Ormec Inc., Rochester, N.Y., is making it easier to develop control software for PC-based motion systems. Its new MotionObjects ActiveX Control kit lets users develop software in Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0, VB.NET, and similar environments, creating multiaxis motion systems employing Ormec’s ServoWire Soft Motion network.

The kit includes object-oriented programming tools, a Soft Motion Engine, and linking tools that let ServoWire SM drives communicate with PCs running Windows NT/2000/SP, VenturCom RTX, and standard FireWire (OHCI) adapters. Some of the capabilities now accessible to Visual Basic programmers include time-based and electronically line-shafted (geared) motion, external (sensor-based) and internal (software) triggering, and superimposed profiles where time-based or geared motion runs on top of constant-speed/constant-ratio moves. For more information, call (585) 385- 3520 or visit www.ormec.com.

PC’s a PLC and more

Beckhoff USA, Minneapolis, Minn., has unveiled a modular, DIN-rail mounted industrial PC that offers mid-range PLC and motion control functions in one lowcost platform. The CX1000 Automation Control combines Microsoft embedded operating systems (Windows CE.NET and XP) with Beckhoff’s “TwinCAT CE” PLC and motion control software, creating a total automation controller for machine tool and industrial applications.

The system is powered by a 266-MHz Pentium chip, and can simultaneously handle up to four PLC tasks (1,000 commands in 52 μsec) and five servo axes (closing servoloops every 2 msec). Connectivity options let users develop software on their desktop PCs, either downloading it via Ethernet or saving it to a flash card for manual installation.

The CX1000 is also rugged, operating in temperatures of up to 130°F without forced cooling. Because it has no moving parts, it is highly vibration tolerant, suiting it for use in robotics, machine and process control, packaging equipment, injection-molding machines, and milling, stamping, and bending applications. For more information, call (952) 890-0000 or visit www.beckhoffautomation.com.

Remote reading

Magtrol Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., has developed a new way to transmit electrical signals from a rotating part to a stationary system or PC. Unlike conventional rotary transmitters, Magtrol’s do not rely on slip rings, brushes, wire loops, and other such devices. Instead, they use inductive coupling to both power and read moving transducers. The transmitters are available in 4, 8, and 12-channel versions, and operate up to 40,000 rpm. They present very little inertia, less than 0.2 mΩ of resistance, and under 25 μV of noise. For more information, call (800) 828- 7844 or visit www.magtrol.com.

Program in Visual Basic