Motion Controller Selection Guide

Platform Overview

Controller Platform Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Develop: Software Automation1 MDK Motion Control Development Kit A3200 Motion Composer Suite Ensemble Motion Composer Suite Soloist Motion Composer Suite
Control: Machine & Motion Controller Automation1 iSMC Intelligent Software-Based Machine & Motion Controller A3200 Software-Based Machine Controller Ensemble Drive-Based Multi-Axis Motion Controller Soloist Drive-Based Single-Axis Motion Controller
Drive: Servo Motor, Galvo Scan Head, and Other Drives* Servo Motor
Galvo Scan Head
Hexapod**

Coming Soon:
Piezo Actuator
Servo Motor
Galvo Scan Head
Piezo Actuator
Hexapod
Servo Motor
Piezo Actuator
Servo Motor
Connect: Motion Control Bus HyperWire IEEE-1394 AeroNet n/a
Connect: Interface to the Controller See below See below See below See below
*note: See drive hardware section below for details.
**note: Hexapods can be controlled by servo motor drives.

Develop: Software Features

General Tools Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Single Application for Configuring, Programming, and Data Visualization Yes No No No
Application-Wide User Management Yes No No No
Deploy Custom Applications for Linux Yes No No No
Advanced Controller File System Yes No No No
All Controller Files Zip to Single Machine Controller Definition File Yes No No No
Access Control Yes No No No
Multiple Client Connections to a Controller Coming Soon No No No
Controller History Tracking Coming Soon No No No
Plug & Play Electrical and Mechanical Device Support Coming Soon Limited Limited No

Available Add-On Applications

Automation1

A3200

Ensemble

Soloist

Motor Sizer (Free)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Device Manager (Catalog Manager)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Motion Designer

Future

Yes

Yes

Yes

HexGen Hexapod Sizer

Yes

Yes

n/a

n/a

CADFusion

Yes

Yes

No

No

Galvo CFC (Free)

Yes

Yes

n/a

n/a

CNC Operator Interface

Future

Yes

No

No

Setup & Configuration Tools

Automation1

A3200

Ensemble

Soloist

EasyTune 1-Button Servo Tuning

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Axis Calibration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sine-wave Encoder Tuning

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Loop Transmission / Frequency Response Tool

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advanced Diagnostics and Tuning

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

System and Controller Performance Checking

Yes

No

No

No

Automatically Configure Drive Communication Bus

Yes

No

No

No

Machine Setup System Configuration Wizard

Yes

No

No

No

Programming & Development

Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist

Programming Language

AeroScipt AeroBasic AeroBasic AeroBasic

Load, Compile, and Run Programs

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Numeric Data Type

Yes Yes Yes Yes

String Data Types

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Global Variables

Yes Yes Yes Yes

User-Defined Functions

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Variables and I/O Watch

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Multi-dimensional Arrays

Yes No Yes Yes

Program & Local Variables

Yes No Yes Yes

Structures

Yes No Yes Yes

User-Defined Libraries

Yes No Yes Yes

Intellectual Property Protection of Libraries

Yes No Yes Yes

Intelligent Autocomplete IDE

Yes No No No

Real-Time Build Error Checking

Yes No No No

Axis Data Type & Axis Arrays

Yes No No No

Switch, Foreach, and Break Statements

Yes No No No

CNC Functionality/RS-274

Yes* Yes No No

*note: G-Code was a paid option in the A3200 controller, but comes standard with an Automation1 controller.

Data Collection & Visualization Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
1D and 2D Data Visualizer Yes Yes Yes No
Fast Fouier Transforms (FFTs) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Save System Data Directly to A File Yes Yes Yes Yes

Control: Machine & Motion Controller Features

Controller Hardware

Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist

Industrial PCs

Automation1 iPC A3200-iPC n/a n/a

Customer PCs

Yes* Yes* n/a n/a

Intelligent Drive-Based Controller

Coming Soon n/a Yes, All Drives** Yes, All Drives**

*note: PC must meet Aerotech's specifications and adhere to all required setup procedures.
**note: See list of drive hardware below.

