Machine tools abstract
A method for controlling the axes of motors, for machine tools
and the like, including the steps of: calculating, from a sequence
of relative position data of each axis and of actuation states at
each definite instant, a path for each individual axis, starting
from parameters of initial speed, number of steps and final speed;
defining a three-dimensional matrix that contains, for each axis,
initial speed, number of steps and final speed, each element of
the three-dimensional table, constituted by the intersection in
space of the three parameters, containing an address that is suitable
to point to the vector which describes a corresponding waveform;
driving the axis according to the waveform.
Machine tools claims
What is claimed is:
1. A method for generating waves, particularly for controlling
the axes of motors, for machine tools and the like, the method being
implemented in a control device with a computer program and comprising
the steps of: calculating, from a sequence of relative position
data of each axis and of actuation states at each definite instant,
a pat vector for each individual axis, starting from parameters
of initial speed, number of steps and final speed, defining a path
vector table containing a path vector for each of said axis; defining
a three-dimensional table that contains, for each axis, initial
speed, number of steps and final speed, each element of said three-dimensional
table, constituted by the intersection in space of said three parameters,
containing an address that is adapted to point to said pat vector
which describes a corresponding waveform; driving said axis according
to said waveform.
2. The method according to claim 1 wherein said step of calculating
the path vector for each individual axis comprises transferring,
for each axis, a bit word that specifies: the address of said axis,
the direction of motion, the state of at least one actuation output,
and the address of said path vector in a path vector table.
3. The method according to claim 1 wherein said path vector table
is generated starting from the parameters of initial speed, number
of steps and final speed.
4. The method according to claim 3 wherein said step of generating
said path vector table comprises the additional steps of: checking
the real paths of said axes and reducing said vector table to a
validated vector table.
5. The method according to claim 1 wherein said waveform is to
be sent to a driver of the corresponding motor for the actuation
of said motor.
6. The method according to claim 1 wherein the element of said
three-dimensional table defined by the set of said three parameters
contains an address that points to a vector of said path vector
Machine tools description
The present invention relates to a method and a device for generating
waves, particularly for axis control for machine tools and the like.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
As is known, generally two types of axis control systems are currently
commercially available: closed-loop and open-loop.
The first type of control system is generally applied to brushless
motors or torque motors or DC motors, which perform a movement by
determining in each instant the current position and comparing it
with the expected position and changing the torque so as to reach
the next point with the least possible error.
The solution described above is characterized by low path repeatability,
which becomes even more critical when the number of axes involved
and mutually interpolated becomes significant (for example 8 or
In order to improve path repeatability, the only possible solution
is to increase the density of the points that constitute such paths:
in this case, however, the torques involved and the vibration would
Accordingly, the controller, which must examine a huge number of
parameters, risks not being able to control the error of all the
axes involved, leading therefore to instability or failure of the
The second control system, of the open-loop type, normally uses
step motors. The open-loop system does not provide for error minimization,
but starts from the assumption that if one aims to reach a particular
position at a certain instant, that position is assuredly reached
at that precise instant. Clearly, this system is particularly vulnerable
to a sudden and unexpected variation of the contrast torque, but
apart from this drawback, it allows high repeatability if the path
is properly managed.
Currently commercially available closed-loop controllers, in order
to be suitable for general use, are characterized by a huge series
of parameters that relate to all the dynamic variables involved
(speeds, accelerations, masses et cetera) and by the path correction
criteria, which are in practice a parameterized dynamic composition
of PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) control.
Therefore, this solution is feasible only when the intervention
times, and therefore the correction times, are long enough to allow
the controller to perform all the necessary calculations.
Open-loop controllers, instead, execute exclusively a preset path
that always assumes correct positioning. Substantially, there is
no correction as a function of error.
Even in open-loop systems, currently there is an ongoing proliferation
of parameters aimed at improving the paths constantly, with the
result of greatly encumbering the control.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The aim of the present invention is therefore to provide a method
and a device for generating waves, particularly for axis control,
that allows to obtain a harmonic motion in space with the combination
of a large number of elementary axes.
Within this aim, an object of the present invention is to provide
a method and a system for axis control that allow, given a unique
path ensured by a very large stream of points, to obtain a harmonic
motion with a rate on the order of milliseconds and to find a system
that executes said path.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method
and a device for axis control that are highly reliable, relatively
simple to provide, and at competitive costs.
