transmission in the driving and steering direction provides a high level of control accuracy for the system. The tech major says thanks to the integrated safety functions of the Simatic Micro-Drive, safe control and monitoring of the integrated motors is ensured at all times.
With Simove, the Siemens platform includes standardised automation and drive components together with modular, pre-tested software from its Digital Enterprise portfolio. Users can choose between PC and PLC-based versions for the control solution from the Siemens portfolio, with numerous interfaces also being available for vehicles from different manufacturers, which means that the Simove control system can also be retrofitted for existing AGV fleets.
The automation of the vehicles, just like at the control system level, is based on a software kit with components from the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) product range and can be engineered with the same tools in the standard environment used for all TIA products. Add-ons to the system include special application software for location detection, diagnostics and navigation.