Designed as a stand-alone controller for moderate to high-performance applications, the Ensemble Epaq's motion control capabilities include point-to-point, linear and circular interpolation, electronic gearing, and velocity profiling. The unit's processing power and high-performance capabilities come from a 225 MHz double precision, floating-point DSP. An optional single-axis Position Synchronized Output (PSO) offers high-speed position latching capability. To simplify generating motion commands, the unit has an intuitive user interface and does not use cryptic commands. Standard interfaces include RS-232, joystick, Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports. Each axis of the Ensemble Epaq I/O has a 16-bit ±10V dc analog input, dedicated home marker input, over-travel limits, Hall inputs for motor commutation, and Estop input. Targeting applications from basic laboratory experimentation and general purpose positioning to advanced OEM systems, the unit drives and controls linear or rotary brushless, dc brush servo, and microstepping motors.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.