Newton, MA-Last week Robert Reback, president and CEO of Cimetrix
Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT) visited Design News for a pre-briefing on its October
23 introduction of CODE 6(tm) (Cimetrix Open Development Environment version 6)
with Core Motion(tm) technology. CODE 6, a personal computer (PC)-based motion
control software package, eliminates the need for intelligent motion cards,
reducing hardware costs by 50%, according to Reback.
Core Motion technology provides the same factory floor performance as
high-end digital signal processing motion cards and is equipped with VenturCom's
RTX real-time extensions for Windows NT, NT Embedded, or 2000. In order to
provide a connection from the PC to the motion subsystem, Core Motion uses
analog interface cards or network connections to the drive amplifiers. Analog
interface cards cost 50 to 75% less than intelligent motion cards, while network
cards can drive this cost to almost nothing, according to Reback.
With the increasing power of PCs, Cimetrix's engineers have moved the motion
card functionality onto the PC, allowing for a direct connection from the PC to
amplifiers and feedback devices. This enables the PC software to control
trajectory generation, position loop, velocity loop, input/output scanning, and
event generation at the servo rate. Moreover, its simulation capability lets
machine application software be developed in parallel with hardware to reduce
development time. "Engineers can do much more software design and integration
testing before any hardware is available, cutting the time it takes to bring a
new machine to market by 25 to 50%."
While proprietary controller architectures have the benefit of single-point
responsibility, such systems tend to be inflexible, offer inferior development
environments, and may cost an OEM valuable intellectual property in the form of
advanced algorithms that must be integrated into the software in order to hit
performance targets. "With our open PC-based system," Reback explains, "OEMs can
protect their intellectual property, do their own algorithms in Microsoft C++,
use the Microsoft debuggers, and choose the best price/performance components
for their application."
For more information visit http:\\www.cimetrix.com/code.html