Get to Know the Different Types of Industrial Modules
Industrial modules come in all shapes and sizes, and they serve a variety of roles within the scope of complex manufacturing equipment. From supplying power to a delicate piece of equipment to enabling proper control through a human-machine interface (HMI), modules serve as a vital bridge that enables equipment to work as expected. And, like any component in sophisticated machinery, various modules are subject to servicing and replacement standards to ensure they remain functional.
A crash course on industrial modules
The power module is a vital component of any electronic system. As the name implies, it’s responsible for modulating and managing the power fed to electrical machines, equipment, and devices. Everything from motor drives to medical supplies contain power modules that keep equipment running as designed.
Power modules enable power switching and enhancement in servo motors and variable speed drives. Their innovative designs offer many circuit ratings and configurations. Different modules are optimized to ensure a life cycle of dependable operation, regardless of the equipment or function.
Common types of industrial modules
While all power modules share the same general purpose, there are several subtypes, each with their own features and benefits for advanced applications.
Some of the common types of industrial modules you’ll find on the factory floor include:
- Shunt modules. These modules use shunts to regulate electrical currents and send them to the ground. They deliver constant voltage across terminals, shouldering any extra current to keep voltage balanced across the load. Applications using linear power supply technology benefit most from shunt modules.
- Power modules. Power modules contain several power components in industrial motor drives. They’re used for power conversion, switching and amplifying motor power in servo and variable-speed drives.
- Communication modules. Communication modules transmit messages between modules on different machines. They not only send messages back and forth efficiently, but they also maintain aliases or module identifications for groups.
- Axis modules. These modules contain the link and inverter for supplying the motor. They’re attached to power modules to form a multi-axis system, depending on the required number of axes.
- Feedback encoder modules. These power modules transform motion into a signal. Another device reads the signal, sending feedback to control specific functions. Many industrial and commercial processes can benefit from feedback encoder modules, with optical incremental encoders remaining the most common.
- Control modules. These modules are embedded systems that control one or more electrical systems in a motor. They modify and manage power input to a motor, regulating torque and speed to reduce energy consumption.
Module maintenance is critical
Like any component, modules can degrade over time and with use. A bad module requires immediate replacement. It takes an expert approach to assess the health of a module and determine if replacement is needed. By working with a technical professional who specializes in modules, you can keep your machines and equipment running reliably.