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The Forefront of Monozukuri (19)

Development of SANMOTION C S100, a motion controller that focuses on usability

Interview

In this segment, we introduce the people who support SANYO DENKI’s technologies in a variety of scenes.
On the front line of monozukuri (Japanese for manufacturing), what do you think about daily, and how do you confront any difficulties that arise? Let me share some of the thinking that goes into our products.

The manufacturing industry is pushing ahead with the development of production equipment embedded with information and communication technology (ICT) to respond faster to changing market conditions and demands. Among them, motion controllers are required to control devices and also to have communication functions to gather and transmit necessary data from production equipment to production management systems.
In this interview, we asked our design team about the development of the SANMOTION C S100 motion controller.

  • Hideaki Kodama

    Design Department 2
    Hideaki Kodama

  • Hiroto Endo

    Design Department 2
    Hiroto Endo

  • Ryunosuke Murakami

    Design Department 2
    Ryunosuke Murakami

  • What led to the development?

    Mr. Kodama

    Some of our customers requested compact and simple controllers. For example, our current controllers have functions for complex devices and advanced functions for robot control, but customers needed simple control of devices that have uncomplicated movement such as conveying equipment and packaging machines. To meet these needs of many of our customers, we have developed a motion controller with improved usability and enhanced communication functions for ICT devices.

    How does it differ from the current model?

    Mr. Kodama

    The SANMOTION C S100 is a controller that makes developing equipment easier than the current model. We designed it with the idea that customers could start using it to develop equipment immediately after purchase. For example, the controller has 16 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs as standard, and has push-in type connectors that allow customers to wire cables without using a screwdriver. In addition, we developed it paying attention to small details such as having pin numbers and names printed on the connectors so intuitive wiring without looking at circuit diagrams or manuals is possible, and having bi-color LED indicators so input and output status can be visually distinguished.

    Interview scene

    This new product seems to be a whole lot smaller, did that cause you any difficulties?

    Mr. Endo

    From the start, a basic development concept was that, as much as possible, the interface should maintain compatibility with that of the current model. Achieving both miniaturization and compatibility required a lot of ingenuity. When an open interface is installed, the number of circuits and interface connectors to be installed naturally increases, so the product will inevitably become larger. We were able to make it smaller by adopting multi-layer PCBs and high-density component mounting.

    Is programming also very different from the current model?

    Mr. Murakami

    Work scene

    Yes, it's quite different. We have limited the functionality of the product, so we have reduced the robot control functionality, but increased the CNC functionality. The CNC editor function of the integrated development software for SANMOTION C S100 automatically generates a program by reading the desired motion trajectory from a CAD (DXF file) drawing. This program-less system can significantly reduce our customers' development times.

    CNC editor screen

    CNC editor screen

    What are your thoughts on your work?

    Mr. Murakami

    Since I have many opportunities to meet directly with customers, I would like to continue to listen to their requests and develop products that meet their needs.

    Mr. Endo

    I was in charge of the hardware part of this project, and I found it very satisfying to see the things we designed take shape and become products that are useful to our customers. We will continue to do our best to develop products that are useful to our customers.

    Mr. Kodama

    SANYO DENKI does not just provide products to customers. We also provide services. Our role is to solve our customers' problems using a variety of equipment and the latest technology. SANYO DENKI will continue to take on the challenge of developing new technologies that have never existed before and develop products that will help our customers' dreams come true.

    Servo Systems Div., Design Dept. 2

    Created: May 15, 2020