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Using LabVIEW to Command Motion with SCL

by Matt Cole

LabVIEW® software from National Instruments is a powerful tool that is commonly used to control automated processes found in a laboratory setting, test environment, or even an industrial facility. By using the data provided to a LabVIEW program as input variables, the outputs can be automatically adjusted with the use of function blocks to provide closed loop process control. These outputs can be specially programmed to send commands to an Applied Motion Products stepper or servo system that is the foundation of the motion control system for your particular automated process.

Applied Motion Products, an Alliance Partner with National Instruments, has enhanced its support for LabVIEW by releasing a new application note (APPN0026) and sample LabVIEW files that will help speed the process of commanding motion from LabVIEW. The application note describes two test systems that have been designed: LabVIEW in conjunction with the ST10-Q-EN stepper drive, which features Ethernet communication, and LabVIEW in conjunction with the ST5-Q-NN stepper drive, which features serial communication (RS-232). With the use of Applied Motion’s Streaming Command Language (SCL), data can easily be transferred to and from this Q programmable stepper drive. The image shows the sample user interface that was developed to assist the user in creating motion easily.

With explanations given in the application note for each slider, field, and button, this tool can be used as an aid in understanding motion control basics as well as a starting point for custom LabVIEW development. Our ASCII based command language, SCL, can be used with ‘S’ drives as well as ‘Q’ drives. For more information on SCL, please refer to our Host Command Reference document.

At Applied Motion Products we understand that easing the learning curve saves our customers development time helping them release their products faster and more economically. Take a moment to download and experiment with our new LabVIEW sample files by clicking here.

This article was co-authored by Matt Cole, Application Engineer and Jennifer Gaona, Software Engineer.

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