Now Playing: Mechanical Design Meets Motion Control Simulation
  • Description:  Design and Assembly Concepts (DAC) is an engineering company in Leander, of Austins many neighboring towns. They are a machine builder and system integration company and use quite a few NI products for control and automation. This weeks video post highlights a machine they recently developed to automate a PCB manufacturing process. This process requires a tray of components to be dipped in and out of a solder bath as quickly as possible. Performing this task requires some fairly complex motion paths in order to optimize the throughput and the economies of the machine. DAC achieved this optimization by using LabVIEW in combination with SolidWorks (a 3D CAD tool) to design and simulate everything before they built the machine. To validate and simulate their system design, DAC used SolidWorks to make a mechanical 3D model of the machine and then simulated motion in that model using LabVIEW and NI Motion. The motion control simulation enabled DAC to detect interferences, avoid potential collisions, and develop all their motion paths before creating any physical prototypes. This kind of rigorous prototyping (aka algorithm engineering) and early design iteration lowers project risk and total project cost (which is good if you like that kind of thing ;-). Also, if youd like to read more about this, I found a more in-depth article in Developer Zone about using simulation with NI Motion, LabVIEW and Solidworks.