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Application Note, Motion Control Platforms
Application Note

Automation1 Control Systems Demonstrate Significantly Improved PID Loop Bandwidth and Motion Control Performance

Building on over 50 years of motion control expertise, the Automation1 motion control platform contains some of the highest performing drive hardware available on the market today. To demonstrate how Automation1 outperforms Aerotech’s previous generation of drive hardware products, the Automation1-XR3 was compared to the A3200 Npaq.

For this comparative test, an unloaded NEMA rotary motor is evaluated with both an Automation1 and an A3200 control system. The unloaded NEMA motor represents an ideal mechanical test condition, enabling the evaluation to highlight the controller performance differences. Tracking error and settle time results do not necessarily translate to every mechanical setup. The two control systems are as defined in Table 1.

Table 1. The Automation1 motion control platform is compared with the legacy A3200 motion control platform to highlight performance improvements.

Automation1 Control SystemA3200 Control System
Motion Control PlatformAutomation1A3200
Motion ControllerAutomation1-iSMCA3200 SMC
Communication ProtocolHyperWireFireWire
Drive Rack SystemAutomation1-XR3Npaq

The results demonstrate the Automation1 control system’s clear performance advantage: it’s enabled by a higher resolution trajectory generation, faster servo control loop, improved signal processing and superior drive hardware. The Automation1 control system outperforms the A3200 system in peak error performance, point-to-point settle time and PID response performance.

As highlighted in Table 2, the Automation1 control system delivers the following when compared to the A3200 system:

  • A 54% reduction in peak position error for 100 Hz circles
  • A 42% reduction in point-to-point settle time
  • A 68% higher servo loop crossover frequency at 40° phase margin

Table 2. The Automation1 control system outperforms the A3200 control system in peak error, point-to-point settle time and PID response performance.

Automation1 Control SystemA3200 Control System
Peak Position Error, 100 Hz Circles0.30 deg0.65 deg
Point-to-Point Settle Time37 msec64 msec
Crossover Frequency @ 40° Phase Margin360Hz214Hz


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