November 06, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 41

Motion Control News & Products

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Complete guided motion solutions from A to X-Y-Z

Bishop-Wisecarver invented and patented DualVee Motion Technology® more than 40 years ago to provide a solution for harsh environment applications where existing technologies were ineffective. DualVee® also proved excellent for long length, smooth motion, and low noise requirements. Today, Bishop-Wisecarver remains the recognized expert and the most trusted name in guide wheel technology, with the widest range of guide wheel-based linear motion products in the world.
Discover the benefits of Bishop-Wisecarver Guide Wheel Technology.


New rodless pneumatic cylinder supports compact machine design

Aventics now offers a new product for applications where the basic variants just won’t do the trick, but high-performance cylinders are too powerful. The new RTC-SB slide bearing version rounds off the pneumatics specialist’s RTC range of rodless cylinders. At the heart of the RTC-SB (slide bearing) is its oval piston shape. In relation to its size, it offers a very high load capacity. As a result, engineers can draft even more compact machine designs. Equipped with a lubrication-free slide bearing, the cylinder is maintenance-free and resistant to water, chemicals, and dirt. The slide play is optimally adjusted at the factory. Max speed is 6.5 m/sec (21.3 ft/sec). Maximum stroke is around 6,000 mm (21.6 ft).
Learn more.


Revolutionary new high-pressure electric pump system

High Pressure Equipment Co. (HiP), a subsidiary of Graco, introduces the eTensifer pump, the first-of-its-kind high-pressure electric pump system. The plug-and-play pump simply plugs into a wall outlet -- no need for an air compressor like other high-pressure pumps on the market. The portable, lightweight (only 46 lb) eTensifier will deliver hydraulic/liquid pressures to 36,500 psi with a smoother flow rate from zero to full pressure and a quiet electric motor. SmartControl™ technology allows for two operational modes: a traditional pressure knob for standard jobs and an industry-first pressure test mode. Another first is the ProConnect™ quick-connect system that allows users to switch out the Sprague pump lower.
Learn more.


World's smallest stepper motor is a big win

MICROMO presents the FAULHABER FDM 0620 series stepper motor. Measuring just 6 mm in diameter and 9.7 mm in length, including all components and connections, and with a 0.25-mNm holding torque rating, the FDM 0620 stepper motor series is small enough to fit in the most compact spaces for limitless applications. This micro stepper motor is also now available for purchase online with and without leadscrew options.
Click here to learn more.


Small brush DC motors drive handheld biopsy system

When developing an automated, handheld system capable of harvesting multiple samples with a single insertion to reduce patient tissue trauma and sampling time, this medical device manufacturer turned to MICROMO for compact and high-efficiency FAULHABER® brush DC motors.
Read the full article.


Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications

See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available.
View the video.


Zero-backlash servo rotary indexing table

The Sankyo Automation RollerDrive Reducer is a precision gear reducer that uses a zero-backlash roller gear mechanism. The unit is constructed from an input shaft and a turret (output shaft) that is assembled with roller followers. The roller followers are preloaded against a screw-like input shaft to eliminate backlash. Sankyo servo indexing tables offer a constant lead cam with a servo motor drive for programmable motion and provide fast, highly accurate motion, with the added capability to move medium to heavy loads. The RU Series servo indexing table is available in 11 different sizes and varying ratios.
Click here to learn more.


Plug-in motor controller for fast integration

Nanotec has introduced a new controller specifically for integration into devices: the NP5 plug-in motor controller, which is suitable for both brushless DC motors and stepper motors. A PCI Express connector allows for fast and easy integration into a customer-specific board, offering a compact and affordable solution that reduces wiring effort, particularly for multi-axis applications. The NP5 controller can control motors with a rated current up to 6 A via FOC, Hall sensors, or sensorless control. In addition to position, speed, and torque control, operating modes with cyclical set value specification are also available for interpolated multi-axis operation. Nanotec offers the free Plug & Drive Studio software for parameterization and programming.
Click here to learn more.


