Save time with motion controllers

Jan. 1, 2008
The holidays may be over, but the editors of Motion System Design have another gift for you. Some might argue it's the best gift of all time. Each month,

The holidays may be over, but the editors of Motion System Design have another gift for you. Some might argue it's the best gift of all — time. Each month, our Time Saving Technology department will introduce new products and ideas to help you work more efficiently and become a more effective problem solver.

Smart controller offers one-box solution

The NextMove-ESB2 8-axis motion controller lets users control both servo and stepper motor axes along with onboard I/O and a fieldbus port that extends overall control capability to three or four axes. With I/O optimized for material handling and general machine control functions, the module can be used in applications such as pick-and-place, packaging, and other automation processes.

The intelligent controller, based on an advanced DSP core for reliable real-time performance, is housed in a rugged panel-mount box. It supports servo loop closure times of 100 µsec on the four main axes with six-term closed loop control for accurate positioning. The module's stepper outputs may also be used for servomotor control, making it capable of controlling up to eight precision servomotor axes. With onboard I/O, NextMove may be used for machine control as well as motion, possibly eliminating the need for a separate controller such as a PLC. For more information, visit or call (479) 646-4711.

Software simulation speeds time to market

On your next motion project, why not find and fix the “bugs” in a simulated environment rather than the real application? Saving time this way is not only easy, it's now free for certain control platforms thanks to some slick new software that lets engineers develop multi-axis logic and control programs entirely in a PC environment, emulating the resulting theoretical motion with zero position error. The simulation software supports standalone as well as host-dependent application programming based on C++, Visual Basic, and LabView, and with a pending update, it will also include IEC61131 programming and CANopen protocols.

From a project planning perspective, simulating motion along with machine and control functions significantly accelerates design cycles because it lets users write, run, analyze, and debug motion control programs and I/O logic in parallel with hardware development. To download the free simulator, log on to If you have access to any of the company's advanced multi-axis motion controllers, such as the SpiiPlus SA series shown here, you'll be able to judge for yourself how much time you can save.

Pocket-sized controller saves space and time

The Guidance 1400 series of vision-guided multi-axis motion controllers is based on a distributed network architecture that allows the controller to be located at the point of use. This robotic controller is small enough to be placed inside a machine, eliminating the need for a separate control cabinet. Each controller features built-in motor amplifiers and contains four motor drivers with matching encoder input channels, a 700 MIPS processor, digital inputs and outputs, and Ethernet and RS-232 network interfaces.

Controllers also include an embedded web server, allowing remote access via the web, making it possible to remotely service and support controlled machines from anywhere in the world. Software includes a complete set of motion commands, machine kinematics, a continuous-path motion planner and trajectory generator, and an optional machine vision package that simplifies the amount of code needed to program vision-guided robot motion. For more information, visit or call (408) 224-2838.

Mechatronic control system accelerates development

The MotionWorks IEC Mechatronic Control System includes software that's fully compatible with global programming standards specified by IEC61131-3 and PLCopen. Along with the software, the MP2300Siec controller features EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP, and Mechatrolink network connectivity for up to 16 axes of motion control. IEC61131-3 programming combines several languages in one development package that includes function block, ladder program, and structured text. The MotionWorks IEC software also incorporates PLCopen function blocks for motion control. These standard, reusable code libraries store previously written logic that can significantly reduce development time. The 2.5-in. wide controller includes an Ethernet connection with EtherNet/IP scanner/adapter functionality and Modbus TCP/IP master/slave. The controller also uses the Mechatrolink high speed, digital network for tightly integrated motion and I/O even when complex motion, such as a gearing function, is required. For more information, visit or call (800) YASKAWA.


Small doesn't necessarily mean scrawny. With petite components, it's all about torque density and packing power into small spaces. When your next project calls for mini but mighty options, consider the following tools to help downsize your designs. Small doesn't necessarily mean scrawny. With petite components, it's all about torque density and packing power into small spaces. When your next project calls for mini but mighty options, consider the following tools to help downsize your designs.

Sub-miniature stepping motors

Compact and lightweight 1.8° NEMA 8 bipolar hybrid stepper motors provide flexibility in applications with limited space, such as medical devices and small machinery. Measuring just 20 mm square by as little as 30 mm long, these motors produce high speed and torque in a sub-miniature RoHS compliant package. In many applications, torque levels reached with these stepmotors make them a cost effective alternative to servos.
Nippon Pulse America Inc.

Internal rotor motors

EC-I 40 electronically commutated internal rotor motors are short, but highly dynamic. These brushless grooved motors feature low inertia, minimal detent, robust bearings, and compact construction. High-powered magnets ensure significant power density, providing exceptional speed stability under load. Motors are available with a 40 mm diameter in two lengths - 26 mm (50 W) and 36 mm (70 W).
Maxon Precision Motors Inc.

Microstepping driver

The compact MForce PowerDrive delivers a per-phase output current of 7 A peak or 5 A RMS and includes an integrated heat sink and user-friendly pluggable locking connectors. The driver comes with an optional programmable motion controller or variable speed controller and accepts up to 20 resolution settings, from full to 256 microsteps per full step. Input voltage range is 12 to 75 Vdc and operating temperature range is from -40° to 85° C.
Intelligent Motion Systems Inc.

Kit for micro brushless dc motors

The Microsystems Starter Kit contains drive electronics, an adaptor board, and a dc brushless motor from the series 0206…B, 0308…B, or 1202…BS/BH. Each motor easily connects to the adaptor board, which contains an integrated oscillator for speed control. The PWM frequency is 500 kHz. As an example of the motor choices, the Penny motor series 1202…BH is a flat brushless dc motor with a diameter of 12 mm, a 2 mm height, and a weight of just 1.1 grams.
MicroMo Electronics Inc.

Sponsored Recommendations

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Medical Device Manufacturing and Biocompatible Materials

May 1, 2024
Learn about the critical importance of biocompatible materials in medical device manufacturing, emphasizing the stringent regulations and complex considerations involved in ensuring...

VICIS Case Study

May 1, 2024
The team at VICIS turned to SyBridge and Carbon in order to design and manufacture protective helmet pads, leveraging the digitization and customization expertise of Toolkit3D...

What's Next for Additive Manufacturing?

May 1, 2024
From larger, faster 3D printers to more sustainable materials, discover several of the top additive manufacturing trends for 2023 and beyond.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!