PACMotion 1.5 Can Decrease Total System Cost and Increase Operator Productivity For Complex Motion Applications through Broad Device Connectivity and Improved Diagnostics

GE Intelligent Platforms’ motion controller can control up to 40 axes of synchronized motion at extremely fast loop rates


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA   SEPTEMBER 1, 2010   GE Intelligent Platforms today announced the availability of its latest update to its advanced motion controller, PACMotion firmware version 1.5. PACMotion is designed to control up to 40 axes of synchronized motion all at the exact same servo update loop rate of 1ms independent of the number of motion axes. With this announcement, GE is making PACMotion the motion controller of choice in a host of new areas, including packaging, material handling, and automated assembly. By enabling connectivity to a wider variety of off-the-shelf devices, users will find PACMotion available to serve many more applications, which can lead to lower system cost.
Firmware version 1.5 features two axis analog servo control allowing control of one or two third-party amplifiers using a 10 VDC analog speed or torque command. A PACMotion module controls four axes, and each module can use two of those axes for third-party servos through this upgrade. Mixing of FANUC and analog axes on the same PACMotion module is also supported.
“This new version will allow users to connect a much broader range of devices to the exceptional functionality of PACMotion,” said Paul Derstine, Product Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms’ Control and Communications Systems. “There are times when a custom motor, linear actuator or linear hydraulic servo valve is required in an application. At other times in a machine retrofit, the servos are already in place and do not need to be replaced. This new firmware will open options for PACMotion to be used in many different areas to control machines enabling cost saving for the OEM on new machines by using lower cost servos and on field retrofits by enabling the reuse of existing servos.”
Program access to the event queue provides the machine operator with the ability to obtain diagnostic/troubleshooting information on the operator interface. Because customers need access to the most recent sequence of events/errors rather than the last axis or module error, this enhancement allows users to access the event queue data right within the program, without the need of accessing via Proficy® Machine Edition on a personal computer. The chronological sequence of the events is preserved aiding users in determining the exact sequence of events leading up to an error or machine shutdown. Access to such real-time sequential event data enables faster diagnosis of machine or line stoppages yielding increased machine uptime and enhanced productivity.
Several enhancements to PACMotion’s powerful cam functionality allow for tighter synchronization of axes. The Cam Load-Data feature allows exact positioning of all slave axes relative to the current position of the master prior to machine start-up rather than having to ramp slave axes to synchronize with the master. Ensuring precise synchronization can reduce product scrap at the beginning of a production run improving production yield. The new Cam Exit Distance feature enhances the flexibility of the cam feature by allowing for controlled exiting of a cam profile at a predetermined master position along the profile path. Exiting a cam before the end of the profile provides greater dynamic control flexibility to respond to machine or line events such as a jam or product changeover preventing additional product loss of production down time.    
“GE’s PACMotion is the motion controller of choice for OEMs that need an integrated motion and machine logic solution. The proven dependability of GE products allows them to deliver unprecedented productivity in their machines through increased productivity, flexibility, and reliability. Unique features such the PACcore multi-processor architecture allows simultaneous updating of any number of axes with no performance degradation, on-demand data exchange providing real-time access to motion data asynchronous to the logic program scan and the ability to change nearly any motion parameter on the fly (even during a move) provides a powerful solution for complex motion control,” Derstine said.
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