The Growing Role Of Motion Control Software In Industrial Automation

Here's one journalist's take on it..
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/robot-04z.html
Comments anyone?
Cameron:-)

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I'm surprised the motion control people use the same kind of PLCs we process control people do. I would have thought a more specialized system like a PAC (programmable automation controller) would have been standard long ago.
Walter.

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Walter Driedger wrote:

Well, keep in mind that this _is_ a journalist speaking, so by definition they've gotten something wrong.
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Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Hehe. My thoughts exactly ;-)
It *does* make the point that PLCs aren't the solution to everything - but I think we all knew that already. Motion control cards for PLCs have been microprocessor-based right from the start - maybe someone needs a new acronym to boost sales?
Cameron:-)
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process
ago.
I don't see where the article said anything new or memorable.
How well PLCs do at motion sequencing is dependent on the programming languages available. Ladder is not the best means of writing motion programs. SFCs and structured text are almost perfect. The motion control itself is usually done by specialized PLC cards or motion modules connected by Ethernet or a field bus. PAC is a name National Instruments made up for their software running on a PC. I don't know of any other company that uses this name. It looks like the original author bought into the marketing hype.
Peter Nachtwey
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Cameron Dorrough wrote:

Interesting. It makes sense. I'm a great advocate of software-based control, but I wouldn't trust a PC farther than I could throw Bill Gates.
If I _were_ going to design a controller for a robot it'd either be based on some sort of PLC (or PAC -- where's a link, Walter?) or it'd be based on custom hardware. If I _did_ use a PC for the actual controller it'd be a deeply embedded one, running a hard RTOS and connected to another PC that would act as the public relations departments for the purposes of communicating with the outside world.
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Tim Wescott
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A trebuchet would help!
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