The Art of Monodzukuri (Techniques for Creating Things)Motion Controller

Motion Controllerはソディック製品の「神経」的な役割を果たすと言われているんだ

Linear motors achieve smooth and extremely fast movements. The next issue that needed to be solved was how to transmit the commands from the NC unit more quickly and more accurately to the linear motor.

So, Sodick proceeded with the development of a
motion controller to control the rapid and highly accurate movements of linear motors based on commands from the NC unit.

Q1What are the features of the motion controller?

Part 1

Smooth stopping at command positions on a 0.01 μm scale!

To detect and control the table position, the coil unit and special scale that provides the reference for movements are attached to the table, so that the table position can always be directly read.
This achieves smooth movements and accurate stopping, even for extremely fine position control to 0.01 μm accuracy and for fast movements.

What happens if control doesn’t work properly and it doesn’t stop smoothly?

Just like when a train suddenly accelerates and brakes, it doesn’t stop at the expected position.
It will not be able to handle the high accuracy required in a factory demanding μm-order manufacture.

Newton’s first law of motion ... I learned that at school...

What is the special scale that is essential for linear motor positioning? As a linear motor is a device responsible for power generation, it requires an accurate scale as a reference to continuously determine its own position and control the propulsive force to accurately stop at a position.
This is called the “linear scale.” It is a special scale that exploits optical characteristics to allow highly accurate reading so that the current position is always known accurately.
Part 2

High-response control maintains stability for fast linear motor operations!

In addition to smooth and reliable stopping, another topic is how to stabilize the table during movement.
Normally, dominoes arranged standing on the table fall over when the table moves.
But by writing a special “don’t fall” program and executing accurate movements in response to the program commands, we were able to move the table without the dominoes falling over. This technology instantaneously applies forces in the opposite direction to the direction in which the dominoes are trying to fall and achieves high-response control with no delay in respect to the commands.


To achieve this technology,
Sodick developed the K-SMC
motion controller for linear motors in-house.

Sodick has been conducting research and development in America’s Silicon Valley
since 2000 to develop the K-SMC motion controller.

Q2 How do you operate the K-SMC?

It’s simple!
You don’t have to think too hard.
Just load a program for the machined shape in the NC unit that is the brain of the machine, and the Sodick K-SMC motion controller operates the high-speed and high-performance linear motors to fully exploit their superiority.

K-SMC is like a trusted factory foreman, isn’t it?


What type of machines
is this technology installed in?

These linear motors and motion technologies are incorporated in high-speed, high-accuracy machining centers and metal 3D printers, as well as wire-cut electrical discharge machines.

Linear Motor Drive High Speed,
High Performance Wire-cut EDM


Linear Motor Drive
Ultra High-speed Milling Center


Linear Motor Drive One Process Milling Center


Machines featuring linear motors have won all sorts of prizes!


What type of manufacturing is Sodick aiming for?

The Art of Monodzukuri
(Techniques for Creating Things)
Founded on Sodick making everything themselves

Sodick is a rare machine manufacturer in the world that can develop in-house the K-SMC motion controller and NC units introduced here.
Making things ourselves improves our development capabilities, overcomes more issues, and leads to continuous research and development of existing technologies.
Currently we are developing new products for the industrial machinery industry and machining industry, as well as the machine tool industry.

I’d be happy if you thought about how everyday objects come into existence!