High-performance multi-axis controllers for the challenging and dynamic positioning and synchronization of servo and asynchronous motors

Motion controllers

High-performance multi-axis controllers for the challenging and dynamic positioning and synchronization of servo and asynchronous motors.

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Successfully handling challenging motion control applications and highly dynamic drive synchronization for multi-axis systems is in the DNA of zub machine control AG. At the end of 2017, zub joined the maxon group to complement maxon’s 50 years of experience in positioning control.
The multi-axis motion controllers are freely programmable and available with or without integrated power stages. The MACS controllers are suitable for more complex tasks like multi-axis positioning and synchronization, right through to controlling kinematics. The license-free ApossIDE automation software (written in C) provides the necessary flexibility. A smart oscilloscope for exact data recordings, a graphical curve editor for path trajectories, and hierarchical state machines are some of the features offered by ApossIDE. Currently, the EtherCAT, Ethernet, and CANopen interfaces are supported.

Typically, the MACS devices are suitable for customized control solutions in the manufacture of devices, plant, and machinery. The compact controllers are also used in mobile devices or in lightweight robotics.

On request, experienced engineers support customer projects from the preliminary study through to commissioning. zub machine control AG offers tailored and application-specific solutions, whether hardware or software for specific applications, or consulting and development services.


Examples of applications where our motion controllers are used

For high-precision positioning, accurate to the millimeter

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The production of accurate components requires highly precise tools and regular checking of these tools. Calibration devices for tool checking must provide to-the-millimeter positioning accuracy, and at the same time provide the flexibility for manual interventions. The parallel processing of encoder signals from the output and motor side for each axis permits smooth motor action without any controller jumps. Manual decoupling and mechanical backlash or slippage is automatically detected and compensated. By referencing the end position to the output-side encoder, an absolute accuracy of better than 1 micrometer is achieved.

Absolute, highly exact position detection in tool checking devices is achieved with glass-scale linear encoders with a 20-micrometer sin/cos period and a resolution of 256 increments. This output-side measurement system can be decoupled from the drive via a special gearhead (even during the motion) to enable the operator to move the measurement head manually. The actual control takes place primarily via a rotary encoder which is mounted directly on the motor shaft. For exact target positioning, the signals of the glass-scale linear encoders are processed in parallel by the control system.

The parallel processing of encoder signals from the output and motor side for each axis permits smooth motor action without any controller jumps. Manual decoupling and mechanical backlash or slippage is automatically detected and compensated. By referencing the end position to the output-side encoder, an absolute accuracy of better than 1 micrometer is achieved.
Signals for the intermediate storage of position data (latching) allow the exact assignment in real time of the external image processing (the trigger). This permits fast and efficient data sampling, while the tool is in continuous motion.
Processing and position control using various parallel encoder systems is just one discipline perfectly mastered by the motion control modules from zub machine control AG.

 

PDF - MiniMACS6 data sheet

Processing 100,000 magazines per hour

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Have you ever asked yourself how inserts are placed in magazines and stickers are affixed with perfect precision? In the running production process, each newspaper in the conveyor flow is detected by sensors. Intelligent drive controllers automatically calculate the required motion profile and starting time for feeding in the different elements. Advertising inserts or labels are accelerated automatically so that they reach the newspaper at the exact same speed and in the right position.
 

Ferag AG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of postpress systems. Up to 100,000 magazines or newspapers per hour are produced from the endless paper flow of rotary printing presses. Using the Ferag systems, the individual printed sheets are automatically collated, stapled, and trimmed, any inserts are added, the finished newspapers and magazines are bundled for selling, and ink jet addresses or address labels are added to individual copies for postal dispatch. In the running production process, each newspaper in the conveyor flow is detected by sensors. Intelligent drive controllers automatically calculate the required motion profile and starting time for feeding in the different elements. Advertising inserts or labels are accelerated automatically so that they reach the newspaper at the exact same speed and in the right position. The newspaper is neither stopped nor slowed down on the conveyor belt. Each component added to the feeding process must be oriented to the material flow of the newspaper. This is called cycle-synchronous feeding. At the maximum production rate, there are just 27 milliseconds per copy for one cycle. In that time, a so-called electronic cam for driving the feeding system is calculated and executed in real time. The Ferag AG systems rely on drive controllers from zub machine control AG to guarantee a continuous process with maximum performance and precision. Cam synchronization is calculated in real time, and is just one discipline perfectly mastered by the motion control modules and software of zub AG.

 

PDF - MasterMACS data sheet

For a well-organized warehouse

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Many hospitals and pharmacies use specialized smaller-scale automated storage and picking systems for managing their pharmaceutical stocks. In these systems, high-precision transport of the goods is very important. Automatic optimization of transport routes and the ability to change target positions at any time increase the performance of such systems.

KNAPP Smart Solutions GmbH is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of automated picking machines for pharmacies. Its systems automatically record drugs, place them in storage, and, at the request of the pharmacist, reliably convey them to the counter within seconds. During storage, the pharmaceutical packagings are gripped by a gripper and aligned in position, the product code is scanned, and the pack size is measured. The robot uses its state-of-the-art software for optimum placement of the individual packages in the extremely compact internal shelf system. When the pharmacist requests a drug, the same process takes place in reverse order. The automatic system makes the desired product available again reliably. The gripper system is driven by controllers and servo amplifiers from zub machine control AG. The grippers can grip the packs gently using software-based torque monitoring, align them, measure their size, and move them without damaging them. The drugs are perfectly guided on the way into storage and out to the counter using digital position control, and are always deposited exactly at the destination. Position and torque control is just one discipline perfectly mastered by the motion control modules of zub AG.

