Yaskawa Southern Africa to accelerate its business growth in automation technology and motion control solutions

From small applications to complex systems, including forming and shaping machines.

In November 2014 Yaskawa Electric Corporation reached an agreement with VIPA GmbH, a German PLC manufacturer, to acquire 100% ownership in the company. VIPA develops, manufactures, and sells a variety of PLCs, ranging from compact, modular, high-speed types to PC-capable with I/O systems, HMI, and other products. The company has an extensive customer base in the automobile, packaging, food and beverage sectors and among suppliers of automation systems.

Combining motion control products with PLC and I/O products
The acquisition allowed Yaskawa Europe to reinforce its ability to provide total system solutions for factory automation systems extending to robots, by combining its motion control products, such as ac drives and servomotors/drives, with the PLC and I/O products of VIPA. Traditionally, Yaskawa had been dependent upon others to supply PLCs.


Drives, motors and controls

Yaskawa is now able to meet a broad range of customer needs in automation technology and control solutions, and has been rolling out the synergies between the companies worldwide under the slogan of “The new DNA of Performance”.

New division
To embrace the new products Yaskawa Southern Africa has opened a new division to market and sell the host of system solutions, motion controls and automation advantages available at their disposal.

“VIPA is a perfect fit for Yaskawa. There are no overlaps in our product portfolios, but they are very complementary with many synergies to be expected,” said Terry Rosenberg of Yaskawa Southern Africa.

“The tight cooperation with the global Yaskawa organisation provides great growth opportunities for us. Beside the synergies resulting from the combined and integrated product portfolio, there are more benefits for existing and new Yaskawa customers,” continued Rosenberg.

“There are numerous industries and applications where our products can be used – too many to mention. But some examples include automotive, machine automation, food and beverage, handling technology, environment, welding and general engineering, all areas that we already service and are strong in with our traditional Yaskawa products such as robotic automation systems and AC inverter drives, servo and motion controls.”


Motion control products

“Industrial machines are typically installed as capital equipment, including robots. They are key to industrialisation of a country. The machines can have many moving elements that need to be controlled with accuracy and speed. Take machine tools for example. These machines perform such tasks as turning, boring, milling, drilling, tapping in order to machine simple and complex components in many materials ranging from alloys to plastics.”

“A machining center will have three or more axes of motion, an automatic tool changer, and will be computer controlled. One of the main parts of a machining center is the spindle head, which holds the tool that is needed to complete a certain task. A spindle is usually belted to a servo motor. Due to the various tasks that are required, the spindle rotates at various speeds and loads. These speed and load requirements can be met using an AC drive in conjunction with a spindle motor.”

“Yaskawa AC drives can be interlocked with the CNC control systems so the operation of the CNC controller and the AC drive are synchronised. In addition, Yaskawa AC drives automatically detect changes to the amount of torque required during shaping and finishing phases. This feedback enables the drive to quickly detect changes as the cutting tool becomes dull.”


Robotic automation systems

“Servomotors are one of the most commonly used motors for precision positioning and load-responsive motion. Servomotors power applications in a wide range of industries though are most suited for controlling the movement of machines. Other common applications include robotic automation systems, positioning systems and tracking systems for solar panels. Here and elsewhere, servomotor technology can help boost accuracy and output.”

“Selecting the right servomotor for an application involves three important parameters: load, speed and torque. Not only must acceleration, deceleration and running torque be taken into account, but also the ability of the servomotor to tightly control the load’s speed, position or torque.”

Under the hood
“When last did you look ‘under the hood’ of a machine tool? Invariably you will find that the servomotor or drive used is a Yaskawa manufactured product. With the introduction of the VIPA products to the Group the data exchange for the motion control functions to the PLC control or CPU will be communicated in real time from the Yaskawa hardware solutions, all from one company.”

“The new DMC (Drives, Motors and Controls) division will be based at our current South African headquarters in Longmeadow Business Estate, Modderfontein, Gauteng and we will be responsible for all of the VIPA products and Yaskawa products including ac drives and motion control products such as adjustable frequency drives, servo amplifiers, servomotors and machine controllers.”

“Products will be marketed through sales partners, system integrators, dealers, and distributors, both existing and new.”

For further details contact Yaskawa Southern Africa on TEL: 011 608 3182 or visit www.yaskawa.za.com