Hey Ron! That's very insightful. I hope I can also make something as long lasting as you did. Yeah my approach/selection of parts seems very similar to yours. Also, the torque requirements are already taken care of. We did measurements for required torque on the output shaft of the gearbox nd even found a stepper motor in-house that could be applied for our case.Years ago I worked with a system similar to your drawing. It was for a clad welding system but same idea. Position feedback used a simple linear position indicator like those used on large mill and drill systems for position readout. You just include MAN / AUTO in your design as you start it out on paper. Rough guess it was maybe 2006 or 2007 we designed and used this. When I retired in 2013 it was still running fine. Today we likely would have used LabVIEW for the software and the same hardware.
The thing that baffles me for now is the switch to give a choice between Push button based MANUAL control and LabView-based control. Like, what device could be compatible for both ways or likely I would need separate methods to run it in these two ways. That might complicate the connections to the controller or stepper drive but I need to keep looking for that.