- Drive-based motion controller - part of the Soloist Platform
- Powerful controller operates side-by-side on a motor drive, eliminating the need for additional hardware
- Multiple single-axis controllers can be controlled by a single PC via Ethernet or USB
- Delivers productivity and quality through combined motion and process control
- Executes real-time application code developed in the Soloist Motion Composer Suite
- Directly programmable through the .NET, C, C++, MATLAB, and LabVIEW libraries
- Controller data is accessible to SCADA and MES control systems via libraries
- Advanced motion trajectory features
Power and Flexibility in a Drive-Based Controller
The power of the Soloist drive-based motion controller comes from both its powerful features and its flexibility. We develop our controller technology from the ground up, allowing us to deliver an automation product that is centered around precision. This approach gives our products a new level of performance, especially when compared to typical motor drive solutions. This often results in a new and rewarding experience for those used to working with motor drives from general automation suppliers.
By using the single-axis Soloist controller, enabled by the AeroBasic language, unique single-axis functionality is available. Features such as Aerotech’s Position Synchronized Output (PSO) distance-based process triggering, gearing, advanced data collection, file access, analog and digital I/O control, and standard program flow and mathematical concepts are all integrated with powerful servo control. This can all be executed at up to 20 kHz.
Combined with powerful software tools, the Soloist controller excels in simple testing and R&D applications and is robust enough for production environments.
Powerful Single-Axis Trajectory Generation
At the heart of the controller is the ability to translate commands into the industry’s best trajectory. Our controller includes the Aerotech motion engine — a robust technology that differentiates Aerotech control from other providers. This technology translates what you programmed for the single-axis trajectory into the drive’s servo control loop. Soloist servomotor drives can control DC brush servomotors, AC brushless servomotors, voice coil motors, and stepper motors. Advanced trajectory features include:
- Point-to-point (PT, PVT)
- Target position and target velocity
- Linear and freerun
- Torque (current) mode operation
- Digital gearing to a global variable, to an auxiliary encoder input, or to an analog input
- Cubic spline curve-fitting
- Velocity profiling
- Backlash compensation
- Error compensation
- Advanced queuing and deferred execution features
Single-axis drives should do more than simply move a motor. With Soloist drives, a complete controller is included, which allows sensors and feedback devices to come together with servomotor control applications.
A single-axis Soloist motor drive has a controller with direct access to up to 50 I/O points. Using the AeroBasic language’s logic and control, algorithms are easily programmed based on the state of I/O.
Ethernet and RS-232 Support
Soloist drive-hardware includes both ethernet and RS-232 communication ports. These ports allow greater expandability of your automation solution — beyond the I/O available on the drives.
The Ethernet port is configurable for Modbus communications. Class 1, Class 2, and part of Class 3 of the OpenModbus/TCP specifications are supported. While the Soloist always functions as Modbus/TCP slave, it can also act as a Modbus/TCP master when enabled, thus acting as a master and slave at the same time. Several blocks of Modbus registers are used to exchange data between the master and slave devices.
Aerotech includes standard procedures in its help files for integrating both WAGO and AutomationDirect devices over Modbus.
Aerotech offers a Soloist EtherNet/IP™ option that communicates with Aerotech Soloist drives and the various ODVA Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™) objects that are used. The Soloist supports a Generic EtherNet/IP I/O interface by using Class 1 (Implicit Messaging) communications.
Aerotech’s Soloist 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.
Motion Composer Suite Engineering Software
Aerotech’s Soloist Motion Composer Suite is a feature-rich engineering software package. Simply connect to the controller using the Motion Composer Suite and then use several user-friendly tools to set up the drive’s control loops and controller-specific parameters.
The Soloist Motion Composer Suite includes the Motion Composer IDE — a feature-rich programming environment for developing real-time application code. The Motion Composer IDE allows you to quickly build, debug, load, and run real-time application code on the controller.
Programming Libraries Extend Functionality
When your goal is to deploy a custom user experience or access data from your drive, the Soloist controller enables many paths to success. Standard programming libraries for .NET, C, and C++ are included with the controller. If you are developing MATLAB or LabVIEW applications, support for each product is available.
No matter how you want to approach your precision motion control application, the Soloist controller helps you to succeed.
System Setup with the Soloist Drive-Based Motion Controller
The center of a powerful setup experience is the drive-based controller, which offers several options. As seen in the graphic below, these ‘smart-drives’ allow your design ideas to become your automation solutions. Our drive options enable the controller, fieldbus support, and servomotor control to be set up simultaneously with a single parameter file.
.NET, C, and C++ Libraries Plus REST Interface
Aerotech’s standard controllers are flexible enough to handle almost any control application. From simple motion to coordinating and synchronizing the motion of multiple axes in your machine, Aerotech automation controllers provide the flexibility and power required for today’s automation challenges, and it is all accessible through powerful programming libraries.
MATLAB® Library and LabVIEW® VIs
Users who program in MATLAB and LabVIEW can benefit from Aerotech’s powerful automation tools. Integrate into your native environment with well-documented libraries.
.NET Library – Fully Functional for Developers
The Soloist .NET library is made accessible to our customers in the same structure and format that we use to develop our own applications. Therefore, developers should never worry that using our API will somehow reduce the capabilities of their own products or developments.
Some of the high-level functionality available in our APIs include:
|Connect||Connect to one or several controllers|
|Configure||Configure settings, set/retrieve controller and drive parameters, tune motors and encoders, and load drive firmware|
|Execute Commands||Execute AeroBasic commands in .NET|
|Program Files||Compile AeroBasic programs, get build errors, load and run AeroBasic programs on the controller, and handle the controller tasks that run AeroBasic programs|
|Communicate||Set up and command drive and controller communication ports and protocols|
|Monitor Status||Get status and monitor information coming from the controller|
|Collect Data||Collect data on the controller in real time; exposes functionality used by the Digital Scope|
Accessing Data with the Soloist Drive-Based Motion Controller
Accessing data from your controller is simple. The Soloist controller allows fast and easy access to data through both the Soloist Motion Composer Suite and through the APIs.
