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Product News

Momentum builds for soft-motion

Two companies recently sent representatives to brief Design News on new software-only motion controller product introductions. Robert Reback, president and CEO of Cimetrix Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT) updated me on CODE 6(TM) (Cimetrix Open Development Environment version 6) with Core Motion(TM) technology; and Allen Presher VP of marketing for Ormec (Rochester, NY) gave me a heads up on the new ServoWire(R) SM.

Both products fall into the open motion control software subset of PC-based control. Both eliminate the need for intelligent motion cards or proprietary hardware to execute motion control functions. They rely on VenturCom's RTX real-time extensions for Windows to execute motion control functions on the CPU of a PC or industrial PC. And both provide cost-effective motion control solutions with intelligent-card performance.

Since Core Motion requires less expensive analog interface cards or network connections to link the PC with the motion subsystem and drive amplifiers, Reback estimates significant hardware savings. "Analog interface cards cost 50 to 75% less than intelligent motion cards," he says, "while network cards have the potential to drive this cost to almost nothing."

In fact, Ormec's ServoWire does just that. The new approach to soft motion control combines PC hardware and software standards, soft motion technology, and Ormec's IEEE-1394 servodrive network called ServoWire. "ServoWire SM cost-effectively controls from one to eight servos directly from a standard PC," Presher explains, "offering engineers flexibility in hardware selection with easier integration, and reduced costs."

Thanks to the added processing power of PCs and intelligent drives, Ormec has been able to distribute the tasks normally performed by the motion adapter between the host PC and the ServoWire SM drives to eliminate the board-level motion controller. The drives offer a power range from 300 to 15,000W, continuous output currents from 2.4 to 60A rms/phase, and provide 3 to 665 lb-inch continuous stall torque.

Cimitex Inc., www.cimitex.com. Enter 642

Ormec, www.ormec.com. Enter 643

Motor + driver

The MDrive Speed Control includes integrated NEMA 17 or 23 torque stepping motor and drive with microstepping resolution for use in robotics, assembly, packaging, semiconductor manufacturing, medical instruments, and pick-and-place industries. Offering a digital oscillator, it maintains velocity control with up to 100 kHz output frequency and inputs of 0-5V dc, PWM, or 4-20 mA. Electrical noise problems are avoided, due to the elimination of motor cabling through the machine.

Intelligent Motion Systems Inc., www.imshome.com. Enter 644

Chains

Xceeder(TM) Chain features oil-impregnated felt seals developed to increase wear life by preserving lubrication and keeping out dirt and contaminants. Interchangeable with ANSI standard chains, it has the same load capacity and uses standard sprockets. Xceeder Drive, Conveyor, and Attachment Chains come in sizes 40 to 100.

U.S. Tsubaki, Inc., www.ustsubaki.com. Enter 645

Industrial PC

The passively-cooled VisionCompact(R) IA (VCIA) features Intel's 266 MHz Mobile Pentium(R) MMX (Tillamook) processor, allowing for 0 to 50C operation without a fan. PC is used in industrial processing applications and includes up to 256 MB SO-DIMM SDRAM, an integrated NMI timer, and four serial ports (RS-232).

PEP Modular Computers Inc., www.pep.com. Enter 646

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