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25 February, 2021

Configurable control system drives servomotors directly

23 October, 2011

National Instruments has announced a module that allows its configurable CompactRIO control and monitoring system to drive brushless servomotors directly. It is also releasing a range of six three-phase brushless motors optimised for use with the module.

The NI 9502 module (above) allows users to power brushless, stepper or brushed servomotors directly, providing a compact, customisable technology for integrating motion into advanced control, monitoring and test systems. The module can deliver 4A continuously (8A peak) and offers a choice of commutation modes.

The module can also be used to implement custom drive control algorithms at the FPGA (field-programmable gate array) level using NI’s LabView FPGA software, thus eliminating the need for custom firmware from a drive manufacturer. This will allow users to create customised embedded motion applications, because the software will give them access to the motion control algorithms that are traditionally located in drive firmware.

The latest version of NI’s LabView SoftMotion module offers users an expanded set of functions for building custom motion control applications using LabView FPGA. NI says that this will boost productivity when designing motion applications by providing the core building blocks used in most motion applications in an open and easily modified format.

Users can also integrate motion with custom I/O, machine vision and other functions in a more sophisticated way than, for example, simply passing process variables between a smart camera and motion controller. Data can be shared between vision acquisition and motion control loops in hardware, allowing users to push the limits of vision-guided motion, and to solve applications with configurable off-the-shelf hardware that could previously only be accomplished using custom boards.

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