Technologies resolve 3 motion integration engineering deficiencies

Motion Analyzer mechatronic design software, Integrated Architecture and Logix Control Platform from Rockwell Automation, and EtherNet/IP enabled devices help resolve motion system integration challenges with mechatronics, scalability, and automation architecture.


Technology solutions from Rockwell Automation address three key motion integration deficiencies.

1. Mechanical and electrical integration: Motion Analyzer, mechatronic design software from Rockwell Automation, allows engineers to evaluate multiple design alternatives and select motors to meet exact application performance needs.  This digital modeling and simulation tool integrates with 3-D CAD mechanical design software to link together mechanical, controls, and electrical design earlier in the process. Engineers can use Motion Analyzer software to create motion profiles, and then transfer the profiles to a 3-D CAD mechanical design software to visualize how the machine moves. The mechanical design software then calculates the torque or force required to move the load through its profile, which Motion Analyzer uses to size and select motors and drives. Motion Analyzer is available as a free download at

Motion Analyzer software links SolidWorks and RSLogix 5000 together, helping save time and money by moving profiles and calculating inertia, torque, force, and axis tuning gains to appropriately size and select motors and drives. Courtesy: Rockwell Automa

2. Scalability: Integrating motion on one platform reduces complexity. For example, through Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture, manufacturers can apply one scalable infrastructure to drive efficiency and productivity gains across all layers of the organization. The Logix Control Platform is a multidisciplined and scalable system, helping save time and money by allowing machine builders to develop the same package for simple and complex machines. Improving integration by reusing code, control, and best practices helps machine builders optimize productivity and achieve faster start-ups. Standardizing products and systems in simple and complex machines also helps maintenance costs by decreasing training and global support time, spare part inventory, and mean time to repair (MTTR).

RSLogix 5000 and SolidWorks programs coordinate system properties using Delta 3-D. Courtesy: Rockwell Automation

3. Single, open network architecture: EtherNet/IP (the Ethernet protocol from ODVA) is an established industrial protocol designed to connect from the instrumentation level up to the end customer’s IT infrastructure, and across applications, including discrete, process, safety, motion, and drive control.

EtherNet/IP is built on standard TCP/IP technology and is the world’s leading industrial Ethernet network, according to ODVA. Integrated Motion on EtherNet/IP provides the speed and precision to meet demanding motion applications.

A screenshot of Motion Analyzer software shows selected motors that meet exact application performance needs. Courtesy: Rockwell Automation

Other motion networks focus on building a network with extreme speed, then sending through extremely large amounts of traffic and relying on the network to be fast enough to get all information through in time. EtherNet/IP uses time synchronization, a more efficient way to get the performance and precision that motion control demands. Time reference is distributed across nodes so the network does not have to be scheduled. Network traffic is dramatically reduced because the size and content of data packages can be dynamically changed.

EtherNet/IP gives machine builders a simplified network solution that can connect their motion application to the rest of their machine through one channel, to other machines, to the line, and into the business level. This streamlines the design phase because machine builders don’t need to consider separate network requirements and specifications when designing the motion application.

A screenshot of Motion Analyzer software shows velocity data in a cycle profile. Courtesy: Rockwell Automation

Beyond design, EtherNet/IP offers the security and network segmentation that meets the needs of machine builders and end users. It also allows machine builders the opportunity to easily add secure remote services that can differentiate them from competitors.

- Paul Whitney is commercial program manager - Integrated Architecture, Rockwell Automation. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering content manager. 

Learn more about motion integration solutions using the link below.

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