Aerotech has launched its new MotionPAC PC-based integrated motion and machine controller. The controller combines an industry standard PLC engine with IEC61131-3 programming capabilities, such as sequential function block and structured text programming for I/O event handling, and Aerotech's sophisticated multi-axis motion engine to provide best possible control of moving axes. The system is very flexible and highly customisable and includes programming options such as adding custom function blocks using Microsoft’s .Net Framework, or running AeroBasic programs directly on the controller and interfacing with other interface software such as LabView. Other useful features include the ability to position axes while acquiring high speed digital and analogue data from the controllers inputs, recorded against encoder feedback and ultra-precise output triggering based on encoder position.
MotionPAC will allow users to tightly control multi-axis motion trajectories to within microns using Aerotech's direct-drive positioning mechanics, and with real-time/real position data acquisition from its nanometre level encoder technologies, output position-synchronised pulses to control external events, such as the firing pattern of a laser or precisely timed electronic gearbox functions. All of this is possible using a combination of IEC61131-3 and .Net framework based programming.
The new controller is equipped with a number of sophisticated control algorithms and hardware options that substantially boost machine speeds and accelerations, deliver much improved performance and increase production throughput. These include simple-to-use tools that reduce unwanted harmonic and periodic disturbances, minimise dynamic following errors, increase dynamic accuracy and significantly improve in-position stability. For the first time, these advanced functions have been combined with IEC61131-3 programming to deliver the reliability of a PLC and the flexibility of the PC in one single control solution.