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Master controllers – ZUB Motion Control

01 October 2019

maxon are known for producing controllers, the ESCON, which is a 4-quadrant speed controller and the EPOS, a digital positioning controller. With the acquisition of ZUB Machine Control AG in 2017, the portfolio of products has now expanded to include master controllers.

The ESCON is a speed and current controller that is commanded by analog and digital signals, and the EPOS is a CANOpen slave, that requires a master controller via a variety of communication protocols, including CAN, EtherCAT, USB and RS232. Both models require some form of communication, whether it be a simple 24v enable signal for the ESCON, or data exchange from a higher-level controller such as a PLC for the EPOS. This can all be achieved with the use of a master control system from ZUB.

The core of the ZUB product range are master control solutions which offer the following: 

• Single & Multi-Axis Positioning Systems
• Drive Synchronisation 
• CAN & EtherCAT Networking (as standard. Various fieldbus interfaces available on request)
• Standard & OEM Solutions in Drive Technology
• Cost Effective Solutions.

The three main ZUB products are:


The MiniMACS is a compact controller which is fully programmable and is suited for less complex applications. 

Key facts:
• Controls up to 3 axes
• Offers CANOpen master functionality as its standard fieldbus interface, for drives, frequency converters, and I/Os
• USB and Ethernet available for PC, PLC or visualisation
• Offers an analog option, can control up to 3 servo controllers with a 10v signal, such as the ESCON servo controller
• Features an encoder input (incremental)
• DIN Rail and mounting flange versions available


The MACS5 is a flexible product range offering high performance, with various add-ons being available, such as up to 6 encoder inputs and integrated amplifiers. 

Key facts:
• Controls up to 6 axes
• Offers CANOpen and EtherCAT Master/Slave functionality 
• Offers expandable memory with use of SD-Card
• Integrated amplifier available which can run the following:
   o 6 DC / 4 EC (BLDC) / 3 Stepper Motors
   o Max output currents of 8A (continuous) and 30A (intermittent)
   o PWM Frequency of 48kHz
• Offers up to 6 encoder inputs 
   o 6 Digital Incremental
   o 3 SSI Absolute
   o 3 Analog Incremental (SIN/COS)
• DIN Rail and mounting flange versions available


The MasterMACS offers the highest computing power and offers a range of bus interfaces as standard, typically used in highly sophisticated and dynamic motion control applications. 

Key facts:
• Supports up to 32 axes
• CANOpen Master/Slave, EtherCAT Mater, EtherCAT Slave, Standalone with APOSS win, all offered as standard bus interfaces
• Profinet available on request
• Offers expandable memory with use of SD-Card
• Sampling rate of 1kHz for PID positioning controller with speed and acceleration feed-forward control
• Offers 1 encoder input (Incremental)
• DIN Rail and mounting flange versions available

Motion features

The MACS controller range offer a sophisticated range of motion features, including the following:

• Trapezoidal
• Jerk Limited
• Synchronous Travel
• Defined Path
• Kinematics



The APOSS IDE is a windows-based tool for programming and networking for a range of fieldbus interfaces and is also used for testing with its integrated functionality and analysing existing solutions.

• Editor (with syntax highlighting)
• State machine support
• Debugging
• Advanced help
• Interactive editors for ease of use – including CAM, Array, Path Editor
• Oscilloscope functionality to allow a wide range of data to be recorded for analysis 
• Advanced firmware management


The APOSS win allows easy implementation of highly complex motion control applications. 

The programming language is similar to that of a high-level language, such as C, however it is more suited towards motion control with an extended range of commands.

Typical applications

The following are typical applications which are suited towards the MACS product range:
• Positioning
• Synchronous Feeding
• Sawing
• Labelling
• Path Control
• Storage
• Winding
• Pipetting and Dosing
• Measuring Machines


The ZUB team, located in Rothenburg, Switzerland consist of highly experienced application engineers who are more than happy to develop an application for you based on your requirements, this is subject to a feasibility study and NRE costs. In addition to this, the team offer introductory training courses for customers who are looking to understand more about: Connectivity, initialisation, parameter configuration, oscilloscope functionality, APOSS programming, state machine programming, CAN/EtherCAT integration, and additional features such as CAM editor, path editor, WebServer etc. 


The integration of ZUB Machine Control AG within the maxon group has helped to expand our capabilities to now include master control systems. If you have any enquiries or applications you wish to discuss, please feel free to contact Amir Janjua on 01189 733337 or

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