I'm working on a scientific device that makes use of 3 linear axes, and one rotational axis. In addition I also need at least two 0-5V or 0-10V analog outputs to control some external hardware. The axes, which will have encoders and be either stepper or servo driven (likely a mixture of both), are to move in a coordinated way (XYZ, similar to a CNC for example). I came across Trio Motion today, and the hardware that is being offered seems like it could be a good fit. I'm struggling a bit to wrap my head around what I'd need exactly though, as I've never used EtherCAT stuff before. Could you please confirm my understanding?
To do what I want, do I just need to clip together a Flex6 P601 (4 axis) controller and a P378 Flexslice 8 Analogue Output module? Is that the extent of the motion control hardware? Then I just use a PC with Motion perfect, and an Ethernet bus to connect to the controller? Is that right? Are there any limitations to what kinds stages or encoder types I can use (or is this primarily a limitation set by the driver)?
When it comes to the stepper/servo drivers, these need to be EtherCat Compatible yes? Do they just need to be daisy chained using ethernet cables from the Flex6 to each driver? Is there anything else I need to look for specifically when selecting a driver to work with this system (communication/signal wise)? If anyone has driver manufacturer suggestions that have worked well for them, I'd love to know.
When it comes to the software, we're basically going to be performing combinations of simple linear motions in addition to circular arcs nested in loops. Can MotionPerfect and the TrioBasic language do this easily? Can the Analog output values be set/modified from within the script? For example, Line 5: Set output voltage to 3.5V, Line 50, set output voltage to 8V. This shouldn't be a problem right?
Any help would be really appreciated!