Motor-control tool suite features auto-tuning & self-commissioning

March 02, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Microchip has released an advanced motor-control software plug-in for the MPLAB X integrated development environment (IDE) with auto-tuning and self-commissioning capability. The motorBench Development Suite comes with an initial board and motor GUI-based tool that measures critical motor parameters and auto-tunes control algorithm gains.

Within the system, software generates editable MPLAB X IDE project code for Microchip’s dsPIC33EP DSCs (digital signal controllers), with the company describing the tool as a “game-changer” for permanent magnet synchronous motor development. The free plug-in is an add-on to the low-cost dsPIC DSC development boards


The plug-in is a GUI-based tool with automatic tuning of feedback control gains and offline accurate measurement of critical motor parameters such as resistance, inductances and the back Electromagnetic Force (EMF) constant. This plug-in collects all the information relevant to the motor-control system and auto-tunes the control algorithm gains. The software then uses this information to generate MPLAB X IDE project code ready to run on dsPIC33EP DSCs. The generated code can then be reviewed and edited as needed and flashed as motor-control firmware. motorBench automates the time-consuming and complicated process of tuning the control loops for speed and torque to ensure that Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM) spin reliably.


The motorBench Development Suite is currently available using Microchip’s dsPICDEM MCLV-2 Development Board (DM330021-2) with a dsPIC33EP256MC506 External Op Amp Motor Control Plug-in-Module (PIM) (MA330031-2) and a 24V 3-phase Brushless DC Motor with Encoder (AC300022).


The dsPICDEM MCLV-2 Development Board (DM330021-2), motor control PIM (MA330031-2), and a 24V 3-phase Brushless DC Motor with Encoder (AC300022) are available today for $199.99, $25.00 and $160.00, respectively.