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Trio Motion Technology has launched the Ethercat Master drive interface module, adding expansion flexibility for its MC464 Motion Co-ordinator motion and machine controller range.

The module provides tightly synchronised control for up to 64 slave axes on the MC464 – up to seven modules may be added, each providing eight 100 nanosecond registration inputs, which can be mapped to any axis.

With a selection of more than 50 servo and inverter drive manufacturers supporting the protocol along with numerous I/O systems, sensors, operator interfaces and hydraulic/pneumatic valve controls, Ethercat technology is said to be one of the fastest fieldbus systems available.

In combination with the MC464 it is suitable for demanding real-time, high-axis-count machine automation applications.

Trio’s MC464 Motion Co-ordinator is based on the 64-bit 400MHz MIPS processor with 64-bit position registers and double floating point maths for good servo precision.

With multi-tasking Triobasic programming, the central control unit includes analogue and digital I/O, status display, SD card memory expansion, axis synchronisation and programming ports with a choice of half- and full-height expansion modules for drive technology, I/O expansion, factory, and fieldbus communication.

Users can choose a four- or eight-axis for stepper, analogue servo or piezo motor control with several choices of absolute or incremental feedback, and can freely mix modules that support third-party drive technologies including Sercos II, Panasonic RTEX, SLM and Ethercat.

The Ethercat drive interface module is plug-and-play compatible with the MC464 using Trio’s Motion Perfect 2 programming environment.

As a 100 base-T Ethercat master, the module has a single RJ45 connector, which connects to the IN of the first Ethercat drive.

On power-up, the MC464 identifies the Ethercat module, its connected drives and input/output modules with automatic configuration from a comprehensive look-up list.

Additional support is included within Motion Perfect 2 additional drives and other devices.

Four LEDs provide visual status for Module OK (green) and Module Error (red) with two user-configurable LEDs (yellow) for Status one and two.

The user configures the position set-point update rate for the selected Ethercat drives, which is currently between 500 microseconds and 2 milliseconds; the MC464 has been designed for 64 axes at a 2 milliseconds update or 32 axes at a one millisecond update and can run at up to 500 microseconds with high-performance drives in lower-axis-count synchronised moves.

The flexibility of the MC464 Motion Co-ordinator range also includes Triobasic, TrioPC for ActiveX and further digital, analogue and relay I/O expansion modules using TrioCAN or CANopen.

Factory communications options are fully covered with the Anybus Compactcom interface module that includes a selection of fieldbus and communications options including Profibus, Profinet I/O, Devicenet, CANopen, Modbus-TCP, Modbus-RTU and more.

The MC464 main controller also includes built-in communication interfaces including Ethernet/IP, CANopen Master, Devicenet slave, Modbus-TCP and -RTU and TrioCAN I/O.

With this flexibility, machine builders, OEMs and systems integrators can realise programmed motion with a full complement of high-speed registration inputs and I/O-to-axis mapping for tightly synchronised high-performance multi-axis motion using linear, circular or helical interpolation, electronic cams and gearboxes.

Support is also included for merging multiple moves directly from CAD/CAM software.

Trio Motion Technology

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