Delta Tau tales of motion control – Episode 19: The new Clipper makes machine control plain sailing

Delta Tau has introduced its latest low cost CNC and general purpose controller that enables simpler and inexpensive operation of all sorts of machines from metal cutting tools to lasers, flatbed cutters and Cartesian robots. The control provides motion control, operator interface, PLCs, standard interfaces and software in a single unit.

Called the Advantage 500, this system can handle four or eight axes and has at its heart Delta Tau’s powerful Turbo PMAC Clipper which gives motion controllers stability, flexibility, accuracy and speed. These features coupled with the use of the Turbo PMAC CPU embedded computer, delivers a controller that has many high level features within an otherwise simple system.
Unlike PC based solutions the Advantage 500 solves all of the wiring headaches of getting cabling in and out of the motion controller. Furthermore the controller comes with a broad array of hardware interfaces as standard so that just about anything can be simply plugged into the unit.

This means requirements such as lead screw and planar compensation; backlash compensation; fast position capture; rapid position comparison; master/slave capabilities; and the ability to handle 40MHz and auxiliary handwheel encoders; these are just a few of the features available that will greatly appeal to machine builders and end users.

The set up is simple and could not be easier to operate. There are interactive input screens, which include axis characteristics, axis I/O, axis reference methodology as well as general axis and CNC options.

The Advantage 500 can be supplied with either CNC machine tool software or with DNC software or custom HMI’s designed using or C++ embedded for any type of flatbed machine. The CNC interface uses the familiar RS274 G-code library, but also offers the PMAC-style structured text entry and a DNC interface for external program download. Most usefully the controller’s CNC software has full G, M and T code compatibility for milling, turning and grinding.

The designers at Delta Tau’s have implemented their soft PLC, which allows the Advantage 500 to be programmed using American Ladder Logic or Sequential Function Chart since the software is IEC1131/3 compliant. Programming can also be performed remotely for subsequent download. The user-friendly programming is emulated at the controller itself, but while allowing the changing of variable values for maintenance purposes, the programs cannot be overwritten at the machine. This is clearly an important safety and security feature.

Micromech is the authorised systems integrator for Delta Tau high level, multi-axis control products, if you wish to find out more about these exciting products then contact Stirling Morley on 01376 333333 or

‘Affordable Automation’


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