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In this issue of Design Trends: • Technology: Closed Loop Stepper ........................................................... page 1 • New Product: IDM680 EtherCAT .............................................................. page 5 • Product Feature: TMC-3D G-code............................................................ page 6 • Application Solution: Unmanned Underwater Vehicles.......................... page 10
Closed Loop Stepper
Stepper motors have long been the work horse of low power positioning applications. High volume manufacturing has constantly driven down the cost of these fractional HP electric motors. However, the open loop nature of these devices has always labeled them as low performance and hence inferior compared to closed loop servos. This article will attempt to review a few techniques to use the stepper motor in a closed loop fashion. Open Loop Stepper Operation Stepper motors are inherent positioning devices and are a member of the brushless synchronous motor family. They are built in many forms and shapes, power range, step angle, phase count… But the fundamental operation remains the same. A typical motor is constructed as follows: A multi-phase stator generates a rotating electro-magnetic field, while the rotor has many salient teeth. Depending on the rotor construction, stepper motors are permanent magnet, variable reluctance or hybrid based. By energizing the stator coils in the proper sequence, the rotor can be moved to specific locations. Torque production relies on interaction with the motor magnetic field (PM motor), minimal
8 degree 2-phase step motor then provides 200 steps per revolution and has 50 electrical cycles. stepper motors are typically over-sized such that during normal operation there is sufficient margin between worst case load torque and motor torque (often as much 100%). Steps can be further sub-divided to provide more step resolution (not necessarily more precision). In open loop. End Of Move Verification One of the simplest ways to operate a stepper motor in closed loop is to compare the theoretical position that should have been reached based on the number of steps and the actual position PAGE What is not shown on this curve is that there are a couple of speeds where torque drops out (at so-called resonance points). Remember that torque production relies on the angle between the stator and rotor field. there is a transient with some natural frequency. In applications where sufficient margin can not be designed in or where loss of synchronism is detrimental to the application. leading to so-called microstepping.reluctance or a combination of both (hybrid). So a 1. As speed increases there is no more voltage over-head to control current hence the rapid decline in torque at higher speed. The plot below shows the motor position measured with an encoder for a sequence of steps: WWW. this angle is not explicitly controlled and is load dependent. The other limiting factor is of course available DC bus and motor back-EMF. the motor coils are energized such that every electric cycle is sub-divided in 4 steps. position feedback has to be added. In full step mode. the rotor skips over one (or more) electrical cycle(s) and position synchronism is lost. In order to avoid loss of synchronism.COM (805) 504-6177 2 . typically looking like this: If the motor is excited at a resonance frequency. speed curve can be established. The most common solution is addition of an optical incremental encoder. some open loop torque Vs. Regardless of the step sub-divisions. the instability will result in motor stalling. At each step. If the maximum motor torque is not sufficient to overcome the load torque.MOTION-DESIGNS.
the blue line is encoder based position): The black line is the theoretical position and velocity (per the open loop step command). Torque Control The third method of controlling a stepper motor closed loop has been made possible by the availability of cost effective DSPs.that is reached based on the position feedback. A second approach to closed loop operation is to continuously monitor the difference between the position step reference and encoder feedback. not unlike a traditional brushless servo motor. As mentioned before. Once the move is completed. In order to properly commutate a stepper motor like a traditional brushless WWW. Typically the step resolution is much higher then the encoder resolution so the final position error is governed by the encoder resolution.high pole saliency But otherwise it is simply an extremely low cost brushless motor (in all fairness it may not have the mechanical construction that will provide the long life of a true brushless servo motor) . when a difference is detected an additional correction move is made. This allows motor sizing with less margin. If there is a difference in position after the move is completed.high pole count . One important consideration is the step resolution and encoder resolution.… In the example below. a stepper motor is a brushless synchronous motor. velocity position There are many different algorithms that can be used to dynamically compensate once a position error has been detected: .increase the current temporarily . The red line is the actual position from the feedback.adjust the step angle .high torque constant (and backEMF) . Dynamic Position Verification The disadvantage of the previous approach is that the move has to be completed prior to any detection and/or correction of loss of position synchronism. a correction move is made. The key differences are: .COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 3 . a stall condition during the move was corrected dynamically (red line is position reference.MOTION-DESIGNS. This approach is acceptable for point-topoint applications where only the final position is important.increase the pulse rate .
