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Article | March 5, 2013
Aerotech, Inc: Stand-alone, multi-axis motion control for laboratories
Using up to 4 axes of brush, stepper, or brushless AC motors, Aerotech’s new Ensemble LAB motion control platform makes it easy to automate laboratory and light industrial manufacturing applications using a full-color touch-screen display with an intuitive menu-driven interface.
Ensemble LAB’s touch-screen provides deep contrast and readability, while the intuitive tabbed interface provides single press access to all setup and operation screens. An integral rubberized front-panel interface provides immediate tactile feedback for jogging and manual positioning operations. A front-panel USB port is available for connection of a keyboard and other peripherals to assist in the creation of complex program sequences. The Ensemble LAB includes full compatibility with both EPICS and TANGO distributed control protocols, and is programmed in an easily readable BASIC-like syntax. It is programmed off-line with a graphical user interface in Windows, featuring an intuitive Program Editor, Variable Output window, Compiler Output window and Task State monitor. After the programs are developed and tested they can be downloaded and stored on the controller for future use. The company’s MPS series stages support the Ensemble LAB’s FlashConfig feature, which stores all of the parametric information required to operate the stage on the stage itself. The stage is automatically identified and all operational parameters including axis calibration data are uploaded into the Ensemble LAB ensuring safe, accurate “plug-and-play” operation. FlashConfig provides flexibility for laboratory environments where systems are often reconfigured to meet changing application requirements.
The platform can run up to 4 programs simultaneously for easy partitioning of complex operation. It uses the processing power of a 64-bit, double precision, floating-point DSP for applications such as point-to-point motion, linear and circular interpolation, single- and multi-axis error correction, direct commutation of linear and rotary brushless servomotors, and servo autotuning. High-speed interrupts and data logging capabilities provide a real-time link to external systems. Ensemble LAB also offers high-speed position latching capability and optional single-axis PSO (Position Synchronized Output).
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