Yaskawa and Micromech, a moving partnership

For the latest in technology of speed control and positioning products, Yaskawa are probably the best in the world

Episode 3: Feed to Length

A manufacturer wanted to produce a new machine design for a paper-cutting machine and the challenges for Yaskawa were many-fold. The previous supplier could not meet the speed specification; they needed accurate positioning after registration and move adjustments on the fly and the ability to vary maximum part length.

This OEM makes equipment for the paper converting industry where the application required high-speed indexes which advance a roll of paper to be cut at random intervals as dictated by a 1.5mm or registration mark in the paper. The random aspect of the cut requirements was due to custom processing of the required ‘end product’ by an ‘upstream’ process. Once the paper roll is stopped a secondary servo axis rotates a cutting mechanism to cut the paper. At a peak speed of 1500mm/ second the 1.6mm registration mark is only one millisecond in duration. Registration marks range in distance from four spaces of 100mm to 300mm and typical indexes are 200mm in 130m/sec with tolerances of 0.25mm.

This system achieved a performance of throughput of 333 per minute at 200mm nominal length, cut accuracy of +/- 0.25mm and auxiliary functions of an HMI with recipe data processing. The differentiating features of this solution are the PLCopen function blocks MC_MoveAbsolute and MC_TouchProbe that handle this application with minimal additional code. There is a high-speed position registration latch, the sensor ‘on time’ is about one millisecond and further mechatronics control capability.

The resulting benefits of this solution are that the proven core code reduces commissioning time, reduces project risk and improves performance. It facilitates greater range of product sizes and with a higher throughput. It means production is more efficient and the system more accurate.

Micromech is the UK distributor and systems integrator for Yaskawa motion products, for more information contact Stirling on 01376 333333 or stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’


The TMCM-1161 is an intelligent stepper 2.8A/24V motor (NEMA23/24) 1-axis controller/driver

The TMCM-1161 is an intelligent stepper motor controller/driver module featuring the new outstanding coolStep™ technology for sensorless load dependent current control. This allows energy efficient motor operation.


  • up to 256 times microstepping
  • memory for 2048 TMCL commands
  • stallGuard2™ sensorless load detection
  • coolStep™ sensorless load dependent current control
  • microPlyer™ 16 to 256 times microstepping interpolation
  • integrated absolute sensOstep™ encoder (1024 ppr)
  • automatic ramp generation in hardware
  • on the fly alteration of motion parameters

With the advanced stallGuard2™ feature the load of the motor can be detected with high resolution. The module is designed to be mounted directly on a 57mm or 60mm flange QMot stepper motor. It converts the motor into a compact mechatronic device with serial bus oriented or standalone control. The TMCM-1161 comes with the PC based software development environment TMCL-IDE for the Trinamic Motion Control Language (TMCL™). Predefined high level TMCL™ commands guarantee a rapid development of motion control applications. Communication traffic is kept very low since all time critical operations, e.g. ramp calculation are performed onboard.


Electrical data

  • up to 2.8A coil current RMS
  • 12 to 24V DC (nominal) supply voltage

Supported motors

  • two-phase bipolar stepper motors with up to 2.8A coil current
  • mountable on QMot motors with flange size: 57mm/NEMA23 or 60mm/NEMA24


  • USB, RS232, RS485
  • step and direction interface
  • inputs for reference & stop switches
  • general purpose I/Os


  • stand-alone or remote controlled operation using TMCL™ (Trinamic Motion Control Language)
  • PC-based application development software TMCL-IDE downloadable free of charge

Micromech is the UK and Eire distributor for these amazing products and if you would like a quote or to find out more contact Stirling Morley on 01376 333333 or email stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’

Motion systems project file – January 2013

Micromech Systems provides a comprehensive motion service ranging from just simple modifications to motors and bespoke multi axis control systems including full installation, commissioning and after sales service.

Year: 2011

Industry or Research faculty: Research

Location: Oxfordshire


A compact optics bench mountable unit was required for carrying a laser light beam through a hollow shaft system with two rotating in-line axes.

The target application was for smooth speed control of each axis up to 3,000 rpm such that two independently mounted ‘optical wedge’ modules can be counter-rotated in phase to effect a two-axis linear trepanning pattern of incident light onto a common target surface.

Scope of overall contract

Micromech Systems were contracted to: propose a solution, design and supply the mechanical unit with interface cables to suit the light source which was the Delta Tau LV Brick motion control platform. It was also required that to demonstrate functionality the unit using feedback encoders.

Description of equipment and services supplied

The attached photo images show the general construction of the unit, which comprises:

Twin ‘frameless’ brushless motors with hall sensor commutation and large rotary encoder each mounted on they’re own hollow shaft bearing assembly to a common baseplate.

One axis is also mounted on a small linear bearing system driven by a stepper motor with encoder feedback. This linear adjustment is required for beam focussing between the two optical wedges.

Five metre long cable sets were assembled with strain relief clamps to the base plate for robustness when moved around the test area.

Merits of solution provided. This was a self-contained mechanical module for fixing to the optics bench surface. The cable interfaces designed to be pluggable and the system was pre-tested for function to 3000 rpm.

Partners in collaboration on contract Parker Hannifin: K series frameless motor kits British Encoder Co: Encoders Tiptree Precision Engineers: Mechanical fabrication Schneeberger: Linear slides.

Micromech Systems builds motion control systems to customers’ specifications, ranging from simple single-axis applications to complex multi-axis systems. We will design, build test, and produce application software, install and commission providing a cost-effective trouble-free solution to your Motion Control issues. Whether the application is a machine upgrade or a new project, Micromech Systems has the answer.

February 2013 project: Screen Dipping System