Ormec boosts 'soft motion' control

Rochester, N.Y. - "Soft motion" technology (software-based, open PC-based motion control) received a boost from the Nov. 5, 2001 introduction of ServoWire SM from Ormec.


Rochester, N.Y. - 'Soft motion' technology (software-based, open PC-based motion control) received a boost from the Nov. 5, 2001 introduction of ServoWire SM from Ormec . ServoWire SM offers control of up to eight servo motion axes directly from a standard PC via an IEEE-1394 (Firewire) network.

The method seeks to cut motion system cost and complexity by eliminating the need for proprietary board-level motion controllers and interface hardware, as well as simplifying system wiring. ServoWire SM should have an appeal to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) because they can apply standard Microsoft programming languages (C or C++) and programming/debugging tools (Visual Studio) in their projects. 'ServoWire SM offers an application software development environment that eliminates proprietary motion programming, and makes it easy for developers to program motion, logic, and MMI [man-machine interface] control in a single language.' says Ormec.

Firewire supplies high-speed (200 Mbit/sec) communication between the standard PC and distributed ServoWire SM drives comprising a motion system. Each drive connects directly to the PC running Microsoft Windows NT and VenturCom's real-time extensions (RTX) using an IEEE-1394 communications adapter.

A ServoWire SM system can operate in position, velocity or torque mode. Its servo drives deliver a power range of 0.3-15 kW, continuous output currents of 2.4-60 A rms/phase, and continuous stall torques from 3 to 665 lb-in. (0.32-75 N-m). Various servo-motor topologies are supported in software: brushless dc (rotary and linear), brush-type dc, and voice coil.

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