Other machine builders echo many of the comments made by PVA about the hybrid motion controller advantages. In business since 1905, R.A Jones is best known for its line of high capacity, high speed production packaging machines. R.A Jones has also been performing a complete range of integration services and turnkey design for more than 25 years.
R.A Jones sources hybrid motion controllers from a variety of automation suppliers including Bosch Rexroth. Hybrid control streamlines the control architecture by removing the logic needed for handshaking between the discrete controller (PLC) and the motion controller. Removing handshaking logic means less logic overall, less hardware, quicker scan times, and less wiring. Reliability is better because there are fewer points of failure, start up are quicker because there is less debugging time, and hybrid controllers are easier to troubleshoot. It is also simpler to integrate advanced, time critical functions such as registration when I/O information and motion are controlled uniformly and feel into one central processor.
Many users think the main drawback of hybrid controllers is the proprietary programming software associated with each individual vendor’s product. Logic is not transportable from platform to platform for the exact same applications. This reinventing the wheel, going from platform to platform, is no a very good use of resources.
PLCs and others types controllers share the same problem. Vendors try to address this issue by adopting the IEC 61131 software standard in the PLC world. This standard defines five different programming languages: ladder diagram, instruction list, structured text, function block diagram, and sequential function chart.
Many software vendors have marketed Windows based software packages that use these five languages. Applications are programmed on PC and then downloaded to the desired target control engine or platform. A target can be anything from PCs and PLCs to a Windows CE box.