Autonomous single-axis motion control

A powerful new single-axis motion controller enhances Mitsubishi Electric’s highly-dynamic servo drives for machine automation. Designed for demanding movement sequences on single-axis systems, the new controller supports synchronisation of the drive system with any other processes. It is an attractively-priced solution for many common drive tasks, for example in the packaging industry.

The new MR-MQ100 motion controller is specially designed to be used with the powerful servo amplifiers of the MR-J3-B series. It can control the servo amplifier for a single axis at high speeds with great precision. Simultaneously, it can also synchronise movement with an external master encoder or a virtual axis. In addition to point-to-point positioning the controller can be used for complex movement sequences, for which it is equipped with an encoder input, four high-speed digital inputs for registration mark identification and two digital outputs.

The compact controller module does not need support from an external programmable logic controller. A control terminal, a computer or other controllers can be connected directly to the integrated Ethernet port. The device uses a 24V DC power supply and is connected to the servo amplifier via the high-speed optical SSCNET III (Servo System Controller Network), which supports data rates of up to 50 megabits per second. Bus cycle time is just 0.44 milliseconds and plug-and-play installation is quick and easy, without need for complex configuration.

The MR-MQ100 and MR-J3-B are perfectly-matched for single-axis applications and are complemented by four series of servo motors for a variety of different requirements. All motors are fitted with high-resolution 18-bit encoders that deliver more than 260,000 absolute values per rotation.

Graphical programming
Users can plan and program their single-axis systems with via a PC using the standard MT Developer2 software package that supports all of Mitsubishi Electric’s motion controllers. It provides a user-friendly development environment with a graphical user interface and powerful tools for programming, installation, monitoring, maintaining and troubleshooting entire motion control systems, including the servo amplifiers and servo motors.

Complex movement sequences can be planned directly on the screen quickly and easily with the MT Developer2 software. The mechanical components like motion controllers, synchronising encoders, servo amplifiers and servo motors can all be selected, positioned, configured and integrated into the system on the screen using the mouse. Software modules configurable with simple parameter windows are available for frequently-used drive elements like electronic couplings, transmissions and cams. These modules replace mechanical components and can be integrated in the mechanical model by adding graphical symbols to the main axis. The program includes a digital oscilloscope that can be used to test the system as soon as it has been set up. Up to 256 user-selectable electronic cams are included in the standard package and can be stored in the motion controller’s own internal memory.

Ready-to-use function blocks
The controller can also be programmed with the SFC (Sequential Function Chart) language, which represents movement functions in a clear graphical chart like a flow diagram. Instructions for the individual steps and continue conditions are selected from a menu window. The hierarchical structure of the program makes it easy to describe and show each step in detail, making everything very clear.

Ready-to-use applications are included that help engineers to build optimised drive systems quickly. The comprehensive function library includes application-specific modules like Flying Saw, Rotating Blade and Labeller. These function blocks can make programming complex movement tasks for applications like machining, conveyor systems and packaging systems faster, easier and more economical.

Advanced drive technology
The high precision and speed of this autonomous motion control system are the result of the advanced control technology of Mitsubishi Electric’s latest generation of servo drives. Functions like automatic motor identification, real-time autotuning and integrated vibration suppression enable fast installation and configuration of stable systems with extremely short rise times. For example, during operation the real-time autotuning continuously adjusts the control parameters based on the current mechanical conditions, providing very dynamic control performance even with fluctuating loads. The vibration suppression system automatically attenuates power-reducing vibrations in the drive train, also preventing the development of resonant vibrations.

Photo Caption:
A compact controller module for servo drives: Mitsubishi Electric’s MR-MQ100 is a slim and efficient solution for single-axis motion control tasks. 

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