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Windows Device Drivers

Introduction

Windows Device Drivers for Motion Control Boards is developed as a technology to control a coordinate motion device from Windows in real-time. Applications are developed for low-level Motion Control Boards that utilize no CPU. Instead of calculation power on-board, the whole motion control up to trajectory calculation is made in Windows. Control frequency is possible up to 50 KHz, and it is clocked by our own Interrupt Generating Board.

Component Parts

Hardware Components:

  • IBM PC compatible system with 2 ISA slots
  • Low-level Motion Control Board, like ISEL Microstep Card MPK-3 or ADDI-DATA I/O Card PA-310
  • CS&IE Interrupt Generating Board

Software Components:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Windows 2000 Hardware Driver
  • Windows 2000 Port Monitor Driver
  • Windows 2000 Printer Driver
  • Windows 2000 Motion Control Configurator

Windows Integration

WDD are configurable to be used in distributed environment, like LAN or Internet.

It is intended to operate under Windows 2000. Operation under Windows XP can be implemented on demand.

Configurability

All drivers are fully and easily configurable from Motion Control Configurator. It is possible to enable or disable motion axes, reverse axes, specify motion area, spindle pitch, velocity and acceleration for operating mode and initialization mode. There is a possibility to specify additional control parameters for various applications.

Motion Control

Motion control is implemented as trapezoidal shape of velocity on trajectory to provide customizable smooth motion. Hardware driver can combine consecutive narrowly directed lines to be considered as a single trajectory reducing the number of acceleration and deceleration cycles. Angle of the maximum inclination between lines to be considered as "directed narrowly" can be specified as a parameter of the driver.

Control frequency is possible up to 50 KHz. Own Interrupt Generating Board is utilized as high-frequency clock interrupt source and based on a simple three-channel one-chip programmable timer.

Up to 3 coordinate axes can be controlled concurrently.

Control Interface

WDD can accept input data in HPGL language, and it is capable to control various external tools (e.g. laser, mill, etc) concurrently with the motion.

Imaging Applications

As the system is represented as a printer device in Windows, it is possible to use Windows standard graphical applications (such as CorelDraw, AutoCAD, etc) to control 2- or 3-coordinate systems. Having the 3rd coordinate as milling tool or laser, it is easy to engrave vector or raster graphics generated by graphical applications.

Printer Driver

Printer Driver is intended to take part in rendering process together with GDI. It produces data in HPGL format with certain extension to implement features of specific machines that have differences in structure and functionality from usual plotters but are still closer to them than to any other computer peripherals.

Printer Driver is implemented like Windows Plotter Driver. It also has a set of pen options and a set of specific options for a machine.

Printer Driver works with vector and raster data. It distinguishes different colors reflecting them to tool parameters. For laser engraving machine, user can specify motion speed and acceleration during drawing with configured pen as well as the power of laser tool corresponded to "pen down" state for every pen. User is prompted to set the type and size of drawing area.

Conclusion

Flexibility and configurability of Windows Device Drivers for Motion Control Boards make possible to create various real-time control systems for industrial automation. The following systems were developed using this technology:

An industrial machine of up to 3 coordinate axes can be controlled from Windows in real-time. Printer Driver user interface provides a very convenient way of system configuration. Windows standard graphical applications can be utilized for image processing.