Cimetrix eliminates need for intelligent motion cards

Salt Lake City, Ut. - Cimetrix Inc. announced October 23 the introduction of CODE 6 (Cimetrix Open Development Environment version 6) with Core Motion technology.


Salt Lake City, Ut. - Cimetrix Inc. announced October 23 the introduction of CODE 6 (Cimetrix Open Development Environment version 6) with Core Motion technology. CODE 6 is a personal computer (PC) based motion control software package said to eliminate the need for intelligent motion cards, reducing hardware costs by up to 50%. This enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to control a wide range of intensive motion applications while offering flexibility in hardware selection, development environments, and system architecture.

'Proprietary controller architectures are inflexible and offer inferior development environments,' states Dave Faulkner, executive vice president and managing director of motion control products. 'We have several customers currently running CODE 6 with Core Motion in the field. They would only be able to do this because customer-developed algorithms can be integrated into the software. CODE 6 with Core Motion technology provides our customers with a cost-effective solution and allows for flexibility, better performance, and more programming choices than proprietary controllers.'

Historically, machinery OEMs migrating from proprietary controllers to PC-based motion control software had to use an intelligent motion card to augment the lack of PC performance. With the increasing power of PCs, Cimetrix's engineers utilizing Core Motion technology have moved the motion card functionality onto the PC, allowing for a direct connection from the PC to amplifiers and feedback devices. This enables the PC software to control trajectory generation, position loop, velocity loop, input/output scanning, and event generation at the servo rate.

In discussions with Control Engineering editors, Mr. Faulkner noted, 'We are addressing needs of OEMs with this product. The top two are scalability and potential loss of intellectual property. A distributed control solution based on standard technologies enables OEMs to grow their systems from smaller to larger systems. Keeping all their custom algorithms in C++ functions enables them to maintain key proprietary knowledge. If an OEM goes back to the manufacturer with a problem, the solution often winds up in the standard product and a proprietary competitive advantage is lost. Also, with this solution, OEMs get flexibility by the ability to use analog cards, network drivers, or still use motion cards.'

Cimetrix president and ceo Robert Reback stressed the importance of shrinking the time to market for product development projects. 'Cycle time reduction of 25-30% was realized on projects using CODE software, based on customer-supplied information,' he said. Mr. Reback mentioned the software's ability to do debugging in simulation mode as one example of time efficiency.

Core Motion technology provides the same factory-floor performance as high-end digital signal processing motion cards and is equipped with VenturCom's RTX real-time extensions for Microsoft Windows NT, NT Embedded, or 2000. To provide a connection from the PC to the motion subsystem, Core Motion uses analog interface cards or network connections to the drive amplifiers. Network interfaces include FireWire (IEEE 1394), CANbus, DeviceNet, and Ethernet.

'Cimetrix CODE software continues to support motion cards from ACS, Anorad, Delta Tau, MEI, and Nyquist,' adds Mr. Faulkner. 'Core Motion is the next step in a continual effort to provide OEMs with flexible solutions.'

To supply PC-based motion control software for less sophisticated motion applications, Core Motion will be made a stand-alone product for release in early 2002. This will provide OEMs with a scaleable set of PC-based solutions: from two- to three-axis applications up to vision-triggered 30-axis machines. Core Motion will be programmable in C++, Visual Basic, or programmable logic controller languages.

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