Moving in the Right Direction

Moving in the Right Direction

I was driving to the store the other day, concentrating on the traffic around me and listening to the music and observing the new construction along the highway, when it finally struck me how easy it was for me to do all those things. I could still operate the car safety within the speed limit, stay in my lane and be aware of the potential changing conditions along the way.  

My control over the vehicle was complete, yet I didn’t have to think much about where the pedals were or if my speed or orientation were outside of the limits. I had all the data I needed in front of me.  

When we think about motion control, we don’t often think much about it. After all, this is a mature technology which has benefitted from advancements in sensors, power systems and design. And, with all of those advancements, it may be tempting to take motion control for granted. 


As this eBook notes, that’s not a sound design or operational strategy. As one of our authors notes, “With time-to-market pressures and teams traditionally siloed into mechanical, electrical, and software departments, it’s easy for design to revert to a largely linear process. Designing with motion control in mind, however, requires a mechatronics approach that includes developing the initial concepts, determining the system topology and machine approach, and selecting the connection interface and software architecture.” 

The process of design for motion control is a methodical one, but as you’ll read, it’s also one that should touch areas outside your design team. We start by reviewing a few essentials, and then talk about how to design with motion control in mind. One of the key areas of this presentation is to examine the idea of integrated automation to evaluate the role of your motion control function as it relates to the whole automation platform. We’ll wrap up this eBook by looking at a specific technical challenges: how to ensure repeatability in your motion control function. 

Motion control can be as simple as driving a car, but the essence of the two functions is to be thoughtful before you start about each action you plan to take. The goal is to get moving safety in the right direction from the start. You can prepare for that safe journey by learning the basics and building on those fundamentals.   


Among the Topics We’ll Examine


The Five Steps of

Motion Control Design


Designing with Motion

Control in Mind


Maximizing Gearmotor

Speed Range


Repeatability in

Motion Control

Bob Vavra

Content Director, Endeavor, Machine Design, Power and Motion

Bob’s has spent the last 17 years covering safety and plant operations, which has given him a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities in this sector. His role is to provide clear and useful knowledge across multiple content platforms and ensure our readers have the knowledge they need to develop new solutions. As with all great engineering feats, this is a collaborative effort—so your voice is both welcome and needed as we build a powerful content resource for our global audience.

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