sufficient current loop bandwidth .MOTION-DESIGNS. resulting in a high backEMF. motor current has more room for adjustment. Conclusion Stepper motors can be turned into very cost effective closed loop actuators by the addition of a simple. there should not be a thermal concern.sufficient feedback resolution in order to have sufficient granularity in the electrical angle . a few restrictions must be observed: . Hence the DC bus of the drive will always impose a speed limitation. One physical limitation that can not be overcome is maximum obtainable speed. The same move profile for a closed loop configuration (with torque control) does not pose a problem. WWW. commutation start-up is typically restricted to a phase-align method as Hall sensors are not an available option for stepper motors. for short time duration. This always the motor to be used more efficiently and hence more power is available at the output shaft. Continuous current ratings for stepper motors are based on continuous operation.sufficiently rigid coupling between the motor and feedback Lastly. This move profile leads to stalling. intermittent regimes are allowed during which the peak currents can far exceed continuous current. Unfortunately. Stepper motors are specifically designed to provide high torque with limited current. relatively low cost encoder. Moreover. they can even be transformed into powerful brushless servo motors that provide high torque in a small package. On the other hand. As a brushless servo motor.servo motor. current ratings beyond continuous are not available. so peak regimes are not well defined.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 4 . If the RMS current does not exceed the continuous rating. The first picture is an open loop configuration with velocity 80 rev/s and acceleration is 400 rev/s/s.
Technosoft EtherCAT Drive UNIVERSAL INTELLIGENT DRIVE FOR ROTARY AND LINEAR BRUSHLESS. arithmetic and logic operations. 3rd order PVT (Position. electronic gearing and camming. or by triggering their execution via I/O signals. I/O handling. stepper and brushless rotary or linear motors • CANopen over EtherCAT (CoE) with full support of CiA402 • Various modes of operation: position or speed profiles (trapezoidal. the IDM680 drive offers a flexible and easy to implement solution for a wide range of applications. sine / cosine incremental encoder or sine / cosine absolute encoder with EnDAT protocol (IDM680-8LI-ET).and under-voltage. S-curve). open / closed loop and microstepping (up to 256 µsteps/step) for step motors • Powerful Technosoft Motion Language (TML) instruction set including motion commands. 16. It can operate either as a standard EtherCAT slave using CANopen over EtherCAT (CoE) protocol or it can be programmed to execute complex motion programs directly at drive level. Compatible with EasySetUp and EasyMotion Studio for quick configuration and motion programming at the drive level. linear Halls. axis synchronization • Stand-alone operation with stored motion program • RS-232 serial communication for setup and motion programming • Opto-isolated digital I/O (6 outputs / 5 inputs) • 2 Analog inputs +/. resolver (IDM680-8RI-ET). Velocity.MOTION-DESIGNS. external reference: analog or digital. drive and PLC functionality into a single compact unit. pre-stored in the drive memory. over temperature. This high-performance intelligent servo drive combines motion controller. program flow control. DC BRUSH AND STEP MOTORS The IDM680 drive is a member of Technosoft’s new family of digital intelligent servo drives equipped with an EtherCAT communication interface. control error WWW. Time) and 1st order PT interpolation. short circuit.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 5 . over. FEATURES • Suitable for control of DC brush. This enables the user to reduce a master task by calling complex motion functions. RS422 differential • Position feedback: RS422 differential encoder and digital Halls or absolute SSI encoders (IDM680-8EIET). BiSS encoder (IDM680-8BI-ET) • Power supplies for logic (12-48V) and motor (12-80V) • 8A continuous. I2t.5A peak current • Protection for over current. using the high level Technosoft motion language (TML).10V differential (reference and tacho) • Digital reference inputs: 2nd encoder / step and direction.
eliminating almost all motion specific programming. Although it is not a genuine programming language (like ANSI-C). Nevertheless. it does provide some framework for a common platform Technosoft TMC-3D The TMC-3D is a multi-axis motion controller.MOTION-DESIGNS. capable of generating 3-D paths and commanding up to 8 axes. the other motors in the system need to be controlled by other Technosoft drives. leading to much user interpretation. it does provide a somewhat standard method for multi-axis path definition and is mostly used in machine tool applications.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 6 .Product Feature: TMC-3D G-code Introduction G-code is a popular “programming language” used in Numerical Control. a G-code interpreter is made available within EasyMotion Studio (the IDE for TML programming). All programming is done via TML (Technosoft Motion Language). G-code is often the intermediary between high level CAD/CAM software where parts are designed and the actual machine that cuts the metal. The TMC-3D can power a single motor. G-Code Support The following G and M codes are supported by the interpreter: WWW. Standardization around G-code is not very strict. In order to accommodate standard path planning. This G-code interpreter can translate a G-code sequence into the proper TML commands.
