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Modular PLC – Motion Control

Power in motion

In control

Modern manufacturers insist on fast, reliable production. This means that machine builders have to find ever-more creative ways of increasing machine performance, reducing commissioning times, and minimizing maintenance. Not an easy task.

One way of achieving these goals is the increased use of servo and motion technology. Mitsubishi Electric leads the way here with innovative servo drives featuring advanced auto tuning, meaning that they practically configure themselves.

To control these servo systems as well as those made by other manufacturers, System Q offers solutions ranging from individual motion/positioning cards to advanced motion CPUs capable of synchronised operation across many axes.

The solution

System Q’s unique design allows users to select and use different combinations of CPUs from the same platform. For example, motion CPUs can be employed independently or in tandem with PLC, PC or process CPUs.

Thanks to the dedicated motion control network SSCNETIII, each motion CPU can connect up to 32 servo axes. In addition, three motion CPUs can be used in a single System Q solution to bring advanced motion control to 96 axes.

Modular PLC – Motion Control

For users who do not need a full motion controller, System Q offers over 12 individual control cards. Each type of special function card is available in a range of 1, 2, 4 or 8 control axes; control methods include open collector and differential output, as well, of course, as the SSCNetIII. Also available are standard, general purpose, pulse train output cards, and high-speed counter cards.

Given this wide range of motion CPUs and dedicated control cards, it is easy to see how System Q can be customized to work with almost any servo manufacturer’s products, as well as being totally optimized for use with Mitsubishi Electric’s own advanced servo solutions.

Networking: Speed and reliability

SSCNet is a dedicated motion controller network developed by Mitsubishi Electric. It offers many advantages for fast, secure communications between up to 96 servo systems and their host controller.

The latest version is SSCNETIII, a powerful third-generation product. It enables high-speed, full duplex, transfer rates of up to 50MB/s as well as guaranteed network system cycle times of 0.44ms. This extends to all 96 axes, making sure that user applications are really synchronised over all active servo drives.

The use of fibre-optic cabling is a great benefit to all users as it eliminates any concerns about stray electrical noise corrupting the high-speed communication process. This means SSCNETIII users enjoy greater reliability and flexibility since the fibre-optic cables can be placed wherever they’re needed – even alongside large electrical motors.

Product range – Motion CPU overview

TypeBasic Motion ControllerAdvanced Motion Controller
CPU TypeMotion Controller
ModelQ172HCPUQ173HCPU
Control axes options832 (up to 96 axes when 3 CPUs are used in one system)
Total Inputs/Outputs4096/8192
Number of positioning data items3200 positioning points
Program memory14kB PLC program, 543kB total servo positioning program
Processor speed/cycle time0.4ms cycle time (SV13)
Multi CPU capabilityYes – up to 3 Motion CPUs per 4 CPU system
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