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Controller generally means something that is in control of various things.

In motion control this usually means a CNC controller, software, PLC or similar that generates the setpoint signals for the drive as well as other control signals such as enable & reset errors.

CNC motion controllers[edit | edit source]

There are two main types of CNC controllers:

  • Software controllers (run on PC)
  • Hardware controllers (stand alone controllers with screen, jogging buttons etc)

Mach3/Mach4[edit | edit source]

Mach3 and Mach4 are probably the most famous low cost CNC controller for Windows PC's. They can produce pulse and direction setpoint signals from PC parallel port and also via external pulse generators.

LinuxCNC[edit | edit source]

LinuxCNC is based on realtime Linux platform and offers high flexibility at expense of somewhat more complex setup process compared to others. However, due to realtime OS platform it provides very stable output on pulse and direction control as well as analog and PWM modes.

Stand-alone controllers[edit | edit source]

PLC[edit | edit source]

Programmable logic controller is usually a stand-alone device where operator can write programs to do various things, such as control I/O signals and generate motion setpoint signals. Many PLC's are motion control capable and are a suitable choice also for Granite Devices drives.

Software[edit | edit source]

Any programmable device (such PC or microcontroller) can act as controller if a suitable connection to drive is available. For example SimpleMotion V2 can be used as such connection as it provides easy connection between PC (USB or RS485) and Granite Devices motor drives.

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