Hardware / software package for machine automation

Advantech’s new AMAX Series of machine automation solutions
By Control Engineering Staff November 15, 2007

Advantech’s new AMAX Series of machine automation solutions consists of multiple modules and integrated, embedded software, including a Master Module (AMAX-2050KW), Motion Slave Modules, (AMAX-221X), DAQ Slave Modules (AMAX-27XX), and software

“AMAX-2050KW makes it easy for engineers to create and deploy reliable and deterministic applications through one complete programmable automation controller in multiple domain applications,” said Mars Huang, product manager of industrial I/O modules at Advantech. “Although many industrial automation companies have released excellent components for machine automation applications in the past, rarely has one company launched such a complete hardware and software package at one time.”

The Master Module is a Pentium III grade platform with an onboard AMONet controller and a fanless and diskless design. With its AMONet master port it can control up to 2048 I/O points and 64 axes. The module also includes one LAN and dual USB interfaces, and two RS-232 and one RS-422/485 communication port with automatic flow control. Slave modules are used to increase the number of axes for an AMONet RS-485 distributed motion control network. AMONet RS-485 has driver specific motion slave modules to support a range of common motor vendors such as: Mitsubishi J2-Super series, Panasonic Minas A type, and Yaskawa Sigma-II. AMONet RS-485 also supports a general purpose motion slave module for general motor drivers, including step motor drivers.

“Industrial applications require highly stable operating systems to satisfy certain conditions such as real-time functions, system crashes and unpredictable system resets,” said Huang. “Aside from embedded Windows CE support for real-time application requirement both KW Multiprog and PLCopen motion control function blocks are provided for programming control networks with standard languages. KW supports all IEC-61131-3 programmable languages, and engineers need only a one-time design, and then they can easily leverage their programming into different control platforms to meet versatile automation needs. PLCopen is the only global standard for industrial control programming, providing custom function blocks and allowing users to develop with proprietary complex controls.”