November 06, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 41

Motion Control News & Products

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QTR Series torque motors by Tecnotion

With Tecnotion torque motors, the magnetic design is optimized for maximum flux density and copper fill to provide very high torque-to-volume ratios. Motor sizes from 68-mm to 160-mm diameters are available, packing serious power to work with any servo drives on the market. Tecnotion torque motors are extremely compact, provide a very stiff drive train, eliminate the need for time-consuming mounting procedures, are virtually maintenance free, and can be integrated directly into the machine structure, while the spacious open inner diameter enables wire and cable feedthrough. The entire series comes with completely sealed stators and integrated temperature protection and measurement sensors.
Learn more.


160 pages of piezo linear motors, rotation stages, and multi-axis motion systems

PI's new comprehensive piezo motor solutions catalog covers a large number of linear, rotary, and multi-axis motion systems based on a variety of piezo motor types along with their appropriate controllers and drivers. Ultrasonic piezo motors, for example, are preferred for high-speed applications; inertia motors are small and cost efficient; PiezoWalk drives provide the highest forces up to 800N; and piezo-ratchet drives can replace micrometers in remote "set and forget" applications. All piezoelectric motors are self-locking, field-less, and not affected by magnetic fields, and they can be integrated easily mechanically.
Get the PI catalog today (no registration required).
Watch different types of piezo motors in action.
Learn about different kinds of piezo motors products.


Electromechanical actuators with modular design

SKF CASM-100 electro-mechanical actuators from SKF Motion Technologies have been uniquely engineered with a modular design, enabling tailored solutions for a wide range of industrial linear movement and positioning applications. Modules provide choices among motor types, gearboxes, ball screws or roller screws, and accessories. Standardized interfaces connect the different components. These actuators use up to 80 percent less energy than pneumatic cylinders and 50 percent less energy than hydraulic alternatives and eliminate any need for constantly running compressors, hoses, and other components.
Click here to learn more.


Precision linear motion drive with thrust capacity to 800 lb

The Precision Motion Drive System from Amacoil/Uhing is a Uhing Model RG rolling ring linear drive integrated with a motion controller for precision linear motion applications. The Precision Motion Drive is fully programmable and meets application requirements for precision winding/spooling, pick-and-place machines, X-Y coordinate tool movement, metrology equipment, and other machinery providing fast, accurate positioning and reciprocating linear motion. Depending on the size of the RG drive nut in the system, the Precision Motion Drive System provides from 7 to 800 lb of axial thrust.
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100 million random moves: New lifetime spec for rotary micro stage with integral controller

New Scale Technologies has significantly increased the lifetime specification for its M3-RS-U Rotary Smart Stage, a precision rotary micro stage with embedded controller. The new specification of 100 million random positions underscores the utility of these compact, all-in-one motion modules for integrating embedded motion inside medical, commercial, and industrial instruments. These rotary stages are ideal for beam steering and mirror positioning applications where precise, point-to-point positioning or dynamic scanning up to 100 Hz is needed. Applications include medical instruments such as surgical lasers and fluorescence microscopes, industrial systems for 3D measurements and remote sensing, optical communications systems, and obstacle detection and tracking systems for robots and drones (UAVs).
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New UR e-Series cobots feature unique sensing, safety, and precision tools

Universal Robots pioneered the collaborative robot and continues to evolve its ground-breaking, automation technology with the introduction of its new flagship line of e-Series cobots. The new UR3e, UR5e, and UR10e robot arms will launch in North America at IMTS in Chicago, Sept. 10-15, at Universal Robots' IMTS booth N-236861. With a new built-in, tool-centric force/torque sensor, the e-Series is ready to take on popular collaborative robot applications that require force control right out of the box such as sanding, buffing, polishing, and deburring, where force-feedback is paramount in order to obtain uniform results. Additionally, the force/torque sensor can be used to measure mass and perform inspection processes or precisely detect contact.
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What design engineers need to know about voice coil actuator technology

Looking to develop a product that requires highly reliable, highly repeatable, and highly controllable motions? Take a look at voice coil actuator technology. VCAs are very simple yet extremely robust and precise. Sensata Technologies has published a new white paper (What Design Engineers Need to Know about VCA Technology) that covers the current state of Voice Coil Technologies for a variety of linear motion applications. Good info here.
Get the white paper. No registration required.