7. In the “Import G-Code file” dialog you can choose between inch and millimeter.#5386. G-code block M60 is converted to M0. The home position parameters are set via #5161 .Remarks: 1. By default this switch is disabled. and the rotation sense. the input line and the polarity. In “Import G-Code file” dialog you can set values: traverse rate. The block delete switch can be enabled from the “Import G-Code file” dialog.Pallet shuttle commands are not supported. spindle rate. Coolant valve can be set from the “Import G-Code file” dialog. and no cycle start button is defined the program restarts from the beginning of the G-code program imported. By default this switch is disabled. You can set the axis to which the button is connected. For details see below the table G-code parameters supported.#5186. The default units are millimeters. The optional program stop switch can be enabled from the “Import G-Code file” dialog.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 7 . 3. G-code block M30 is converted to M2. The override percent can be changed from “Import G-Code file” dialog. For details see below the table G-code parameters supported. The coordinate system parameters are set via #5211 . feed rate. 2. 6. 5. 9. 10. WWW. 4.MOTION-DESIGNS. By default the positive sense for the spindle speed is clockwise. 8. If Stop program or End program M-words are used. By default the override percent is set to 100%.
Configuration A G-code file can be imported into a TMC-3D project in EasyMotion Studio: WWW.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 8 .MOTION-DESIGNS.
An example drawing.Within the configuration window the axes can be selected.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 9 . as well as feed rates and spindle speeds and all other auxiliary functions.MOTION-DESIGNS. G-code list and resulting TML code are shown below: WWW.
UUV designers have looked to incorporate components and systems already used commercially and by the scientific community not only to keep costs down. intelligence gathering and offensive operations. Two examples appear below. but to speed development for ever-increasing types of missions. meaning motors are used to drive propellers.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 10 . from the simple. tethered “torpedo” to the futuristic and combat-oriented: A C'Inspector UUV with side-scan sonar for seabed and ship hull inspection. Since then. In 2000 and 2004. Artist's concept: Trident World Systems Generally. One of the main areas of concern for UUV engineers is motion.MOTION-DESIGNS. The motion can be fully “active”. meaning the UUV rides underwater currents and changes depth by WWW. and mission for the two main types of UUVs. vanes and thrusters or “semi-passive”. research and development with UUVs has forged ahead worldwide. the deployment of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) is still in its infancy. This involves depth control. weight. with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and two ongoing wars. back and forth propulsion and turning. The two types were tethered (UUV – power and control via an umbilical) and autonomous (AUV – battery powered with onboard intelligence).Application Solution: Unmanned Underwater Vehicles Although land and air robotic vehicles have increasingly been used by civilian and military agencies for border surveillance. the U. Navy published a master plan detailing size.S.
that provides intelligent drives meeting the criteria above. The embedded computer provides supervisory control to the motors via the drives as needed. In doing so. ( www. The diagram below provides a typical scenario.vanes and ballast pumps. even mixing some 5) standalone or networked slave operations. Although brushed DC motors have been used. even the ability to do both simultaneously 6) ability to use one drive as a bus gateway to the other drives in the UUV 7) proven bus options such as RS485 and/or CAN 8) ability to be quickly modified down to the PCB 9) packaged versions for quick testing as well as OEM board level versions 10) broad power range for various size motors 11) drives easily integrated with a higher level. Also there is an embedded.A. with multiple protocol options. Technosoft S. With the use of COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) motors. making them an excellent choice for incorporation in UUV designs. It will be the focus of the remainder of this article using a generic example of an “active” UUV motion layout to show how the Technosoft intelligent drives can accomplish the motion control system (hardware and software) of a UUV. a range of low and high current on low voltage DC bus offerings 4) easy to program(for AUV apps).technosoftmotion. most UUV engineers look for the following criteria in down selecting a drive solution: 1) universality in powering both servos and steppers 2) good power density 3) if battery powered .com ) . system controller if needed. single board computer running a Linux OS. common in rudimentary UUV designs. WWW.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 11 .MOTION-DESIGNS. two smaller thrusters (NEMA17 servos) which are each connected independently to a stepper motor (NEMA23 stepper) for depth control and turning the UUV. There is in fact a company. It consists of a main propeller (NEMA34 servo). comes the need to match the requisite drive(s) for the stepper and servomotor. it is more common to see both brushless DC servomotors and stepping motors being used.
