[Interview] TRINAMIC Motion Control Discusses Their Company Outlook, Market Changes and Looking Ahead | Symmetry Blog
Based in Hamburg, Germany, TRINAMIC Motion Control is a leading provider of motor and motion control solutions. We recently chatted with Jonas Proeger, Marketing Director of TRINAMIC, to discuss the company’s current outlook in the market and what their plans are moving forward.
For those unfamiliar with your company, what is TRINAMIC? What kind of products and services does TRINAMIC offer?
TRINAMIC Motion Control develops the world's most sophisticated technology for motion and motor control applications to transform digital information into physical motion. Our ICs, modules and mechatronic drives embody decades of experience that results in a wide range of innovative technologies. We are headquartered in Hamburg, Germany with local support and subsidiaries in Tallinn, Estonia, Chicago, USA and Suzhou, China.
What makes TRINAMIC unique within the motion control industry?
We are a relatively small, but highly focused company that’s application driven. Engineers are inventing more and more products, like in medical robotics. At the same time, engineers are increasingly software-oriented and no longer have a deep understanding of motors. This is where we step in.
Our state-of-the-art motion and motor control microsystems enable today's software engineers to quickly and reliably develop highly precise drives that work efficiently, smoothly, and quietly. Our customers choose TRINAMIC not only because of superior product features, but rather because our sole focus on motion control provides access to deep application knowledge.
What value-added services does TRINAMIC provide to their customers to help simplify design and reduce time to market?
Shorter time-to-market requires reduced design cycles and proven building blocks as a foundation for new designs. Our modular evaluation system contains a variety of motor and motion control evaluation boards that can be combined with the microcontroller board ‘Landungsbrücke’ and the bridge board ‘Eselsbrücke’. It is very easy to get started with a new design using our Evaluation Kit. For rapid prototyping, we recently introduced the BOB family. Those breakout boards have everything needed to use the component right away.
What is TRINAMIC’s most successful product so far?
There are a lot of high-running products for years now, that fit to the needs of a huge number of applications and ensure a long-term availability. What makes our products successful are our technologies that drive innovation and are constantly being improved, resulting in a huge number of new product introductions. The TMC5130 offers an integrated motor driver and motion controller solution and was one of the most popular ICs in the last years. As an extension and following the demand for high-current stepper motor applications, we just introduced the driver and controller IC TMC5160.
Have there been many shifts or substantial changes at TRINAMIC over the last 5 years?
In the past 5 years TRINAMIC has seen a rapid growth fueled by being able not only to provide highest end motor control technologies, but also being able to manufacture them at competitive cost. This opened new markets such as the additive manufacturing, or 3D printing market, that has benefited from our superior silent current control.
In the past 5 years TRINAMIC staff has doubled. To provide local service TRINAMIC has established teams in Chicago, IL and Souzhou, China. To serve the embedded and IoT market we opened a new Design Center in Tallinn, Estonia
What market trends has TRINAMIC faced in recent years that forced them to adapt their business?
One big trend we are observing in the past years is, that the education of developers has shifted from hardware centric engineers to software centric engineers. While a traditional hardware centric engineer wanted to gain a deep understanding of what is happening in the analog circuitry of driving a motor, the software centric engineer likes to see the motor and driver as a smart peripheral to the MCU of his choice. This leverages the concepts we have been following ever since. TRINAMIC’s microsystems transfer digital information into precise physical motion.
Another trend that has become obvious is a growing degree of automation in the human environment. Having motors on our desktop, in the door lock, in our HVAC vent requires another level of smoothness. While in an industrial environment a sound from the motor is accepted, it becomes annoying once you have it in the 3D printer on your desktop or in the vent in your bedroom.
What should customers expect from TRINAMIC in the future?
In the future – as in the past – TRINAMIC’s core focus will be making the engineer’s job to design a precise and efficient drive system easy. New technologies will extend our philosophy to battery driven devices, as there will be an abundance of actuators in the IoT, and additional motor types like BLDC and PMSM and also brushed DC motors to make the design of highly efficient and dynamic drives as simple, as we made stepper motors today.
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