Drives and Controls Magazine
Idec partners with AMCI to simplify multi-axis controls
Published:  31 May, 2017

The Japanese automation manufacturer Idec has joined forces with the US motion controls specialist Advanced Micro Controls (AMCI) to offer a family of components ‒ including drives, stepper motors, indexers and integrated controls ‒ which will be sold under the “AMCI by Idec” banner. The global arrangement will allow users to implement single- and multi-axis controls quickly and easily, based on Idec’s FC6A PLC, which has embedded motion control macro instructions. In addition, users of Idec PLCs will be able to add motion controls without having to buy separate software.

Idec and AMCI argue that users are often frustrated by the complexity and high cost of implementing motion control systems. They say that their partnership will result in simple, yet highly capable, stepper-motor-based installations, with no need to perform integration. Macro instructions in Idec’s WindLDR PLC programming software can be configured to control up to 12 axes using drag-and-drop commands.

Further time, space and cost savings can be achieved by using AMCI’s integrated products, which include all-in-one controller-drives, motor-drives, and motor-drive-controls.

The AMCI by Idec range includes two-axis controllers with built-in motion profiles that can be selected via an Idec PLC connected by Modbus TCP. Up to six of these controllers can be linked to handle 12 axes. They have six discrete inputs for move conditioning and other functions, four discrete outputs for diagnostics and status indication, and encoder inputs to provide stall detection and move verification.

Other items in the portfolio include:

•  Nema 23 stepper motors with output torques from 0.9-1.7Nm;

Idec and AMCI say that their partnership offers an easy way to achieve multi-axis controls

•  integrated controller-drives for up to six axes, with built-in 4A stepper drives; and

•  integrated stepper motor-drives that deliver up to 1.7Nm of torque.

AMCI has made some changes to its products, including enhancing support for Idec’s preferred network, Modbus-TCP. Idec is adapting its WindLDR programming software to interface with the AMCI products.

Idec and AMCI say that, compared to more complex servo motion control systems, their stepper-based technology is simpler and needs no tuning or adjustment. It also offers high torque at low speeds, does not need position feedback, and has low maintenance requirements.