In 2018 Vectioneer took on a huge challenge for Thomas Regout International, a company that produces high-end linear guide rails. Their main production machine is a unique and very complex hydraulically driven flying punch machine that can punch and cut steel rails at incredible speed and accuracy.

The existing control system consisted of many specialized hardware, software end electronics components that were very hard to maintain. This was replaced by system of EtherCAT i/o devices and a Central Embedded Controller. All the complexity of the system was moved into software, reducing the number of different hardware components by more than half.

The complete system is running on a 4 Core Atom Embedded Controller and is based on MOTORCORTEX. The Control System controls the servo hydraulic horizonal motion of the flying punch and the 20 hydraulic servo rams for the punches.

For development of the the Control System, Vectioneerfirst developed a dynamic Digital Twin model of the existing machine that can simulate the machine behavior in real-time. With this Digital Twin the control system could already be tested without interfering with the production of the system. Once the software proved to work on the virtual system, the real machine was converted in just a few days, having minimal impact on production continuity.

The machine is currently breaking all time production records because of the increased reliability, ease of use and advanced troubleshooting features that make it possible to resolve issues much faster.

The Punch Tool Teststand was also updated with a new MOTORCORTEX control system that now allows more fine control and feedback than the original system.