The controller is the first in Galil's new Accelera Series, the fifth generation of its motion controllers. It can take encoder inputs of up to 22 MHz, servo update rates as low as 24 microseconds per axis, and command processing times as low as 40 microseconds for application programs with its 32-bit Risc-based clock multiplying processor with DSP functionality. The new series is designed to handle the faster command processing and servo-loop update times needed in applications like the ones for low-inertia, high bandwidth motors. It also has the speed to work with high-resolution feedback sensors. In step motor applications, the new controller doubles the frequency of the stepper pulse output with a maximum pulse rate of 6 MHz. It is available in 1 to 8 axis formats, with each axis configurable for stepper or servo motor operation, so users can mix and match motor types in an application. Users can convert from an older Galil product to the new controllers, which use the same programming language and 100-pin SCSI connectors. The DMC-18x6 also has servo loop features such as advance PIC compensation, velocity and acceleration feedforward, integrator limits, notch filter, low-pass filter, backlash compensation, expanded memory for variables, arrays, storing application programs, multitasking up to eight programs at once with fast I/O processing to synchronize with external events, various modes of motion like point-to-point positioning, position tracking, jogging, linear and circular interpolation, contouring, electronic gearing and ECAM, and advanced commands for coordinated motion, such as ellipse scaling, slow-down around corners, infinite segment feed and feedrate override.
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.