Using Motion Control in Building a Machine

Using motion control in building a machine - image for article

The use of motion controls in building machines is inevitable to achieve precision results and efficient operation. Motion control allows you to develop a design or infrastructure of an automation system that controls moving parts and actuating devices.

OEM industries should be able to design the motion control system that accommodates and embrace the actual function of each machine in the architecture. The motion control development would involve three major elements: electrical, mechanical, a connection interface, system topology, and software architecture.

Aspects to Consider When Designing a Machine

There are some fundamental aspects all designers or system architects should consider when designing a machine. These include the design process, topology, networking, connectivity, and software.

Design Process

Designing or developing machines should refer to multiple design aspects. The designer should recognize the technology that accommodates vital functions and performance based on the problems that need to be solved. An effective design process can be achieved by employing modular and code programming for architecture.


The designer should be able to choose the right topology for complex automation designs with multiple functions, dimensional movement, and motion axis. There are three major topologies including centralized automation or controller-based automation, decentralized automation, and the combination approach of centralized and decentralized control. You decide by considering the cost, efficiency, throughout, safety specs, and reliability in the long term.


A machine should have a communication protocol with motion control in mind. Not only determining the functions and position of the devices, but machines should also employ an effective industrial communication protocol for networking like EtherCAT and modular software for a more effective yet efficient machine configuration and upgrades in the future.


Industries are marching to full cloud connectivity that allows them to comprehend more applications with remote control. It refers to the use of software architectures like MQTT and OPC UA that allows the responsive(nearly real-time) communications between two applications, machines, devices, controllers, and the cloud. The cloud network employment allows the system to analyze different production facilities.


A machine designer should cater to the most suitable software requirements to improve speed and efficiency. Today, employing modular software has become the most efficient option to design a machine where you can use the same code for different sections and phases. It also allows manufacturing users to accommodate their production requirements.

Choosing The Right Motion ControlReference

Choosing the right motion control is very important when designing a machine. There are several factors you should consider choosing the right servo motors and drive system as well as configure the mechanical components in the architecture. It’s more effective to consider these major factors:

  1. You can start by recognizing the number of machines that will be produced throughout the lifetime of production.
  2. The production must have specific requirements including size, shape, connectivity, and other factors. You need to take these factors into account when choosing the controller so you won’t meet that ‘incompatibility” issue in the future.
  3. When it comes to motor components like servo motors or dc motors, it’s very important to choose the controller within their power range. At this point, you can list down your device and map the power requirements to help you decide the proper motion controller.
  4. The motion synchronization and path planning of the machine are diverse in nature. You should also map these factors to choose the right controller for accommodating the tasks in the architecture.
  5. Last, you should also consider how fast the machine can market. This would determine if the speed, capacity, and other technical specifications of the motion controller you should choose.

There is major motion control architecture you can use including off-the-shelf motion cards, machine controller cards, stand-alone motion controllers, and distributed drives. You can use the factors mentioned above to determine the right motion control architecture for the machine design.


Using a motion control in building a machine requires you to design effective architecture and choose the proper motion controller. When designing a machine, you’d have to elaborate on multiple aspects including the design process, suitable topology, networking, connectivity, and the software. The same elaborating task should be also embraced when choosing the right motion control for the machine.

Interesting related article: “What is Automation?