“Countless motors and motor drives are the core of powerful automatic operation technology, and sometimes they are also called industrial servo drives. Today, more and more system designers use Texas Instruments’ new software and other innovative technologies to design more and more smaller, faster, and smarter drives.
Intelligent machinery is gradually reshaping the world around us.
Countless motors and motor drives are the core of powerful automatic operation technology, and sometimes they are also called industrial servo drives. Today, more and more system designers use Texas Instruments’ new software and other innovative technologies to design more and more smaller, faster, and smarter drives.
Brian Fortman, Marketing Manager of Texas Instruments, said: “When today’s industrial automation developers start designing motor drives, they are not just trying to provide more motive power, but to make them smarter so that the motor drives can be handled. Heavier car parts or larger products. “They are trying to design a motor drive system that can turn motors into smart motion actuators, which will make industrial machinery more efficient. “
Smart motors today
Modern robots can help doctors perform complex surgical operations, and they can also produce various products for manufacturers-from toys to furniture to large trucks. Factory machines can pick and place parts on the assembly line, or submit ready packages for customers. Automated lathes can quickly mold and carve wooden or metal products, and 3-D printers can print plastic, metal or concrete into objects of various shapes including toys and buildings.
“Smarter” in the field of motor automation means that more motor torque adjustments are required per second to make the results more accurate, which will improve manufacturing efficiency and quality and reduce waste and errors.
Complex industrial motors are all controlled by motor drivers on embedded computer chips called microcontrollers (MCU) or microprocessors (MPU). The Texas Instruments DesignDRIVE team of engineers has enhanced the performance of C2000™ MCUs through fast current loop (FCL) software technology, enabling motor drive designers to provide customers with smarter products. At the same time, these customers can also manufacture more advanced robots and produce better and more innovative products than ever before. (Download the white paper for more information)
Fast current loop can react in microseconds
The MCU can ensure that the motor reacts at any time according to its current, position and working conditions. Designing a high-quality motor driver requires a lot of precise and high-speed mathematical operations and simultaneous measurements.
For mass-produced manufacturing and industrial robots, it is important to be able to respond within microseconds. The faster the response speed of the control motor, the more precise the operation generated by the machine, which will speed up the response speed of the motor by a million points. One second can also increase production, thereby making the factory more efficient and cost-effective.
But to this day, the ways that servo motor designers want to make the motor react within a subtle amount are still limited. A common method is to add dedicated chips to the motor control board to handle tasks that ordinary MCUs cannot complete in microseconds. These chips are usually designed for each new motor individually, rather than commercialized. Ready-made components.
But adding more chips will make the motor driver more expensive, more power consuming, and more complex in design. These chips will take up additional space on the controller board, making the entire motor driver larger, more expensive, and more power-hungry.
To solve this problem, Texas Instruments’ C2000 MCU engineers designed a new solution: fast current loop (FCL). FCL is a software that can be used in the latest C2000 MCU. It can use the existing servo motor drive resources to change the motor’s operation within one microsecond through current sampling.
However, the innovation of Texas Instruments in C2000 MCUs is not limited to FCL. Combined with C28 platform innovative technologies such as special triangle commands for motor positioning, FCL changes the way designers think about new generation motor drives. This is indeed good news for the future development of industrial application systems.
“FCL technology breaks a lot of solidified thinking,” Brian said, “FCL technology cleverly avoids the disadvantages of increasing the current loop performance by adding hardware devices or improving the control bandwidth by increasing the inverter frequency.”
The future development trend of smart motors
Because C2000 chips can guarantee high quality in the industrial design process, and commercial C2000 MCUs chips have a longer lifespan than traditional chips, mechanical equipment is on the rise. Some servo systems need to operate in the factory for 20 years or more, so their service life is very important.
The single-chip technology solution also helps to minimize the motor, and designers can create new products with fewer chips and smaller enclosures. Even if it is based on custom chip technology, multi-chip control may require thousands of square millimeters of drive boards. On a drive control chip like C2000 MCU, the system can reduce it to a few hundred square millimeters.
A single drive and motor are sometimes just a component in a larger machine, and it is particularly important to reduce its size. The robot arm is usually composed of multiple motors, and each motor controls a motion axis. The motor-driven combination can complete the same amount of work with a smaller space and lighter weight, thereby achieving a more flexible design and inspiring the enthusiasm of industrial machine designers for innovation.
Brian said: “In some cases, the miniaturization of Electronic hardware means that designers can start to consider more economical or more efficient structures. For example, placing more control units on each electric axis of a robot means that there will be Greatly reduce the wiring and installation costs on the machine.
For more than 20 years, our engineers have been committed to designing MCU systems that meet the special needs of industrial automation and motion control customers. The FCL system and other optimization functions developed by the C2000 MCUDesignDRIVE team are helping designers create mechanical systems that complete more work with less cost, lower power, smaller size, and higher accuracy.
“We are designing these innovative features for C2000 MCUs,” Brian said, “because this is exactly what our customers want.”