US Digital releases new MD3 microstepping motor driver

The MD3 Programmable Microstepping Motor Driver is capable of driving motors from NEMA size 14 to 42. The MD3 accepts 9 to 50 VDC power inputs and is rated for currents up to 7A continuous duty. In addition to digital input controls, the MD3 can be configured and controlled using the open MODBUS RTU protocol over a RS485 bus. A GUI application is supplied that allows many settings to be changed including the number of microsteps per full step, acceleration/deceleration rates, speed, and current cutback.
Learn more.


New power-off brakes for parking brake applications

The MPC is a power-off brake module with an output shaft. The unit mounts directly onto a NEMA C-Face servo or stepper motor, and the output can also be coupled to a NEMA C-Face gear reducer. This brake is designed to decelerate or hold an inertial load when the voltage is turned off. When voltage is applied, the friction disc is released, and the brake is free of torque. This power-off brake is best suited for parking brake applications used to hold a load in position, and is ideal for creating brake motor packages for small servo and stepper NEMA 17 or NEMA 23 frame motors. Available from Servo2Go.
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New planetary BLDC gearmotors: High torque and compact design

Bodine Electric Company introduces the new type 22B4-60P planetary gearmotor. This integral gearmotor combines Bodine's high-performance type 22B brushless DC motor with the new 60P (60-mm) planetary gearhead. It is ideal for applications that require higher torque than conventional helical/spur gearheads of a similar size can provide, and where a very low backlash gearhead is not required. Typical applications include conveyors, pumps, packaging, industrial automation, and a wide range of solar- or battery-powered equipment.
Learn more.


Compact brushless DC servo motor with integrated controller

Nanotec has developed the compact PD2-C-IP, a brushless DC servo motor with integrated controller and 42-mm flange size for use in harsh environmental conditions (class IP65). The PD2-C-IP is available as a brushless DC motor, with an operating voltage of 12 V to 48 V and a rated power of 105 W, and as a stepper motor with a nominal torque up to 0.5 Nm. Due to the field-oriented control based on an integrated encoder, both motors are controlled in the same way and differ only in their working point. Each motor is available in a USB or CANopen version. They offer effective and economical drive solutions when high precision and maximum benefit are required.
Click here to learn more.


DriveWare 7.4.2 released with stepper motor support

DriveWare is ADVANCED Motion Controls' no-cost software tool that allows users to set drive limits, tune the control loops, configure various types of feedback, auto-commutate, analyze signals over a built-in multi-channel oscilloscope, and more. Because of its powerful capabilities and user-friendly interface, DriveWare is the best way to commission and configure the company's DigiFlex Performance series drives. The biggest update to DriveWare 7.4.2 is the expanded support for stepper motors -- making it easy to configure closed-loop steppers while streamlined algorithms make autocommutation 75% faster. DigiFlex Performance servo drives can operate two-phase and three-phase steppers in addition to rotary and linear permanent magnet, brushed, and brushless servo motors.
Click here to learn more.


Plug-and-play motion system in a box

Rollon Corp. has launched Motion Box, a new pre-engineered Cartesian robot system designed to deliver users six different motion profiles that can be set up and running in a couple of hours. Motion Box covers everything from the human-machine interface (HMI) to the output of reliable motion. Even the cable management is included. The initial system setup is already complete, so end users can get parts moving in a reliable and repeatable manner. Motion Box incorporates the Q-Motion Controller from Mitsubishi Electric, which features four-axis motion control, energy-efficient drivers, integrated I/O and network access, and a clean, efficient HMI setup.
Learn more.


High-torque rotary voice coil actuators

H2W Technologies has developed several high-torque rotary voice coil actuators, otherwise known as a limited angle torque motors (LATs). The model TWR-015-346-2RC was designed to allow for a low moving mass (68 grams per coil) and inertia, as well as dual independent coils to allow for two independent motion profiles or couple the coils together to double the torque output. This rotary voice coil actuator can generate a continuous torque of 185 in.-oz (1.29 Nm) and a peak torque of 555 in.-oz (3.88 Nm) at a duty cycle of 10% (i.e., 1 sec on and 9 sec off) in each coil on a 4-in. (102-mm) rotation arm. By coupling the coils, the continuous torque doubles. Applications include driving a gimbal axis in scanning applications and providing stabilizing torques for image stabilization.
Click here to learn more.


