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Dual-format motion controls can handle up to 128 axes

06 July, 2017

Omron and its US subsidiary, Delta Tau Data Systems (DT), have collaborated to develop a range of programmable multi-axis controllers (PMACs) in both standalone and PC-based formats. The PMACs, which can control up to 32 axes in the standalone format and 128 axes in the PC format, allow users to program their own motion algorithms and motion control functions – such as trajectory calculations and position compensation – in C and other programming languages.

The EtherCat-based controllers incorporate motion control technologies developed by Delta Tau, which Omron acquired in 2015.

The standalone CK3E PMACs offer 250µs cycle times and built-in EtherCat master functions. They are available for eight, 16 or 32 axes and come with 1GB each of DDR3 and Flash memory. They are designed for flexible system configuration and high-speed synchronous control of automation devices connected via EtherCat. The 28.6mm-wide modules are said to save space in machines and control panels.

Omron's CK3E (left) and NY51-A (right) programmable multi-axis motion controllers can handle up to 128 axes

The NY51-A industrial PC-based controllers can control up to 128 axes and support multitasking of Windows applications and customised motion control functions, such as kinematics and position compensation. They are based in Intel Core i7 processors and have 8GB of RAM. They run 32- or 64-bit versions of Windows Embedded 7 and use Hypervisor software to ensure uninterrupted machine control even if Windows crashes.

Omron says that the multi-axis controllers offer sophisticated fine-tuning control, including high-speed synchronous control of factory automation devices. One target market is machine-builders who are looking for globally available motion controllers as an alternative to producing their own board-based controllers that are costly to develop and maintain. Another target market is manufacturers of robotic equipment who need robust, reliable controllers that can execute customised motion control functions. Robot kinematic functions are built into the PMACs.

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