November 13, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 42

Motion Control News & Products

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Cobot is 'golden arm' for new pipe welding system

ARC Specialties has solved the challenge of creating repeatable, full-penetration pipe welds by combining artificial intelligence (AI), advanced sensors, and the UR5 collaborative robot from Universal Robots. The unique Artificial Intelligence Pipe Welding System debuted at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston at the beginning of May.
Read the full article.


Piezo motor technology: Questions answered

There's a new kind of piezo motor in town, and it's got legs. The Piezo LEGS rotational motor is a direct-friction drive that provides precise motion without any mechanical play or backlash. There are no gears or transmission, so changing the direction of the motion will introduce no error. The simple Piezo LEGS motor is also extremely stiff. Find out the answers to frequently asked questions about this exciting motor technology available from the FAULHABER Group.
Read the full article.


Get a linear shafting sample on the house

Lee Linear has produced world-class, linear motion components and linear shafting for over 40 years. With the ability to manufacture custom shafting -- threading, diameter reduction, keyways, flats, plating, and more -- to required standards in a short amount of time, Lee Linear is able to fulfill orders on time, eliminating downtime and increasing profits for its customers.
Request your sample.


Real-World Application: Actuator linkage for diverter valve in hybrid vehicles

Cablecraft Motion Controls was contacted by a large exhaust gas management system supplier to develop a special actuator linkage to control a diverter valve in the exhaust gas stream of hybrid passenger vehicles. The application presented quite a number of challenges, including meeting cost, temperature, and PPAP timing requirements.
Read the full article.


Next-gen permanent magnet AC motor with integrated encoder

Designed for today's demanding machine drive applications, the new VFsync synchronous AC motors from Bison Gear and Engineering run at high efficiency with advanced variable frequency drives. These IP66/IP54 platform motors were optimized with FEA software and then tooled with highly efficient internal permanent magnet-style rotors. VFsync provides a compact footprint that is 56 percent smaller and 63 percent lighter than common 3-phase induction motors. Power range is .25 to 1.5 hp. They are supplied with swivel connectors and shielded cables to make installation trouble-free. Popular frame sizes available. The product line includes the new motors, quick-connect cables, and a programmable and networked VFD.
Learn more.


Largest autonomous mobile robot can lift 1 metric ton

At the Automate 2019 Show and Conference, Mobile Industrial Robots launched the MiR1000, the company's largest autonomous mobile robot (AMR). This mobile platform can automatically pick up, transport, and deliver pallets and other heavy loads up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) through dynamic environments. Like the MiR500 introduced in 2018, the MiR1000 is a collaborative, safe, and flexible alternative to potentially dangerous and expensive forklifts on the factory floor. MiR also released another industry first -- artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across all of its AMRs for improved navigation.
Learn more.


Top Roller conveyor for mobile industrial robots

Real efficiency in logistics automation is achieved when the entire workflow is handled by robotics solutions that communicate smoothly with each other. That's the vision behind ROEQ's new TR500 Top Roller unit that automates load and unload operations of the MiR500, the largest and most powerful autonomous mobile robot from Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR). Danish company ROEQ is launching the Top Roller at the Automate 2019 show in Chicago this week, along with a host of other add-ons for MiR. The TR500 accommodates U.S. pallets and can be delivered with a fully automated lifter functionality for pick-up and delivery of goods.
Learn more.


Top Tech Tip: Specifying self-lubricating bearings for linear motion systems

Self-lubricating ball bushing bearings have experienced an increase in use among motion system designers thanks to their ability to significantly reduce cost of ownership, improve performance, and deliver virtually maintenance-free operation. However, these bearings may not reach their full potential without being properly specified, installed, and evaluated for compatibility with their intended environment. Learn how to specify them for long-lasting use in your motion system applications.
Read this informative Thomson article.


