Motion controllers generate set points (the desired output or motion profile) and close a position or velocity feedback loop.
The interface between the motion controller and drives it controls is very critical when coordinated motion is required, as it must provide tight synchronization. Historically the only open interface was an analog signal, until open interfaces were developed that satisfied the requirements of coordinated motion control, the first being SERCOS in 1991 which is now enhanced toS ERCOS III. Later interfaces capable of motion control include Ethernet/IP, Profinet IRT, Ethernet Powerlink, and EtherCAT.
Common control functions include:
- Velocity control
- Position (point-to-point) control
- Pressure or Force control
- Impedance control (robotics)
- Electronic gearing
Motion controllers may be found in products that control:
- CNC machines
- Electric motors
- Hydraulic equipment
- Linear actuators
- Robotic grippers