Motion & Motors & Drives Yaskawa

YASKAWA machine controller MP3000 Multitasking-Capability

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Whether packaging machines or automated handling processes – highly complex machines with many axes are often too much for conventional machine controllers. That’s why YASKAWA added the new MP3000 series to its product range. The components in this series are especially powerful. The IEC development interface ensures simple, fast and user-friendly programming of the MP3000 devices in accordance with the IEC 61131 standard.

A look at a shelf in the supermarket is enough to give you an idea of the challenges mechanical engineering faces today: never has such a wide variety of products and packaging been offered. And machines have never had to produce so many different products in such short innovation cycles. What this example shows about the process and packaging industries is also true of many other sectors: the motions and processes are getting more and more complex. At the same time, machines have to adapt to new production requirements flexibly, quickly and cost-effectively. This is made possible by the increasing use of electronics and more powerful control systems.


Machine controllers at the heart of the system

Modern controllers are the hearts of today’s machines and have to perform two functions at once, both of which YASKAWA’s machine controllers have got covered: on the one hand, they enable the motion sequences of all the drives; on the other, they integrate the functions of a traditional PLC. Understandably, these two roles require a great deal of computing power, especially when they have to control not only a few axes in a machine, but 30 or more.

For this reason, YASKAWA has added the new MP3000 series to its range of machine controllers, and is now introducing the MP3200iec as the series’ first model. This controller for highly complex machines with up to 62 synchronously controlled axes is extraordinarily powerful, yet easy to program in accordance with EN/IEC 61131-3. Like the existing devices in the MP range, the all-in-one machine controllers of the new MP3000 series combine all the necessary functions for the machine process, including motion control, PLC functionality, inputs and outputs, sequential logic and process algorithms, on a single platform. Their integration into the control system reduces system costs, improves performance, decreases the space required in the control cabinet and standardises programming. Communication with higher-level systems is ensured by the implementation of the standard Ethernet/IP and Modbus/TCP Ethernet protocols.


High performance

A special focus was placed on high controller performance during the development of the MP3000 series. As a result, sufficient computing power is available for PLC functions even during highly complex flowing curved motions and high cycle rates that require a great deal of processing power for motion control. The performance can be distributed evenly: approx. 50% for axis control and 50% for PLC functionality.

Conventional, less powerful solutions can only control a few axes because otherwise their entire computing power would be used just for the motion control. The new MP3200iec machine controller’s high performance meets today’s challenges by enabling up to 62 axes to be controlled synchronously or up to 32 to be controlled with linear interpolation. It supports a variety of functions, including servodrives with step-down gears or electronic cam discs. Features such as electronic gears and electronic cam discs are included as standard. The fast data communication between the machine controllers and the servodrives is implemented through a MECHATROLINK-III real-time Ethernet interface with transfers rate of up to 100 Mbps.


Complex applications in many industries

The YASKAWA MP3000 series can control highly complex systems with many axes and different motion sequences, enabling it to control powerful machines in particularly demanding production environments. This is particularly relevant for packaging machines, which generally perform multiple processes at once and need a correspondingly large number of axes. In the food and beverage industry, the MP3000 can control complex systems with groups of axes that require both speed and precision.

Other possible applications include the production of electronics, circuit boards and solar cells, which requires high precision at high speeds. These powerful new machine controllers can also be used in the fields of handling and assembly technology, producing blister packs for the pharmaceutical industry, or the logistics of baggage conveyor systems and other intralogistics systems, to perform tasks such as conveniently controlling gantry axis systems with up to five axes.


Sigma-5 servo system series

In combination with the servodrives of the Sigma-5 series, the MP3000 machine controllers represent a cohesive control and drive system. Within this overall system, the Sigma-5 drive controllers’ automatic coordination function is particularly advantageous: the drives automatically adjust to different loading conditions. The servomotor runs at the a constant speed or the speed set, regardless of the current load.

The Sigma-5 is a servodrive that consists of servomotors, servo amplifiers and the powerful SigmaWin+ commissioning software. This series includes rotary motors, direct drives and linear motors. The standard models provide high positioning precision with short positioning times. The rotary servomotors are available with drive outputs of 3 W to 55 kW. Sigma-5 motors can cover a wide variety of applications of any size in many industries. Optional encoder cards are also available for many models in the series.



The new MP3000 series expands the possibilities of machine controllers to cover highly complex applications, such as those involved in automated packaging processes. These processes require very powerful controllers. The new machine controllers ensure that PLC functions are available even with high processor workloads. A single machine controller from this series can control up to 62 axes. The integrated MotionWorks IEC software enables simple, fast and user-friendly programming in accordance with the IEC standard.

Author: Manfred Niedoba, Product Manager by YASKAWA Europe GmbH

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