Power Electronics

Development Software Facilitates Customized Motion Control

National Instruments’ NI SoftMotion Development Module 2.0 for LabVIEW enables customized motion controllers using software that can be deployed on any NI hardware platform. OEMs and machine builders can use a range of pre-built motion functions and control algorithms to quickly create motion controllers based on specific application requirements as well as price and performance needs. The NI SoftMotion Development Module 2.0 expands this flexible environment to stepper motor control and adds support for the Windows Vista OS and National Instruments CompactRIO controllers for high-performance motion control.

The NI SoftMotion Development Module is ideal for applications that require high-speed or custom control such as drilling, semiconductor processes, microelectromechanical system processes (MEMS) and in-line vehicle sequencing by automakers.

Machine builders and OEMs can use the NI SoftMotion Development Module to easily create custom motion controllers with advanced control algorithms such as fuzzy logic or model-based control for better machine performance. Combined with the NI LabVIEW FPGA technology in NI CompactRIO modules and NI R Series data acquisition devices, they implement PID loop rates of up to 200 kHz.

Researchers can use the NI SoftMotion Development Module to quickly develop and prototype control design algorithms for motion control. The software includes functions for trajectory generation, spline interpolation, position and velocity PID control and encoder implementation on the LabVIEW Real-Time Module and/or the LabVIEW FPGA Module.

With the NI SoftMotion Development Module, engineers can create custom motion controllers using the platform of their choice, including the CompactRIO embedded platform, plug-in NI M Series and R Series data acquisition devices, or the NI Compact FieldPoint programmable automation controller, depending on performance requirements.

Version 2.0 of the NI SoftMotion Development Module adds support for its spline engine function to generate step-data output as well as a stepper generator function to process step data into step and direction signals for a stepper motor, giving machine builders the ability to choose the motor best suited for their applications. It also includes two data types for spline data – fixed point and floating point. These data types give machine builders the flexibility to choose more loop rate combinations when using servo motors.

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