Automation1 Studio

Use Automation1 Studio to configure, develop, and optimize your machine and motion control system.

Automation1 Studio has three workspaces dedicated to Configure, Develop, and Visualize your system. These workspaces include modules that supply special application features.

Some areas of the application are always available from any workspace. These include the Application toolbar, the Workspace toolbar, the Sidebar, and the Axis Dashboard. You can move your cursor over buttons and other items to see information about the item.

Connecting to the Local Controller on the Same PC

If you have the Studio application and the Automation1-iSMC software installed on the same PC, the application will automatically connect to the local controller and you can start to use Automation1.

If the controller you will connect to supports access control and access control is enabled, you must enter your user name and password to connect to the controller. See Access Control for more information.

If this is the first time you will connect to a controller, you must activate the Automation1-iSMC software. Refer to Activate the Software.

If it is necessary to connect to a different controller, click the User icon in the sidebar and then click Disconnect. Refer to the next section, Connect to a Controller on a Remote PC, for more information. To use the Local controller again, select the name of the local controller listed in the Connect to a Controller tab of the Connection dialog.

Connecting to a Drive-Based Controller or a Controller on a Remote PC

You can use the Automation1-MDK software to connect to a drive-based controller that runs the Automation1-iSMC or to connect to a controller on another PC that has the Automation1-iSMC software installed.

If the controller you will connect to supports access control and access control is enabled, you must enter your user name and password to connect to the controller. See Access Control for more information.

To view and edit controller connections

  1. Make sure that the drive-based controller or remote PC that you will connect to is powered on.
    1. To use USB to connect to a drive-based controller, make sure that the USB cable from the drive is connected to an available USB port on the PC where you will use Automation1 Studio.
    2. You can connect drive-based controllers through Ethernet over your local network. If you have problems with your Ethernet connection, you might not have a valid DHCP server. Aerotech recommends that you connect through USB. Then, obey the steps in the To edit the Ethernet configuration on a drive-based controller section of this page to assign a static IP address to the controller.

      HARDWARE: Some drive-based controllers have more than one Ethernet port. Refer to the hardware manual for your drive-based controller to identify the correct port to use to connect to the drive through Ethernet.

  2. On the Connect to a Controller tab of the Connection dialog, click Manage Connections to open the Manage Connections dialog. Then use one of the procedures that follow to automatically or manually complete the connection.

To automatically detect available connections

  1. In the Manage Connections dialog, click Discover to open the Discover Connections dialog.
  2. The application searches for controllers and shows a list of connections. Review the list and select the connections that you will save. If you do not see the correct connection, make sure that your drive-based controller is powered on. Examine the USB or Ethernet cable connections and try again.
  3. Click Save Connections to save the connections and to go back to the Manage Connections dialog.
  4. Click Done to go back to the Connection dialog.
  5. If you want to automatically connect to the controller the next time you start the application, select Connect Automatically.
  6. Click Connect to connect to the controller and use Automation1.

To manually add a new controller connection

  1. In the Manage Connections dialog, click Add New.
  2. Select Ethernet or USB.
  3. If you are using Ethernet, select IP Address or Hostname. Then type the IP address or hostname for the controller. You can enter an IPv4 or an IPv6 address.
  4. IMPORTANT: If you are using a drive-based controller, you must use an IPv4 address.

  5. If you are using USB with a drive-based controller, the dialog shows the detected drive-based controller that is connected to your PC. If you see a message that there are no USB connections available, make sure your drive-based controller is powered on. Examine the USB cable connection and try again.

  6. IMPORTANT: If you are continue to see a message that there are no USB connections available, see USB Driver Installation.

    IMPORTANT: The IP address of the USB connection is 192.168.7.1. To prevent conflicts, the controller does not let you set IP addresses in the 192.168.7.0 to 192.168.7.255 range.

  7. Click Save Connection. Automation1 Studio validates the connection information that you entered. If Studio cannot find the controller you specified, you see an error. You can edit the connection information and try again.
  8. When you complete the updates for the controller connections, click Done to go back to the Connection dialog.
  9. If you want to automatically connect to the controller the next time you start the application, select Connect Automatically.
  10. Click Connect to connect to the controller and use Automation1.

To edit the Ethernet configuration on a drive-based controller

  1. In Automation1 Studio, open the sidebar and click the Controller tab on the left.
  2. The Ethernet Configuration section shows the configuration information. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner of the section to open the Edit Ethernet Configuration dialog.
  3. To enable DHCP, move the Automatically assign IP address using DHCP server button to the on position. Otherwise, move it to the off position and enter a valid IPv4 address, subnet mask, and gateway address.
  4. Click Save to commit the changes to the configuration.
  5. IMPORTANT: When you click Save, it will disconnect the controller, reboot the controller, and you will go back to the Connection dialog. If the IP address of your drive-based controller has changed, you might need to change the connection before you connect to it again. For more information, refer to the Connecting to a Drive-Based Controller or a Controller on a Remote PC section of this page.

