Motion Made Easy

Dec. 12, 2002
Motion Control Reference Guide
Motion Analyzer provides torque-speed curves for different size motors and displays relevant motor and amplifier data such as average current and peak torque.

Selecting and sizing motion-control systems is a time-consuming task that often requires rigorous number crunching. But a new browser-based software tool helps simplify the process.

Motion Book 4.0 from Allen-Bradley, Milwaukee (, walks motion-control designers through servosystem setup and has in-depth analysis features that eliminate rigorous manual calculations and associated errors. Typical computations determine acceleration, deceleration, and peak torques.

Motion Analyzer is the key number-crunching program within Motion Book. Users supply two known parameters among distance, velocity, time, and acceleration, and the software automatically calculates torque. An intuitive "Add Axis" feature saves sizing time by helping users create up to eight axes.

For example, after calculating torque requirements, designers need to examine how the servodrive speed-torque curve will respond and then determine whether factors such as peak torque fall into the continuous range. Different servomotor and drive combinations would normally require repeating these calculations. Motion Analyzer does the math automatically.

Once designers select a motor, the software provides a list of all compatible drives and gearboxes. The program automatically selects proportional and integral gain parameters (required torque to overcome various frictions) and, if needed, users can override the automatic selection program and manually size the motor and drive.

User-specified drives include belt, linear screw, ball screw, and rack and pinion. The software takes gear ratio and pulls up drive and motor combinations that meet that application profile and automatically cross checks component compatibility. Motion Analyzer displays servodrive and motor options that could meet the application, ranked by performance and cost. The program also displays parameters such as peak current and can then modify parameters to ensure the best fit.

The software helps users specify a more efficient system that might include a smaller, less-expensive servomotor. When properly sized, smaller motors can meet performance demands especially when coupled with a gear reducer. More than half of all motion applications require some sort of gear reduction. Gearboxes increase output torque, but effectively reduce output speed. Motion Book eliminates the added calculations required to manually match drive and motor with the gearbox. The software ensures both electrical compatibility between the motor output and gearbox input, and coupling compatibility between the motor shaft and gearbox shaft.

An integrated CAD drawing feature lets designers assemble machines and run motion simulations and an integrated CAM feature helps designers create complex profiles. It also lets them view how different end-user products might affect the machinery. For example, simulations can show how an existing bottling line can be modified to run heavier bottles, and if the current system would be able to move the product accurately. Simulation serves as a system check as opposed to the more costly alternative of waiting until the machine is assembled.

The software links to more than 30 motion application animations including pick and place, vertical form, fill and seal, press feed, flying sheer, electronic and mechanical cams, and liquid dispensers. Problem-solution-benefit explanations accompany each animation.

Easy access to motor drawings helps designers quickly determine if particular power and control components will fit into limited machine compartments. Clicking on servodrive and motor icons brings up detailed descriptions of Rockwell Automation products including associated equipment from cables to controllers.

Motion Book 4.0 includes a convenient glossary for quick access to motion terminology. And the System Selector feature makes it easier for users to select among multiple motion system accessories and generate a bill of materials. Plans call for future Motion Book releases to include online updating and servosystem tuning.

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