- Complete motion capabilities include: point-to-point; linear, circular, helical and spherical interpolation; velocity profiling; electronic gearing; on-the-fly trajectory modification; high speed I/O; camming
- 1 to 32 axes of scalable, synchronized motion
- Utilizes the power of the PC to eliminate the motion control card
- Uses commercially available FireWire determinism for communications between drives and controller
- Programmable in native RS-274 G-code, AeroBasic command set, C, C++/CLI, .NET, MATLAB, or LabVIEW for flexibility
- Runs brushless servo, brush, stepper or voice coil
Aerotech’s ground-breaking motion, vision, robotics and I/O platform, the A3200 (or Automation 3200), is used in many applications in semiconductor, data storage, medical laser processing, automotive and machine tool industries. The system features a high-performance, software-only motion controller (Nmotion® SMC) that offers 32 axes of synchronized motion control. It is the successor to Aerotech’s performance-leading and widely utilized UNIDEX 500 and 600 PC-based motion controllers. The Nmotion® SMC retains the best features of these previous motion controllers and combines them with an advanced, high-performance distributed control architecture to produce a truly state-of-the-art motion, vision, robotics and I/O platform.
The A3200 digital automation platform represents a revolutionary advancement over traditional PC-bus-based motion controllers. The A3200 is software-based (no PC slots required) and marries a robust, high performance motion engine with vision, robotics and I/O in one unified programming environment. The A3200 utilizes the industry standard FireWire® (IEEE-1394) network to provide from 1 to 32 axes of synchronized control with no degradation in performance as the axis count increases.
The integration of multiple common automation tools into a single platform provides users the ability to integrate, develop and maintain the system faster, with lower cost than ever before. For instance, coupling the vision module with the motion system that coordinates a cutting process (laser, drill, mill, etc.) provides the ability to identify the workpiece and its position, and to adjust the position and signal to the cutter all within one system. This integration dramatically reduces wiring and the necessary components, which not only lowers integration and setup cost but also increases reliability.
The Automation 3200 addresses a major shortcoming of today’s multi-axis controllers: as axes are added, performance markedly degrades as either the servo update time or program execution time increases. The Automation 3200 utilizes a distributed control architecture that enables it to maintain performance independent of the number of axes being controlled. It accomplishes this by avoiding the processing bottleneck caused by today’s common single processor control architecture. Position, velocity and current loop closure are handled by Aerotech’s Intelligent Network Drive. Trajectory generation is done on the PC using a real-time operating system that runs with higher priority than Windows®. The PC executes programs and sends the position commands to the Ndrive via the FireWire® high-speed serial bus.
All of the external signals including encoder and I/O are fed directly into the drive, allowing one cable to be used between the PC and the drive. Drives are networked together with a single cable.
In designing the Automation 3200, Aerotech decided that its next generation controller had to overcome the shortcomings of the traditional ±10 V network interface. While still viable for many applications, ±10 V has shortcomings, particularly when complex motion control is involved such as is common in many Aerotech applications. For example, noise coupling onto the analog signals can cause instability in the servo loop that prevents high system bandwidth. Also, with the ±10 V command, the controller doesn't have knowledge of how well the current loops are tracking. With these and other shortcomings, it was decided that the next generation controller had to utilize a high-speed serial interface.
Digital networks, such as Ethernet and RS-232, are widely used in many different industries. Other newer networks such as FireWire® and USB are becoming increasingly popular. For example, nearly all new computers now have these interfaces as standard.
With a variety of digital networks available, Aerotech developed a list of criteria that the Automation 3200 network interface had to possess. The following list details the key criteria we used to ultimately select FireWire® and why those criteria were considered important.
|Data Rate||3.2 Gbps||200 Mbps||1 Gbps||480 Mbps||16 Mbps||1 Mbps|
|Standard on PCs||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
SynqNet™ is a registered trademark of Motion Engineering.
FireWire® is a registered trademark of Apple Computer.
A3200 Automation Motion Server
All Automaton Motion Server products are shipped with a fully tested and verified installation of Aerotech’s A3200 motion controller operating in a 64-bit Windows® operating system. The Motion Server is ready to work right out of the box — apply power, connect the drives, and start developing. You’ll waste no more time on PC selection, operating system activation/configuration, controller installation, and managing deliveries from multiple vendors. Get started on integrating your value-added process as soon as you open the box. Get more information including specifications, CADs, and ordering information HERE.
