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What is Motion Control?

Here at Heason Technology, we are a world-class motion systems integrator with over 30 years of motion control experience. But what is motion control? Our expert engineers have put together this helpful guide to answer the question.

What is Motion Control?

Motion control is the process of moving machinery using rotary and linear actuators. Motion Control is a sub-field of automation whereby position or velocity machines are controlled using a motion control device, such as a linear actuator, electric motor, a hydraulic pump or a servo motor. Motion control encompasses every technology related to the movement of objects.

Motion control is also referred to as Servo Control or Robotics and is implemented in industrial processes to move specific loads in a controlled way. A motion control system comprises of a control, a drive, a motor and a load.


Motion Control Applications

The best way to answer the question ‘what is motion control?’ is with some application examples. Not only do we sell the components that are showcased on our website, but much of our business comes from engineering these products into customer-specific motion control solutions.

Offerings range from mechanical actuators through to complete motion control systems.  This places us into an enviable and unique position in having an unrivalled product and system application knowledge.

Motion control application examples from Heason Technology include:

  • UHV Precision Multi-Axis Manipulator - Heason Technology successfully delivered a £ ¼ million precision motion solution to Synchrotron Soleil, the French national synchrotron facility and research laboratory. Heason designed and manufactured four nano-positioning manipulators that combine as a 14 axis ultra-high vacuum and low magnetic motion system to position samples and optics for an exciting new soft x-ray scanning photoemission microscope project called ANTARES.  
  • Naval Gun Mount Servo Motors - Heason Technology designed and developed a pair of custom servo motors for this demanding application which called for a 100 percent form, fit and function replacement for an existing, but obsolete, design. The servo motors are an integral part of actuators that are deployed on the forward deck on modern naval vessels and subjected to extreme environments.
  • Picturing the Wind - Risø DTU (National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy) a part of the Technical University of Denmark awarded a contract to Heason Technology to provide motion control systems and significant professional motion engineering services to help develop a full-scale multiple LIDAR based laser scanner system.
  • Four Axis Stepper Motor Precision Jaws - Four independent jaw blades each positioned via a leadscrew driven by a 1.8 deg stepper motor integrated into a custom vacuum enclosure. This eliminates the requirement for additional chamber Jaw blade position feedback via motor step counting in the subsequent motion control electronics.
  • Missile Flight Simulator - Heason Technology constructed this large scale gantry positioning system for MBDA to operate in a vertical orientation inside an anechoic chamber to test RF guidance systems on the Meteor missile system.Rather than costly live firing trials, this state-of-the-art, purpose built facility allows MDBA to “fly” the missile in a simulated environment.

You can view our full project gallery, which includes a selection of other interesting and diverse examples where we have helped our customers across the industry to fulfil their challenging motion control requirements.

Motion Controllers

Most Motion Control applications contain Motion Controllers. Used by an operator to control a motor, commands are sent from the motion controller to a drive which powers the motor. Motion controllers come in a variety of sizes and types, and are either stand-alone, PC based or individual motion controllers.

Motion Controllers are often selected for the following reasons:

  • Consistency
  • Cost effective
  • Boost production
  • Offer high speeds
  • Great accuracy in both speed and position
  • Ensure smooth movement

Heason Technology’s EtherCAT Controlled Hexapod

Motion control is used in our EtherCAT Controlled Hexapod, which has been featured at many exhibitions we’ve attended over the past few years.

The Hexapod uses linear and rotary motion control and was built with an EtherCAT controlled 6-axis hexapod (parallel robot) demonstration rig that comprises of mechanical, electronic and software components from several of our distribution partners. 

Watch our short demonstration video to get an idea of how it works and to get a better understanding of 'What is motion control?'.


You can also find out more about our Hexapod by reading our press release.  

If you would like to find out more information about motion control, or have a question about your motion application, please contact us on +44 (0) 1403 792 300 or email sales@heason.com


Article published on: 11/06/2019

Article last updated on: 11/06/2019