Motion Control Systems Integrator

Motion Integration

Who will be doing the motion integration?

If you are a seasoned Controls Engineer with motion control experience, then you will probably be able to handle this with little outside help.  If you have little motion control experience, then you will need quite a bit of help, starting with component selection and right up through programming and machine commissioning.  Does your motion control distributor have a thorough understanding of motion control and the products they are selling?  If they have to refer you to the factory support team much of the time, then they are probably not going to be able to help you a lot.

Does your motor sizing software know what it is doing?

The short answer is maybe.  As mentioned earlier, motor sizing is very important.  Even if torque requirements are met, the inertias may be mismatched.  Even if your motion control system is properly modeled in the sizing software, it may select the wrong motor for you.  It is best to look at the motor requirements, then select the proper motor after looking at the speed and torque curves of motors.

Does autotuning work?

Sometimes.  Most autotuning routines work very well for velocity control.  There are some that work well for position control.  There are none that work for very demanding positioning applications.  Depending on your system dynamics, autotuning may result in acceptable performance.  Autotuning will also frequently get you close to where you need to be, but then you will have to do some fine tuning.  At this point, it is more of an art than a science.  Even if the final positioning is accurate, how long did it take to settle at the final position?  Long settling times can kill productivity.  If someone tells you that tuning parameters can be completely derived mathematically, don’t believe it.  If that were the case, then autotuning would work perfectly.

Who will be supporting the machine?

Will the person who programmed the motion control be around for troubleshooting?  If not, then this task usually falls to maintenance personnel who have little or no motion control experience.  An experienced motion control programmer will bring out any faults and alarm codes to the HMI to make troubleshooting easier.

Get select excerpts of our Motion Control Guide. Or, download our free guide 10 Ways to Make Your Best Moves with Motion Control Systems.