Designers and Developers of Motion Control Systems
SensorPlot is a tool that unobtrusively connects to motion control systems allowing users to measure angular/linear position, velocity and acceleration. Operating as a stand-alone instrument, SensorPlot offers
- Real-time measurements of motion independent of the update rate of a particular servo system.
- The ability to monitor individual subsystems or the entire motion control system using the same instrument and analysis tools.
- Measurement of non-motion parameters coupled with the ability to correlate them to motion.
- Sophisticated tools to analyze measurements and diagnose problems.
- Debug capabilities during development and during production.
Many motion control systems are constructed using a variety of products and platforms. Although some of these products may provide their own set of debug tools, none of these subsystems can address the problems of the total system.
SensorPlot allows developers to debug and troubleshoot motion control systems independent of the motion system platform and motion component vendor. Using existing encoders and the step/direction signals of stepper motor drivers, you can measure and display the position, velocity and acceleration of mechanical components in real-time without having to attach additional sensors to your system. The motion sensor inputs of SensorPlot allow you to make accurate measurements at high sampling rates, and have been designed to ensure that SensorPlot does not influence motion commands and servo loops.
SensorPlot substantially reduces your development time
SensorPlot lets you see phenomena you would have otherwise missed
Motion control systems range from the space age surgical articulating arm to the simple conveyor on material handling equipment. They, like other systems, must make the progression from concept and design to assembly and integration. This process usually involves:
- confirming functionality (Is it operating as designed?),
- verifying performance (How well does it operate?),
- identifying the cause of problems.
|Confirm Functionality: || |
- Are the components of the system actually moving as commanded?
- Are the actuators, lifts and motors engaging at the desired positions/times?
- How repeatable is the motion?
- How coordinated is the motion?
|Verify Performance: || |
- How well did the components in motion (arms, levers...) follow the commanded profile?
- Are the process and control components moving as smoothly as the servo controller is reporting?
- What is the maximum velocity achievable?
- Is the process repeatable run to run for various product recipes?
|Find Problems: || |
- Are there anomalies you were not aware of:
- situations where a component is vibrating
- abnormalities in the velocity or acceleration profiles
- stalls or slips caused by different loading conditions
- Are the loops tuned properly?
- Are there slips, overshoots or trajectory errors?
|Monitor Non-motion Parameters || The analog inputs of the SensorPlot can be used to monitor events associated with process equipment that are not necessarily related to motion. For example:|
- monitoring the pressure or flow of liquid in a tube before, during and after a process sequence.
- measuring the voltage on a power source to see if it sags do to overloading.
- measuring the signals actuating valves to verify that events are occurring at the appropriate times and positions.
- identify vibration frequencies and correlate them to rotation.
|Understand components and subsystems of a motion control system: || |
- Command execution times of a controller
- Backlash of a gearbox or transmission component
- Limits of velocity/acceleration of a stepper/servo motor
- Regions of instability or resonance
- How does a controller implement a profile (lookup table, linear interpolation,...)
- Damping factor of mechanical resonance
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