The trend in industrial component sourcing is to eliminate waste, reduce costs and improve efficiency. This often means consolidating suppliers into single-source relationships. Single sourcing can build stronger relationships with suppliers, boost system performance and increase the speed of procurement.
Machine designers can use a single-source approach to reduce time spent on sourcing, installing and testing electric linear motion systems. Single sourcing helps cost containment and design efficiency efforts.
For a full explanation of the benefits of single-source versus multi-source arrangements for electric linear motion systems, see our new white paper, Single-Axis Motion Control Systems: Multi Sourced vs. Single Sourced. Download your copy here.
The difficulties of multi-sourcing
A lot of engineering time can go into specifying and buying electric linear motion systems when the machine designer takes a multi-source approach. In this scenario, the actuator, drive and motor that make up the system are specified, evaluated and sourced individually. The designer researches the performance and compatibility of each component, often resulting in oversized components.
Multi-sourcing usually means the actuator is sized based on the application’s requirements, with built-in safety factors. The motor and drive are usually sourced from another supplier and sized per the actuator. The motor may not optimize the actuator’s performance, though.
This approach can result in poor system performance. Plus, it can slow the design process because the designer has to share information among multiple suppliers and coordinate all the sizing activities to ensure optimal performance. It can take a lot of testing to ensure that the actuator and motor work together reliably.
Poor performance and more design time mean higher system costs.
Advantages of single sourcing
With a single-sourced electric linear motion system, one supplier delivers the complete system. This reduces the number of unique components in the machine, allows for a streamlined sourcing approach and minimizes the risk of shipment delays that impact schedules.
This streamlined approach of working with a one-solution supplier saves engineers design time and resources. Individual components are sized and matched to one another, so performance requirements are met. No design time or technical resources are used to interface with multiple suppliers.
This approach also fosters greater designer/supplier collaboration throughout the design process, allowing the supplier to add more value.
A modular approach provides flexibility
Different actuator models can be combined with an integrated servo motor/drive/controller for all-in-one smart actuator control. This modular approach solves many sourcing challenges.
Designers can change length, mounting options and Ethernet communication protocols easily between machines without the need to redesign an entire electric linear motion system. The flexibility of a modular system that’s pre-configured and pre-tuned from the supplier is invaluable for OEMs serving global markets. Mass customization is growing and needs flexible, modular linear motion systems.
ACSI integrated servo motor and controller
Our ACSI integrated servo motor/drive/controller creates a cost-efficient, space-saving machine design by eliminating a drive in a cabinet. The ACSI integrated servo motor and controller can be controlled over EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, Modbus TCP, or EtherCAT. With built-in configurations for all our electric actuators, the ACSI integrated servo motor/drive/controller creates linear motion quickly and easily in the desired linear units. When ordered with a Tolomatic actuator, the ACSI will be mounted to the actuator, configured and tested as a system.
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Download the ACSI brochure.
Learn more about sourcing linear motion systems. Download our new white paper, Single-Axis Motion Control Systems: Multi Sourced vs. Single Sourced.
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