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Servo-based motion control systems have traditionally been categorized into two types: centralized or distributed. Centralized systems use dedicated motion control cards that account for all aspects of the system including servo commands, motor feedback and I/O to close all control loops while simultaneously running complex programs that plan motion profiles and maintain machine operations. Increasing the number of axes involved places an ever increasing burden on the processing power of the DSP quickly making the system unmanageable simply due to scalability.
AMC’s EtherCAT Servo Drive Family
In distributed systems, motion commands are less complicated since the drives close the velocity and/or position loops internally leaving the controller to focus on motion profiling, planning and associated I/O. However, limitations arise as communications speed may be the limiter of some specific motion and machine requirements. Even though systems can be made to be deterministic, the ability to keep up with demand can also be a challenge, even for simple machine tools…