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MOTION CONTROL PLATFORM SELECTION GUIDE

Meet your motion control match.

Compare our motion control platforms to determine which is the best fit for your needs.

  Automation1 Legacy
iSoftware Develop Automation1 MDK Motion Control Development Kit
Automation1 MachineApps
Motion Composer Suite
iMachine and Motion controllers Control Automation1 iSMC Intelligent Software-Based Machine and Motion Controller A3200 Software-Based Machine Controller
iServo Motors, Galvo Scan Heads and Other Drives Drive Servo Motor
Hexapod*
Galvo Scan Head
Servo Motor – A3200, Ensemble, Soloist
Galvo Scan Head – A3200
Piezo – A3200, Ensemble
Hexapod – A3200
iMotion Control Buses Connect HyperWire
Sockets Interface
IEEE-1394/FireWire – A3200
AeroNet – Ensemble

*Hexapods can be controlled by servo motor drives.

General Tools

Single Application for Configuring, Programming & Data Visualization Yes No
Application-Wide User Management Yes No
Deploy Custom Applications for Linux Yes No
Advanced Controller File System Yes No
All Controller Files Zip to Single Machine Controller Definition File Yes No
Device Manager (Catalog Manager) Yes Yes
Multiple Simultaneous Client Connections to a Controller Yes* No
Controller History Tracking Coming Soon No
Plug & Play Electrical & Mechanical Device Support Future Limited
*note: Multiple simultaneous connections are possible via the Automation1 APIs.

Available Add-On Applications and Software Tools

Motor Sizer (Free) Yes Yes
Motion Designer Future Yes
HexGen Hexapod Sizer Yes A3200
CADFusion Yes A3200
Galvo CFC (Free) Yes A3200
HMI Tool Yes – MachineApps A3200 – CNC Operator Interface

Setup and Configuration Tools

EasyTune 1-Button Servo Tuning Yes Yes
Axis Calibration Yes Yes
Sine-Wave Encoder Tuning Yes Yes
Loop Transmission/ Frequency Response Tool Yes Yes
Advanced Diagnostics & Tuning Yes Yes
System & Controller Performance Checking Yes No
Drive Firmware Loading from Configuration Tool Yes No
Automatically Configure Drive Communication Bus Yes No
Machine Setup System Configuration Wizard Yes No

Programming and Development

Programming Language AeroScipt AeroBasic
Load, Compile & Run Programs Yes Yes
Numeric Data Type Yes Yes
String Data Types Yes Yes
Global Variables Yes Yes
User-Defined Functions Yes Yes
Variables & I/O Watch Yes Yes
Multi-Dimensional Arrays Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Program & Local Variables Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Structures Yes Ensemble, Soloist
User-Defined Libraries Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Intellectual Property Protection of Libraries Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Intelligent Autocomplete IDE Yes No
Real-Time Build Error Checking Yes No
Axis Data Type & Axis Arrays Yes No
Switch, Foreach & Break Statements Yes No
CNC Functionality/RS-274 Yes* A3200
*note: G-Code was a paid option in the A3200 controller, but comes standard with an Automation1 controller.

Data Collection and Visualization

1D & 2D Data Visualizer Yes A3200, Ensemble
Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs) Yes Yes
Save System Data Directly to A File Yes Yes
View 1D & 2D Data Concurrently Yes No

HMI Software

Dedicated Application for Viewing HMI Yes A3200
Dedicated Workspace for HMI Development Yes No
Build Simple Interfaces for Operators Yes No
Apply Your Own Branding (Icons, Colors, Etc.) Yes No
Design Several HMI Screens per Controller Yes No
Execute Immediate Commands Yes (can be hidden) A3200
Abort & Reset Buttons Yes (can be hidden) A3200
Choose Your HMI Layout Yes (user customizable) No
Build Several HMI Interfaces for Each Controller Yes (user customizable) No
Camera Module (Video Feed) Yes (user customizable) No
Data Visualizer Module (Digital Scope) Yes (user customizable) No
Jog Pad Module Yes (user customizable) A3200
Message Log Viewer Module Yes (user customizable) A3200
Programming Module (Run & Debug Programs) Yes (user customizable) A3200
Task Status Module Yes (user customizable) A3200
Variables & I/O Module Yes (user customizable) No
Axis Dashboard/Manager Module Yes (user customizable) A3200
Run Mode, Retrace Mode & Manual Feedrate Override (MFO) Module** No A3200
Tool Table Module No A3200
Access Control* Yes A3200
View Modal Status Yes A3200
Display Custom Messages Yes A3200
Deploy Several Jog Pads at the same time. Yes No
State-Control of Button/Indicator Pages Yes No
State Control of Customizable Pushbuttons Yes No
Preview Button and Indicators in Design Tool Yes No
Keyboard Shortcuts No A3200
Choose a Startup or Shutdown Program** No A3200
* Currently only available for MachineApps deployed to PC-based controllers.
** Currently there is no canned HMI functionality for this feature. This feature can be deployed via custom pushbuttons and/or AeroScript code.

