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Single-axis motion controller operates autonomously

02 March, 2009

Mitsubishi has announced a single-axis motion controller for demanding movement sequences in applications such as packaging. The MR-MQ100 controller supports synchronisation with other processes and can operate without an external PLC.

The controller (shown above with a servo amplifier and motor), is designed to be used with Mitsubishi’s MR-J3-B servo amps and can control them at high speeds with great precision, simultaneously synchronising movements with an external master encoder or virtual axis. As well as point-to-point positioning, the controller can be used for complex movement sequences and incorporates four high-speed digital inputs for registration mark identification, as well as two digital outputs.

The controller is connected to the amplifier via the high-speed optical SSCNET III (Servo System Controller Network), which supports data rates of up to 50Mbit/s and bus cycle time of 0.44ms. Other controllers and PCs can be connected directly via a built-in Ethernet port.

The controller is programmed using Mitsubishi’s MT Developer2 software that includes tools for installation, monitoring, maintaining and troubleshooting complete motion control systems, including servo amplifiers and motors. Complex movement sequences can be planned on-screen and the software includes configurable modules for elements such as electronic couplings, transmissions and cams. These can replace mechanical components and be integrated in the mechanical model by adding graphical symbols to the main axis.

The controller can also be programmed using the SFC (Sequential Function Chart) language, which represents movement functions in a graphical flow diagram with a hierarchical structure that makes it easy to describe each step in detail.

The software comes with a function library that includes application-specific modules such as flying saw, rotating blade and labeller, making it easier and quicker to program complex movements for applications such as machining, conveyor systems and packaging systems.

The controller is designed to work with Mitsubishi’s latest servo drives, which incorporate functions such as automatic motor identification, real-time auto-tuning and vibration suppression, that allow rapid installation and configuration of stable systems with short rise times. During operation, the real-time auto-tuning adjusts the control parameters continuously, based on the current mechanical conditions, providing dynamic control, even with fluctuating loads. The vibration suppression system attenuates vibrations in the drive train automatically and helps to avoid resonance problems.

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