Many motion control applications in robotics and manufacturing have extremely high positioning speed and accuracy requirements only achievable with aggressive automatic control strategies implemented at high sampling rates. Energy-efficient control is also a major concern in manufacturing processes.
For applications where mechanical parts should move along predefined time-varying trajectories, model predictive control is a natural choice because it can make use of future trajectory information to deliver higher performance controllers. In addition, objectives such as energy minimization can be explicitly incorporated in the controller design.
In this project, ABB used embotech's tools to design a model predictive controller for a linear belt drive on a two dimensional plotter. The code was deployed on the same standard AC500 programmable logic controller (PLC) that currently implements conventional non model-based control methods.