Controller Hardware

Industrial PCs Automation1 iPC n/a A3200-iPC
Customer PCs Yes* n/a A3200*
Intelligent Drive-Based Controller n/a Automation1 iXR3
Automation1 iXC6e
Automation1 iXC4e
Automation1 iXC4
Automation1 iXC2e
Automation1 iXC2
Automation1 iXL5e
Automation1 iXL2e
Automation1 iXI4
Ensemble, Soloist**
*PC must meet Aerotech’s specifications and adhere to all required setup procedures.
**See list of drive hardware below.

General Features

Programmable Coordinated Motion Trajectories Yes, 32 Axes Yes, 12 Axes A3200, Ensemble
Programming Tasks 4 User Tasks (Std).
31 User Tasks (Opt.)
1 Reserved task
4 User Tasks (Std).
9 User Tasks (Opt.)
1 Reserved task
Varies
Connection Latency Local: 1.0 msec
Ethernet: 1.0 msec
Ethernet: 3.3 msec
USB: 4.2 msec
Not specified.
Connection Bandwidth Local: 87.0 MB/sec
Ethernet: 41.0 MB/sec
Ethernet: 10.5-11.7 MB/sec
USB: 7.3-8.1 MB/sec
Not specified.
PC-Based / Software Controller Yes n/a A3200
Drive-Based Controller n/a Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Expanded IO Available Yes Yes Yes
Dual Loop Control Yes Yes Yes
Sinusoidal Commutation Yes Yes Yes
Fast Position Capture Yes Yes Yes
High-Speed Registration Yes Yes Yes
On-the-Fly End-Point Modification Yes Yes Yes
Data Acquisition Yes Yes Yes
Joystick Support Yes Yes Yes
Gantry Mode Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Signal Logging Yes Yes A3200
Coordinate Transformations Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Scaling Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Translation Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Rotation Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Mirroring Yes Yes A3200
C-Based Kinematics* Yes No No
AeroScript (Native Language) Kinematics Yes Yes A3200
3D Error Mapping Yes Yes A3200
Access Control Yes No No
*Automation1 has a C programming language kinematic interface that enables both inverse and forward kinematics to be calculated. Please consult the factory about this capability.

Calibration

1D Calibration File Yes Yes Yes
Accuracy Correction Yes Yes Yes
2D Calibration File Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Orthogonality Correction Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Straightness Correction Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
ThermoComp – Thermal Compensation Yes Yes A3200
Galvo Calibration & Power Factor Correction Yes n/a A3200
Advanced Calibration Coming Soon Coming Soon No

Motion Features

Servo Motor Trajectory Calculation Rate 20 kHz 20 kHz 8 kHz – A3200
1 kHZ – Ensemble, Soloist
Galvo Scan Head Trajectory Calculation Rate 100 kHz n/a 48 kHz – A3200
Point-to-Point Motion Yes Yes Yes
Contoured Motion Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Arbitrary Path Generation (PVT Motion Commands) Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Axis Homing Routines Yes Yes Yes
Velocity Blending Yes Yes Yes
Velocity Profiling Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Gearing Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Cam Profiling Yes Yes Yes
Safe Zones Yes Yes A3200
Bezier Motion Commands Coming Soon Coming Soon A3200
Cutter Radius Compensation Yes Yes A3200
Lookahead Yes Yes A3200
Acceleration Limiting Yes Yes A3200
Corner Rounding Yes Yes A3200
Parts Rotation Yes Yes A3200
Retrace (Block-by-Block) Yes Yes A3200
Tool Normalcy Control Yes Yes A3200
SLICE Raster and Step Command* Future Future A3200
Ellipses (G-Code)* Future Future A3200
Work Offsets* Yes Yes A3200
Cutter Offset Compensation* Coming Soon Coming Soon A3200
Tool Tables Coming Soon Coming Soon A3200
*Automation1 includes the ability to write custom libraries. Several application-specific motion commands once handled natively by our controllers can now be accomplished via custom libraries. Our own libraries will be further developed over time.

Advanced Motion Features

Enhanced Tracking Control Yes Yes Yes
Friction Compensation Yes Yes Yes
Command Shaping Yes* Yes* Ensemble, Soloist
Cross-Axis Feedforward Yes* Yes* A3200, Ensemble
Harmonic Cancellation Yes* Yes* Yes
Enhanced Throughput Module Support Yes Yes Yes
Gain Scheduling Coming Soon Coming Soon Ensemble, Soloist
* Requires the Dynamic Controls Toolbox configuration option to be added to the Automation1-iSMC at the time of order.

Process Tool Control Features

Integrated Digital & Analog I/O Control with Motion Programming Yes Yes Yes
Position Synchronized Output (PSO) Yes Yes Yes
Part-Speed Position Synchronized Output (Part-Speed PSO) Yes Yes A3200
Analog Power Control Yes Yes A3200
Distance Logging Coming Soon Coming Soon A3200

Galvo Scan Head Controller Features

Servo Control Rate 200 kHz n/a 192 kHz – A3200
Galvo Scan Head & Voice Coil Motor Support Yes n/a A3200
Infinite Field of View (IFOV) Yes n/a A3200
Drive Array for Process Control & Data Acquisition Yes n/a A3200
Barcode Datamatrix* Coming Soon n/a A3200
*Barcode generation is supported via Windows fonts in CADFusion application.

