MECHATROLINK is a fieldbus for motion control that was first developed by Yaskawa Electric Corporation in 1995. The transmission speed (baud rate) at that time was 4 Mbps with MECHATROLINK-I, but has now increased to 10 Mbps with MECHATROLINK-II along with the addition of motion commands.
In 2003, the MECHATORLINK Members Club (MMC) was established to promote MECHATROLINK as an open network. In 2005, the MMC broke away from Yaskawa Electric Corporation to be an independent organization and reformed as the MECHATROLINK Members Association (MMA) to more openly promote MECHATROLINK worldwide. The number of MMA members is increasing every year, and MECHATROLINK is gaining acceptance as a standard open network.
- Specially designed for motion control
MECHATROLINK-II is an open fieldbus specially designed for motion control.
Its distinctive features include high-speed communications at 10 Mbps, synchronized control to minimize time lags in communications, and networking of a maximum of 30 slaves per line.
Also, I/O devices that do not require synchronization can all be connected to one network.
- Less Wiring
All devices required for a system, such as servo drives, stepper drives, temperature controllers, and I/O devices, can be connected with a single line. In comparison with systems that use analog or pulse interfaces, the number of connectors, cables, and master modules can be greatly reduced.
- High-speed Communications
MECHATROLINK-II enables high-speed communications between the master controller and the servo drives with a minimum transmission cycle of 0.25 ms. Within this incredibly short amount of time, the master controller can send detailed commands such as move instructions to control servo drives with very high accuracy.
- Digital Communications
For digital communications between the master controller and the slave stations, MECHATROLINK eliminates the problems of conventional systems using analog or pulse signals such as the affects of temperature on performance and the limited reference resolution.
- Real-time Monitoring
MECHATROLINK-II communications enables the master controller to receive real-time data as about the servo position, speed, alarms, torque, load ratio, and errors. This enables you to monitor the entire system in real time by simply connecting a host computer to the master controller.
- Master and Slave functions in an ASIC
A single MECHATROLINK-II master/slave ASIC with dual mode can be used with both the master and the slave, and the MECHATROLINK-II module is designed to be both MECHATROLINK-II master and slave. This module also has a slave-CPU synchronization function, so synchronous operation between slave controllers is possible by connecting them with a master MP2000 series Machine Controller. With MECHATROLINK, a distributed system can be easily constructed.
A MECHATROLINK system flexibly responds to any change in your system configuration. Slave stations can be easily added or deleted by changing the settings in the application software.
The MECHATROLINK-II specifications are as follows.
- MECHATROLINK-II Communication Specifications
One master controller through MECHATROLINK-II can control devices up to 30 slaves.
The number of slave stations that can be connected and controlled depends on the performance and specifications of master controller. One MP2000 series Machine Controller, for example, can control up to 21 slave stations per MECHATROLINK-II communication line. And, more than 21 slave stations can be connected by increasing the number of MECHATROLINK communication lines.
|Max. Transmission Distance
|Min. Distance between Stations
||Shielded twisted-pair cable
(Characteristic impedance: 130Ω)
||C1 master station: One station
C2 master station: One station max.
Slave station: 30 stations max.
||250µs to 8ms
||Master and slave synchronization
||17 bytes or 32 bytes
MECHATROLINK Compliant Products
Yaskawa Electric Corporation manufactures the following MECHATROLINK compliant products. Various MECHATROLINK-compliant products can be easily connected with a MECHATROLINK communication line.
The following table shows the MECHATORLINK-compliant devices.
MECHATROLINK Members Association (MMA)
The MECAHTROLINK Members Association (MMA) is a group of MECHATROLINK product developers and users who promote the use of MECHATROLINK, a motion field network. All members support the construction and promotion of a larger MECHATROLINK family.
Yaskawa Electric Corporation is a member of MMA.
For information on MMA, visit the website http://www.mechatrolink.org/.