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