The world is steadily transforming into the era of Industry 4.0 with more technological advancements leading the way for industries. With newer technologies taking over the world, AI-enabled processes and machine learning chipped with data analytics are recently birthing robotics and motion control.
Motion control is an integral component of the industrial automation system. It coordinates and manages numerous engines to carry out a series of motions within a stipulated amount of time. For instance, a multi-axis robotic arm needs several motors to work together smoothly in order to perform a particular motion. To make this possible, the integration of motion control systems becomes essential to create consistent and accurate outputs.
Motion control is being utilized for multiple purposes through robotics including assembling, picking and arranging, packaging, and palletizing. Manufacturers can conduct these activities by connecting the motion controller to the robot to improve production processes.
Motion Control Systems Effectively Automating Manufacturing Processes
Motion control is termed a sub-system of industry automation firms. This controller generates trajectory planning for processes and provides commands to motor drivers. For instance, IQS Directory provides a wide range of motion control products including air cylinders, assembly machinery, ball bearings, friction materials, and several others for the purpose of automating processes in manufacturing industries.
The growth of motion control systems has witnessed a significant boom due to the rising volume of real-time data for industrial communication. The global motion control market previously valued at USD 15.7 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 22.3 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period.
The use of robotics, especially in manufacturing industries, has increased significantly for assembly purposes. Industrial robots are highly sought after because they help to simplify production processes. All industrial robots have some form of motion control, which enhances their performance and enables them to carry out novel tasks during production.
What Components Create the Motion Control?
Motion control consists of a group of individual components that work together to create controlled movement in machinery. Here are three of the major parts that help curate what motion control is:
- Controller – The Brain: A controlled or electronic device makes up the brain of the motion control system which is utilized in various applications. These are more popular in production lines, various manufacturing processes, and several other industries. There could be one or more controllers according to the requirement for providing feedback to the main computer.
- Motor Drive – The Processor: The motor drive serves as a middleman between the controller and the motor. It interprets the controller's signal and then gives the motor the appropriate amount of power to produce the intended motion.
- Motor – The Movement: Motors add movement to the motion control which is then used for multiple functions including bolt motion control, linear motion control, and industrial motion control. The main purpose of this motor is to receive signals from the “brain” and the “processor” and convert it into movements, a.k.a. motion.
How is Motion Control Becoming the “New Big Thing” in 2023?
A motion control system is usually made up of complex designs which cover multiple aspects including motor control, networking, encoding/decoding errors, providing feedback, or even security to the systems. There are several different motion control systems available in the market which are revolutionizing how manufacturers work:
- Jump Along “Atlas” Robot: You have seen the funny fails of the Atlas robot falling. Being the world’s first state-of-the-art dynamic humanoid robot that cannot just perform tasks, but also think and jump. The 28-joints-robot is capable of human-level agility and decision-making ability.
- “Universal Robots” All Around: Universal Robots is an innovative company dealing with robotics and automation. Their motto is to help people improve the speed of completing tedious tasks quickly. They aim to create a working environment that encourages people to work with robots and not like robots. Their footprint is in several areas including North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
- Come On “Omron’: Omron Adept Technology, popularly known as Omron, is a company that aims to focus on industrial automation and robotics for manufacturing companies. Apart from these services, their services also include software and vision guidance to help improve productivity among the workers. They have employed over 20,000 robots worldwide in an attempt to automate factory challenges and boost productivity.
Motion Control: Cascade Into Complete Automation
A few years ago, robots used to be programmed to perform very specific duties, typically in a fixed location. However, today automation has a huge impact on their ability to perform several functions, the collaborative application of industrial robots, and the embedded features of AI and machine learning, which is drastically evolving. These cooperative industrial robots, also known as co-bots, now work alongside factory operators, performing some of the tasks that human employees used to do.
In essence, motion control systems use real-time analytics to compare a data-based motor performance model and correct performance issues with voltage commands, producing nearly normal torque when phase faults occur. These devices are designed to reduce the effects of phase faults and make them more manageable, particularly in high-risk safety circumstances.
Motion control efficiency is improved by intelligent motors. Manufacturers stand to gain substantial productivity benefits from intelligent motors by increasing productivity, uptime, efficiency, and energy consumption. Due to the widespread use of sensors, it is now possible for them to work alongside people and collect data about their surroundings.
In today’s world, we are able to gather information at every stage of the manufacturing process. This has allowed for tracking and analyzing in-depth data analysis to help manufacturers improve their production processes. By integrating new technologies to improve productivity and efficiency, motion control is helping to revolutionize the way manufacturing industries work.