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Industry 4.0 refers to the current trend of developing smart factories where the machines can monitor, diagnose, and make intelligent decisions on their own with little or no human intervention. A key step in achieving this goal is the seamless collection of data from motion systems in the factory and using various analytics tools (that is, Machine Learning, AI). In this endeavor, businesses, most of the time, focus on analytics tools rather than the type and quality of the collected data. However, just as suggested in the proverbial “garbage in, garbage out,” the type and quality of data used in the analytics will determine the quality of the decisions and outcomes in achieving the true Smart Factory of the future.
This is precisely where Arcus Servo Motion is taking center stage.
Arcus Servo Motion is driven by the mission of harbingering a new era of servo technology — Servo 5.0 — triggered by the intelligence and connectivity needs of Industry 4.0. With this objective in mind, the company has architected 2ndSight technology. This edge analytics algorithm is a comprehensive, true edge, and real-time Servo-5.0 analytics and produces quality, meaningful data from the raw motion data collected from the motion systems in the factory. On its own, the 2ndSight data reveal the true health and state of the motion systems that run the factory, but when this data is fed into popular high-level analytics tools (i.e., Machine Learning, AI, Clustering, and Big Data), the aggregate health and state of the whole factory can be determined. This is how 2ndSight enables the success of the Smart Factory with its improved uptime, foreseeing failures, predictive maintenance, better resource planning and allocation, and much more. “2ndSight is a part of the Servo 5.0 Initiative, where motor controllers are not only able to perform the motion well but also able to intelligently self-monitor and self-diagnose the health and state of the motion mechanism,” says Chris Chang, Founder and President of Arcus Servo Motion.
Ensuring Real-Time Insights into any Motion System
Being made up of multidimensional friction, vibration, inertia, and torque values, 2ndsight data indicate the true condition of the motion system. It also pinpoints the underlying location and speed where a specific problem is occurring or about to cause a failure. Although 2ndSight is an algorithm that can run on the Cloud, it works best on the edge, embedded in the motion controller due to its efficiency, compactness, and the non-temporal feature of the algorithm. Compact and meaningful 2ndSight data is easily shared across the network and to the Cloud with minimum load to traffic and resources. “2ndSight technology’s core algorithm was granted a USA patent in 2020 with an international patent filed in China, Korea, Japan, and Germany. Two more patents have been filed, and the fourth self-analytics capability patent is to be filed this year,” adds Chris. “The market response to 2ndSight has been overwhelmingly positive so far.”
2ndSight is a part of the Servo 5.0 Initiative, where motor controllers are not only able to perform the motion well but also able to intelligently self-monitor and self-diagnose the health and state of the motion mechanism
The Next Gen Servo 5.0 Compatible Controllers
Going the extra mile, Arcus Servo Motion has introduced the latest TITAN series—a new generation of Servo 5.0 compatible Servo Motor Controllers. TITAN controllers provide powerful, intelligent servo motion control that works universally with the most commonly used motor types. These controllers come with advanced servo control features and set the foundation for the Servo 5.0 standard. It supports the special EDGE analytics and predictive machine learning algorithm of 2ndSight to meet the challenges that are plaguing the emerging Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory Market. TITAN Servo Technology, with its core servo algorithm, has been field-tested for the past three years and has proven to be a stable, capable, and reliable servo controller solution for the market. The core algorithm is considered to be complete with continuous minor updates and enhancements as needed.
Further, TITAN Servo can handle the most used motors in the industry, offering an attractive one-stop solution for motion application developers. “It has many of the same advanced features available with other high-end servo products, as well as unique features that are only available on TITAN. Further, product offerings range from chip-level servo products to ready-to-use multi-axis servo control to cover the full range of motion control needs from OEM users,” Chris adds. There is no wonder that it has been noted by users as one of the easiest yet powerful servo solutions on the market.
What differentiates TITAN Servo from other servo controllers available in the market is the in-built 2ndSight technology. “It is the foundation to offer the 2ndsight technology and allows clients to make their machines smarter,” Chris comments. They can easily connect all the devices or motion controllers to the cloud. Additionally, Arcus Servo Motion offers a wireless network package to ensure the seamless collection of the 2ndSight analytics data. “Our full line of TITAN Servo Motor Controllers range from chip-level products to ready-to-use multi-axis motor controllers, all with 2ndSight enabled and ready to run,” Chris adds. Truly, TITAN products are universal in their ability to control most types of motors in the industry, and TITAN with 2ndSight is ready to usher in the true Smart Factory of the future.
Real World Application using TITAN and 2ndSight
To put things into perspective, a kiosk company call Basil Street Café with Automated Pizza Kitchen is planning to introduce thousands of machines in the U.S. leveraged with TITAN Servo and 2ndSight. According to Jeff Klemp COO for Basil Street and Commercial Automation, “Motor controllers are a central component of any complex motion control project, especially one that involves coordinating the movements of 11+ motors, such as the ones in the Basil Street Automated Pizza Kitchen. Early in the project we faced many technical unknowns and faced a very tight deadline, so it was critical to choose a motion control platform that was both flexible and reliable. Not yet knowing exactly what types of motors we would end up with, we selected the Arcus Titan product line for its ability to work seamlessly with a variety of brushless DC and stepper motors. We also liked its ability to accept both standard quadrature encoder feedback and even simple Hall sensor feedback for full closed-loop control. Multiple Titan controllers could be networked together, allowing us to scale a solution for one motor up to many dozen motors, all utilizing a common communication interface and protocol. The Titan line also offers comprehensive automatic and manual tuning capabilities and system identification tools, to maximize our chances of successfully controlling motors and mechanical systems with unknown characteristics and dynamics.” Jeff continues, “Beyond the hardware capabilities of the Arcus controllers and the robustness of their design, other qualities that appealed to us was the ability of the Arcus controllers to be commanded by a central PC running the kiosk, as well as the ability to execute high-performance microcode directly on the controller processors themselves, offering a balance between autonomy and centralization. Over the long term, the Arcus 2ndSight analytic technology is a promising tool that will allow us to monitor the health of the kiosks and predict failures before they occur, to maximize the uptime of our machines. Our team having worked with Arcus products for 4 years now, is continually impressed by the quality of Arcus engineering, their responsiveness to customer feedback, and their willingness to customize a solution that fits our needs.”
Moving toward a Promising Future
With such robust offerings, Arcus Servo Motion is all set to jump to the next level. “Once market acceptance and use of 2ndSight are established through TITAN, we expect products and services based on 2ndSight to become the major revenue source for the company,” Chris adds. He believes that the motion controllers that are commonly available in the market do not have intelligent algorithms embedded or implemented to obtain insights. That’s why the company has currently set the goal to implement 2ndSight technology into all machines and motors controllers across the globe and take machine automation to the next level. Undoubtedly, it will up the ante for the entire manufacturing sector—with Arcus Servo Motion being the torchbearer. In a nutshell, the future of the manufacturing industry lies in automation, where businesses will have to enable a smooth production line to gain a competitive edge in the market. And Arcus Servo Motion, with its innovative offerings, will play a vital role in streamlining that journey.