EtherCAT I/O is tightly integrated into the A3200 automation machine controller. Devices are configured with the card setup tool that generates the Fieldbus network topology definition. The user can then map the I/O with meaningful tag names that are available for use in the AeroBasic™ programming language directly, as well as in any of the applications such as the Scope or Motion Composer. Get more information including specifications and ordering information HERE.
PROFINET I/O is tightly integrated into the A3200 automation machine controller. Devices are configured with the card setup tool that generates the Fieldbus network topology definition. The user can then map the I/O with meaningful tag names that are available for use in the AeroBasic™ programming language directly, as well as in any of the applications such as the Scope or Motion Composer. Get more information including specifications and ordering information HERE.
WAGO I/O is tightly integrated into the A3200 automation machine controller. Devices are modular and can be stacked together as needed. The user maps the I/O with meaningful Tag names that are available for use in the AeroBasic™ programming language directly, as well as in any of the applications such as the Digital Scope and Motion Composer. Get more information including specifications and ordering information HERE.
A3200-OEM/Nservo-OEM packages Aerotech’s flagship Automation Machine Controller software with an OEM-style control card for a cost-effective solution in high-volume applications. Get more information including specifications, CADs and ordering information HERE.
Integrated Automation Solutions Brochure
For complete information on our advanced motion controls, software, drives, and other automation solutions, please see our Integrated Automation Solutions brochure. You can download a pdf or order a hard-copy HERE.
A3200 ApplicationsThe A3200 is used in a variety of high performance motion applications on the production floor and in the R&D lab. Below are a few examples of applications using the A3200 platform.
- Ion Beam Welding
- Fibre Bragg Gratings
- Fibre Optic Alignment
- Image Duplication
- Holographic Mastering
- Electronics Assembly and Inspection
- Mask & Memory Repair
- Mask Alignment
- Electron Microscopes
- Smart Vision Systems
- Inertial Sensor Testing
- Non-Destructive Testing
- Seismic Data Collection
- ABS Testing
- Head Gimbal Assembly (HGA) & Inspection
- Head Stack Assembly (HSA) & Inspection
- Motion Simulators
- Thin-Film Manufacturing
- Sensor Pointing
Motion Composer Specifications
Automation 3200 uses Motion Composer to create motion trajectories. Below are the specifications for the software.
Standard Motion Composer Suite
|Motion Composer||Develop and debug programs, jog axis and view status|
|Configuration Manager||Edit parameters and change system settings|
|Digital Scope||Collect and analyze data|
|Console||Command line interface for low-level hardware debugging|
|Status Utility||Debugging tool for status of drive signals, limits, inputs, halls, encoders and more|
|Firmware Loader||Utility to update hardware/firmware|
Optional Motion Composer Modules
|Motion Designer||Graphically generate motion profiles for execution on controller|
|CNC Operator Interface||Run programs, jog axis, view status and operate machine; included in the CNC option (A3200 only)|
Optional Controller Modules
|Dynamic Controls Toolbox||Control algorithms that increase system performance: settle time, accuracy, in-position stability and/or velocity stability|
|Enhanced Throughput Module||Improves machine throughput by compensating for the effect of frame vibration on tooltip|
|Fibre Optic||Power band search used to align fibreoptic devices (A3200 only)|
|CNC Option||Standard RS-274D or G and M code programming language (A3200 only)|
.NET Library Classes
|AeroBasic Classes||Compile AeroBasic programs and get build errors|
|Controller Class||Provides access to the different features of the controller and ability to configure the controller|
|Commands Classes||Execute AeroBasic commands in .NET|
|Configuration Classes||Configure A3200 system settings (for Ensemble and Soloist this is done using parameters)|
|DataCollection Classes||Collect data on the controller in real time; Exposes functionality used by the Digital Scope|
|FileSystem Classes||Control the file system on the Ensemble and Soloist controllers|
|Parameters Classes||Access parameters on the controller and handle data in parameter files|
