Motion controller optimises multi-axis motion coordination

20 November 2023

Trio Motion Technology has launched a new motion controller based on Intel multi-core processors, running Microsoft Windows alongside Trio’s Advanced Motion-iX core.

The PC-MCAT-2 will give machine builders a control solution that allows easy integration of Windows applications together with advanced motion functionality. 

Trio’s PC-MCAT-2 motion controller with software integration provides powerful execution of Windows applications for enhanced machine control. The motion controller runs Microsoft Windows 10 with a choice of four processors, from Celeron through to a Core i7, as well as up to 256GB solid-state drive memory. To increase machine functionality, PC-MCAT-2 can integrate and control peripheral devices such as camera vision systems or sensors, via its extensive communication port array. Ports include HDMI, USB, serial ports, and general-purpose digital I/O.

The motion controller also enables IoT connectivity, providing a high-speed link from the host machine to a wider factory network, thanks to three Ethernet ports. To enhance network segmentation and bandwidth, each Ethernet port has a separate IP address.

Trio’s PC-MCAT-2 allows a more flexible programming approach by suppling an API library that can be used in Windows applications, communicating to Trio’s advanced Motion-iX core of motion control functionality via a shared memory interface.  This provides a high-speed link to the motion engine and offers flexibility in programming language choice, allowing integration of third-party SDKs and motion for advanced machine control from a single application.

To increase machine productivity and performance, PC-MCAT-2 coordinates up to 64 servo or robot axes with speed and precision. This is achieved with EtherCAT cycle times down to 125µs, 64-bit maths precision, and a motion command execution benchmark of up to 500 lines/msec. 

For maximum motion performance, PC-MCAT-2 applications can be written in Trio’s original programming language, TrioBASIC, or IEC61131 languages with PLCopen. These languages execute on the advanced Motion-iX core, independently of Windows. Using TrioBASIC or IEC61131 allows programmes developed on other Trio controllers to be executed on PC-MCAT-2.

Relying on a single controller can also improve reliability taking away any communication challenges that may develop following commissioning. To ensure durability in the field, the motion controller is protected by a rugged metal casing that improves heat dissipation, and the fanless design removes audible noise and maintenance requirements.  

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