The drive for better machine performance, while at the same time trimming manufacturing costs, is constantly a challenge for machinery manufacturers. Controllers are implementing innovative control architectures that are essential in order to cope with new requirements. The emphasis is on combining motion and machine control, and simplifying the overall controls system architecture by combining more functions.
Today, high-performance motion control solutions based on electronically linked drive systems offer much greater flexibility than was ever possible with mechanical systems. For more sophisticated contouring or coordinated motion, controllers generate trajectories for all of the drives to synchronize the system together. The trend is on greater controls flexibility and, depending on customer requirements, automation functions that can be implemented using standalone controllers or a master control system (PLC or IPC) that can handle all automation control tasks.
STAND ALONE MOTION CONTROLLER
The SPiiPlus SA multi-axis motion controller from ACS Motion Control provides the power of a PC-based motion controller packaged in a stand alone device. The controller utilizes a distributed multi-processor architecture running an on-board RTOS and provides a fixed 20 kHz servo update for every axis and guaranteed deterministic control. The SPiiPlus SA supports high frequency Sin-Cos encoder signals of up to 2.5 MHz to provide sub-nanometer resolution at high speed without compromising accuracy and throughput. Simple and convenient connectivity interfaces are provided with the applicationís drivers, encoders, I/Os and communication bus using D-type connectors. Accurate motion control is obtained with customized control algorithms, gantry control, real-time registration and position compare outputs, software commutation and ACSPL+ multi-tasking application language. Optional features include integrated SIN-COS interpolators and input shapingTM. A set of software development tools include a Motion Simulator and FRF analyzer. Also available is a lower cost variation that supports two, four, six or eight axes.
HIGH-PERFORMANCE, MULTI-AXIS CONTROLLER
The PMC primo system from Pilz Motion Control targets high-performance motion applications and implementation of demanding, complete automation systems including complex motion sequences. The controller-based PMC primo-mc16+ with separate power supply is suitable for controlling multiple axes. Up to nine drives can be controlled using the PMC primo-mc drive, which also has an integral power supply and is designed for a small to medium number of axes. In standalone mode, up to eight drives can be controlled and the drive fitted with the PMC primo becomes the central controller. The system provides interfaces for I/O expansion, Ethernet for programming and remote maintenance, and a slot for Compact Flash memory cards. The system can communicate via CAN, Modbus or Profibus. With nine synchronous axes running at the same time as eight electrical cams, an integrated soft PLC achieves scan times of less than 50 žs for 1000 instructions in IL code.
INTEGRATED MACHINE CONTROLLER
ServoWire Motion & Logic Controllers from ORMEC provide a machine control platform and integrated software tools for motion, I/O and networking. Three models (Models 30, 80 and 160) can control up to 16 axes and thousands of I/O points. The controller uses the companyís soft motion technology for real-time servo control, IEC 61131-3 programming, PLCopen motion function blocks and industry standard protocols for I/O and network connectivity. Key features include Intel 32-bit processors running the QNX real-time operating system (RTOS), removable Compact Flash for program storage, 32 Kbytes battery-backed SRAM for non-volatile data storage and Ethernet connectivity. SMLC controllers can connect up to 16 digital ServoWire SM Drives using a FireWire based drive networking protocol at a 4 kHz loop update rate. This all-digital drive networking approach utilizes open standard IEEE 1394 interface hardware and cabling. Modbus/TCP communications can be used for interfacing I/O and touchscreen HMIs.