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motorBench® Development Suite

The motorBench® Development Suite is a GUI-based software development tool for Field Oriented Control (FOC), performing accurate measurement of critical motor parameters, automatic tuning of feedback control gains and generating source code for an MPLAB® X IDE project, utilizing the Motor Control Application Framework (MCAF). This graphical, interactive development environment helps motor control embedded engineers save time in starting up and running new motors with no load or a constant load, especially when the motor parameters are unknown. The motorBench Development Suite is a Microchip Code Configurator (MCC) plug-in.

The user interface takes you step-by-step through the project, with context-sensitive help files at your fingertips inside the tool.

  • Measure and report the motor’s electrical and the system’s mechanical parameters
  • Quickly get stable Proportional Integral (PI) control loop gains for velocity and torque
  • See how the control loop gains affect the system through Bode plots
  • Generate code straight into an MPLAB X project to run the motor
  • Integrated help files guide through each step
motorBench Development Suite Screenshots

MotorBench works in conjunction with Microchip’s dsPICDEM™ MCLV-2 Development Board (DM330021-2) for low-voltage motors (up to 48 Volts and 10 Amps), and with Microchip’s dsPICDEM™ MCHV-2 (DM330023-2) or dsPICDEM™ MCHV-3 (DM330023-2)  development boards for high-voltage motors (85 – 256 volts and 15 Amps), using the dsPIC33EP256MC506 External OpAmp Motor Control PIM (MA330031-2).  Reference motors available from Microchip include the:  Hurst 24V 3-Phase BLDC motor (AC300021), the Hurst 24V 3-Phase BLDC motor with encoder (AC300022), and the Leadshine 400W 220VAC Servo Motor (AC300025).

motorBench Development Suite v2.25 introduces the following major features:

  • Device Support Expansion
    • MCAF now supports the dsPIC33CK256MP508 as well as the dsPIC33EP256MC506 for autotuning and code generation
  • Parameter Customization:
    • Additional user-adjustable parameters to cover a wider range of motor start-up requirements
    • Display of parameter values in engineering units
    • Addition of an "Advice" section on system metrics
    • Seamless migration from previous versions of motorBench Development Suite
  • New Estimator: Angle-tracking PLL (AT-PLL)
    • This sensorless estimator has certain advantages over the existing PLL, notably with motors with rotor saliency (IPM motors)
  • Position and Velocity Estimators
    • Selection of two concurrent running estimators now available for comparison and debug
  • Other Updates:
    • Updated Motor Control library v0.20
    • Report generated in aux-files/report.html now includes normalization factors for fixed-point representation
    • Test harness feature added to allow remaining in open-loop commutation after startup is complete