Automatically Connect to a Controller

When you start Automation1 Studio, you can enable or disable the automatically connecting to a controller feature based on if you are currently connected to a controller or are not connected to one. Refer to the procedures that follow.

IMPORTANT: If you select the Controller icon in the application sidebar and then click Disconnect, the Connect Automatically setting is disabled.

To Change the Automatically Connecting Feature When Disconnected From A Controller

To Change the Automatically Connecting Feature When Currently Connected To A Controller

Working without a Controller

You can use the Automation1-MDK software to work without a controller and edit the configuration in a Machine Controller Definition (MCD) file. Then after you connect to an Automation1 controller, you can upload that MCD file to the controller. For more information about how to use the Configuration module to work with MCD files, see Controller Category.

When you create a new MCD file, you can select the type of Automation1 controller you will configure. Automation1 Studio uses this information to customize your experience when you work without a controller. If you are not sure what type of Automation1 controller you will use, you can ignore this step.

When you work without a controller, features that are applicable only to a connected controller are not available. For example, the application does not show the Axis Dashboard. But the features and functionality that follow are available for you to use:

  • Configure the parameters by using Machine Setup or directly editing them in Configure workspace.
  • Configure the calibration files.
  • Use the Manage Axes dialog to configure the axis name, the number of decimal places to show, the axes that you see in the application, and the axes that are hidden.
  • Use the Manage Tasks dialog to add or remove tasks and configure the task names.
  • Edit and build AeroScript programs in the Programming module.
  • Use the Program Automation module to configure programs and libraries that run or load when the controller starts or resets.
  • Look at saved plot files in the Data Visualizer module.
  • Look at saved frequency response files in the Frequency Response module.
  • Use the Controller Files module to work directly with files that are contained in the MCD file. Then when you upload the MCD file to a controller, these files are part of the controller file system.

To configure the server PC firewall to allow remote connections

  1. Open the Start menu. Search for and open Windows Defender Firewall.
  2. Open the New Inbound Rule Wizard by clicking Advanced settings. Then select Inbound Rules and click New Rule.
  3. Select Program and click Next.
  4. Select This Program Path. Click Browse. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Aerotech\Automation1-iSMC\Bin and select Automation1CommService.exe. Click Next.
  5. Select Allow the connection. Click Next.
  6. Select the connection types over which the remote connection is permitted. Click Next.
  7. Enter a name for the rule. Click Finish.

Application Toolbar

The Application toolbar includes a button to get you back to the start screen, the name of your controller, and the status of your controller. There are buttons that do basic controller functions that include:

  • Reset  All application operations stop. The controller aborts motion and disables all axes, stops programs on all tasks, and reloads the saved controller configuration. Any unsaved configuration changes are lost.
  • Acknowledge All  The controller acknowledges all axis faults and clears all task errors and warnings.
  • Abort  All application operations stop. The controller aborts motion on all axes and stops programs on all tasks.

The toolbar also shows open notifications for messages, warnings, and errors.

The gear icon on the right opens the Settings dialog where you can customize or restore default settings.

If you are working without a controller, the application toolbar shows the name of the MCD file. When you save changes in the application, the application toolbar shows the status of the operation that is saving the MCD file.

Workspace Toolbar

The Workspace toolbar includes the Configure, Develop, and Visualize workspace tabs, the command bar, and the New Window button.

The command bar lets you execute AeroScript commands. Autocomplete and syntax highlighting help you enter commands. You can also use the drop-down to see recent commands.

If you configure the application to use more than one task, the Task Selection drop-down will show on the workspace toolbar. The AeroScript commands in the command bar will execute on the selected task. Refer to Tasks Category for more information about Manage Tasks.

The New Window button lets you use a different workspace in another window while you keep the same workspace open in the original window. You cannot have the same workspace open in more than one window.

Workspaces

There are three workspaces. You cannot have the same workspace open in more than one window. To work in one workspace and see a different workspace in a another window, click the New Window button.

Configure Workspace

Develop Workspace

Visualize Workspace

Axis Dashboard

The Axis Dashboard, at the bottom of the application, shows the axes that you configured to show in the application. You can move your cursor over buttons and other items to see information about the item.

You must enable axes before you can command motion on them. The Enable button shows the name of the axis and a toggle indicator. Click the Enable button to enable an axis. Click the Enable button again to disable the axis. When an axis is enabled, click the Home button to home the axis. The status color and text changes to indicate the state of the axis. The status colors are:

Green: The axis is enabled.

White: The axis is disabled.

Yellow: The axis is in joystick mode.

Orange: The speed of the axis is actively limited by the MaxSpeedClamp parameter.