|Status Classes||Get status and monitor information coming from the controller|
|Tasks Classes||Handle tasks and AeroBasic programs they are running|
Nmotion® SMC Specifications
|Driver Type Compatibility||-Brushless (linear or rotary) servo with onboard commutation
-DC brush servo
|Position Feedback||-5 V TTL quadrature encoders - max 40 MHz input
-1 Vpp sine wave encoders - max 250 kHz input requires MXH, MXR, MXU multiplier
|Absolute Encoders||EnDat 2.2 Renishaw RESOLUTE™|
|Position Modes||Absolute, incremental, dynamic trajectory correction|
|Motion Types||Independent Motions||Point-to-point incremental; target position or velocity; velocity profiles; time based; free run|
|Coordinated Motions||RS-274 standard G-code motion including linear, circular, helical and spherical interpolation, cutter compensation, normalcy, parts rotation, mirroring, path retrace, polar transformations and cylindrical transformations, scaling|
|Electronic Gearing||Electronic master/slave gearing, cam profiling with cubic splining|
|Advanced Features||High-speed registration, multi-dimensional error mapping and orthogonality correction, autotuning, backlash compensation, gantry algorithms|
|Range Limits||Position||±252 cnt|
|Velocity||8 x 109 cnt/second|
|Acceleration Profiles||Linear and modified sine|
|Programmable Multitasking||4 tasks standard|
|Programming||Native G-code programming with AeroBasic™ extensions, C++/CLI, C, LabVIEW®, .NET, MATLAB®|
|Advanced Functionality||Three-dimensional Position Synchronized Output, vision software, kinematics|
PC Requirements and Configuration
Aerotech supplies free support for A3200 installation if you purchase an Aerotech industrial PC (Automation Motion Server products) or an approved PC from the supplier list that follows.
PCs Approved for A3200 Installation
|Desktop PC||Dell Precision 5810, BIOS version A12 or A16, E5-1620 CPU, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SATA Hard Drive, NVidia NVS310 in “Standard VGA” mode Graphics Card, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
To correctly configure the PC, Refer to Optimizing PC Performance.
|4U Rackmount PC||BSI (www.bsicomputer.com)
Use with a FireWire PCI card (Siig P/N: NN-400012-S8, Aerotech P/N: NFIRE-PCI). The card is not included with the PC.
To correctly configure the PC, Refer to Optimizing PC Performance.
1U Rackmount PC
Use with a FireWire PCIe card (Syba P/N: SY-PEX30016, Aerotech P/N: NFIRE-PCIE). The card is not included with the PC.
To correctly configure the PC, Refer to Optimizing PC Performance.
Support Costs for Other PCs
- Before you install the A3200, Aerotech can evaluate your PC for compatibility for a fixed fee (paid in advance of receipt of PC). However, we can not guarantee the compatibility of the evaluated PC due to a wide variety of hardware and software configurations that are out of our direct control.
- After you install the A3200 on a PC that is not approved, Aerotech can help to resolve problems with the PC configuration. Phone/email support for PC’s not sent to Aerotech is billed at an hourly rate (1 hour minimum). We will attempt to resolve any configuration issues, but can not guarantee that we will resolve the problem.
Recommended and Minimum PC Specifications
Aerotech cannot guarantee the real-time capabilities of a PC that is not approved for A3200 installation because BIOS settings and chip sets are different for each motherboard manufacturer.
|PC Specifications for A3200 Installation|
|Operating System||32-bit or 64-bit version of the following:
|Hard Disk Space||500 MB available disk space|
|IE||Internet Explorer 6 or later(6)|
|Required Peripherals||Keyboard, mouse and USB port|
- A PC that has two physical processors is not supported. Use a PC with one processor and more than one physical core.
- Intel Xeon processors based on the Intel Core 2 or Intel Core i3/i5/i7 architecture are supported. Intel Xeon processors based on older architectures are not supported.
- A PC that has INtime configured is always limited to 32 cores, even when the PC has more than 32 physical cores.
- Laptop computers are not supported. They can be used for offline debugging and simulation only. PCMCIA FireWire® cards are not supported.
- Aerotech recommends that you do not use high-end display adapters because they can cause interference with the A3200. Use a medium-performance onboard integrated graphics adapter or a medium-performance PCI express dedicated graphics card. For more information, refer to Optimizing PC Performance.
