- ... More computation power
“Is your process throughput and/or performance limited by the fact some time critical tasks have to be executed on the machine PC?”
In that case, the ULTIMET ADVANCED brings more computation power within the ETEL real-time control architecture than any other motion controller in the ETEL portfolio. It has the advantage to be able to run complex computations/algorithm locally, thus saving communication time and latencies related to the former use of a PC to execute these time critical tasks.
“Would your process gain in having more data processing/logging done at controller level?”
The ULTIMET ADVANCED real-time operating system allows the implementation of local data (pre-) processing without any impact on the precise motion control of the machine that is occurring in parallel. In fact, being the TransnET master, it is very easy for the ULTIMET ADVANCED to acquire any type of user selected information coming from the AccurET position controllers through Real Time Values (RTV). This data could be either “process-related” and locally (pre-) formatted, or “control-related” to typically become health-monitoring or logging information. This information can then be either stored locally in the SD-Card or shared with the main PC via a dedicated channel (thus not impacting at all the motion control performance and timings).
“Would your machine benefit from direct interfacing of process related tools with the motion controller?“
The extended interfacing capabilities of the ULTIMET ADVANCED allows the user to add many more sensing devices directly in the control loop while it required a connection to main PC in the past (i.e. time lost). In fact, with dedicated TCP/IP connection, pre-configured SPI channel, one can interface the ULTIMET ADVANCED with devices such as temperature sensors, gap sensors, cameras, mapping databases, … and use their inputs in real-time to influence the motion control strategy of the system accordingly. Both performance and throughput would be highly improved.
- ... Free real-time operating system
“Are you forced to use an expensive Real-time Operating System to handle time critical tasks on top of your Windows platform?”
The ULTIMET ADVANCED embedded operating system is free! In multiple time-critical processes, users are forced to invest in either a dedicated HW (extra PC) or allocate some processor cores on their PC to run a real-time operating system. Such architectures usually involve high hidden costs in both development tools & support licensing. Using the ULTIMET ADVANCED for the real-time part of the process would save these costs by moving the real-time computation inside the motion controller.
The presence of an embedded real-time operating system naturally calls for higher-level programming skills on the user side. To support this, ETEL made available some code samples and project templates that will allow users to start operating ULTIMET ADVANCED from an existing and working code structure.