When a fault occurs on any axis, a fault notification bar shows at the top of the Axis Dashboard. Click the fault in the fault notification bar to see a list of all active faults for an axis. To clear active faults, click Acknowledge All in the application toolbar.

To change which axes show in the Axis Dashboard, use Manage Axes. Refer to Axes Category for more information.

To change which signals show in the Axis Dashboard, click the gear icon in the application bar to open the Settings dialog.

To expand and collapse the Axis Dashboard, use the up or down arrows on the left.

The expanded dashboard shows:

  • The Enable button, the Home button, and the axis status
  • Two signal values
  • Three status indicators: Homed, Calibrated, and Virtual

When the Axis Dashboard is expanded, you can use the jog toggle button to show or hide the jog controls. Use the jog toggle button to show the jog axis arrows. To change the jog mode, speed and distance settings for that axis, click the Edit icon.

The collapsed dashboard shows:

  • The Enable button, the Home button, and the axis status.
  • One signal value
  • One combined status indicator. To see the full status, move your cursor over the status indicator.

To configure jog settings

  1. Open Automation1 Studio and connect to the controller.

  2. Expand the Axis Dashboard by clicking the up arrows on the left of the Axis Dashboard.

  3. Toggle Jog to On.

  4. Click the edit icon to edit jog settings for an axis.

  5. To configure the jog mode, use the Jog mode drop-down.

  6. To configure the jog speed, use the Jog speed drop-down.

  7. To configure the jog distance, use the Jog distance drop-down. You must set Jog mode to Distance to configure the Jog distance.

Application Sidebar

The sidebar on the right of the application includes tabs for Controller, Notifications, Quick Navigation, Quick Compare, Checklist, and Help.

    Controller

    In the Controller tab, you can disconnect from a connected controller and go back to the Connection dialog. You can also view the controller's name and information about how you are connected to the controller.

    You can update the controller's software and update the firmware on all of your connected electrical devices. For instructions about how to update the software and firmware, see the Software Updating page.

    When you work without a controller, you can close your MCD file and go back to the Connection dialog.

    Notifications

    This tab shows notifications for messages, warnings, and errors. Notifications can be sorted by time received or type. They also can be copied to the clipboard.

    The active notifications area shows status notifications for the connected controller or for the Studio application. Active notifications can be resolved by taking action to address the status. Once the status is resolved, the notification is moved to the logged notifications area.

    The logged notifications area shows all logged notifications. Logged notifications can be dismissed individually or with the Dismiss All button at the top of the logged notifications area.

    Quick Navigation

    Quick Navigation helps you find and get to different parts of the application. You can open it from the sidebar, or you can use the CTRL + F shortcut to open Quick Navigation from almost anywhere in the application. (In the Programming module, CTRL + F opens Find and Replace.)

    When you search in Quick Navigation, the items shown are organized into Modules and Actions. The Modules section shows you different parts of the application. The Actions section shows you parts of the application where you can change settings and edit parameters.

    To use Quick Navigation, click on the Quick Navigation arrow icon on the sidebar menu. Type full or partial words in the search bar to see filtered items in the list. When you click an item in the list, the application navigates to that item, and the related module is temporarily outlined with a blue line.

    If you want to see only items in the current workspace, select Relevant in the Sort by drop-down. All shows results for all of the application.

    Quick Compare

    Quick Compare lets you compare parameter values to those on your controller. You can compare parameters from a Machine Controller Definition (MCD) file, or you can compare parameters between the axes and tasks on your controller. You can also use Quick Compare when you work without a controller.

    When you choose one of the comparison options, Quick Compare shows you the parameters that have different values between the source you chose and the parameters in the Configure workspace. When you choose a different axis or task in Quick Compare, when you choose a different axis or task in the Configure workspace, or when you edit parameter values in the Configure workspace, Quick Compare shows the new comparison results.

    You can click on the parameter differences in Quick Compare to navigate to the corresponding parameter editor in the Configure workspace. Quick Compare also lets you copy parameter values to change the parameters on your controller. You can copy individual parameter values or parameter values from a specific topic by clicking the copy icon that shows when you hover over the parameter value or topic header. If you want to copy all of the parameter differences from the selected axis or task in Quick Compare, click Copy All… from the menu and then choose either Axis Parameters or Task Parameters.

    If you want to save the comparison results, click Export as HTML from the menu.

    When you want to start a new comparison, click Start Over from the menu.

    Checklist

    Checklist items guide you to complete the configuration for each axis you define in Machine Setup. Machine Setup adds items to the Checklist tab after you configure an axis for the first time.

    See the Machine Setup topic for more information on using the Checklist.

    Help

    The Help tab shows documentation relative to what you are doing in the application. Press the F1 key on your keyboard to show Help in the sidebar. To open the full Help site in your default internet browser, click View in browser.