New long-travel linear motor stage

The new V-417.336025E1 linear translation stage from PI is engineered for industrial applications with high demands on dynamics, precision, smooth scan motion, short settling times, and low tracking error. It provides 32 in. of travel (813 mm). The stage achieves high velocities to 79 in./sec (2 m/sec) based on a direct-drive ironless linear servo motor. High accuracy, repeatability, and functionality are guaranteed by an integrated absolute-measuring linear position encoder featuring 1-nm sensor resolution. Applications include: pick and place, optics, semiconductor test and inspection, bio-tech, DNA sequencing, 3D printing, and laser processing and machining.
Learn more.


More stopping power for servo motors -- using less space

Miki Pulley's BXR-LE spring-applied Electro-Magnetic brake series safely holds a static position, without the need for external power. When the stator is energized, the brake is disengaged allowing free rotation. When no current is applied, compression springs halt the brake rotor, thereby stopping the input shaft rotation. This is an ideal feature to prevent rotation during power failure events. There are six total size configurations in the BXR-LE series to choose from. Of particular importance: These brakes have a slim design and high holding torque in a very compact package. Great for robotics.
Learn more.


Variable frequency drives benefit constant speed applications

Using a variable frequency drive (VFD) can be beneficial in many constant speed applications driven by electric motors, such as those that require controlled starting and have been historically served by a reduced-voltage soft-starter (RVSS). While an RVSS and a VFD can both provide a controlled start, let's examine the benefits of each technology and when it makes sense to use one over the other.
Read this informative Parker Hannifin blog.


How a Seventh Axis adaptation aims to move cobot technology into more factories

Advances in technology and software are expanding the scope of potential cobot work environments to include small and mid-size operations. That's why Rollon Corporation has created a Seventh Axis system for collaborative industrial robots from Universal Robots (UR). This shuttle system is designed to extend the operating area of UR's cobots to enhance their performance in automated processes for various industries without sacrificing their simplicity.
Read the Rollon article.


New 200-W high-torque brushless servo motor

The new EC-i 52XL 200W Brushless Servo Motor from maxon is a powerhouse. When space is limited but high torque and dynamics are required, the maxon EC-i 52XL motor is the ideal motor choice. With its extended length (80 mm to 110 mm), this motor with flux collector rotor provides outstanding torque performance compared to the existing EC-i 52 180W High Torque that is often needed, especially on the industrial automation front. Its extra power can be even more significant at relatively low speed, which makes it a solid fit for a variety of industrial applications including material handling and transport systems.
Learn more.


ABB launches IEC food-safe motors

ABB has launched a full range of IEC Food Safe motors designed for applications in the food and beverage industry that need frequent sanitation. The new IEC Food Safe motors are part of ABB's Food Safe family that includes stainless steel NEMA motors, mounted ball bearings, and gearing. Motors are available in the power range 0.18 to 7.5 kW, in 2- to 6-pole versions for 230- to 690-V at 50 or 60 hertz. They feature IE3 premium efficiency to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Flexible mounting arrangements ensure they will fit almost any application. Frame sizes are 71 to 132.
Learn more.


New Sinamics G120X drive series specializes in infrastructure pump, fan, and compressor applications

Siemens has introduced the new Sinamics G120X drive, a simple, seamless, and easy-to-use drive designed for use in pump, fan, and compressor applications in industries such as water/wastewater, HVAC/R, irrigation/agriculture, and in industrial environments. Sinamics G120X has a power range of 1 to 700 hp (0.75 to 630 kW) and can operate in temps from -4 to 140 F (-20 to 60 C) with any standard motor, including synchronous reluctance motors (SRM). It has an integral DC choke that improves harmonics and EMC performance. Sinamics G120X meets all the latest and upcoming UL, NEMA, and EN/IEC standards for 2019 and beyond and offers up to 100-kA short-circuit current rating (SCCR), ensuring enhanced product safety and energy efficiency.
Learn more.