- Internet Explorer is not included as part of the A3200 installation. If it is not installed on your computer, you must manually install it before you continue with the A3200 installation.
Recommended and Minimum PC Specifications
- For steps to optimize the real-time environment on your PC, refer to Optimizing PC Performance, or to the A3200 software help file.
- Windows Audio can cause timing-related errors. To prevent possible problems, set the Sound Scheme in Control Panel to No Sounds.
- Do not use Dell OMCI (Open Manage Client Instrumentation) software with the A3200. Remove all OMCI software using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
- The A3200 must have regular access to the PCI bus to operate correctly. Frame grabbers can use too much PCI bus bandwidth and cause communication errors or motion dropouts. To prevent errors and dropouts, use a dual PC (client/server) configuration.
Recommended FireWire CablesAerotech strongly recommends the use of FireWire cables supplied by Aerotech (NCONNECT cables). These cables are tested to ensure proper performance.
Aerotech’s latest motion controller release (download here) focuses on ease of use for the programmer, shortens development times compared with other tools and provides the flexibility to use the tools or controller most familiar to programmers. A complete Integrated Development Environment and a comprehensive .NET motion library provide classes for motion, I/O, status and diagnostic information. Program in Visual Studio and use the .NET library, or use the Motion Composer (IDE) to develop code with English-style commands or G code. A LabVIEW® VI library is available for NI users, while a complete C library is available for those using VB6, C++/CLI or C.
Motion Composer Suite
The Motion Composer Suite includes the Motion Composer IDE, Digital Scope, Configuration Manager, Console, Status Utility and Firmware Loader. Optional modules include the CNC Operator’s Interface, Motion Designer, Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Enhanced Throughput Module.
Key Function of Each Module
The Motion Composer is an environment for developing and debugging AeroBasic programs for controllers, and also functions as a simple operator's interface for the developer. The Motion Composer can be used to perform the following tasks:
• Write and debug programs – use breakpoint, step into, step over, colorized programming and standard program control (start, stop, pause, compile, etc.)
• Program flow control – If constructs, Looping constructs, Subroutines, Command basic motion
• Inspect diagnostic information
• Perform basic configuration
Standard Motion Composer Suite Includes:
- Motion Composer
- Configuration Manager
- Digital Scope
- System Diagnostics (Status Utility)
- Firmware Loader
Optional Motion Composer Modules
|A3200-IA||-MACHINE||-4 AXES||-DYNAMIC CONTROLS TOOLBOX||-MOTION DESIGNER||-NCONNECT-900-66||-MAINTENANCE-1-0|
|Software||License||Number of Axes||Controller Options||Motion Composer (MC) Options||FireWire Cable||Maintenance|
-FIVE AXIS CONTOURING
-DYNAMIC CONTROLS TOOLBOX
-ENHANCED THROUGHPUT MODULE
-ENHANCED TRACKING CONTROL
-CNC OPERATOR INTERFACE
Automation 3200 Software
Full installation of Automation 3200 controller and selected software components on a new system. Full part number includes options listed below. Pricing is summation of selected products. Maintenance (software update) included in price for one year from date of purchase.
A3200 is intended for deployment on desktop or industrial PCs. See website for PC specifications.
The CNC-OI option must be used for applications that require a native language user interface.
-IA: INTEGRATED AUTOMATION STANDARD
Includes the Integrated Development Environment, Parameter Editor, Tuning Scope, System Diagnostics, and System Maintenance.