Through the Motion Composer Suite
More than 30 axis status items are available for each controller axis, and 10 task state items are available for each controller task.
Through the API
These same signals are available for collection and analysis through industry-standard tools using the programming APIs.
Machine Performance with the Soloist Drive-Based Motion Controller
Once set up and ready to go, the system performs. The Soloist controller contains a long list of standard controller capabilities as well as advanced controller capabilities.
These features are all easy to access with the powerful Motion Composer Suite software and controller APIs.
See the datasheet for the the full list of features.
Soloist Drive-Based Motion Controller SpecificationsHigh-speed registration Electronic gearing (with optional auxiliary encoder input) EasyTune and autotuning Backlash compensation Autofocus
|Programming Tasks||5 tasks available|
|Position Modes||Absolute, incremental, dynamic trajectory correction|
|Motion Commands||The Soloist controller includes the following motion commands:
Multiple procedures are available in order to establish the home position of an axis
In the Soloist, profiled motion can be loaded into a first-in, first-out (FIFO) queue. The controller uses profiled motion FIFO queue when you issue LINEAR motion or PVT motion. Moves loaded in the profiled motion FIFO queue can be halted by using the HALT command. They can be restarted by using the START command.
Note: the HALT command is used to set the profiled motion FIFO queue to hold commands instead of executing them.
HALT and START pairs can be used to synchronize moves with I/O and other non-motion commands.
|Acceleration Profiles||Acceleration Types
|Velocity Profiling||Blend multiple coordinated motion commands into one continuous motion path. In this velocity profiling mode, the controller does not decelerate to zero between consecutive coordinated moves. During the move sequence you can change the velocity if necessary. The axes will increase or decrease in speed in a coordinated way such that the programming path is maintained.
Soloist Software License Specifications
|Soloist||Order Entry Point||
Full installation of the Soloist Motion Composer Suite and unlocks certain features on the Soloist drive-based controllers
Pricing is summation of selected products. Maintenance (software update) included in price for one year from date of purchase.
The Soloist Motion Composer Suite is intended for deployment on desktop or industrial PCsIncludes:
The Soloist is not multilingual and cannot be used in applications that require a native-language user interface
Contains both the Soloist Motion Composer Suite and options that
Provides the ability to:
|Machine Addition||Increases the number of licenses associated with an existing key|
|Media Only||License ID distributed on the specified media|
Ordering Options and Details
|Dynamic Controls Toolbox||
Contains a collection of controller-level algorithms that are designed to improve machine positioning, increase throughput, and reduce cycle times. Parameters supplied in the toolbox are used to configure these algorithms.
Dynamic and Threshold Gain Scheduling
Adjusts the servo-loop gains based on specific inputs. These algorithms can improve position performance and reduce cycle times.
Improves performance by reducing the tracking error to sinusoidal reference commands, motor force ripple or other position-dependent disturbances, and cross-axis disturbances such as that created in a linear axis by an unbalanced rotational axis.
Filters undesired frequencies from the commanded position, velocity, and acceleration.
|Enhanced Throughput Module||The Enhanced Throughput Module (ETM) can improve machine throughput by measuring base or frame vibration directly and using this information in the servo control algorithm.|
|Enhanced Tracking Control||Enhanced Tracking Control (ETC) improves move-and-settle times in point-to-point positioning and decreases tracking errors that occur during contoured motion. The ETC is a control algorithm that works with a conventional Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) servo loop and increases the ability of the servo mechanism to reject low-frequency disturbances that can cause position errors. Examples of low-frequency disturbances include friction, isolation table movement, and cable management. Use ETC only with stages that have a high encoder resolution.|
Soloist Drive-Based Machine Controller Software Ordering Options
|Soloist||Soloist Motion Composer Suite|
|-Machine||Soloist software installation on a single PC|
|-Machine upgrade||Soloist software configuration change of license|
|-Machine addition||Soloist software increase license count for existing key|
|-License extension||Soloist software extend maintenance period of license|
|-Media only||Soloist software distribute current license on media|
|-Download||Installation media provided for download only|
|-USB||Installation media provided on a USB drive|
|-CD||Installation media provided on compact disk|
|-Default||Current version of software/controller|
|-Legacy||Legacy version of software/controller|
|-Maintenance-X-00||Software/controller maintenance for x year(s) after purchase where X is one through seven. One year is default.|
Drive-Based Controller Configuration
|Dynamic Controls Toolbox|
|-Dynamic Controls Toolbox||Aerotech Advanced Controls|
|Enhanced Throughput Module|
|-Enhanced Throughput Module||Setup and monitoring screens for ETM modules|
|Enhanced Tracking Control|
|-Enhanced Tracking Control||Reduced dynamic following error and settling times|
|-EtherNet/IP||EtherNet/IP class 1 I/O, ASCII command, and register interface objects|
|-Motion Designer||Trajectory creation and evaluation software|
|-LabVIEW||Includes LabVIEW 2010 (forward compatible) VI samples|
|-MATLAB||MATLAB library for motion, parameters, and data collection|
Soloist Controller Connection Cable (Items Ordered Separately)
|PC to Ensemble Drive/Controller Cable|
|ENET-XOVER-xx||Ethernet crossover cable (available in length xx where xx = 9, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, or 150 dm)|
|USB-AMBM-xx||USB A-Male to B-Male cable (available in length xx where xx = 5, 10, 30, 50, or 200 dm)|
|-MATLAB||MATLAB library for motion, parameters and data collection|