Trio Motion Technology has launched a new motion controller at SPS based on Intel multi-core processors, running Microsoft Windows alongside Trio’s Advanced Motion-iX core. The PC-MCAT-2 will give OEM machine builders a control solution that allows easy integration of Windows applications together with advanced motion functionality.
Based on Trio’s Motion First Automation approach to machine control, the PC-MCAT-2 starts with motion. Building on a motion heritage with success stories in numerous industrial machine types, the PC-MCAT-2 is the latest addition to the Trio range. Trio’s focus on ‘motion first’ targets the number one factor in machine efficiency and production throughput.
The new motion controller is powered by an Intel processor and combines support for Windows programming languages with Trio’s renowned motion control performance. This provides a software integration platform together with high speed EtherCAT coordination for up to 64 servo and robot axes.
Machine control and IoT integration
Trio’s PC-MCAT-2 motion controller with software integration provides powerful execution of Windows applications for enhanced machine control. The motion controller runs Microsoft Windows 10 with a choice of four processors, from Celeron through to a Core i7, as well as up to 256GB solid-state drive memory. To increase machine functionality, PC-MCAT-2 can integrate and control virtually any peripheral device, such as camera vision systems or sensors, via its extensive communication port array. Ports include HDMI, USB, serial ports, and general-purpose digital I/O.
The motion controller also enables IoT connectivity, providing a high-speed link from the host machine to a wider factory network, thanks to three Ethernet ports. To enhance network segmentation and bandwidth, each Ethernet port has a separate IP address.
Trio’s PC-MCAT-2 allows a more flexible programming approach by suppling an API library that can be used in Windows applications, communicating to Trio’s advanced Motion-iX core of motion control functionality via a shared memory interface. This provides a high-speed link to the motion engine and offers flexibility in programming language choice, allowing integration of third-party SDKs and motion for advanced machine control from a single application.
To increase machine productivity and performance, PC-MCAT-2 coordinates up to 64 servo or robot axes with Trio’s recognised high speed and precision. This is achieved with EtherCAT cycle times down to 125μs, 64-bit maths precision, and a motion command execution benchmark of up to 500 lines/ms. This capability executes Trio’s extensive motion command set, including multi-axis coordination in multiple dimensions as well as numerous kinematic models, developed over 30 years of field experience by Trio’s engineers.
For maximum motion performance, PC-MCAT-2 applications can be written in Trio’s original programming language, TrioBASIC, or IEC61131 languages with PLCopen. These languages execute on the advanced Motion-iX core, independently of Windows. Using TrioBASIC or IEC61131 allows programmes developed on other Trio controllers to be executed on PC-MCAT-2.
Integrating Windows-based machine control and motion coordination within the same device optimises performance by removing the lag created by an Ethernet connection to a separate PC.
OEMs can speed up development time with PC-MCAT-2 by removing the integration and debugging required with separate hardware. As a single, compact device, PC-MCAT-2 can reduce total machine footprint and hardware cost.
Enhancing productivity and performance
Relying on a single controller improves reliability for the end user as well, taking away any communication challenges that may develop following commissioning. To ensure durability in the field, the motion controller is protected by a rugged metal casing that improves heat dissipation, and the fanless design removes audible noise and maintenance requirements.
“The PC-MCAT-2 motion controller is an advantage for machine builders who need to deploy Windows-based machine control applications and establish IoT connectivity, alongside high-performance servo or robotic motion control,” says Trio Motion Technology’s president, Tom Alexander. “Combining PC-MCAT-2 with our portfolio of controllers, servo drives and motors, I/O, HMIs and SCARA robots, we present machine builders with an automation solution that offers the highest performance motion control, with support from a single vendor.”