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Motion modules simplify multi-axis projects

11 August, 2009

National Instruments has developed a motion control software module which, it claims, will simplify the development of advanced single- and multi-axis applications. It has also developed a series of hardware modules that will extend its CompactRIO PAC (programmable automation controller) to work with hundreds of servo and stepper drives from itself and other vendors.

NI’s SoftMotion module allows motion profiles to be programmed with a high-level, function block API based on PLCopen’s standard motion control library. It includes function blocks for straight line, arc and contour moves, as well as for advanced operations such as electronic gearing and camming. There are also functions for trajectory generation, spline interpolation, position and velocity control, and implementing encoders.

The module, which is an extension of NI’s LabView system, allows engineers to synchronise motion applications with I/O and measurements in the same development environment.

The C Series drive interface hardware modules make it easy to incorporate new or existing motors and drives into motion systems. They perform onboard processing to free up processing power in the controller and to boost performance. The series includes modules with single- and dual-encoder feedback.

The modules also work with NI’s 9144 deterministic Ethernet expansion chassis, which can be used to daisy-chain multiple chassis from a CompactRIO, a NI 3100 industrial controller or a real-time PXI controller, to create distributed motion applications.

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