New stepper drives offer flexible network protocols

Louise Smyth

Applied Motion Products has introduced a new series of stepper drives that support a range of industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus network protocols including EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, CANopen, Modbus, Ethernet and RS-485, as well as a proprietary Serial Command Language (SCL) for efficient network communications over Ethernet (UDP or TCP) and RS-485. 

By accepting high-level commands via a network connection, STF Stepper Drives provide system designers and machine builders the flexibility to control step motors using the network protocol of their choice. These advanced stepper drives simplify the programming by consolidating motion control functions into the application software of the primary logic or machine controller, rather than in individual axes.

These DC-powered microstepping drives also run stored programs created with Applied Motion Products’ Q Programming language. Q Programming provides a range of motion profiles, multi-tasking, maths functions, conditional processing, data register manipulation and more in a simple text-based programming language. Operators can configure drives and create Q programs using STF Configurator software available as a free download from Applied Motion’s website.

Designed to work with a range of 2-phase step motors, STF Stepper Drives offer advanced current control with an anti-resonance algorithm that electronically dampens motor and system resonances to improve motor smoothness and maximise torque over a wide speed range.