Case Studies

Kollmorgen AKD Drive

Integrating Kollmorgen AKD Drives with an Allen-Bradley PLC

Posted in Allen Bradley PLC, Food and Beverage, HMI and SCADA, Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, PLC Programming, Specialty Machinery


DMC was hired by a machine builder who specializes in the frozen food industry to integrate six Kollmorgen AKD drives and servos with an existing PLC program. The Kollmorgen drives were chosen as a replacement for Allen-Bradley Ultra 3000 drives, which were no longer in production. The end result was an updated, robust program that can be easily modified for use on similar machines with any number of axes.

AB CompactLogix L32E

AB CompactLogix L32E

Kollmorgen AKD Drive

Kollmorgen AKD Drive


DMC began by working with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to reuse as much of the existing program as possible, reducing the overall project duration and cost. The original program was divided into two parts: system-level logic on the PLC, and a C++ script on each of the Ultra 3000 drives to handle all motion control. The Ultra 3000 program was rewritten in ladder logic, and integrated with the rest of the PLC program. Commands were sent to the new Kollmorgen AKD drives over a combination of EtherNet/IP and high-speed digital triggers for time-critical motion commands

DMC worked closely with the OEM during the commissioning phase of the project when the program was thoroughly tested and debugged. This gave the customer familiarity with the new program, allowing them to easily modify the program for use with future machines that require a different number of axes.

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Customer Benefits

  • Localized control of each axis
    • Machine can continue running even if one or more axis is faulted or disabled
    • Greatly reduced downtime if one axis requires maintenance during production
  • Modular program can be easily modified to accommodate any number of axes
  • Dynamic control of servo motion commands
    • High-speed digital trigger for time-critical motion commands
    • Library of motion Add-On Instructions (AOIs) for commanding servos over EtherNet/IP


  • Allen-Bradley CompactLogix L32E PLC
  • Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 6 1000 HMI
  • Kollmorgen AKD Series Servo Drives
  • Rockwell RSLogix 5000
  • Rockwell FactoryTalk View Machine Edition
  • Kollmorgen Workbench