Machinedesign 2147 Smart Controller 0 0

Save time with motion controllers

Aug. 4, 2008
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.

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 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.

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