Motion control feedback improves precision, increases uptime

Delta Computer Systems RMCTools software for RMC motion controllers gives machine builders options for more precise closed-loop motion control and more reliable operation in rugged environments. It can connect to redundant sensors, gather feedback from multiple sensors, and mathematically generate feedback inputs to control loops.

November 25, 2013

Delta Computer Systems RMCTools software (supporting the company’s RMC motion controller products) has been enhanced to give machine builders new options for enabling more precise closed-loop motion control and more reliable operation in rugged environments. New options include built-in support for connecting to redundant sensors, and support for gathering feedback information from multiple sensors of different types, as well as the ability to mathematically generate feedback inputs to control loops.

Redundant feedback support is useful for applications where avoiding unplanned maintenance is critical, including those in environments where sensors are prone to failure – particularly machines used in industrial applications where shock and vibration are factors. With this feature, if one of multiple feedback sensors fails, the system can switch to another feedback sensor “on the fly” and continue to function and produce without disruption. The user has full flexibility in defining the logic by which the feedback is selected, permitting the implementation of various types of redundancy methods.

Alternately, the ability to switch between feedback inputs from sensor devices that respond differently to different parameter value ranges is especially useful when an application requires multiple sensors to get the needed resolution within various parameter ranges.  With this new control software feature, RMC motion controllers can switch between feedback sensors on the fly in position, speed and pressure control applications. Axes so defined for feedback switching use an internal count register for input rather than a direct connection to a physical input, allowing for flexibility in determining how that register is updated. Example applications using this feature include testing pressure over several different ranges in the oil and gas industry, and load cell testing of weigh scales in the aerospace and automotive industries.

The ability to mathematically generate sensor values as input to motion control loops is useful for materials test applications where specific motion profiles are needed, or where feedback processing such as linearization is to be performed upstream from the control loop to produce a desired response.

The alternative to having the above functions built into the motion control software repertoire is to require time intensive custom software development and in some cases costly external hardware to implement the functions, the company said.

Steve Nylund, Delta’s CEO, said, “Feedback switching and the ability to incorporate custom feedback into motion control systems enables more flexibility, reliability and precision allowing customers to more easily meet their core test or production goals.”

Delta Computer Systems supplies motion controllers, color sensors, and other industrial products that enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators to build better machines.

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

Delta Computer Systems – Servo Hydraulic Motion Control 

Link to other Control Engineering motion control products.