ProDrive: One tool – many functions
The ProDrive parameterization tool is a comprehensive software package with many important functions
We all work with Word and Excel every single day. But do you know just how many functions the software actually contains? For the commissioning of its converters and controllers, Baumüller offers a multitude of practical functions and features. For users of Baumüller servo drives, ProDrive is a tool that makes commissioning, parameterization, operation, and diagnosis very easy. It is an ideal support for beginners in particular, allowing them to perform a complete commissioning process after only a brief training time. But ProDrive can do a lot more. It has numerous practical functionalities to offer that go well beyond simple commissioning and operation.
Ease of operation for beginners
For beginners, support in the form of graphical user guidance is especially important when parameterizing controllers. "Our customers praise the intuitive design of ProDrive's interface again and again," says training manager Matthias Beetz. "This makes the software self-explanatory in many cases." The user accesses the interfaces of the individual drive functions by just a simple click on the overview page. First, only the most important parameters are presented in a clear overview. Users who want to go into more detail can open additional operating pages that then show all the relevant parameters for a drive function. When entering parameters, a pop-up window assists the user by displaying the most important information about the parameter in question (e.g. maximum/minimum or default values). A particularly practical feature in the new version is the option of customizing the representation, another is the ability to display the parameters of several devices on one screen view.
Each application has different requirements. We designed ProDrive to be so diverse and comprehensive that it could meet every demand.
Stephan Büchner, developer
One look – one click
A special strength of ProDrive is its graphical representations. These are a special bonus for those who dislike confusing lists of parameters. For example, the signal flow in the controller can be displayed in a graphical overview, which significantly improves the users' understand and their orientation within the application.
Searching is out, finding is in: With just one click, standard functions in ProDrive can be accessed quickly and directly via a list of icons. Individual parameters can be searched by number or simply using plain text. Informative monitoring pages provide all the important information at a glance (e.g.: position controller, current controller, temperature, mains voltage, DC link voltage). And because everything is so easy and quick to find, operating errors are unlikely and the time required is minimal. If the commissioning wizard is consulted as an added support, even inexperienced staff can easily commission devices in just a few minutes. The commissioning wizard guides the user quickly and easily through the individual steps of the commissioning process. Detailed prior knowledge of how to enter parameters is therefore no longer necessary.
Professionals, of course, will also find complete parameter lists and other options. For example, users can make their own parameter groups, as well as create customized pages.
In many cases, ProDrive is self-explanatory, and my training participants are always pleased with the clear user guidance.
Matthias Beetz, training manager
Wizard-guided commissioning, an updateable device database, clear user guidance But many parameterization tools have all that. That's true! But the resourceful developers at Baumüller have packed many other useful functionalities into the current version of ProDrive.
More information with intelligent diagnostic tools
ProDrive offers many diagnostic functions. The integrated oscilloscope has a real-time function and a classic circular buffer function. In real-time mode, the parameters to be recorded are displayed directly in real time. This means that users can see the changes caused by the user inputs with no time delay. This makes it possible to display signals in real time without using an external tool. In circular buffer mode, on the other hand, the parameters are recorded internally in the device and can subsequently be read with a time delay. Configurable triggers can be used to link the recording time to a specific condition. The data is represented and evaluated in the same view in both real-time mode and circular buffer mode.
Super useful for many mechanical engineers is the integrated FFT analysis function. With frequency analysis using FFT, a time signal is broken down into its individual frequencies. This allows interference frequencies in the machine to be detected and clearly displayed. The FFT analysis then provides the basis for the self-optimization of the parameters. This makes commissioning fast and maximizes process quality. The user can display the frequencies themselves in various ways. Besides the classic display, there is, for example, the "order analysis". Here, the vibrations are shown as a multiple of the speed of the drive. With this information, filters can then be set very easily, thereby eliminating disturbing factors. In addition, it is possible to represent values as a 3D waterfall chart. In this display, users can easily determine whether vibrations only occur at certain speeds or change depending on the speed, allowing them to develop a solution more quickly. And all this can be done directly in ProDrive. Users therefore no longer have to worry about data exports and the license costs for any additional simulation or analysis programs.
Another new feature of the current version is that frequency analyses can now also be compared immediately. This allows the operator to see right away whether a change in the parameters has resulted in an improvement in the vibration pattern. Further diagnostic options include target/actual value comparisons of different controllers, encoder diagnostics for checking and optimizing signal quality, numerous monitoring pages with information on temperature, mains voltage, DC link voltage, etc.
The application engineer
ProDrive allows me to diagnose faults easily and quickly.
Benjamin Weggel, Baumüller application engineer
Reach your goal quickly with self-optimization
And the best thing about all these diagnostic functions: the self-optimization process rendered possible by the diagnostic data. Users can thereby optimally adjust both the current controller and the speed controller without having in-depth expertise of servo drive technology. The software automatically improves parameters based on measurements made along the entire control loop. In the automatic cogging torque compensation, cogging torques are identified in an automated measurement and an angle-dependent current is pre-controlled. This ensures high smooth-running quality and thus high accuracy in the process. One new feature of the current version of ProDrive is that self-optimization of the controller settings is also possible if the motor can only move back and forth within defined limits. Until now, this function could only be used with freely rotating motors. Thus,starting immediately, self-optimization is available for almost all applications, thereby enabling users to achieve the optimum settings for their control engineering purposes.
Gimmicks of the current version
Stored mathematical functions form yet another new useful feature of the current ProDrive version. These allow the user, for example, to easily offset curves against each other without having to export the data to another program beforehand. Users will find all the frequently required functions, such as functions for calculating mean values for smoothing or for calculating effective values.
Completely new to ProDrive is the integrated service report. If problems occur, a wizard queries all the necessary information, such as device type, current operating modes, etc., and uses this information to generate a full service report quickly and easily. The comprehensive data from this report allow problems to be eliminated quickly. The service report is also suitable for archiving and for comparing device statuses in the system.
PLC in the drive
With the controller-integrated control platform softdrivePLC, Baumüller combines PLC and motion control functions within the controller. The softdrivePLC is also programmed directly in the ProDrive, thereby adding programming functions to the commissioning tool. This allows control with no additional hardware and with no special programming software.
ProDrive gives users of Baumüller controllers and converters a comprehensive software solution that does much more than a mere commissioning tool. In particular, the extensive options for vibration analysis and the comprehensive self-optimization functions accelerate the time-to-market and allow optimal and efficient device parameterization.