Servo Motor uses microcontroller for processing functions.

Press Release Summary:

Combining controller, amplifier, and encoder into Brushless DC Servo Motor(TM), SmartMotor SM2315 is based on Animatics Motion Control Chip, which handles all processing functions, including PID loop, trajectory generator, user program execution, I/O control, and all communications over 3 serial channels simultaneously. Featuring die-cast aluminum housing, machine wound stator, and molded magnet, system delivers up to 30 oz-in. of continuous torque and operates up to 10,000 rpm.

Original Press Release:

Integrated Servo Control for the Masses!

Animatics is excited to release its latest product, the SM2315. Like other SmartMotors, the SM2315 is a Controller, Amplifier and Encoder built into a true Brushless D.C. Servo Motor(TM), but what sets it apart from the others is the cost, $799, quantity-one. Rather than competing with other Servos, the SM2315 is actually priced competitively with many Stepper Motor Systems.

At the heart of the SM2315 is the Animatics Motion Control Chip, a single micro-controller that handles all processing functions of the SmartMotor(TM), including the PID Loop, the Trajectory Generator, the User Program Execution, I/O control and all communications over as many as three high speed serial channels simultaneously. A machine wound stator and molded, high energy magnet add to the savings as does a completely die-cast aluminum housing assembly. The SM2315 was designed for high volume applications and is already being manufactured in the thousands.

The SM2315 does nearly everything its predecessors do. The motor can be programmed to stand-alone or operate as part of an RS232 or RS-485 network. Delivering up to 30 oz-in of continuous torque and driving as fast as 10,000 RPM, it also has a sub-network to link in peripherals like LCD Displays, OPTO-22 I/O, Digital Joysticks, and much more. The 7 bits of on board I/O can be used as dedicated inputs, programmable inputs, outputs or even 10-bit analog inputs. A family of adapters dedicate different I/O points as 24Volt isolated I/O. The adapters occupy half of the mating connector's back-shell, with a small screw terminal also inside the back-shell for fast and easy connection.

The SM2315 also has a bonus for OEM customers and a first for SmartMotors. Like a computer, it has an expansion slot for additional or custom electronics. This is a space in the back of the motor next to the connection bus loaded with Power and I/O, even more than is available outside the motor. Expansion cards already exist to regulate and control power to an optional external brake. Board layout information and signal specifications are available to OEM customers as are custom solutions engineered and implemented by Animatics. The point is, however, that no matter how customized the final product may be, the motor itself remains low cost. It still fully enjoys the economies of scale arising from the many thousands manufactured each year, even if it serves a custom purpose by virtue if its add-in card.

With all of this, the total motion control system still falls in at a mere 2.3 inches in length. It is 2.25 inches wide and fully conforms to NEMA-23 stepper motor frame and shaft dimension standards. It even takes Step & Direction signals as a form of input. The SM2315's price and physical design makes it an excellent choice for replacing both a stepper motor and its driver. This can benefit applications wanting greater throughput, quieter or smoother operation or simply closed loop reliability. Just route the Step & Direction signals directly to the motor itself and reduce or eliminate the drive cabinet.

The main benefits of SmartMotors over traditional controls are that they increase reliability and cost less by virtue or their lower component count, decrease development time because there is one part to work with instead of four, and increase throughput because they are cost effective replacements for stepper motors. One unforeseen benefit that pleasantly surprised Animatics are testimonials from customers eliminating on site service of their machines in the field when using SmartMotors in the design. They report that any customer who can turn a screwdriver can swap out a SmartMotor and in so doing, can update the entire control system. No NEMA cabinet full of controls means no waiting for a technician on a plane with a schematic and an oscilloscope. By sending a spare SmartMotor(TM) with a machine or set of machines, downtime is eliminated. Companies designing their machines for field serviceability using SmartMotors are enjoying savings before and after their motor purchase.

The SM2315, like other SmartMotors has some capabilities no other servo motor control system has. In its Basic programming environment there are variables that reflect every aspect of the motor's operation. For example, there are variables that reflect the actual voltage the SmartMotor(TM) is connected to, variables that are the current flowing through the motor or the temperature of the motor itself. By monitoring these parameters for anomalies within the program or from a host, the machine designer can gain information about the actual mechanism. If, for example, the motor monitored its own current requirements, it could infer that the mechanical system was under greater load-- which could be a result of lubrication breakdown. A machine failure could be averted by alerting the operator to lubricate the system during the next maintenance cycle. Likewise, if the motor monitored its voltage level in a battery powered application, it could accurately predict the time of power loss. In most implementations, the SM2315 can actually add reliability to the other parts of a machine.

The SM2315 is the first in a broad line of extremely low cost solutions in the works at Animatics Corp.

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