PC-Based EtherCAT Control Solution

Aug. 16, 2011
ACS Motion Control, an international manufacturer of advanced multi-axis motion and machine control systems, has developed an advanced PC-based machine and motion control solution that meets demanding, highperformance motion control requirements while minimizing costs.

Designated the SPiiPlusSC (Soft Controller), the motion control solution features sophisticated motion control software that leverages the processing power of modern PC and the connectivity of a real-time open industrial Ethernet network. The SPiiPlusSC enables a standard PC to run the machine host application, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the SPiiPlusSC real-time motion controller and PLC without adding any hardware.

The SPiiPlusSC control software includes its own real-time operating system, runs on one of the multi-core PC processors, and provides high-speed host to controller communication over shared RAM and virtual TCP/IP. The powerful control solution manages all motor drives and I/O processes using one of the standard Ethernet ports of the PC as the EtherCAT master communication channel. The SPiiPlusSC solution simplifies the connectivity of the entire system by eliminating the dedicated controller hardware.

The SPiiPlusSC is available in two versions: the SPiiPlusSC-HP for complex and performance demanding applications with up to 64 axes; and the SPiiPlusSC-LT, an economical version that addresses the needs of one to eight axes cost sensitive applications. Both versions provide the same uncompromising servo and motion performance and are more cost effective when compared to other solutions that require a dedicated controller unit.

"The SPiiPlusSC motion controller enables the highest motion control performance possible at the lowest price," said Jason Goerges, sales and support manager at ACS Motion Control. "Previously, motion control solutions for demanding applications, such as SMT assembly systems with high volume data transfer needs, were based on a costly dedicated motion controller card that plugs into the PC and communicates to it over PCI or a similar bus. The SPiiPlusSC is a cost effective, state-of the-art replacement for dedicated motion controllers. Because of its direct shared memory access with the host application and inter-processor interrupt capabilities, the SPiiPlusSC provides the fastest possible controller to host communication."

The controller is complemented by a full line of EtherCAT motor drives and I/O modules that can provide thousands I/O points. In addition, the open architecture can support ACS and other vendors qualified EtherCAT components. Programming in both PLCOpen IEC61131-3 languages and the ACSPL+ powerful multi-tasking motion language is fully supported. Full API libraries are also included for Windows based host programming. A full controller simulator allows the user to develop the motion application and front end without any hardware.

The SPiiPlusSC is ideal for demanding applications including SMT assembly systems, semiconductor manufacturing and inspection equipment, FPD manufacturing and inspection, solar panel manufacturing, packaging machines, medical body scanners, robotics, wide format printing and high precision, motion centric machinery.

ACS Motion Control - www.acsmotioncontrol.com

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