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issue: November 2008 APPLIANCE Magazine

Appliance Engineer-Motor Technology
Control in a Kit


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Motor control kits with DSP source code and MATLAB libraries save appliance engineers crucial development time.

The new MCK28335 kits from Switzerland-based Technosoft (www.technosftmotion.com) are designed to offer engineers complete motion control development and evaluation packages. Equipped with all necessary hardware and software, the kits enable quick development, testing, and validation of any brushless (BL) or induction motor (IM) control application.

The kits are plug-and-play systems, with complete C language source code, including a MATLAB motion library and Simulink models for permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) position and speed control. They also include complete DSP source code (not generated from MATLAB) optimized for real-time execution for PMSM and brushless dc (BLDC) speed control. A development software platform based on RS-232 serial communication complements the hardware.

“All the software parameters are already configured for the motor and power module, including the tuning of controllers,” explains Daniel Erhan, field application engineer. “The user must do the hardware connections and run the program. Even at the changing of the motor or power module, the tuning of current, speed, and position controllers are automatically done with the new parameters.”

The MCK28335 kits allow appliance engineers to research and develop
motor control for their specific applications.

 
 

The kits are based on Texas Instruments TMS320F28335 floating-point digital signal controller. “[It] allows for the use of high-level programming languages, which simplify the implementation of the complex control algorithms,” Erhan explains. In addition, specific issues related to fixed-point processors such as saturation, overflow, scaling of parameters, and variables are said to no longer be a problem.

Both BL and IM kit versions are self-contained, so designers can start project evaluation and development immediately. “The users who want to create their own hardware design can do an evaluation first with our hardware, without spending time and money for hardware design,” Erhan says. “The kits are complete hardware and software ready-to-run solutions. The users just need to connect the hardware, run the software, and analyze the results.”

Using the kits, Erhan says engineers will discover how easy it is to control a BL motor in trapezoidal or sinusoidal mode, or an IM in vector control or V/f mode. The greatest benefit, he adds, is that users can simulate a motor control algorithm and then run it directly on the hardware without writing the DSP code.

The hardware has a modular design, which Erhan says makes it easy to apply to existing product designs. “Once the algorithm development is completed, the DSP board can control the actual power stage. The hardware comes with complete user manuals, which explain the interfacing mode with the user’s hardware.”

Possible applications range from traditional white goods appliances to treadmills. Erhan says a more complex application would be security cameras. “The positioning of surveillance cameras can be done very easily using position control of PMSM,” he explains. “The position commands can be sent via RS-232, CAN communication channels, through two digital inputs or analog inputs.

“In order to get the absolute position, we have two options,” Erhan continues. “One is to use a microswitch as limit-switch, and at start-up, the system will find the position ‘0’.” The second method is to set the absolute position in-house and to monitor the supply voltage. When the system detects the falling of supply voltage, [users can] save the actual position in EEPROM memory (nonvolatile memory). About 5 milliseconds is enough time for data saving. At start-up power-on, the system will load the current position from EEPROM memory. Adding a capacitor on supply voltage will assure the time of 5 milliseconds for data saving for any kind of power supply.”

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