STMicroelectronics' Customizable Modular Motion Control



STMicroelectronics announced an industry first with the unveiling of a customizable high-end motor-control module that is small enough to mount directly on the motor, in addition to providing connection via industrial Ethernet. The new module will enable faster delivery of elegant cost-effective industrial solutions such as multi-axis robotics, conveyors, packaging machines, and process automation equipment. The SPIMD20 can drive brushless 3-phase motors up to 2kW, and is ideal for various industrial applications. Developed in conjunction with motion-control specialist Robox, the module combines ST's reliable high-performance semiconductor technologies, including 1200V/40A IGBT power switches and the TD352 - gate driver. Two STM32 microcontrollers provide a powerful processing engine for motor control and networking functions. A real-time communication interface supporting protocols such as EtherCAT® and CANopen® DS402 is provided. Basic firmware supporting network connectivity and featuring PWM driving, current loop and speed-loop execution synchronized to the fieldbus is also available. The module supports full customization of firmware and logic, allowing designers to full control over the motor-control algorithm and type of Ethernet fieldbus. "The SPIMD20 combines custom configurability, high performance, and the convenience of distributed control for the first time in an off-the-shelf module," said Matteo Lo Presti, Group Vice President and General Manager, Systems Lab & Technical Marketing, Industrial and Multisegment Sector, STMicroelectronics "This combination of features is a breakthrough in motion control that will enable developers to reduce engineering costs, cut time to market, and quickly scale their designs as markets and opportunities evolve." By eliminating the project overhead of bringing up a custom drive, ST's SPIMD20 provides a hardware platform enabling a fast start to new projects. By mounting the 165 x 60 x 26mm module on the motor, designers can distribute control for multiple motors. This saves centralizing logic and power functions in a rack, thereby reducing cabling, simplifying installation, promoting scalability and delivering advantages in the field such as enhanced reliability and easier maintenance. Major features of SPIMD20:

  • 800V maximum DC supply voltage
  • Hardware Safe Torque OFF
  • Safe architecture meeting IEC 61800-5-1
  • Serial programming interface
  • Position feedback via resolver or digital encoder
  • Vibration analysis and thermal sensing
  • 2 Mbytes of on-board Flash plus support for removable memory card
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