Linear actuators for medical applications

SKF Ecomag linear actuators from SKF Motion Technologies enable safe and precise power-driven movement and positioning of procedure tables and chairs in medical settings. Standard Ecomag actuators can be supplied in four versions: push models ECO 2/4 and ECO 6/8, and push/pull models ECO 3/5 and ECO 7/9. Depending on the model, the actuators can deliver push-load force up to 6,000 N or 1,348 lb and pull-load force up to 4,000 N or 899 lb, stroke ranges up to 300 mm or 12 in., and fast positioning speeds up to 13 mm/s or 0.5 in./s. All versions integrate built-in limit switches. As an option, encoder signals can be specified for added positioning functionality.
Click here to learn more.


DARPA tests UAV-to-UAV refueling at 45,000 ft

DARPA completes close-proximity flight tests of two modified RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles, demonstrates technology enabling autonomous aerial refueling.

Global military aviation currently relies on a key enabler: aerial refueling. Fighters, bombers, reconnaissance, and transport aircraft use "flying gas stations" to go the extra mile.

Increasingly, UAVs are conducting combat and ISR operations, but they aren't designed to be refueled in flight. In 2007, DARPA teamed up with NASA to show that high-performance aircraft can easily perform automated refueling from conventional tankers, yet many unmanned aircraft can't match the speed, altitude, and performance of the current tanker fleet. The 2007 demonstration also required a pilot on board to set conditions and monitor safety during autonomous refueling operations.

But DARPA has been working to close this capability gap.

Global Hawk UAVs demonstrate close-proximity test flight.

 

 

DARPA's two-year Autonomous High-Altitude Refueling (AHR) program, which concluded Sep. 30, explored the ability to safely conduct fully autonomous refueling of UAVs in challenging high-altitude flight conditions. During its final test flight, two modified Global Hawk aircraft flew in close formation, 100 ft or less between refueling probe and receiver drogue, for the majority of a 2.5-hr engagement at 44,800 ft. This demonstrated, for the first time, that High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) -class aircraft can safely and autonomously operate under in-flight refueling conditions.

The flight was the ninth test and the first time the aircraft flew close enough to measure the full aerodynamic and control interactions for unmanned-to-unmanned connections. Flight data was analyzed over the past few months and fed back into simulations to verify system safety and performance through contact and fuel transfer, including the effects of turns and gusts up to 20 knots.

Since HALE aircraft are designed for endurance at the expense of control authority, the program started with the expectation that only one in six attempts would achieve positive contact (17%). The final analysis, however, indicated that 60% of the attempts would achieve contact.

Multiple autonomous breakaway contingencies were successfully triggered well in advance of potentially hazardous conditions. Fuel systems were fully integrated and ground tested, demonstrating a novel "reverse-flow" approach with the tanker in trail. This approach opens valuable trade space for future developers to choose between various fixed and modular implementations of proven probe and drogue hardware.

"The goal of this demonstration was to create the expectation that future HALE aircraft will be refueled in flight," says Jim McCormick, DARPA program manager. "Such designs should be more affordable to own and operate across a range of mission profiles than systems built to satisfy the most stressing case without refueling. The lessons from AHR certainly extend beyond the HALE flight regime, and insights into non-traditional tanker concepts may offer further operational advantages."

Using this capability, U.S. military Global Hawk UAVS could fly nonstop for days or maybe even weeks.

Source: DARPA

SIDEBAR: Some basic Global Hawk stats courtesy of Northrop Grumman.

Q. How far can Global Hawk fly?

A. It has an inter-continental range (~11,500 miles). This means the aircraft can fly from New York and land anyplace in the world.

Q. How high can Global Hawk fly?

A. About 12 miles high -- an altitude almost twice that of airliners. From this height, you can see over 300 miles to the horizon.

Q. How long can Global Hawk fly?

A. More than 32 hours -- the longest of any high-altitude operational aircraft in the world.

Q. How much can Global Hawk carry?

A. It can carry equipment weighing 3,000 lb -- that's the weight of a Ford Focus.

Published November 2012

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