Drive-Based Controller Hardware

Servo Drives with PWM Amplifiers and Motion Controller PWM Drive-Based Controllers PWM Drives
Servo Drives with Linear Amplifiers and Motion Controller Linear Drive-Based Controllers Linear Drives
Drive Racks Drive Racks with Motion Controller Drive Racks
Servo Controllers with Motion Controller Automation1 iXI4 n/a

Drive Hardware

Servo Drives with PWM Amplifiers PWM Drives PWM Drives
Servo Drives with Linear Amplifiers Linear Drives Linear Drives
Drive Racks Drive Racks Drive Racks
Stepper Drives & Controls Stepper Drives & Controllers Stepper Drives & Controllers
Galvo Scan Head Drives Galvo Laser Scan Head Drives Galvo Laser Scan Head Drives
Dedicated Hexapod Controllers Future HEX RC
Servo Controllers Automation1 XI4 Nservo
Nservo-OEM
Galvo Scan Head XY2-100 Interface Automation1 GI4 Nmark-SSaM

Servo Motor Drive Features

Servo Control Rate 20 kHz 8 kHz – A3200
20 kHZ – Ensemble, Soloist
PWM & Linear Amplifier Options Yes Yes
AC Brushless, DC Brush, Voice Coil & Stepper Motor Support Yes Yes
Hexapod Support Yes A3200
Backlash Compensation Yes Yes
Rollover Mode Yes Yes
Brake (Enable/Output/DisableDelay/EnableDelay) Yes Yes
Analog & Digital I/O Yes Yes
Drive Array for Process Control & Data Acquisition Yes Yes
Safe Torque Off Yes No**
Autofocus Yes Yes
Analog Input to Servo Loop Yes Yes
Fiber Optic Alignment Routines Yes*** A3200
Tool Center Point Programming Control Yes*** A3200
Touch Probe Routines Yes A3200
Velocity Mode Yes Soloist
Torque Mode Yes Soloist
Barcode Datamatrix No**** A3200
*The Automation1 servo controller operates off of a 20kHz trajectory from the controller. Ensemble and Soloist have servo controllers that interpolate up to 20 kHz of servo control points from a 1 kHz trajectory.
**These drives include an E-stop Sense input that alarms the drive of an external e-stop condition.
*** Requires the AeroScript Plus configuration option to be added to the Automation1-iSMC at the time of order and for the desired routines to be purchased via the AeroScriptPlus product configurator.
****Barcode generation is supported via Windows fonts in CADFusion application.

Supported Feedback Devices

None (Open-Loop) Yes Yes
Square-Wave Encoder Yes Yes
Single-Wave Encoder Yes Yes
Analog Input Yes Yes
Half-Effect Switches Yes Yes
EnDat Encoder Yes Yes
Biss Encoder Yes Yes
Resolver Yes Yes
SSI Encoder Yes No
Dual Loop Yes Yes
Dual-Loop with Sine-Wave Encoders Yes No

General Specifications

Motion Control Bus HyperWire® FireWire – A3200
AeroNet – Ensemble
Physical Layer Glass Optical Fiber IEEE-1394 – A3200
Ethernet – Ensemble
Communication Rate 2 Gbps 400 Mbps – A3200
12.5 Mbps – Ensemble
Jitter* <1 nsec 60 – 680 nsec – A3200
20 – 180 nsec – Ensemble
Master Clock Stability +/- 5ppm +/- 100 ppm – A3200
+/- 50 ppm – Ensemble
Maximum Network Rate 100 kHz 8 kHz – A3200
1 kHz – Ensemble
MIMO Communication Support Gantry Control over HyperWire No – A3200
No – Ensemble
*Patented jitter reduction technology nearly eliminates drive-to-drive jitter and maintains constant low jitter for variable numbers of hardware devices on the communication bus.

Library Support

.NET Yes Yes
C Yes Yes
C++ Yes Yes
LabVIEW VIs Yes Yes
MATLAB API Coming Soon Yes
EPICS Yes Yes
TANGO* Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Python Yes No
REST API Future A3200, Ensemble
*note: please consult the factory for TANGO support.

Industrial Bus Support

EtherCAT Yes* A3200**
Modbus TCP Yes*** Yes
EtherNet/IP Coming Soon Ensemble, Soloist
Web Server Future A3200
Ethernet TCP/IP Future Yes
PROFINET Future A3200
RS-232 No Yes
*EtherCAT slave on drive-based controllers only.
**EtherCAT I/O master on PC-based controllers only.
***Fully supported for PC-Based controllers. Supported for drive-based controllers as a beta feature.
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