Motion Control Systems

Robot Motion Control

Computerized motion control systems are being applied in all kinds of new and interesting ways. The following is an example of a unique application using two axis of coordinated motion control.

Cake Decorator

This project included a dual axis motion controller, a micro PLC, a PC, and a graphics tablet. The goal of this machine was to allow a person to create decorative patterns for cakes of virtually any design with up to three colors that could then be reproduced as many times as desired on cakes in a commercial bakery.

The operator can select and change colors on the graphics tablet and draw the icing patterns using the tablet's pen. The designs are recorded to disk on the PC for later recall when operating the decorating part of the machine.

The graphics tablet was programmed not only to allow color selection while drawing but also to specify file names for storing on the PC so that all input could be done from the tablet without having to use the computer keyboard.

When reproducing a pattern the cake decorating part of the machine selects the appropriate color and moves the nozzle to the starting location. Then it lowers the nozzle, opens the valve and discharges the icing reproducing the pattern drawn with the graphics tablet pen in a bead of icing on top of the cake. This process is repeated for each color and pattern until the entire decoration design is completed.

Even some variation and control over the thickness of the icing is possible because the machine reproduces the pattern at the same speed at which the lines were originally drawn using the graphics tablet.

For some additional examples of advanced motion control systems click on the following links:

For assistance on your next industrial motion control engineering project contact us.

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