How can the advantages of hexapods be easily used in automation processes? A new white paper from PI (Physik Instrumente) explains how the integration of the hexapod controller with an EtherCAT® interface works. The white paper can be downloaded free of charge at: www.pi.ws/hexapods/whitepaper/ethercat.
Whitepaper: Controlling Hexapods via EtherCAT® - Easy Integration of Six-Axis Robots into the Process Environment (source: PI).
Manufacturing and quality assurance processes in electronics production, mechanical engineering, and the automotive industry increasingly require multi-axis positioning systems. At the same time, the requirements for accuracy are also increasing. Because of their design, parallel-kinematic hexapod robots can move and position tools, workpieces, and complex components with weights ranging from a few grams to several hundred kilograms or even several tons in any spatial orientation with high precision – regardless of the assembly orientation.
Complex Kinematic Easily Integrated: Multi-Axis Drive with Fieldbus Connection
In a parallel-kinematic system, the motor axes do not correspond to the Cartesian axes. Therefore, a computation-intensive coordinate transformation is necessary for each new position. The digital hexapod controller carries out the computation and, thanks to the integrated EtherCAT® interface, hexapods can easily be integrated in the higher-level control system.
By using standardized real-time Ethernet protocols and moving the transformation calculations to the hexapod controller, the user is not dependent on a specific control manufacturer.
This new white paper explains
- how the integration works,
- how Work and Tool coordinate systems can be used, and
- how the range of motion of the hexapod can optimally be used.
The white paper is available for download free of charge at: www.pi.ws/hexapods/whitepaper/ethercat
PI in Brief
Well known for the high quality of its products, PI (Physik Instrumente) has been one of the leading players in the global market for precision positioning technology for many years. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard and OEM products with piezo or motor drives for 40 years. By acquiring the majority shares in ACS Motion Control, a worldwide leading developer and manufacturer of modular motion controllers for multi-axis and high-precision drive systems, PI has made a major step forward in providing complete systems for industrial applications with the highest demand on precision and dynamics. In addition to four locations in Germany, the PI Group is represented internationally by fifteen sales and service subsidiaries.