One critical issue that is not readily apparent from the layout diagram is whether or not COTS drives can handle the uniqueness of enclosure pressurization in oil at relatively high pressures of greater than 1500psi to insure “watertight” sealing of the electronics. there is one drive type. See below: Not only does this simplify wiring. some of the criteria previously listed become apparent. but it also provides for different programming architecture options: • • • Linux SBC acts as a true master with no local code on the drives Linux SBC acts as a master. relaying commands and data. It passes velocity information to the ISD720 to regulate main propeller speed. This function exists on almost all drive families from Technosoft. the ISD720 drive is able to use the same bus voltage (24VDC) as the smaller servos and steppers while providing 20 amps continuous and 49. but drives have some local code running independently Some/all of the drives act as intelligent network nodes running code independently and sharing data with each other. 6 amps peak @ 24VDC in a small package and also are available in a packaged version with screw terminals for quick testing/prototyping. The Linux SBC acts only in a “housekeeping” mode. which is controlling both the NEMA23 steppers and the NEMA17 brushless servos.As we review the layout above. the PIM2403. First. these changes have been relatively easy to make “in-the-field” on Technosoft's open frame drives. starts and stops the thrusters (PIM2403s) and adjusts the position of the steppers WWW. In addition. independent of motor type. The PIM2403 drives provide 3 amps continuous. a Linux SBC has been incorporated and used as a higher level controller. the Linux SBC is connected serially only to the ISD720 drive which acts as a gateway to the PIM2403 drives via a separate CAN bus connection. board level components such as power capacitors and clock crystals are susceptible and must be replaced with MIL-SPEC equivalent.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 12 . Also. Let us now take a quick look at how programming is handled in our example.5 amps peak current.MOTION-DESIGNS. Generally. the software development environment is the same for all drive families. As seen from the layout. This makes programming easy regardless of drive or motor type/size. Secondly. To date.
determining the correct binary code string to send is accomplished using the Binary Code Viewer from within Technosoft's EasyMotion Studio programming environment. which is Commanded Speed .COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 13 .MOTION-DESIGNS. you can get the exact contents of the messages to send as well as of those expected to be received as answers. which helps you to quickly find how to send TML commands using one of the communication channels and protocols supported by the drives/motors. The code to run at constant velocity is shown below from the Main screen of Technosoft's EasyMotion Studio programming environment: The variable of interest is “CSPD”. One can select it from the Application tab. the node ID is sampled and the command is relayed to the appropriate PIM2403 drive. To see the actual Binary code sent out. As commands come in over the serial connection from the Linux SBC. We will use the example of setting the velocity of Node 3 (one of the NEMA17 servos – PIM2403 drive) to 10 rps. Using this tool. seen on the fourth line of the Main program section. the ISD720 acts as a gateway. the sub-menu “Binary Code Viewer”: WWW. As stated previously.(PIM2403s) to adjust depth of the UUV. EasyMotion Studio includes a Binary Code Viewer. In our example. All of this is accomplished using Technosoft's Motion Language (TML) commands sent as binary code in HEX format over the serial connection.
In summation. A TML_LIB library is a collection of high-level functions for motion programming which you can integrate in the host/master application. sending the HEX string “08 00 30 24 A0 CC CD 00 CC 61 “ from the Linux SBC results in Axis #3 (NEMA17 servomotor) running at 10 rev/sec until commanded to do otherwise. One can see that Technosoft's intelligent drives meet the prerequisites of COTS drives looked for by designers and UUV engineers.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 14 . WWW.In this case. The low-level simplicity of the binary code allows many different external platforms to communicate with the drives. the Linux SBC packs the binary code of each TML command string into a message which is sent. An alternate way to exchange data with the Technosoft drives/motors is via the TML_LIB libraries. This is one example of how a supervisory host can communicate with the Technosoft drives. typically found on an industrial PC or PLC.MOTION-DESIGNS.
www.COM (805) 504-6177 PAGE 15 .com: Arcus Technology manufactures stepper motor.arcus-technology.504.com: AMO manufactures induction based precision linear and angle measurement encoders.com : Stegmann is a leader in high performance motor feedback solutions.com: Nippon Pulse manufactures the unique linear shaft motor.com Tel 805. We work with some of the best manufacturers in the industry as witnessed by our present line card: www.nipponpulse.For more information about any of the above topics or general questions or comments.com: Nanotec provides a comprehensive range of stepper and servo motor solutions. www. drive and controller technology. www.MOTION-DESIGNS. please contact us: Motion Designs contact@motion-designs. www. design and manufacture of digital motor drive products and custom motion systems.stegmann.amosin.nanotec.technosoftmotion. a direct drive linear brushless servo motor. providing USB.com : TSM is a leading DSP motion control technology company specialized in the development.6177 Motion Designs is a technical sales and engineering company with extensive machine and motion control experience. www. WWW. Ethernet and Mod-Bus connectivity.
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