DN Staff

June 16, 2003

3 Min Read
The Future of Motion Control

What's Next In Motion Software- An integrated development environment with a common look and feel. Reduced software integration costs Object-oriented programming and reusability of code. Better configuration and support tools. These are the dominant trends and goals for "generation " motion control software solutions -an emphasis on moving toward standard motion control development environments and simplifying programming approaches. The idea is to make motion solutions easier to implement, reducing not only the high cost of software development but simplifying support and maintenance as well.

What's Next in Motion Networking- The move is on for motion control drive networking to finally achieve broad-based acceptance and penetration in industrial control, but the stage is crowded. SERCOS is the established player but many feel they are "not entrenched " and there are a host of competing technologies, most notably groups backing Ethernet and Firewire-based networking solutions. These groups are offering access to industry-standard networking hardware, future connectivity to standard protocols like Profibus, and effective drive networking solutions for soft motion control. "There are currently a variety of motion control networking options -including FireWire and Ethernet-based solutions, SERCOS, and ProfiNet -but it 's clear that no dominant player has emerged," said David Carr, VP at ORMEC (www.ormec.com)."All of these competing solutions have cropped up for a reason, and now it 's up to the marketplace to evaluate the options and choose the best solution for each individual company."

Motion Controllers Bring Make-Believe to Life- The lights dim. The orchestra plays. The curtains roll back, revealing the stage set for Man of La Mancha. Before an actor ever says a word, you are convincingly transported into the world of Don Quixote, complete with windmills, horses, javelins, and dreams -thanks to life-like backdrops and clever set arrangements. Backdrops are the costar of any major Broadway production. As such, automated scenery and effect production are a growing business. Today, the average set production cost for a large musical runs between $500,000 and $1,000,000. As sets and special effects grow larger, so does the equipment required to move them. No longer can a group of people push and pull props from the stage.

Don't Stop the Presses!- The latest technology news in your morning newspaper may not be on the front page. Instead, it may lie in the components that separate and insert the promotional and other fliers between the pages of the paper. Servo systems are augmenting the hoppers, stackers, feeders, and gatherers used in the inserting operation, making the process faster, more flexible, and less prone to maintenance problems.

Wired for Simplicity- When fiber optic manufacturers need to transfer or rewind the fiber, ease of use and precision are two qualities they need in their winding machines. While it 's true that fiber optic wire manufacturers typically incorporate some type of high-speed winding system into their extrusion lines to

"spool " or rewind the fiber for distribution, smaller specialty fiber manufacturers and their distributors don't necessarily need these pricey, sophisticated systems. When filling customers ' orders, they often need to take an existing bulk spool of fiber and "break it down " into smaller spools. Seeing this need, Berwyn, PA-based Showmark Machines (www.showmarkcorp.com) developed small, general-purpose re-spooling machines. The company also offers small machines for precision applications.

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