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FAQ's and Answers

 
1.) What is MotionSoft?
2.) I already know how to program my controller. Why use MotionSoft?
3.) What are the key benefits of MotionSoft?
4.) Does MotionSoft limit the complexity of a program?
5.) How does MotionSoft handle I/O?
6.) Does MotionSoft work with NT?
7.) Can off-the-shelf HMI's be used with programs generated by MotionSoft?
8.) How do we tune motors with MotionSoft?
9.) Does the code generated by MotionSoft contain overhead that will significantly affect system performance?
10.) Can you upload a program into MotionSoft?
11.) How does MotionSoft accommodate features that are available on some cards and not on others?
12.) How was the MotionSoft program developed?
13.) What are some of the "futures" in the MotionSoft development schedule?

 
1.) What is MotionSoft?

For the answer to this question, please refer to the
Product Descriptions page.
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2.) I already know how to program my controller. Why use MotionSoft?

Knowing a lot about the controller you are using just adds to the productivity of MotionSoft. It allows a user who knows the ins and outs of a controller to create projects more rapidly than ever before and eliminates syntax errors. MotionSoft makes changing and maintaining a project a snap. The entire project is laid out in simple state logic so anybody can easily follow and maintain anyone elses program.
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3.) What are the key benefits of MotionSoft?

a)
Rapid Development: MotionSoft provides the user with an easy environment in which to program. The drag and drop state logic approach is so easy to program even a novice can write clear effective code. If you are in the integration business, this is a tool that can make you money.

b)
Low Learning Curve: MotionSoft presents the user with plain english options to accomplish tasks. You don't need to know the gory details of each card to program it. If you want to move an axes, click on the "move" action. Fill in a few more blanks, and your position move is programmed.

c)
Debug Tool: MotionSoft's Trace program allows you to see your diagrams on screen executing exactly as you designed it. It simply highlights which one is currently executing. If for some reason your program is not functioning as expected, you simply open up the trace and see exactly where you are stuck and what condition is causing the problem.

d)
Maintainablility: MotionSoft's state logic style interface allows nearly anybody to look at your state diagrams and follow what is going on. Combine the simple coding style with the Trace program and trouble shooting becomes easy. When you are out on vacation, and your client is down, your peir can easily troubleshoot the problem and you can continue enjoying your pina coloda.
 
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4.) Does MotionSoft limit the complexity of a program?

The depth of complexity is solely dependent upon the programmer. The combination of functions, actions and state diagram programming within the MotionSoft environment, and the ability to insert control card Native Code gives a programmer all the necessary tools and functionality to utilize the control cards to their fullest extent.
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6.) Does MotionSoft work with NT?

Yes. MotionSoft is compatible with both Windows 95/98 and NT.
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7.) Can off-the-shelf HMI's be used with programs generated by MotionSoft?

If the HMI has support for the controller card being used, MotionSoft does not affect this in anyway. MotionSoft provides a cross referenced list of TagNames that were used in the project and their corresponding native variable names. This is usually all that is required to set up the HMI.
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8.) How do we tune motors with MotionSoft?

MotionSoft does not have any auto-tuning features nor does it have any graphing functionality to plot system responses for manual tuning. Typically, the controller card manufacturer has this type of utility available. MotionSoft does, however, provide access to the basic tuning parameters of each motor defined in your system. These values become part of the project file.
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9.) Does the code generated by MotionSoft contain overhead that will significantly affect system performance?

No. MotionSoft's overhead may increase scan times somewhat, but core tasks such as servo loop update, trajectory calculations, etc. are unaffected. In general, system performance is mainly dependent upon the controller card's processor capabilities, the overall system bandwidth, and the way in which the programmer develops the sequence of operations.
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10.) Can you upload a program into MotionSoft?

No - nor is this necessary. If program changes are required, the developer uses MotionSoft to edit the project, re-translate and re-load the program to the controller. Existing code in the controller cannot be re-constructed into state logic.
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11.) How does MotionSoft accommodate features that are available on some cards and not on others?

MotionSoft has made an effort to supply the most commonly used features motion programmers require (e.g. position moves, jogging functions, triggering, etc.). If a particular feature is not included in the MotionSoft action set, the user can always program this feature in a native code block.
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12.) How was the MotionSoft program developed?

MotionSoft was developed using Microsoft Visual Basic and Microsoft Access.
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13.) What are some of the "futures" in the MotionSoft development schedule?

Initially, the primary focus of development for MotionSoft will be to increase the number of available translators for the major motion control cards being manufactured in the world today. Other planned enhancements include: Trace program features (e.g. control card status codes), on-line system setup and tuning, additional actions such as camming and time-base control. The overall emphasis will be to closely couple these applications with the MotionSoft Editor and Trace programs, maintaining a "Standard" and familiar motion control programming environment that is easy to use and maintain.
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2006-2007, MotionSoft is a product of Baker Motion Control Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.