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Better by Design: Compact controller

March 1, 2012
Moore's Law is at it again: Single-axis Ethernet motion controllers abound, but one new unit combines high-performance controls with an 800-W sine drive

Moore's Law is at it again: Single-axis Ethernet motion controllers abound, but one new unit combines high-performance controls with an 800-W sine drive in an impressively small, cost-effective package. The 125-µsec servo-loop update time is twice as fast as earlier single-axis controllers — and the 15-MHz encoder frequency and 3-MHz stepper pulse output are 25% faster. Called the DMC-300xx Pocket Motion Controller Series, this new offering from Galil Motion Control Inc., Rocklin, Calif., is also available as a controller-only model that can be connected to a stepper or servo motor amplifier of any power range.

When packaged with the fully digital, transconductance motor amplifier, the setup is suitable for driving brushless servomotors at 20 to 80 Vdc, to 10 A continuous, 15 A peak. Torque ripple is minimized because sinusoidal (rather than trapezoidal) commutation is employed — valuable for applications using low-friction linear motors. Commands for initializing the brushless motor occur via hall sensors or encoder feedback.

“The DMC-300xx also provides two 100Base-T Ethernet ports, which can be daisy-chained,” says Lisa Wade of Galil. “This allows multiple units to be connected without the use of an Ethernet hub.”


On display: DMC-300xx controller

Key features: Optically isolated inputs and outputs are standard; I/Os include forward and reverse limit, homing, and eight uncommitted digital inputs; four uncommitted digital outputs, two uncommitted analog inputs, and one uncommitted analog output. Position feedback is accepted from both a main and auxiliary encoder. Quadrature encoder feedback is standard with BiSS and SSI formats available as an option. A 115 kb RS232 port is also provided.

What it means to you: A faster, more efficient controller with a 32-bit RISC processor and improved power technology in a compact 3.9 × 5.0 × 1.5-in. package — for single-axis motor control applications

What else: PID compensation with velocity and acceleration feedforward, non-volatile memory for user programs, multitasking for simultaneously running up to four programs, and I/O processing for synchronizing motion with external events. Modes of motion include point-to-point positioning, position tracking, jogging, contouring, electronic gearing, ECAM, and PVT. Controller and 800-W drive unit is $695 or $445 in quantities of 100; the DMC-30010 controller-only unit is $295 in 100 quantities.

Innovator: Galil Motion Control Inc. • (800) 377-6329 •

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