General Features

Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist

Programmable Coordinated Motion Trajectories

Yes, 32 Axes Yes, 32 Axes Yes, 10 Axes No, Single Axis
Programming Multiple Tasks / Threads Yes, 32 Yes, 32 Yes, 5 Yes, 5
PC-based / Software Controller Yes Yes No No
Drive-based Controller Coming Soon n/a Yes Yes
Expanded IO Available Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual Loop Control Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sinusoidal Commutation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fast Position Capture Yes Yes Yes Yes
High-Speed Registration Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-the-Fly End-Point Modification Yes Yes Yes Yes
Data Acquisition Yes Yes Yes Yes
Joystick Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gantry Mode Coming Soon Yes Yes No
Signal Logging Yes Yes No No
Coordinate Transformations Yes Yes No No
Motion Trajectory Scaling Yes Yes No No
Motion Trajectory Translation Yes Yes No No
Motion Trahectory Rotation Yes Yes No No
Motion Trajectory Mirroring Yes Yes No No
Kinematics* Yes Yes No No
3D Error Mapping Yes Yes No No
*note: Automation1 has a C programming language kinematic interface which enables both inverse and forward kinematics to be calculated. Please consult the factory about this capability.
Calibration Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
1D Calibration File Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accuracy Correction Yes Yes Yes Yes
2D Calibration File Yes Yes Yes No
Orthogonality Correction Yes Yes Yes No
Straightness Correction Yes Yes Yes No
ThermoComp - Thermal Compensation Yes Yes No No
Galvo Calibration and Power Factor Correction Yes Yes No No
Advanced Calibration Coming Soon No No No
Motion Features Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Servo Motor Trajectory Calculation Rate 20 kHz 8 kHz 1 kHz 1 kHz
Galvo Scan Head Trajectory Calculation Rate 100 kHz 48 kHz n/a n/a
Point to Point Motion Yes Yes Yes Yes
Contoured Motion Yes Yes Yes n/a
Arbitrary Path Generation (PVT Motion Commands) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Axis Homing Routines Yes Yes Yes Yes
Velocity Blending Yes Yes Yes Yes
Velocity Profiling Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Gearing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Cam Profiling Yes Yes Yes Yes
Safe Zones Yes Yes No No
Bezier Motion Commands Coming Soon Yes No No
Cutter Radius Compensation Yes Yes No No
Lookahead Yes Yes No No
Acceleration Limiting Yes Yes No No
Corner Rounding Yes Yes No No
Parts Rotation Yes Yes No No
Retrace (Block by Block) Yes Yes No No
Tool Normalcy Control Yes Yes No No
SLICE Raster & Step Command* Future Yes No No
Ellipses (G-Code)* Future Yes No No
PROBE Command* Future Yes No No
Fixture Offsets Future Yes No No
Cutter Offset Compensation* Future Yes No No
Tool Tables Future Yes No No
*note: Automation1 includes the ability to write custom libraries. Several application-specific motion commands once handled natively by Aerotech controllers can now be accomplished via custom libraries. Aerotech's own libraries will be further developed over time.
Advanced Motion Features Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Enhanced Tracking Control Yes Yes Yes Yes
Friction Compensation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Command Shaping Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
Cross-axis Feedforward Coming Soon Yes Yes No
Harmonic Cancellation Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
Enhanced Throughput Module Support Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
Gain Scheduling Coming Soon No Yes Yes
Process Tool Control Features Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Integrated Digital and Analog I/O Control with Motion Programming Yes Yes Yes Yes
Position Synchronized Output (PSO) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Part-Speed Position Synchronized Output (Part-Speed PSO) Yes Yes No No
Analog Power Control Yes Yes Yes Yes
Distance Logging Future Yes No No

Drive: Servo Motor, Galvo Scan Head, and Other Drive Features

Drive Hardware Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Servo Drives with PWM Amplifiers Automation1 XC4e
Automation1 XC4
Automation1 XC2e
Automation1 XC2

Coming Soon:
Automation1 XC6e
Automation1 XC4e
Automation1 XC4
Automation1 XC2

Ndrive HPe
Ndrive CP
Ndrive MP
Ensemble Hpe
Ensemble CP
Ensemble MP
Soloist HPe
Soloist CP
Soloist MP
Servo Drives with Linear Amplifiers Coming Soon:
Automation1 XL5e
Automation1 XL2e
Ndrive HLe
Ndrive ML
Ensemble HLe
Ensemble ML
Soloist HLe
Soloist ML
Drive Racks Automation1 XR3 Automation1 XR3

Npaq

Npaq 6U
Npaq MR
Ndrive MPC
Epaq
Epaq MR
No
Galvo Scan Head Controllers Automation1 GL4
Automation1 XL4s
Automation1 GL4
Automation1 XL4s