Includes the following software options:
|-MACHINE||Provides the ability to:
- Write, compile, execute, debug programs in AeroBasic or G-code
- Full access to .NET 2.0, C
- Access full diagnostics, fault, and status information
- Access and set I/O, registers, and variables
- Collect, analyze, and save data
- View files from machine for analysis and record keeping
- Connect PC to machine directly with FireWire card
- Connect PC to machine remotely through Ethernet TCP/IP
- Upgrades can be installed (firmware or controller) using Loader
- Two axes of software motion engine
- Simulate trajectory on PC
- Installs Intime on the PC
|-MACHINE UPGRADE||Use to change the AXES, CONTROLLER, or MC options on an existing Machine License. Requires the current License ID from Customer. License ID should be entered in the extended attributes. Do not use to extend Maintenance. Price is based on the new options added.|
|-LICENSE EXTENSION||Extends the maintenance period on an existing license. Can be purchased in yearly increments.|
|-MACHINE MIGRATION||Use this license to migrate a MACHINE license prior to 2.53 to 2.53 or later. Also used to create installation keys for versions older than 2.53.|
|-MACHINE ADDITION||Use this to increase the number of licenses associated with an existing Key.|
|-MEDIA ONLY||License ID distributed on the specified media.|
|-REFERENCE||No software provided.|
|-2 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 2 axes coordinated motion and 4.5M FireWire® cable|
|-4 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 4 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
|-6 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 6 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
|-8 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 8 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
|-10 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 10 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
|-12 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 12 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
|-14 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 14 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
|-16 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 16 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
|-32 AXES||Software only motion, robotics, and I/O controller; provides 32 axes coordinated motion and 4.5 m FireWire® cable|
Note: Old part number – NMotion SMC-nn
|-PROFINET||Provides PROFINET interface to fieldbus I/O directly into the realtime controller.|
|-ETHERCAT||Provides EtherCAT interface to fieldbus I/O directly into the realtime controller.|
|-FIVE AXIS CONTOURING||More than 4 axes of coordinated motion with a single motion command. NOTE: Old part number - CNC-5|
|-FIBRE OPTIC||Fibre optic power scanning and virtual pivot point utilities|
|-DYNAMIC CONTROLS TOOLBOX||Includes Harmonic Cancellation and Gain Scaling|
|-ENHANCED THROUGHPUT MODULE||Includes setup and monitoring screens of the ETM module. Included in the price of the hardware modules sold separately.|
|-ENHANCED TRACKING CONTROL||Enhanced tracking control for reduced dynamic following error and settling times|
|-CNC||Includes all G and M code functionality as well as normalcy, cutter compensation, tool tables, polar/cylindrical coordinates, fixture offsets, inverse feedrate, spindles, reverse circular interpolation, delete block mode, optional stop, MPF, part scaling, retrace, and rotations. This module is automatically included when ordering the CNC OPERATOR INTERFACE option.|
|-MC PROFESSIONAL||Includes 31 user tasks that run programs, 1 dedicated library task, and 16 PC Modbus connections.|
|-VERSION||X.XX = CURRENT will ship the most current release at the time of shipment. Previous releases of A3200, where X.XX is the previous release number, can be selected. For releases prior to 3.00, please consult factory.|
Motion Composer (MC) Options
|-MOTION SIMULATOR||The Motion Simulator is a Man Machine Interface for simulating 1-3 axes of motion. Users can manually simulate motion with our advanced GUI and program simulation functions. With the included Motion Designer, rapid motion prototyping and learning simulation tools provide the ability to create, import, run, and evaluate motion profiles (trajectories). Analog inputs can be used for position or velocity tracking signals so customers may slave axes to their motion profiles with no programming. Infinite motion scope data collection, harmonic disturbance cancellation, and other advanced motion tools let users simulate their dynamic environments with little programming experience.|
|-MOTION DESIGNER||The Motion Designer is an add-on software component that provides the ability to create, import, run, and evaluate motion profiles (trajectories). NOTE: Old part number - A3200-MD|
|-CNC OPERATOR INTERFACE||Man-machine interface CNC software for Windows 7/8/8.1. This includes the CNC option. Includes user manuals, technical manuals, and cable drawings for all related equipment. NOTE: Old Part Number - Nview MMI|
|-LABVIEW||Includes LABVIEW® 2010 VI samples|
|-MATLAB||Includes MATLAB® library for motion, parameters, and data collection|
|-REMOTE||Optional feature of the MACHINE license that provides full access to the controller from a separate PC over Ethernet|
|-NCONNECT-900-66||FireWire cable 900 mm (3 ft), 6P to 6P|
|-NCONNECT-1800-66||FireWire cable 1.8 meter (6 ft), 6P to 6P|
|-NCONNECT-3300-66||FireWire cable 3.3 meter (9.8 ft), 6P to 6P|
|-NCONNECT-4500-66||FireWire cable 4.5 meter (15 ft), 6P to 6P|
|-NO CABLE||No FireWire cable|
|-MAINTENANCE-y-mm||First year of maintenance is included with the initial purchase. Additional years can be purchased.|