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How Soft Motion Control Reduces Cost & Time to Market for Industrial Automation
by Dipesh Mukerji, VP Marketing & Strategy
IntervalZero Posted 04/09/2018
Hardware motion control is quite costly and is proprietary in nature due to all the DSP boards and wiring that is required for controlling servo motors and drives. Not to mention what it takes to maintain the hardware itself. What if you could conduct superior precision motion control performance from a PC using software that gives you full access and control of your entire industrial machines? This is what soft motion control software offers. It ensures that your machine automation is seamless and easy to control at a cost effective manner with precision performance, and will save you from proprietary hardware. Here are ways in which software motion control will transform your industrial automation processes.
Replacing hardware with software motion control reduces machine control costs by 25 to 56%. The reason for this is that software doesn’t require the multiple DSP boards that can only service a limited number of servo motors. Further the large wiring / cabling costs needed with hardware motion control boards is completely mitigated. Software motion control can easily control 64 to 100 servo motors and I/O drives all with a singular Ethernet cable and not sacrifice an iota of precision performance.
Using software instead of hardware lifts the restrictions hardware imposes and simplifies product deployment. With pre-tested and pre-existing motion control algorithms that are already integrated into software motion control, it enables manufacturers to get to market faster by building machine controllers instead of programming a motion control mechanism from scratch. You are able to configure motion control settings all on your PC easily, and develop the entire real-time application in Windows. By doing so you will get to market up to 5 times faster with software motion control as compared to hardware.
Hardware vs. Soft Motion Control: Cost and Performance Compared
Motion control software gives you better control of your industrial automation processes due to the fact that software architecture models are far more adaptable to changes in your process or procedures as compared to hardware. For instance when using a manufacturer’s servo motors and drives you’re typically married to their proprietary products. But what if you wanted to mix and match the servo drives of various manufacturers. What do you do then? Software allows for the auto-configuration of an assortment of servo drives and motors from a multitude of manufacturers. Such flexibility and adaptability allow you to scale and adjust your industrial automation process seamlessly and easily and not have to worry about change.
Motion control software makes it easier to integrate protocols or third party applications that are open source. There will not be any vendor lock in or proprietary restrictions due to this integration. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to enhance your processes, networks infrastructure and industrial machine automation architecture by mixing-and-matching the products and services that you desire for motion control without worrying about vendor lock in.
Software motion control is an open and standards-based, software-only solution that streamlines motion control automation. With soft motion, motion control engineers can design, develop and integrate PC-based machine controllers in a “plug-and-play” environment for consolidated, inexpensive and scalable motion control. There is no more complex architecture, no more cabling configurations, no proprietary hardware, and no limits to scalability. Instead, you get better automation and control engineering, at lower cost.