This aim and these and other objects that will become better apparent
hereinafter are achieved by a method for generating waves, particularly
for controlling the axes of motors, for machine tools and the like,
characterized in that it comprises the steps of:
calculating, from a sequence of relative position data of each
axis and of actuation states at each definite instant, a path for
each individual axis, starting from parameters of initial speed,
number of steps and final speed;
defining a three-dimensional matrix that contains, for each axis,
initial speed, number of steps and final speed, each element of
said three-dimensional table, constituted by the intersection in
space of said three parameters, containing an address that is suitable
to point to said vector suitable to describe a corresponding waveform;
driving said axis according to said waveform.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Further characteristics and advantages will become better apparent
from the description of preferred but not exclusive embodiments
of the method and the device according to the present invention,
illustrated only by way of non-limitative example in the accompanying
drawings, wherein the only FIGURE is a block diagram of a preferred
embodiment of the axis control device according to the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
With reference to the FIGURE, the axis control method according
to the present invention provides for the following steps.
Assume that a point stream generator, for example a vision system,
is available and provides in output a set of points generated at
the times t.sub.i.
These points therefore constitute a vector P.sub.i (X1i, X2i, .
. . , Xni, Ti). The control device that uses the control method
according to the invention must receive said stream of points, construct
a path with n dimensions, modulating the i-th segment with the preceding
one and the following one, so as to have assurances as to the executability
of the movement and therefore be able to execute it.
Substantially, the relative positions that all the axes of a machine
tool must assume at preset times (for example every 20 msec) starting
from an already-reached initial position, originate from the point
stream generator. An actuation value that is specific for the process
to be performed is associated with each relative position that each
axis must assume at a preset time.
In order to achieve harmonic motion, the relative movement data
must be correlated to the previous movement data item and with the
next movement data item, so that each movement, independently of
its sign, is characterized by three data, one of which is already
known, i.e., the movement itself, whilst the other two are the initial
speed and the final speed.
Therefore, each relative position of an axis is characterized by
three values, i.e., initial speed, movement, and final speed. Therefore
it is possible to create a three-dimensional table characterized
by these three parameters.
The element pointed in the three-dimensional table contains an
address, which in turn points to a vector that contains in detail
the description of the waveform to be sent to the motor driver,
including the operating mode. The pointed vector is part of a table
of vectors that can be pointed by means of the address found in
the three-dimensional table by the intersection of the three parameters
described above. Substantially, there is a vector for each address
and each address is determined, in the three-dimensional table,
by the intersection of three particular parameters of initial speed,
final speed and movement.
Therefore, the complete vector table that contains all the paths
that can be traced by the three parameters of initial speed, final
speed and number of steps or movement is extremely large, and therefore
its creation requires a program that calculates all the elementary
Once the table has been calculated, it is possible to run a program
for checking it and optionally correcting it, such program examining
critically all the paths and optionally correcting them.
The final table is merely theoretical, since it does not take into
account the masses involved, the power levels of the motors, frictions
and geometries; therefore, during the initialization of the machine
tool to which the control device is to be applied it is necessary
to test one by one all the paths and validate them by using the
circuits for controlling loss of step or any discrepancies that
can exceed the bounds of the time window of acceptability during
the movement of the axis of the machine tool.
Therefore, the method according to the invention provides for a
first step for the acquisition of relative position data and of
actuation states for every time Ti.
At this point, a suitable program calculates the path for each
individual axis and transfers to the control device a bit word that
specifies for each axis:
the address of the axis, the direction of the movement, the state
of actuation and the address of the vector in the validated table.
At this point, execution is transferred to the control device.
The preparation of the theoretical table described above therefore
comprises a step for generating the table that describes the vectors
of the signal starting from the parameters of initial speed, number
of steps (or movement) and final speed.
Then the real movement is checked, and the theoretical table is
reduced to a validated table. The validated table takes into account
the masses involved, the frictions and all the situations that occur
in reality and were not taken into account in the theoretical step
of table preparation.
Therefore, this validation step leads to the generation of a new
table, which allows to determine the addresses of the validated
table from the three initial data of initial speed, movement and
Substantially, the theoretical table is the table that describes
all the paths that can be traced by the three parameters of initial
speed, number of steps and final speed, and is therefore very large.
