HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Automation & Motion Control

Blurring the Lines of Control

NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 4 Next >
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Single Point Failure
TJ McDermott   8/13/2012 12:20:56 PM
NO RATINGS
My company makes control systems using a central PAC for motion control describe in the article.  Having a single point of programming makes system development simple and saves time.

However, that central PAC becomes a source of single-point failure unless suitable redundancy is built into the PAC hardware.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Single Point Failure
ttemple   8/13/2012 1:01:42 PM
NO RATINGS
TJ,

What programming language(s) are used in the system(s)?

 

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Single Point Failure
TJ McDermott   8/13/2012 1:23:06 PM
NO RATINGS
ttemple, we use a lot of Rockwell Automation hardware and software (Logix5000).

I've also used AML from Pacific Scientific (a long time ago).  Both are an integrated programming environment, and I find I like that, a LOT.

Having to have different suites of software for different parts of a large system can get cumbersome, FAST, especially when the software does not play nice with other packages (Rockwell and Siemens are notorious for this).

Running different suites in their own Virtual Machines is how we handle that problem, but again, it's much nicer to have a single programming environment.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Single Point Failure
naperlou   8/13/2012 1:14:03 PM
NO RATINGS
Frankly, I agree with TJ.  This becomes a single point of failure.  I also am more inclined, in design projects I am involved in, to push the intellgence out to where it is used.  There are lots of processors that have specilaized instructions that will handle the computational load at a much lower power level.  Vision systems, for example, are tending toward smart cameras.  This allows most, of not all, of the processing to be done at the camera, thereby reducing the traffic on the communications link.

The main issue that seems to be addressed here is the comminications latency.  There are standard busses that handle this with predictability and high speed. 

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Single Point Failure
TJ McDermott   8/13/2012 1:28:17 PM
NO RATINGS
naperlou, for vision I'd agree with you.  I've not seen a PAC that tightly integrated vision the way motion has been.

Eventually, it will be; I can see the benefits of merging the two for even better robotics.  I haven't seen any of the big automation companies offer a camera yet.

Centralized control does make sense (assuming redundancy is covered properly) when there are numerous devices with similar control requirements.  Central control means a single point to adjust programming, and a central point from which supervisory and HMI systems can collect data.

Distributed controls means touching each and every machine to roll out a change (connect, download, verify, disconnect, again and again).  It also means a much more complex task for collecting data.  In some cases, the number of connections becomes a limiting factor.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Other industries?
Charles Murray   8/13/2012 10:12:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Very nicely reported, Al. Can we anticate this technology's use in any other industries outside packaging? Automotive assembly maybe?

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Robotics Programming
apresher   8/14/2012 8:53:20 AM
NO RATINGS
TJ, The most common and popular software approach for these type of systems is based on the IEC61131-3 programming languages, with solutions provided by a wide range of automation vendors.  These automation software packages are already wide in used for general machine control, so robotic kinematics is another group of software objects/libraries that can be integrated into the package.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Applications
apresher   8/14/2012 9:00:10 AM
NO RATINGS
Chuck,  While packaging automation is a big market for this type of capability, integration of robotic arms into machines is a phenomena that reaches into all types of applications.  Especially with the development of technology to create "programmable safety zones", it's now possible for robotics to become more tightly integrated with the machine process.  That reduces floor space requirements and enables automation engineers to design around robotic arms to eliminate some custom design.  Now with the ability to program the line controls for the machine, plus robotic motions, using the same programming environment on a single machine controller, it's creating more incentive to move machine designs in this direction.

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
The phablet wars continue. Today we welcome the Nexus 6 -- a joint collaboration between Google and Motorola.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
If you have a Gadget Freak project, we have a reader who wants to make it. And not only will you get your 15 minutes of fame on our website and social media channels, you will also receive $500 and be automatically entered into the 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year contest.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation call this deep learning.
Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service