Machine and motion control in a single environment

31 January 2012

Aerotech's A3200 MotionPAC brings together machine control and multi-axis motion control in a single development environment that can include IEC61131-3, PLCopen, .NET, AeroBasic, G-code and many other programming languages.

With easy to use diagnostics, debugging and I/O mapping tools plus automatic memory management and offline program simulation, MotionPAC also allows common tags and variables across languages with its unique Global Tag Database – for advanced motion and automation systems these features combine for simplified commissioning and reduce machine development timescales by as much as 30% to 50%.

The new MotionPAC is a part of Aerotech's Motion Composer development environment for the PC-based A3200 multi-axis motion controller. This 32-axis Windows software based motion and machine controller includes optional modules for HMI, Vision, and I/O as well as many other functions that can be combined with MotionPAC through an easy to use GUI.

These include configuration, status and diagnostics tools in addition to library files and controller level algorithms that reduce move and settling times, eliminate machine resonance, increase contour speeds and accuracy, improve in-position stability and offer many more dedicated functions for increased throughput and improved dynamic performance. For the first time, these advanced functions have been combined with an IEC61131-3 compliant PLC that can also be entirely programmed with .NET, for levels of flexibility not previously available in one single motion and machine control solution.

The A3200 harnesses the high-speed FireWire (IEEE-1394) network to provide from 1 to 32 axes of decentralised motion control, directing tightly synchronised motion and I/O commands to advanced digital servo amplifiers, with no degradation in performance as the axis count increases. Aerotech's motion control capability includes precision mechanics and is characterised by complete motion sub-systems that offer sub-micron and nanometre levels of precision with the high throughput performance required for today's demanding industrial and research applications.

MotionPAC and its close integration with the A3200 allows machine I/O events to be synchronised with advanced motion using industry standard IEC61131-3 and PLCopen formats that include Ladder Diagrams (LD), Function Block Diagrams (FBD) or Structured Text (ST). Users may also choose or combine .NET or AeroBasic to command motion or I/O and create shared tags and variables that are available and referenced by name in all of the A3200 'Motion Composer' tools and other programming languages.

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