The theoretical table is the vector table described above, which
is pointed by the three-dimensional table that contains the three
parameters of initial speed, movement and final speed.
The accompanying figure is a block diagram of the device used in
the method according to the present invention. In this figure it
is assumed as an example that the axes to be driven are 128 with
128 corresponding motors 14. Therefore, the number of bits used
must be understood as being solely correlated to the number of motors
used. In this case, in fact, with 128 motors, selection of the address
of the axis to be moved can be performed with a seven-bit jump,
which allows to specify a number up to 128.
If the number of motors is different, the number of bits used may
of course change.
The accompanying figure is divided into two portions: portion A
represents the outside world, i.e., the personal computer that is
used to drive portion B, which instead represents the board on which
the device according to the invention is implemented, allowing to
perform the corresponding method.
Therefore, the personal computer that is used sends a data item,
in this case a seven-bit data item, designated by the reference
numeral 1 which represents the address of the axis to be moved,
and a word, in this case a 32-bit word, designated by the reference
numeral 2 in which the first three bits contain the direction of
the movement and two output signals (actuator commands, et cetera)
and the subsequent 29 bits contain the address, obtained from the
three-dimensional table defined earlier (initial speed, final speed
and number of steps), of a vector contained in an EPROM memory,
designated by the reference numeral 3 which is part of the device
that is suitable to implement the method according to the invention.
The vector represents the elementary movement that must be performed
by the axis selected by means of the address 1 of the axis.
The word 2 is input to a temporary memory 4 which is addressed
by the seven-bit data item 1 for axis selection. In the specific
case, therefore, 128 temporary memories 4 one for each motor, are
available and must be filled by the data that are output by the
A latch element 5 and a counter 6 are associated with each temporary
memory 4 (it should be noted that for the sake of simplicity of
description, FIG. 2 illustrates a single block that indicates the
plurality of temporary memories, but it should be understood that
said block is divided in this case into 128 separate blocks). In
the case being considered, the latch element is of the 3-bit type
and the counter is a 29-bit counter. The data item contained in
the temporary memory 4 follows immediately in the latch element
5 and in the counter every time an additional counter 7 suitable
to count the remaining words that constitute the vector of the movement
of the axis X, is equal to zero.
The part described above of the board of the device is asynchronous
and is driven by the personal computer.
The part that is instead described hereinafter is synchronous and
completely uncorrelated to the first portion as regards timing.
A second counter 10 in the case a ten-bit counter in which the
seven higher bits define sequentially 128 configurations by selecting
one by one modules 100 of all the axes that are present in the board,
and the three lower bits have a preset configuration, sends a write
location signal, designated by the reference numeral 11.
The second counter, when counted, selects the first counter 6
which addresses the first element of the vector inside the memory
3 the counter 7 a register 8 and the two latch elements 5 and
When the signal 11 arrives, if the counter 7 is equal to zero,
the data item pointed in the memory 3 enters the counter 7 and the
counter 6 is incremented by one. If instead the counter 7 is nonzero
and the register 8 is empty, the data item contained in the memory
3 is written to the register 8 the data item contained in the latch
element 5 is written to the second latch element 6 the first counter
6 is incremented by one, and the counter 7 is decremented by one.
Finally, if the counter 7 is equal to zero and the register 8 is
not empty, nothing happens, and the system waits for the next selection
related to the axis, which is performed by selection of the address
At this point, the data must be transferred to the actuators, and
said transfer occurs asynchronously.
When a fourth counter 12 is zero, the latch element 6 and the register
8 compose the data item and transfer it to an actuator 13 related
to the motor to be driven, in addition to transferring the data
item into the fourth counter 12.
Each one of the elements 4 9 and 12 13 is present for each one
of the motors to be driven.
The vector table, in addition to indicating the paths, indicates
for each path the mode of actuation of the driver of the motor,
which determines the operation of the motor in half-step, full-step
or microstep mode.
In practice it has been found that the method and the device for
axis control according to the invention allow to achieve the described
aim and objects, since they allow to obtain a harmonic motion in
space with the combination of a large number of elementary axes.
Harmonic motion is obtained by means of calculations that are extremely
simplified with respect to the systems of the known art.
The method and the device thus conceived are susceptible of numerous
modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope
of the appended claims; all the details may further be replaced
with other technically equivalent elements.
The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. MI2001A002798
from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein