Two very challenging projects that are already patent-protected. Two closely-linked goals heading towards a future of wireless and hyperconnected automation.
It must be a genetic thing, or some kind of innate disposition, that has made Mini Motor stubbornly determined to push ahead one day after the next, towards a future still waiting to be invented.
If Mini Motor has never hesitated in its pursuit of innovation and excellence in production since the 1970s, it must mean there is practically no end to the energy driving the creativity of the people who work there.
The latest visionary venture undertaken by the company are totally wireless motors connected to machines without any positioning constraints and so free to move following all the operating axes.
The project to reach this incredible goal is already live, and numerous tests are currently under way at Mini Motor aiming to successfully create the first prototypes.
Something that already exists is the name of these futuristic motors: they will be called the WBS, namely the wireless evolution of the current DBS.
Systems are being designed to offset the lack of the usual power and communications cables, namely batteries to power the motor and electronic and wireless boards to handle communications with the machines where the motors are fitted.
In specific terms, the batteries will have inductive charging, and so the power will be restored simply by bringing the motor close to a charging station.
Currently, the engineering phase of the Mini Motor WBS has completed the wireless communications board, but we will have to wait until the next stage for work on the power supply batteries to be completed.
The current WDBS version is already undergoing beta testing in an industrial environment and can be considered an intermediate step in the project development to take us from the DBS to the WBS.
The WDBS motor no longer has the rear connectors and has a wireless communications board, but it does not have a battery as it still uses the power cables of the earlier DBS, with which it also shares the 4 communications protocols (Ethernet IP, Powerlink, PROFINET and EtherCAT).
Staying on topic, another innovation that the WBS motor will introduce once the project is completed will be the wireless communications board based on the ZigBee data exchange protocol, a protected protocol that uses a concentrator to simultaneously manage both the input from the PLC that controls the machine and the synchronisation of any other WBS fitted. The simultaneous use of several wireless motors running on the same machine is one of the features that inspired Mini Motor during the engineering of the WBS, with the aim of significantly reducing the cost of cabling installations.
Once again, Alessandro Ciccolella, Mechanical Engineer assigned to the Technical Office at Mini Motor, offered us a precise definition of the conceptual and strategic contexts of the development of the WBS and WDBS projects: “Anyone, like us, who chooses to become an inventor of technology for a living, is well aware that research and experimentation are fundamental if you want to continue working in this field. For Mini Motor, the WBS and WDBS are the quintessence of this spirit: projects still under development but that are already indicating the exact direction that the company intends to take.”