November 06, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 41

Motion Control News & Products

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Tips for selecting linear actuators

Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic runs through the main specifying considerations for electric actuators, citing their high performance, adaptability, low total cost of ownership, and easy integration. But what about accuracy and repeatability? Should you go with a rod-style actuator or a screw type? What kind of force should you expect if you are considering converting from hydraulic to electric actuation? Tolomatic also offers an extensive ebook to help with your decision-making if you need it.
Click here to learn more.

Cost-optimized BLDC motors for series production

With the DBL36, Nanotec now offers a brushless DC motor that is designed for large quantities. This motor is available in three lengths with a rated power of 7.5 W (size S), 18 W (size M), and 33 W (size L). These electronically commuted 3-phase motors are equipped with three Hall sensors that provide information on the rotor position. They are characterized by very high efficiency and, thanks to their precision ball bearings, smooth running characteristics. The rated speed is 4,800 rpm for sizes S and M and 4,500 rpm for size L; its rated voltage is 24 V. With a rated torque of 1.5 to 7 Ncm and a diameter of 36 mm, the DBL36 is an extremely economical solution for a wide range of applications. The winding can be adapted to other rated speeds and voltages in series production.
Click here to learn more.

Centralized control supports dynamic machine functionality with maximum efficiency

The AMKASYN centralized control and drive portfolio from AMK Automation includes KE/KW servo converters, KE/KW controller cards, the A Series motion controller, and AMKAMAC I/O. The portfolio supports dynamic machine functions with maximum efficiency. The AMKASYN KE/KW servo motors combine an extremely compact design with a cost-effective modular structure that provides several flexible combination options for machine builders. With a choice of cooling systems, single- and multi-axis solutions, and choice of controller cards, this system is ideal for highly dynamic positioning tasks requiring maximum energy efficiency.
Click here to learn more.

Gain more torque -- motor has integrated cooling

The slim-design G3718V whisper torque motor from Lin Engineering incorporates a heat-sink design within the stator laminations to allow for passive cooling. When your motor operates cooler, you can increase power to gain more torque without overheating, or you can save energy and still perform at an optimal performance. At only 22.8 mm long, this motor produces 25 oz-in. of torque.
Click here to learn more.

Mini voice coil motor has high force-to-size ratio

Smaller in diameter than a quarter, the miniature linear voice coil motor (LVCM-019-016-02) from Moticont has a high force-to-size ratio. It produces 8.9 oz. (2.5 N) of continuous force and 28.0 oz. (7.8 N) of peak force in a compact 0.750-in. (19.1-mm) diameter x 0.94-in. (23.8-mm) long envelope (at mid stroke). This high-speed motor has zero cogging and features high accuracy and high repeatability when operated in a closed loop as a DC servo motor. Ideal applications include: pick-and-place; testing; laser steering; mirror positioning; scanning; oscillation; switching; and hand-held medical, dental, or industrial applications.
Click here to learn more.

Advanced Motor Tech: Precision motion for X-ray optics

Despite their potential danger, X-rays are one of the most powerful instruments and resources utilized in medical diagnostics to help medical professionals restore health by identifying the correct prognosis. When it comes to achieving the best imaging with the lowest X-ray exposure, lenses made by Optec are almost inevitably involved. Their aperture, focus, filters, and zoom are moved by FAULHABER motors.
Read the full article.

How hexapods advance production processes

Hexapods, six-legged parallel-kinematic machines, are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after "learning" how to directly communicate with PLC or CNC controllers via fieldbus interfaces. They are used in such varied processes as aligning the smallest optical components in silicon photonics to positioning entire body parts for automotive production, and the intrinsic hexapod features contribute to a wealth of new possibilities in robotics. PI (Physik Instrumente) gives a comprehensive rundown on the state-of-the-art in hexapod tech.
Read the full article.

World's highest force voice coil actuator

H2W Technologies has developed the world’s highest force commercially available non-commutated DC linear actuator, otherwise known as a direct drive voice coil actuator. The model NCC08-75-3000-3X is capable of generating a continuous force of 300 lb (1330 N) and a peak force of 900 lb (4000 N) at a duty cycle of 10% (i.e., 1 sec on and 9 sec off). A moving mass of just under 8 lb (3.6 kg) allows for a maximum theoretical continuous acceleration of nearly 38 Gs.
Click here to learn more.