Nmark GCL
No No
Dedicated Hexapod Controllers Future HEX RC No No
Piezo Nanopositioner Drive Coming Soon:
Automation1 QL4e
Automation1 QL4
Ndrive QLe
Ndrive QL
Ensemble QLe
Ensemble QL
Ensemble QDe
Ensemble LAB
No
Analog Amplifier Interface Coming Soon:
Automation1 XI4
Nservo
Nservo-OEM
No No
Clock & Direction Interface Coming Soon:
Automation1 SI4
Nstep No No
Galvo Scan Head XY2-100 Interface Coming Soon:
Automation1 GI4
Nmark-SSaM No No
Servo Motor Drive Features Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Servo Control Rate 20 kHz 8 kHz 20 kHz* 20 kHz
PWM and Linear Amplifier Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
AC Brushless, DC Brush, Voice Coil, and Stepper Motor Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hexapod Support Yes Yes No No
Backlash Compensation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rollover Mode Yes Yes Yes Yes
Brake (Enable/Output/DisableDelay/EnableDelay) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Analog and Digital I/O Yes Yes Yes Yes
Drive Array for Process Control & Data Acquisition Yes Yes Yes Yes
Safe Torque Off Yes No** No** No*
Autofocus Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
Analog Input to Servo Loop Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
Fiber Optic Alignment Routines Coming Soon Yes No No
Touch Probe Routines Future Yes No No
Velocity Mode Future No No Yes
Torque Mode Future No No Yes
Barcode Datamatrix No*** Yes No No
*note: The Automtion1 servo controller operates off of a 20kHz trajectory from the controller. Ensemble and Soloist have servo controllers that interpolate up to 20 kHz of servo control points from a 1 kHz trajectory.
**note: These drives include an E-stop Sense input which alarms the drive of an external e-stop condition
***note: barcode generation supported via Windows fonts in CADFusion application.
Galvo Scan Head Controller Features Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Servo Control Rate 200 kHz 192 kHz n/a n/a
Galvo Scan Head and Voice Coil Motor Support Yes Yes n/a n/a
Ifinite Field of View (IFOV) Yes Yes n/a n/a
Drive Array for Process Control & Data Acquisition Yes Yes n/a n/a
Barcode Datamatrix* Coming Soon Yes No No
*note: barcode generation supported via Windows fonts in CADFusion application.
Piezo Nanopositioner Drive Features Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Servo Control Rate Coming Soon 24 kHz 20 kHz n/a
Piezo Nanopositioning Stage Support Coming Soon Yes Yes No
Capacitive Sensor Feedback Coming Soon Yes Yes No
Supported Feedback Devices Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
None (Open-Loop) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Square-Wave Encoder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Single-Wave Encoder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Analog Input Yes Yes Yes Yes
Half-Effect Switches Yes Yes Yes Yes
EnDat Encoder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Biss Encoder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Resolver Future Yes Yes Yes
Capacitance Sensor (Piezo) Coming Soon Yes Yes No
SSI Encoder Coming Soon No No No
Dual Loop Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual-Loop with Sine-Wave Encoders Yes No No No
Parallel Laser Interface Future Yes No No

Connect: Motion Control Bus

General Specs Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
Motion Control Bus HyperWire FireWire AeroNet n/a
Physical Layer Glass Optical Fiber IEEE-1394 Ethernet n/a
Communication Rate 2 Gbps 400 Mbps 12.5 Mbps n/a
Jitter* <1 nsec 60 - 680 nsec 20 - 180 nsec n/a
Master Clock Stability +/- 5ppm +/- 100ppm +/- 50ppm n/a
Maximum Network Rate 100 kHz 8 kHz 1 kHz n/a
MIMO Communication Support Coming Soon No No n/a
*note: Patent pending jitter reduction technology which nearly eliminates drive-to-drive jitter and maintains constant low jitter for variable numbers of hardware devices on the communication bus.

Connect: Interface to the Controller

Library Support Automaton1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
.NET Yes Yes Yes Yes
C Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
C++ Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
LabVIEW VIs Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
MATLAB API Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
EPICS Coming Soon Yes Yes Yes
Tango Future No Yes Yes
Python Coming Soon No No No
REST API Future Yes Yes No
Industrial Bus Support Automation1 A3200 Ensemble Soloist
EtherCAT Coming Soon Yes No No
PROFINET Future Yes No No
EtherNet/IP Future No Yes Yes
Modbus TPC Future Yes Yes Yes
Web Server Future Yes No No
Ethernet TCP/IP Future Yes Yes Yes
RS-232 No Yes Yes Yes