Episode #2: The Basics Of A Motion Control System

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The Motion Control Show

You may be wondering what the main components are that you need to make a motion control system.  What are the minimum number of components you need?  

The end goal is for you to move your mechanics.  That's what makes your system work.  That's what you actually want.  The mechanics don't have any sort of way of moving.  They don't have motors on them.  We need to add some motors to turn the mechanics or move the mechanics.  Sometimes you have to have a gearhead between the motor and the mechanics; that's just part of the mechanical and motor sizing.  But, we have to have a power source, a drive we call it.  It's really an amplifier, the same thing as an amplifier on a stereo.  It's the power source that powers motors.  But, the drives are dumb…usually.  They're not very intelligent.  They have to have some brains to them and that's what the controller is or a PLC, a programmable logic controller.  That's the brains of the system.

We might have some sensors on the mechanics.  They provide us some sort of feedback back from the mechanics a lot like your fingers, ears, or eyes do, that tells the controller what's going on the mechanical end.  

One other component that is possibly needed is a human-to-machine interface (HMI) or a computer, a PC, or a touchscreen computer.  Sometimes you only need that controller to be programmed so you just have a laptop.  But, other times you may want to change some variables such as speeds, locations or recipes and that's where the HMI comes in.  The controller is what controls the outputs and it gets the inputs back in there; that's the I/O for the controller.  

Those are the five main components you need for a motion control system: the mechanics, the motors, the drive, the controller, and the HMI or computer.  I hope that helps!

Contact Valin today for more information at (855) 737-4716, or fill out our online form.