The table below shows the minimum requirements for most SoftMotion Drive Interface Plug-ins. However, SDI plug-ins may require later versions of LabVIEW and SoftMotion. Before installing software, open the SDI plug-in in VI Package Manager and review the specific software requirements. All SDI plug-ins are forward-compatible, so using the latest version of software available will ensure the best compatibility.
Compatible software versions, drive firmware versions, and feature lists for each SDI plug-in can be found at the following link for the latest version of each plug-in.SoftMotion Drive Interface (SDI) Plug-in Compatibility
For the specific steps in setting up your particular motion system, please refer to documentation from the manufacturer. This tutorial shows a simplified setup process for the Delta ASDA-A2 EtherCAT servo drive. However, the overall process for each servo drive remains the same.
This tutorial uses an NI cRIO-9068 as the Real-Time controller and EtherCAT Master. Any NI Real-Time Controller with two Ethernet ports will be compatible with EtherCAT and SoftMotion Drive Interface.
SDI Plug-ins are provided as VI Packages via the LabVIEW Tools Network and VI Package Manager (VIPM). VIPM is included in the default installation of LabVIEW. The VI Package is essentially an installer that allows for version-controlled updates. Included in each SDI plug-in are the following:
Because the SDI Plug-in includes a modified ESI file, do not import the manufacturer's default ESI file into LabVIEW. This may cause the EtherCAT slave to deploy with an object mapping incompatible with SDI. Additionally, ensure that the firmware installed on your third party drive matches the firmware the SDI ESI file was written for - this can generally be found in the title of your drive's ESI file located at C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\Shared\IndComECAT\DD.
This tutorial shows the setup process for the Delta ASDA-A2 EtherCAT servo drive's SDI plug-in. The process is the same regardless of the plug-in you are using.
Each SDI Plug-in should include an example LabVIEW Project that is added to the LabVIEW Example Finder. This section will explore the contents of the Example Project and show how to move the code to your Real-Time Controller.
Once the SDI Plug-in is running, the rest of the SoftMotion API can be used to program moves for the EtherCAT drives. Before using example code, it is recommended to test the control of the drive using the Interactive Test Panel.
Once the system has been tested using the Interactive Test Panel, you can begin exploring the rest of SoftMotion's API. The SDI Plug-in provides three example VIs that are adapted from SoftMotion's API examples to get started.
This folder of three VIs (Axis Straight Line, Coordinate Straight Line, and Multi-Axis Simultaneous Start) does not require that the SDI Plug-in - Delta ASDA Example.vi is running. Each VI performs the following:
You can also use any SoftMotion example found in the LabVIEW Example Finder under the directory Hardware Input and Output > Motion Control > SoftMotion. To run these VIs, either add the Set Plugin Mode.vi as seen in the SDI example VIs or leave the primary example VI running.
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