Ensemble Stand-Alone Multi-Axis Motion Controller


Design Features

  • Up to 10 axes of coordinated motion
  • Multiple 10-axis systems can be controlled by a single PC via Ethernet or USB
  • Controller architecture capable of coordinating motion of up to five independent tasks
  • Capable of driving and controlling linear or rotary brushless, DC brush servo and micro-stepping motors
  • Complete motion capabilities include: point-to-point, linear and circular interpolation, electronic gearing, velocity profiling

The Ensemble® is Aerotech’s next-generation, multi-axis motion controller for moderate- to high-performance applications with high-speed communication through 10/100 Base T Ethernet or USB interfaces. The Ensemble can control any Aerotech brushless, brush, or stepper motors or positioning stages in any combination and both PWM and linear drives are available. It offers easy to use, affordable multi-axis motion programming for laboratory experimentation, production testing, or advanced OEM automated manufacturing systems.

The versatile Ensemble offers three methods for stand-alone, multi-axis motion control.

  • Option 1: Use the Ensemble Epaq with integrated drives to control up to six axes for desktop or rack-mount applications.
  • Option 2: Use a distributed network of panel-mounted Ensemble drives to provide up to ten axes of synchronized motion.
  • Option 3: Use the Ensemble Epaq and add three Ensemble panel-mounted external drives for up to nine axes of motion control.

With the Ensemble stand-alone controller, up to ten axes of synchronized motion are offered in a distributed network of panel-mounted drives. This is excellent for applications where drives must be embedded into a machine at various locations or where panel space is at a premium. For desktop and rack-mount installations, the Ensemble is offered in a stand-alone 6-axis unit with integrated drives. Three additional panel-mounted linear or PWM drives may be added externally to the six-axis unit for up to nine axes of motion control. The Ensemble can control any Aerotech brushless, brush, or stepper motors or stages in any combination. The simple parameter interface also allows easy integration with third-party motors and stages. The controller encoder interface includes TTL quadrature input or analog encoder input. Multiple Ensemble controllers can be controlled from a single Windows® PC through Ethernet or USB, allowing many more than ten axes of motion to be operated from one host PC.

EPICS Compatible

Aerotech's Ensemble controller is compatible with EPICS. Motor records are available from Argonne National Lab. Use your existing EPICS interface to control the most advanced motion controller in the industry.

TANGO Compatible

Aerotech's Ensemble controller is compatible with TANGO environments. The TANGO Device Server is available on Sourceforge.net. Use the industry's most advanced motion controller in your existing TANGO environment.

Integrated Automation Solutions Brochure


For complete information on our advanced motion controls, software, drives, and other automation solutions, please see our Integrated Motion and Machine Control Solutions brochure. You can download a pdf or order a hard-copy HERE.


Ensemble Applications

The Ensemble 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 Ensemble platform.
  • Packaging Machines (Multi-Axis Applications)
  • Web Applications
  • Printing Applications
  • Rollover Unit Testing
  • IMU Testing
  • ECM
  • Marking
  • Mask Alignment
  • Vertical Form, Fill and Seal
  • Smart Vision Systems
  • Die Bonding
  • Via Drilling
  • Wafer Scribing and Singulation (Dicing)
  • Resistor Trimming
  • Chip Testing
  • Chip Packaging
  • Motion Simulators
  • Thin-Film Manufacturing


