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What is the Orca IO SmartHub?

The Orca IO SmartHub is companion product that provides control and both analog and digital feedback for Orca Series motors. This compact, DIN rail mountable device connects directly to Orca Series motors via the RJ45 terminated data cable and integrates easily with industrial control systems using 4-20 mA current loop or digital trigger control. With a power range of 5-30V DC it's compatible with a wide variety of systems.

The IO SmartHub controls the Orca motors in three modes: force control, position control, and kinematic control, configurable through Modbus or IrisControls GUI. While actively connected to an Orca motor, the IO SmartHub will continuously report force and position sensor data through the dual 4-20 mA current outputs. With simple configurations the IO SmartHub working alongside an Orca motor can be an optimal replacement for existing PLC controlled pneumatic systems.

Copy of Orca6 ChassisB Render v2.psd (3)
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Effortless Control with Orca and IO SmartHub Banner

Configurable Input and Output Context

Adjustable Input Range and Sensitivity

Galvanic Isolation Between PLC and Motor

Adjustable Output Range and Sensitivity


Pneumatic Replacement Use Case


The IO SmartHub is the simplest way to integrate the Orca Motors with industrial PLC systems, becoming a direct drop-in replacement for pneumatic actuators. Its digital inputs work with the Orca Series Motors’ kinematic operating mode which surpasses the performance of a traditional pneumatic actuator, with the exact same control signals.


Complex Motions With the Press of a Button

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the IO SmartHub for?

It is for Orca Series motor customers that want to control the motor and receive feedback using digital and analog signals instead of serial messages.

It is useful when Orca Series motors are used in industrial settings that already have traditional PLC infrastructure and in projects and products where simple microcontrollers are used to control motion and force.

It is especially suited for  replacing pneumatic actuators with Orca Series electric motors as most of the time it allows the Orca to be swapped in without much downtime!

When is the IO SmartHub not recommended?

The IO SmartHub uses a high speed Modbus serial connection to the motor and prevents users from sending serial messages when in use. Therefore, anyone that wants to take advantage of the numerous configuration and control options that are available using serial messages should not use the IO SmartHub.

What are the typical applications of the IO SmartHub?

The IO SmartHub provides a simple and robust way to directly control the position target,  force output, or trigger pre-configured paths from the Orca motor making it an ideal tool to support the following applications: pneumatic replacement, polishing or grinding, automated windows and doors, valve control, packaging, warehouse automation, testing and quality control, and assembly machines.

Can I use the IrisControls GUI and the IO SmartHub at the same time?

Yes! In fact we recommend this during development as the GUI provides a lot of useful information and configuration options.

What kind of data can the IO SmartHub provide?

There are two analog outputs which provide Motor Position and Motor Force. There is also a digital output used for error reporting.

What can be controlled through the IO SmartHub?

There is an analog input which can be used to control the Motor Force, or the Motor Position. There are also digital inputs that can be used to trigger Pre-Programmed Motions

Which Orca Series motor Modes of Operation does the IO SmartHub support?

Force Mode, Position Mode, and Kinematic Mode.

How many motors can the IO SmartHub control?

Each IO SmartHub connects to a single Orca Series motor.

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Key Features

One 4-20 mA, 0-20 mA, or 0-10V input

Two 4-20 mA or 0-20 mA Outputs

Two 24 V (sinking) Digital Outputs

Four 24 V (sinking) Digital Inputs

 5-30 V Supply Range

2250 Hz Sampling Rate

Related Articles

Check out the Iris Dynamics news articles for news in motion and force control.  

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