Chicago Scenic Introduces "Mini 8" Control System

Chicago Scenic has introduced its new "Mini 8" motion control system, a smaller and less expensive version of its "CS Control" system. The new Mini 8 base model controls eight axes of motion simultaneously; up to seven add-ons will control a total of 64 axes of motion. In fact, the Mini 8 was developed in conjunction with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre—which needed a way to integrate its older electronics and machinery with newer pieces—as it built it's recent production of The Tempest.

"We designed the "Mini 8" to be the next generation of the Goddard Design Group’s AWU," said Rob Kovarik, a project engineer at Chicago Scenic. "Our Mini 8 system uses the same straightforward, commonsensical approach with a touch screen and hidden buttons and switches in the programming. The addition of the umbrella motion control program allows simultaneous access and execution of all connected axes of motion."

Chicago Scenic’s motion control system runs and controls all types of mechanical systems, from electro-mechanics to hydraulics and pneumatics. It can also be programmed to interface with audio-visual equipment and lighting. Fully portable—it measures 24" x 24" x 24"—it can be set up, torn down, moved, set up again, and perform with consistent reliability.

Mini 8 is available on a rental basis or clients can purchase the system. "Our theatre clients have been very pleased with Mini 8," Kovarik adds. "Chicago Shakespeare has used Mini 8 in Richard III and Private Lives, and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre also used it for UP.


  • Designed to control AC inverter drives, DC drives and proportional valves. Control is based upon a +10VDC to -/+10VDC speed and direction reference. Control can easily be reconfigured to accommodate a 0-10VDC control with a switchable direction reference.
  • Remote e-stop stations can easily be easily patched into the system.
  • 15" touch-screen HMI user interface
  • Completely PLC based. No Windows operating systems
  • 24-hour technical support.
  • Designed to integrate into a customer’s pre-existing stock of machinery and drive components with little impact to a client’s bottom line or CSSI can provide those components.

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