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User Manual

User Manual: MachineMotion

This manual will explain how to setup, program and operate the MachineMotion controller. To best utilize this user manual, it is recommended to have a MachineMotion controller on hand. A computer with Google Chrome installed is also required.

User Manual: MachineMotion main image.



MachineMotion is an all-in-one automation controller. It contains the necessary components to rapidly create general motion control and automation projects. Its embedded single-board computer, multi-function sensor inputs and connectivity options greatly simplify system setup time and configuration. On the software side, even users with limited programming experience can create automated machines.

Important Notes

  • Direct hyperlinks in the sections below point directly to the MachineMotion controller. For these hyperlinks to be functional, a controller must be connected to your computer via the fixed IP of the MachineMotion controller,

  • On previous versions of the controller, the IP default IP address was hosted on the USB connector. If your controller was purchased before 2019-06-01 you must connect your computer to the USB connector to get access via this address. For controllers purchased after 2019-06-01, the connector labelled or DEFAULT ETHERNET must be used.

Connecting Components

As shown in Figure 2 & Figure 3, MachineMotion contains several connectors on its front panel. Each connector is meant to be used for certain device types. The tables below detail where to connect different devices.

Figure 2. MachineMotion Controller Front Panel

Figure 3. MachineMotion Controller Back Panel

Vention Automation Components

Device Vention Part Number MachineMotion Connnector
Stepper Motors MO-SM-00_-0001 DRIVE1 DRIVE2 DRIVE3
End-of-Travel Sensors CE-SN-004-0001 SENSOR1_ SENSOR2_ SENSOR3_
Encoder CE-SN-002-0001 AUX1 AUX2 AUX3
Digital IO Module CE-MD-001-0001 AUX1 AUX2 AUX3
Power-Off Brake MO-PT-002-0001 AUX1 AUX2 AUX3

HMI and Computers

Device MachineMotion Connector
Stepper Motors MO-SM-00_-0001
End-of-Travel Sensors CE-SN-004-0001
Encoder CE-SN-002-0001
Digital IO Module CE-MD-001-0001

Safety Devices

Device Description MachineMotion Connector
Safety System Input Input used to place the system in emergency stop mode SAFETY IN
Safety System Output Output used to trigger the system inputs of other devices SAFETY OUT

For additional details on electrical specifications, consult the MachineMotion Datasheet.

Software Installation

No software installation is required on your computer to start working with the MachineMotion controller. A computer with Google Chrome installed is enough to access the controller, launch programs and control your machine. If you are planning to use Python to create application programs, refer to the Python API to get more details on software installation for this programming option.

Communicating with the Controller

MachineMotion offers several connection options to interact with external devices. More precisely, three communication methods are available.

  • Peer-to-Peer Ethernet with Fixed IP
    • connector
  • Standard Ethernet
    • ETHERNET connector
  • MachineMotion Pendant
    • PENDANT connector

Method 1: Peer-to-Peer Ethernet with Fixed IP

This is the best way to initially get started. This method is mostly used to connect a computer to MachineMotion in a peer-to-peer way (one to one connection). It is also useful to have access to the system in case other ports are not available for use.

Simply connect an Ethernet cable in the connector labelled and to your computer. If you do not have an Ethernet port on your computer, utilize the Ethernet to USB adapter provided with the controller.

Figure 4: The pre-configured Ethernet port on the MachineMotion controller, in the green box.

By default, the network adapter of your computer should be in DHCP mode and configure itself automatically.

Additional Details
The MachineMotion controller acts as a DHCP server on this address. When another device is connected, it assigns it the address and auto assigns itself to For this to properly function, your computer adapter settings must be set to DHCP (which is the default).

Method 2: Standard Ethernet

Using the ETHERNET port is useful when connectiong MachineMotion to a standard, multi-device Ethernet network. This use case becomes necessary when connecting multiple MachineMotion controllers together in multi-controller systems and when connecting MachineMotion on a LAN or WLAN.

Figure 5: The standard configurable ETHERNET connector.


A DHCP client natively runs on the controller and will respond to DHCP commands from a DHCP server. Follow the steps below to configure your controller in DHCP mode.

  • Step 1: Connect a computer to the port (formerly DEFAULT ETHERNET) and browse to using Google Chrome.

Figure 6: MachineMotion ControlCenter Main Page

  • Step 2: Click on the Network Configuration tab.

Figure 6: MachineMotion ControlCenter Main Page

  • Step 3: Click on “Use Dynamic Mode”

At this point, you will see the currently active IP address that the ETHERNET port was assigned in the ControlCenter fileds. You can ask your network administrator to assign rules to address your controller using its MAC address. To do the later, you will need to get the MAC address of the controller. Consult Appendix B.

Static Mode

If the application requires the use of fixed IP addresses on your network, you can utilize a similar method to configure the MachineMotion controller. In order to do so, some parameters of the Network need to be known. Usually, this is available from your system administrator or from the configuration utility of your network router.

