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IPC option for software based multi-axis motion control system

21 March 2012

Aerotech has launched an industrial computer option for its A3200 Automation Platform software based multi-axis motion and automation control system. The industrial grade A3200-PC computer is available in both panel mount and 19in rack formats (4U or 1U) with Windows 7 or XP PRO operating systems and with processing power and memory to match the users application. Optional hardware peripherals include additional FireWire, USB and serial ports, and dual Ethernet ports.

The computer is supplied as a ready to run solution, pre-installed with the users choice of A3200 software and configured for remote server operation if required. For maximum purchasing flexibility, it is also available complete with monitor, mouse and keyboard options that include an integrated trackball or touchpad.

Aerotech's A3200 Automation Platform harnesses the power of the PC through its Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Composer GUI software components - using the high-speed FireWire (IEEE-1394) network to provide up to 32 axes of decentralised and tightly synchronised motion and machine control. With no performance drop as the axis count increases, the fully deterministic A3200 network handles position, time and velocity commands with machine I/O instruction and status monitoring via dedicated high performance digital servo or microstepping drives.

The powerful motion and machine controller includes individual modules for vision, PLC, robotics and I/O with extensive tools for program development and machine commissioning - in one unified programming environment. Optional advanced modules are available that provide much improved precision and faster move and settle times that are fundamentally required for the high throughput and high precision motion control called for by today's most demanding automation applications.

Programming capability is extremely flexible with both development and runtime environments supporting native RS-274 G-code, AeroBASIC, C, C++, VisualBASIC or LabVIEW.  The Motion Controls Toolbox includes enhanced performance options including 5-axis contouring and interfacing controls to peripheral motion devices such as galvo scanners to provide high precision galvo and positioning system synchronisation for applications such as large area laser scanning or micromachining.

The Motion Composer options include sophisticated but simple-to-use tuning tools with iterative learning capabilities that improve path accuracy and settling times, and GUI based algorithms that remove or moderate undesirable harmonic effects and boost dynamic performance.  Motion Composer options also include the MotionPAC PLC runtime and development environment which offers IEC61131, PLCopen and .NET compliant programming with the potential for a 30% to 50% reduction in development time for PLC automation that requires advanced motion control.

Aerotech's capability includes the design and manufacture of precision mechanical systems which are combined with advanced motion controls such as the A3200 Automation for complete motion sub-systems that form the important enabling positioning system technology for today's demanding industrial and research applications. Aerotech motion sub-systems are characterised by sub-micron and nanometre level precision together with exceptional levels of dynamic performance - plus the ability for users to develop and produce their products and applications both quickly and cost-effectively.

The A3200 Automation Platform is used extensively for individual automation system integration and multi-axis micropositioning based research projects as well as by OEMs for production machinery and test equipment in semiconductor & electronics, laser welding & micromachining, MEMS & sensors, medical and biotechnology, nanotechnology, automated packaging systems and many more.


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