Automation Intelligence sees PC-based future for motion control

Because they don't require hardware platforms, PCs will become the main platform for motion control and allow manufacturers to focus on adding value to software, says George Kaufman, president and ceo of Automation Intelligence (Roswell, Ga.), which is part of Japan-based Sanyo Denki.

By Staff January 1, 2000

Because they don’t require hardware platforms, PCs will become the main platform for motion control and allow manufacturers to focus on adding value to software, says George Kaufman, president and ceo of Automation Intelligence (Roswell, Ga.), which is part of Japan-based Sanyo Denki. “As the market shifts from a hardware to software focus, newer companies without an established hardware base to support have an advantage,” added Mr. Kaufman, during a Nov. 17 interview here with Control Engineering editors.

A fast network connection between controller and drives is required for PC-based control solutions to compete with proprietary hardware solutions. SErial Realtime COmmunication System (SERCOS), a communication network specific to motion control, provides that connection and serves primarily as a digital interface for communication between control systems and drives. Information from the SERCOS interface interest group (Bonn, Germany) is available at www.sercos.org .

Mr. Kaufman believes Automation Intelligence is the first to offer servo products for sale online, targeting distributors’ sales. Recently introduced Automation Intelligence products include:

  • AML, reported to be the first software-only motion controller, available for a Microsoft Windows NT-based PC with a Sanyo Denki SMI-PCI interface card. It controls up to 32 SERCOS-compatible servo drives and I/O modules;

  • AML software-only motion controller for Sanyo Denki’s miniature factory-hardened SMS-10 standalone controller; and

  • PC Indexing Servo System with DeviceNet.

For more information, visit www.motiononline.com or www.controleng.com/freeinfo .