Low-profile rotary air bearing stages achieve superior accuracy with virtually unlimited life

The new A-635/A-637 PIglide low-profile rotary air bearing stages from PI (Physik Instrumente) have no rolling or sliding elements and deliver frictionless, non-contact motion, resulting in negligible reversal error and better wobble eccentricity and velocity stability -- ideal prerequisites for high-end industrial applications such as inspection, metrology, calibration, and scanning, including cleanroom environments. Featuring 3-phase, low-cogging slotless torque motors with velocity to 500 rpm and optical encoders, these stages provide outstanding resolution, repeatability, and absolute accuracy.
Click here to learn more.
Watch PI’s Air Bearing Design & Manufacturing Operation Video.


Where would I get an exoskeleton joint actuator?

maxon motor is now offering a complete joint actuation unit consisting of a pancake brushless DC motor (EC90 flat) with inertia optimized rotor, internal high-resolution 4096 MILE Encoder, planetary gearhead with absolute encoder, and EPOS4 position controller with CAN and RS232 interface. Fitting the 17-bit SSI absolute encoder directly at the joint rotation to a degree will negate the effect of gearhead backlash, giving designers increased positioning accuracy. The unit will deliver 54 Nm of continuous torque and 120 Nm on a 20% duty cycle. The system can be operated on supplies between 10 VDC and 50 VDC, and the actuation speed is up to 22 rpm.
Learn more.


Programmable electric moving coil servo actuator

Introducing the 35-mm diameter CBL35C electric cylinder from SMAC. With its built-in controller, the CBL35C controls force, position, and velocity and features simple installation. Ideal for applications with limited space but requiring accurate control, the CBL35C provides significantly longer life, programmability, high speed, accuracy, and energy efficiency while remaining price-competitive. It also enables the direct replacement of existing pneumatic cylinders and retrofits without any machine modifications required.
Click here to learn more.


Zero downtime available for FANUC robots

The Robot LINKi Zero Down Time (ZDT) service is now available to all automotive and non-automotive manufacturers who purchase FANUC robots. Launched in 2015 in collaboration with Cisco, ZDT is a predictive analytic service that automatically monitors robot health status and upcoming maintenance requirements. It eliminates the need for manual analysis and tracking, avoiding unexpected breakdowns during production. Today, over 16,000 robots in the automotive industry are operating with ZDT, which is available for all FANUC R-30iB Plus robots as well as R-30iA and R-30iB robots with the latest software version.
Click here to learn more.


Selecting pneumatic or electric actuators

For some automation applications, it can be difficult to decide if a pneumatic or electric motor-driven actuator is best. Obviously, cost can be a big factor when choosing between the two, with pneumatic actuators typically costing less. So why should you pay more for an electric rodless actuator? Rollon says the answer boils down to higher levels of stiffness, as well as dynamic speed and motor control.
Read the full article.


Top 5 challenges of motion control design

As motion control solutions -- from angle encoders to direct drive motors -- become even more ubiquitous in industrial situations, engineers face evolving demands and opportunities. From lowering the cost of advanced technologies to improving functional safety in automated environments, here are the top five challenges and opportunities in today’s motion control design industry as seen by engineers from HEIDENHAIN.
Read the full article.


XY stage gives high resolution and repeatability

The XYR-03-01 Motorized Alignment Stage from Optimal Engineering Systems (OES) is a high-resolution, high-repeatability XY-Theta (3-axis) stage for applications such as angular glass cutting and grinding, wafer alignment, semiconductor handling, and laser cutting and drilling. The linear resolution of the X and Y axis is 5µ (non-micro-step) or 0.125µ (20 micro-steps per step motor driver in use), the repeatability is 1.5µ, and positional accuracy is 5µ. The 1-mm per-turn lead screws and preloaded V-groove and crossed roller bearings add to the high precision and stiffness of the XYR-03-01 alignment stage.
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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