Drill, baby, drill: Astrobotic unveils working prototype of lunar water-prospecting robot

Astrobotic Technology has completed assembly of a full-size prototype of Polaris, a solar-powered robot that will search for potentially rich deposits of water ice at the moon's poles. The first of its kind, Polaris can accommodate a drill to bore 1 m into the lunar surface and is being designed to operate in lunar regions characterized by dark, long shadows and a sun that hugs the horizon.

The 5 1/2-ft-tall Polaris aims to drill for water ice on the moon.

 

 

Astrobotic, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff that develops robotics technology for planetary missions, is developing Polaris for an expedition to the moon's northern pole. It would launch from Cape Canaveral atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The company, in partnership with CMU, seeks to win the Google Lunar X Prize of more than $20 million.

Polaris is a flight prototype but has the same configuration as the rover that will eventually land on the moon. This will enable Astrobotic team members to spend the coming months testing and improving the robot's computer vision, navigation, and planning software, and software that can plot the rover's position on the moon within 10 ft. It includes a number of flight-worthy components, including wheels and chassis beams constructed of light, but tough, composite materials.

"It is the first rover developed specifically for drilling lunar ice," says William 'Red' Whittaker, Astrobotic CEO and founder of the Field Robotics Center at CMU's Robotics Institute. Other robots built by the Field Robotics Center have developed technologies necessary for lunar drilling, but none of those machines was ever meant to leave Earth. "What Polaris does is bring those many ideas together into a rover configuration that is capable of going to the moon to find ice," he says.

Observations by NASA and Indian spacecraft suggest that a substantial amount of water ice could exist at the lunar poles. That ice could be a source of water, fuel, and oxygen for future expeditions.

To find the ice, a rover must operate as close to the dark poles as possible, but not so far that it can't use solar arrays for power, Whittaker says. So Polaris has three large solar arrays, arranged vertically, to capture light from low on the horizon. The solar arrays will be capable of an average of 250 W of electrical power.

Polaris also makes use of software, pioneered in CMU's NASA-funded Hyperion robot, that keeps track of the rover's position relative to the sun's rays to maximize solar energy and husbands battery power for use in the long shadows and dark regions found at the poles.

Polaris, 5 1/2 ft tall, 7 ft wide, and almost 8 ft long, can move at about 1 ft/sec on 2-ft-diameter composite wheels. Like Scarab, a NASA-funded robot built by CMU, its suspension will enable the rover to rise up over rough terrain, but also lower itself to the ground to perform drilling. The rover will weigh 150 kg, or about 330 lb, and can accommodate a drill and science payload up to 70 kg, or a bit more than 150 lb.

"The composite materials are of aerospace quality, and that's a huge step up for us," Whittaker says. The lighter structural materials are essential for Polaris to accommodate the heavy drill as well as the massive batteries it will need for low-light operations. The carbon fiber and Kevlar materials also are important to the mission because they won't release gases in the moon's hard vacuum. The robot's science package will include gas sensors that could be disrupted by such out-gasing, he explains.

Whittaker says the lunar day lasts about 14 Earth days, though only about 10 days are suitable for water prospecting at the poles. The Astrobotic team expects Polaris could drill 10 to 100 holes during that time as it locates and characterizes water ice deposits. But if Polaris successfully survives the long, frigid lunar nights, as anticipated, the prospecting mission could be extended indefinitely.

Astrobotic has won nine lunar contracts from NASA worth $3.6 million, including one to evaluate how Polaris can accommodate NASA's ice-prospecting instruments during a three-mile traverse near the moon's north pole.

Astrobotic earlier developed a robot called Red Rover suitable for equatorial destinations. The design of Polaris is significantly different, reorienting the solar arrays to capture tangential light, rather than the overhead light of equatorial regions. It also is larger and generates more power to operate the science package. Griffin, a lunar landing vehicle being developed by Astrobotic, can accommodate either rover.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

Published October 2012

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