Machine Design

Touch display lets motion controllers go graphic

The MotionPanel flat-panel display from Parker CTC, Rohnert Park, Calif., is a 6-in. display that can be programmed via a touchscreen interface.

A new display from Parker CTC gives operators an easy-to-grasp interface for modifying control parameters. The MotionPanel is a 6-in. flat-panel display with a touchscreen interface that comes in VGA monochrome or color STN.

This is an improvement over older two and four-line displays which essentially worked like dumb terminals. A controller handled the display of information, and programmers had to write code specifically to drive the display. In contrast, MotionPanel has built-in drivers to query the controller for any display information, eliminating the need for programming.

The display works together with the 6K controller from Compumotor. A 10BaseT Ethernet connection is typical. But two serial ports, an RS-232 and an RS-422 or 485, can also be used.

The touchscreen interface lets users set control parameters such as distance or velocity with the touch of a button. Parameters can then be stored on 8-Mbyte Flash-memory disks and downloaded to other 6K controllers. The display memory stores over 70 preconfigured motion panels. When connected to a 6K controller, the display automatically detects the controller configuration (two, four, six, or eight-axis system) and loads the appropriate panel.

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