Custom programmed ZD10LCD stepper motor controller for laboratory application

A change in programme delivers a whole new stepper motor controller!

The task with this project was to reprogramme a ZD10LCD stepper motor controller to meet the specific requirements of a piece of laboratory equipment.

Put simply, the challenge was to develop a completely new programme that could meet the technical requirements of the customer’s equipment whilst providing a clear and logical interface for the end user.

Offboard buttons allow for design flexibility

A further problem for this particular customer was that there was no way to mount the controller in a way which enabled the screen and buttons to be accessible to the end user. The only possible route for the project was to mount the controller such that the screen was clearly visible to the user but then use a connector and ribbon cable to allow the customer to connect their own buttons and mount these elsewhere.

Thankfully, external mounting of both the screen and buttons is a simple option with the ZD10LCD stepper motor controller and so we were able to work with the customer to develop a loom to achieve this.

Customised single use drive programmes with a tailored user interface

In this particular case the customer did not require the controller to operate in a typical pump type application with options such as run, speed controls etc. Indeed, all of the standard run type programmes which are common on most off the shelf stepper motor controllers were not able to be used to the specific nature of the customer’s application.

Instead, the customer required the controller to run a range of fixed programmes in which the motor would complete pre-programmed movements and then complete. The user could simply choose whichever programme they wished to run and then select run. The user would also be able to monitor the progress of each particular run cycle in order to determine how far through the particular programme the controller had advanced.

The flexibility to drive a range of stepper motors - whether they be NEMA 17 or NEMA 23

A further requirement from this particular customer which could be easily dealt with by the ZD10LCD stepper motor controller was that they needed to use a range of stepper motors to cater for different versions of the same machine. 

In this sense, the ZD10LCD was perfect because the power range offered by the controller was more than enough to deal with the various motors required by the customer.

Final thoughts: the power of the ZD10LCD delivers a perfectly tailored motor controller at a stock price

This project was a fantastic example of how the initial thinking and flexibility that was designed into the ZD10LCD can deliver value for money and quick customisation for Zikodrive customers. Not only was the project completed in a few days but several features were added at no extra cost to the customer. We supported the customer with a site visit and assistance in setting up the motor controller and advised throughout the development.

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