ACS Motion Control has developed software that allows its motion control solutions to be used as subsystems on TwinCAT controlled EtherCAT networks. Utilising a Beckhoff or ESD EtherCAT Bridge, a TwinCAT EtherCAT network can connect to an ACS EtherCAT network, enabling data exchange between the two EtherCAT networks.
This type of motion control system is beneficial for OEMs and system integrators developing machines with TwinCAT EtherCAT control systems that require a high performance multi-axis motion control subsystem. In addition, it enables integration between ACS’s range of solutions and PLC systems via TwinCAT.
The EtherCAT bridge is available from Beckhoff or Electronic System Design (ESD). The bridge acts as an EtherCATnode on both the TwinCAT network and the ACS network, and enables continues communication between the networks. The bridge is configured in TwinCAT and a programme is executed on the ACS controller to process the communication.
“The TwinCAT machine controller can activate processes and programmes in the ACS motion controller and receive periodical status and variables information as required, such as process completed, error message, and axis position. With these capabilities, customers will be able to use combinations such as MC4U with NanoPWM drives to achieve the high performance motion control needed for applications like semiconductor wafer inspection,” said Boris B., EtherCAT expert, ACS.