  • Step 1: Connect a computer to the port (formerly DEFAULT ETHERNET) and browse to using Google Chrome.

Figure 8: MachineMotion ControlCenter Main Page

  • Step 2: Click on the Network Configuration tab.

Figure 9: MachineMotion ControlCenter Main Page

Step 3: Enter the IP, Netmask & Gateway fields and click on “Use Static Mode”.

Method 3: MachineMotion Pendant

The MachineMotion pendant allows users to have a configuration free connection to the controller. Simply connect the pendant in the PENDANT connector using its 8 pin M12 cable.

Actuator Software Configuration

The section below will give detailed information on how motors, end-of-travel sensors and linear axes are configured in a Vention system.

Note on Homing

For motion control to be possible, a position reference must exist. This is what homing refers to, the action of finding the position reference of an axis. This position reference is also called home or zero.

End-of-travel sensors are used to perform homing operations. In order for the homing to be properly done, end-of-travel sensors must be placed in the appropriate location and connected to the right connector on the MachineMotion controller. Installation of end-stop sensors also depends on how the motor is installed on the linear axis.

Software Configuration

To operate an axis, it must first be configured software-wise. This is necessary to tell the system what is being moved. This can be done via the configuration tab in ControlCenter, see Figure 10.

Figure 10: ControlCenter Axis Configuration Tab

The configuration parameters of each axis can be changed independently as seen in Figure 11.

Figure 11: ControlCenter Axis Configuration Tab

The important parameters to configure are:

  • Axis Mechanical Gain
    • mm / turn or deg / turn
  • Micro-Stepping Configuration
    • 8 by default
  • Positive Motor Rotation Direction
    • clockwise by default

Actuator Mechanical Gains

Actuator Mechnical Gain
Ballscrew 10 mm / turn
Timing Belt 150 mm / turn
Electric Cylinder 6 mm / turn
Rack & Pinion 157.08 mm / turn
Rotary Indexer 85 deg / turn

Actuator Hardware Configuration

Motor Rotation Direction

By convention, motors have a positive and a negative rotation direction. This is an important consideration when installing the motor on a linear axis. When sending motion commands to the controller (for example a relative move of +200mm), it is important that the axis moves in the desired direction.

The rotation direction convention is shown in Figure 12 and Figure 13.

Figure 12: Motor Positive Rotation

Figure 13: Motor Negative Rotation

Linear Axis Direction

In order to satisfy the application requirements, positive rotation of the motor shaft should result in linear motion in the desired direction. Figures 14 show how the linear axis move depending on where the motor is installed.

Figure 14: Axis Direction Based on Motor Location

End-of-Travel Sensors

Linear axes require the use of end-of-travel sensors, for two main reasons:

  • Perform homing operations (placing the axis in a known position, called home or zero)
  • Disable motion in the event of an over or under travel event.

Inductive sensors are the preffered option for end-of-travel sensing since they are non-contact and less subject to environmental interference.

The image below details how to connect and position the end-of-travel sensors for a specific motor position. Important points:

  • The home sensor is positioned such that a negative motion moves towards it
  • The home sensor is connected to port SENSOR1A
  • The over-travel sensor is positioned such that a positive motion moves towards it
  • The over-travel sensor is connected to port SENSOR1B

Figure 15: End-of-travel Sensors Connection

Direction Reversal

It is posible that for design reasons, the motor has to be placed at a specific place on the linear axis (due to space or mechnical constraints). This could result in an undesired positive motion direction of the linear axis. For this reason, there is a also a software command that permits reversing the direction of a given axis. The ControlCenter configuration tab contains this parameter, as shown below in Figure 16.

Figure 16: Axis Direction Reversal in ControlCenter

This configuration reverses the motor default rotation direction, but also reverses the position of the home and over-travel sensors.

Going back to the example of Figure 15, reversing the axis results in the following configuration.

  • The home sensor is positioned such that a negative motion moves towards it
  • The home sensor is connected to port SENSOR1B
  • The over-travel sensor is positioned such that a positive motion moves towards it
  • The over-travel sensor is connected to port SENSOR1A

Figure 17: End-of-travel Sensors Connection in Reversed Mode

Cloud9 Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

For users that desire to access the single-board computer that is located inside the controller, the Cloud9 IDE is available on port 3000.

Cloud 9 essentially offers a terminal access and file explorer for developing software directly on the MachineMotion controller.

To access Cloud9, browse to or <your_custom_machine_motion_ip>:3000.

Figure 18: Cloud 9 IDE

Additional Details

  • password: temppwd

Programming Options


The MachineLogic programming interface is a simple code-free programming tool for MachineMotion. Click here for a direct link to MachineLogic on your MachineMotion controller.

Python Programs

Refer to the latest Python API for details on how to create programs for MachineMotion using Python.

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