Reduce motion control application development time

ACS Motion Control has launched a new version of its SPiiPlus Application Development Kit (ADK) Suite motion control software with new simulation and motion machine interface (MMI) tools. The SPiiPlus ADK Suite Version 2.50 provides enhanced diagnostics capabilities to minimize setup, tuning, and programming time for motion control applications. With updated ACSPL+ functions, variables, and commands, Version 2.50 enables the implementation of both highly complex motion-time-event sequences with accurate positioning and timing, and simpler tasks such as point-to-point control. The ACS simulator tool models an ideal closed-loop servo system.
Click here to learn more.

Sprague pumps, boosters, and power units now available from High Pressure Equipment

High Pressure Equipment Co. (HiP), a subsidiary of Graco Inc., has added Sprague hydraulic pumps, gas boosters, and power units to their family of products. Sprague air-driven power products have been providing high-pressure solutions to the oil and gas, process chemical, utility, aviation, and industrial markets for more than 60 years. The first Sprague air-operated pump was developed in 1947 and, other than minor modifications, is the same classic design today. HiP will manufacture all Sprague power products in their ISO 9001-certified Erie, PA, headquarters plant.
Learn about Sprague Air-Driven Hydraulic Pumps.
Learn about Sprague Air-Driven Gas Boosters.
Learn about Sprague Air-Driven Power Units.

Fast and compact direct-drive micro-positioning stages

Precision motion and nanoposi-tioning leader PI (Physik Instrumente) delivers a family of compact linear and rotary stages driven by ceramic direct-drive motors. The patented ultrasonic motors provide smooth motion with high resolution and a high dynamic range. The self-clamping motor principle locks the stage into place, devoid of creep, once a target position has been reached. This intrinsic brake-like behavior comes at no extra cost and provides advantages that are not available with classic electro-magnetic drive technologies. Two linear stages with 18-mm and 22-mm travel are available, as well as an XY stage providing 22 mm x 22 mm. Several encoder options are standard. Applications include medical devices, optical instrumentation, photonics alignment, and super-resolution microscopy.
View the specs, datasheet, and more.
Read tech article about ultrasonic motors.

Selection tips for rodless electromechanical and electric rod actuators

When you specify a linear actuator, some basic decisions come first. Do you go with electric or fluid-powered? Do you need the push/pull of an electric rod actuator or the load-carrying action of a rodless electromechanical actuator? Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic may have your answer. Dietrich has compiled some very good tips for selecting these actuator types.
Learn about selecting linear actuators.

Software: Robot control systems

Han’s Robot, a subsidiary of global Chinese manufacturer Han’s Laser, has licensed Energid’s Actin premier control software for its new line of cost-effective collaborative robots (“cobots”), called Elfins. Actin is an easy-to-use robot control and simulation framework that offers robot manufacturers faster time to market, reduced software development costs, and powerful control with real-time adaptive motion. Han’s Robot was able to leverage powerful collaborative features including collision avoidance, simplified task-based programming, interactive control, and the ability to extend, customize, and rebrand any of the components for advanced product differentiation. Energid provides robotic control systems for a wide range of global customers.
Click here to learn more.

New Catalog: Custom engineered precision motion systems

Motion and precision positioning systems expert PI (Physik Instrumente) has released a new catalog outlining its capabilities for engineered motion and automation solutions for high-tech industries such as photonics, precision optics, semiconductor, and medical engineering. Customers have saved considerable time and resources by requesting free advice from PI’s engineering teams around the world, who draw upon thousands of standard products ranging from electromagnetic to piezoceramic motors, digital and analog controllers, serial and parallel kinematic motion systems, capacitive, inductive and optical nano-precision sensors, and guiding systems that span from flexures to magnetic levitation and air bearings.
Get your catalog today.

New planetary PMDC gearmotors from Bodine

Bodine Electric Company introduces the new type 24A4-60P planetary gearmotor. This integral gearmotor combines Bodine's high-performance type 24A PMDC motor with the all-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.
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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