Ensemble Specifications

Axes One to ten axes
Axis Loop Type/Update Rate PID loop with up to 20 kHz servo update rate with feedforward; eight user-configurable digital filters (e.g., notch, low pass)
On-Board Memory Program Storage 2 MB flash memory for user programs, parameters, miscellaneous storage
Program Execution 512 KB RAM for program and 512 KB for data
Driver Type Compatibility Brushless (linear or rotary) servo with on-board commutation; DC brush servo; stepper/microstepper (on-board commutation)
Position Feedback 6-channel encoder interface, differential RS-422 signal, sine, cosine and marker; 20 MHz input data rate; optional on-board analog encoder interpolation (of up to 1024-times encoder multiplication)
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 Advanced queuing and deferred execution features for simultaneous command execution
Interpolated Motions Up to 6-axis linear and circular interpolation
Digitally Geared Motions Gearing with optional auxiliary encoder input
Advanced Features Automatic PID loop gain computation (autotuning)
Contouring Cubic spline curve-fitting; velocity profiling
Error Mapping 1D and 2D error mapping; backlash compensation
Acceleration Profiles Linear and jerk limiting parabolic; independent acceleration and deceleration profiles possible
Acceleration Ramp Rate, time or distance based; independent acceleration and deceleration capability
Programmable Multitasking Up to 5 independent tasks
Programming Command Set AeroBasic, LabVIEW®, MATLAB®, VB.Net, C#, C++/CLI, C Library
Interface On-board menu-driven program selection from front panel; program editing and download with Windows® PC through Ethernet or USB to host PC, or ASCII commands via RS-232, IEEE-488 or Ethernet
Command Execution Modes AUTO Program runs complete upon startup
SINGLE Full debug capability to step, step over, step into individual program lines
IMMEDIATE Commands are executed upon entry
JOG Axes controlled with jog pad on front panel or optional joystick
REMOTE Command execution controlled by remote host through Ethernet, RS-232 or IEEE-488 communications port via ASCII strings
Process Time Command execution up to eight motion lines per 1 ms (from command sent to motion start); read request @ 1 ms; average is 7 µs per program line (e.g., c = a + b)
Input/Output Standard Included with each amplifier axis: CW, CCW and Home limits; sin, cos, marker, Hall effects, ESTOP, encoder fault, brake, motion overtemp; 1 channel of 16-bit A/D per axis (±10 VDC); each Epaq includes joystick interface and optional RS-232 and GPIB
Optional I/O Board (can be added to each amplifier axis) Eight opto-inputs with the I/O board option; eight opto-outputs with the I/O board option; sinking and sourcing configurable with parameters; 5-24 VDC can be used with any I/O pins; single axis PSO (each axis with optional I/O; one additional 12-bit (±10 VDC) input and one additional 16-bit (±5 VDC) output; brake relay: 0.5 amp solid-state relay available with option board; secondary TTL RS-422 auxiliary encoder input; position latch with 50 ns position capture latency
Encoder Inputs TTL RS-422 standard (also on optional I/O auxiliary encoder input); optional amplified sine encoder input on primary encoder channel; programmable resolution up to 1024-times the analog encoder resolution; 40 MHz TTL RS-422 square wave primary or auxiliary encoder; 250 kHz amplified sine primary (with optional on-board encoder multiplier)
Absolute Encoders EnDat 2.2; Renishaw RESOLUTE
Additional Interfaces Serial 10/100 Base T Ethernet communication interface for system setup, application networking, Epaq-to-Epaq communications, embedded programming, immediate commands and Modbus over TCP; USB communication interface for system setup, application networking, Windows® PC control interface; RS-232 port with programmable baud rate, length, parity, stop bits (second RS-232 port optional)
Fieldbus EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP

Minimum PC Requirements

To install and run the Ensemble software, you must have Administrative privileges for installation and your PC must have the minimum requirements.

Processor Intel Pentium 4 or faster
RAM 1 GB or more
Operating System 32-bit or 64-bit version of one of the following:
  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 (any Service Pack)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (any Service Pack)
Other operating systems are not supported.
Graphic Display 1024 × 768 pixels or higher resolution
Hard Disk Space 500 MB available disk space
Microsoft Internet Explorer Internet Explorer 6 or later(1)
Required Peripherals Keyboard, mouse and CD-ROM drive
  1. Internet Explorer is not included as part of the Ensemble installation. If it is not installed on your computer, you must manually install it before you continue with the Ensemble installation.


Motion Composer

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. An EPICS public library is available for building distributed control systems.

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 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

Learn more about Motion Composer Suite

Standard Motion Composer Suite Includes:

  • Motion Composer
  • Configuration Manager
  • Digital Scope
  • Console
  • System Diagnostics (Status Utility)
  • Firmware Loader

Optional Motion Composer Modules:

Ordering Information

Ordering Example


Ordering Options

SoftwareLicenseController OptionsSystem OptionsMotion Composer (MC) OptionsMaintenance

Ensemble Software

Option Description
Full installation of Ensemble Controller and selected software components on a new system. Full part number includes software options listed below. Pricing is summation of selected software products. Maintenance (software update) included in price for one year from date of purchase.

Includes the Integrated Development Environment, Scope, System Diagnostics, and System Maintenance. Ensemble Motion Composer is intended for deployment on desktop or industrial PCs. See PC specifications on the "Specifications" tab above.

The ENSEMBLE is not multilingual and cannot be used in applications that require a native-language user interface.

Includes the following software options:


Option Description
-MACHINE Provides the ability to:
- Write, compile, execute, debug programs in AeroBasic
- Full access to .NET 2.0 and C Library
- 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 through Ethernet TCP/IP or USB
- Upgrades can be installed (firmware or controller) using Loader
-MACHINE UPGRADE Use to change the SYSTEM, 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.
-MACHINE DOWNLOAD Use this license to download the software from the website.
-MACHINE ADDITION Use this to increase the number of licenses associated with an existing Key.
-CD ONLY Makes a CD of the associated License ID.

Controller Options

Option Description
-FIVE AXIS CONTOURING More than 4 axes of coordinated motion with a single motion command.
-DYNAMIC CONTROLS TOOLBOX Includes Harmonic Cancellation
-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
-VERSION Previous release of Ensemble, where X.XX is the previous release number. For releases prior to 3.00, please consult factory.

System Options

Option Description
-ETHERNET/IP ODVA certified EtherNet/IP™ module provides full integration with Allen Bradley PLC and programmable from RSLogix™. Module has two APIs: ASCII and Register-to-Register.

Motion Composer (MC) Options

Option Description
-MOTION DESIGNER The Motion Designer is an add-on software component that provides the ability to create, import, run, and evaluate motion profiles (trajectories).
-LABVIEW Includes LABVIEW® 2010 VI samples.
-MATLAB Includes MATLAB® library for motion, parameters, and data collection


Option Description
-MAINTENANCE-y-mm First year of maintenance is included with the initial purchase. Additional years can be purchased.