 

PDF - MiniMACS data sheet

Kinematics and other motion control applications

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zub motion controllers support the synchronization of several axes in a 2- or 3-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. Various kinematic models are available, for example a SCARA or DELTA model.
Motion controllers from zub also support traditional kinematics like Cartesian systems (X, Y, Z), SCARA, and delta, or on request also your customized kinematics. Comprehensive positioning and synchronization tasks are initiated by simple ApossIDE commands [e.g. AxisPosAbsStart(); AxisPosRelStart(); SyncPos(); SyncVel();] and are independently processed in the background.

Jerk-limited positioning
Profile motion with limited jerking. Jerk limiting can be individually defined for all four acceleration phases. Jerk-limited motion can also be changed dynamically during the motion.

Cam profiles
Each axis can travel along its own cam profile. Cam profiles can be combined in any way desired and dynamically calculated. Cam segments can be splines, polynomials up to the fifth order, or straight lines.

Path motion
Path motion can be performed with constant or maximum path speed, for any number of axes.

Synchronization tasks
Axis motion with synchronization to a master axis, position synchronization, speed synchronization, or position synchronization with marker correction. Each axis can be synchronized to a different master.

On request, experienced engineers can support customer projects from the preliminary study through to commissioning. zub machine control AG offers tailored and application-specific solutions, whether hardware or software for specific applications, or consulting and development services.

 

PDF - MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10-IF1 data sheet

Consulting and development

Our engineers have many years of experience in developing controllers and applications. With their application-oriented thinking, they are able to quickly understand and efficiently implement practical requirements. zub machine control AG provides support at all stages, from programming customized application solutions to commissioning. Intensive collaboration on OEM development projects ensures a continuous, permanent transfer of know-how and cooperation, based on partnership. This greatly reduces development risks and potential misunderstandings, encourages agile approaches, and shortens development periods. Direct communication with the technical contacts is actively promoted by the company. Customers of zub machine Control AG can expect high core competence in the area of multi-axis motion control, as well as extensive application experience in drive technology.


Customized intelligent control electronics

MiniMACS

The MiniMACS is a free programmable low-cost Multi Axis Controller without amplifiers. This controller handles up to 3 Axis and offers interfaces like CAN, Ethernet and USB for the individual integration in your machine concept.

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MasterMACS

The MasterMACS is a free programmable high performance Motion Controller without Amplifiers. This controllers offers hard real time behaviour an calculates up to 32 axis with high precision for positioning or synchronisation. A lot of interfaces like EtherCAT Master/Slave, Ethernet, 2 x CAN, RS232 etc. make its easy to integrate it into your drive concept.

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MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10

The MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10 is a free programmable Motion Controller with four BLDC Amplifiers. Each of those amplifiers offers 540W continuous- and 1.62 kW peak power to drive powerful drives.

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MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10-OEM

The MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10-OEM is a free programmable Motion Controller with four BLDC Amplifiers. Each of those amplifiers offers 540W continuous- and 1.62 kW peak power to drive powerful drives. This OEM Variant without the housing is suitable for integrated solution in device construction.

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MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10-IF1 EtherCAT

The MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10-IF1 EtherCat is a free programmable Motion Controller with an integrated EtherCAT Slave option card and four BLDC Amplifiers. Each of those amplifiers offers 540W continuous- and 1.62 kW peak power to drive powerful drives.

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MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10-IF1 Ethernet

The MiniMACS6-AMP-4/50/10-IF1 Ethernet is a free programmable Motion Controller with an integrated Ethernet option card and four BLDC Amplifiers. Each of those amplifiers offers 540W continuous- and 1.62 kW peak power to drive powerful drives.

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ApossIDE – the license for free programming

ApossIDE (Integrated Development Environment) is comprehensive and license-free automation software for application-oriented programming of all multi-axis controllers from zub. This tool is used for programming, testing, and debugging the motion control functions of all MACS devices. ApossIDE has a similar syntax to the widespread C programming language, which makes it easy to learn. ApossIDE assists the effective programming of drive solutions and has been expanded to include highly powerful commands. Even extremely complex positioning and synchronization functions can be triggered with simple commands.

These commands run fully autonomously, as background tasks. Contrary to typical PLC systems, interrupt functions allow for fast real-time reactions that are processed directly in the firmware, independent of the cycle time. Using MACS controllers with the ApossIDE development environment offers great added value for users. With ApossIDE, all MACS components can be programmed freely and flexibly. This allows drives to accurately execute the motion profiles demanded by the application. Faster results and significantly reduced development times thus provide a critical competitive edge.

Structured working with state machines:
The development of extensive software systems requires a structured and modular approach. It is essential to have an appropriate system architecture, including the system components plus the interfaces to subsystems and to the system environment. ApossIDE makes it possible to create programs using hierarchical state machines, enabling the development of comprehensive applications that are well structured, easy to understand, and maintenance-friendly. Several state machines can be called up and processed in parallel.

 

Download ApossIDE automation software at Downloads/Software/Firmware

Contact

maxon motor uk ltd

Maxon House, Hogwood LaneFinchampsteadBerkshire, RG40 4QWUnited Kingdom
+44 (0) 1189 733337
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