Several new motion-control products from National Instruments, Austin (www.ni.com), promise to simplify motion-control system design. Chief among these is NI-Motion 6.0, driver software for distributed motion control based on Ethernet.

NI-Motion 6.0 works with a PXI or CompactPCI motion-system and LabView Real-Time, a real-time PXI controller and motion module. This lets designers remotely configure and test motion-control applications as well as create stand-alone, distributed systems requiring minimal user interaction. NI-Motion 6.0 is compatible with NI's PXI-7350 eight-axis motion controller and includes features to locate home and reference points within the distributed system.

NI also has a four and two-axis universal motion interface called the UMI-7774 and UMI-7772, respectively. NI motion controllers connect to the interfaces and to third-party drives and amplifiers through industrial, per-axis, D-Sub connectors. The interfaces include 24-V isolation for connections in industrial environments, as well as LEDs showing connection status.