Linear robots are now even more versatile
Bosch Rexroth has expanded its portfolio of linear robots (eight different axis combinations with 68 sizes!) for various applications in factory automation. The much wider range of working areas and loads makes the Cartesian subsystems also suitable for applications like battery handling or intralogistics. Predefined axis combinations make for quick and easy sizing and selection. Configure and finalize online and order as preassembled subsystems -- optionally with controllers. Each multi-axis system is also available as a Smart Function Kit for handling or dispensing. Preinstalled software allows for fast commissioning and intuitive programming.
Learn more about Bosch Rexroth smart mechatronic systems.
Selecting linear actuators for robotics
Nick Novotny over at Nook Industries has put together a handy and very useful short guide on selecting linear actuators for robotic applications. Besides addressing the primary considerations, he also explains motor types, linear actuator types, modularity, and advantages and disadvantages.
Read this informative Nook Industries blog.
5 key considerations for selecting a propulsion motor
Josh Jennings, mobile servo motor and drive applications engineer for Parker Hannifin's Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems Division, runs through the key factors to consider for a vehicle electrification project, including how the motor is cooled, its speed range, flexibility, efficiency, and reliability. Solid basic information.
Read the full Parker blog.
New mini planetary gearmotors
New PH Series Mini Planetary Gearmotors from Applied Motion Products are used with small step motors in NEMA 8, 11, and 14 frame sizes. These gearmotors are used in applications where space is critical. Small motors usually don't produce enough torque for demanding applications. Mini Planetary Gearmotors are an ideal solution. They offer an increase in torque and better inertia matching without breaking the budget.
Learn more and see all the options offered by Electromate.
New cobot welders with extended range unveiled at FABTECH 2022
Universal Robots has grown its welding application segment more than 80% this year as partners develop new capabilities for the pioneering cobot welders. At FABTECH last week, Universal Robots' booth showcased new solutions from Vectis Automation and Hirebotics, enabling the weldment of larger and more complex parts. Attendees also experienced Precision Cobotics' automated MECCO laser-marking solution with Apera AI bin picking, laser welding with Cobot Systems, metal deburring with Kane Robotics, along with the new UR20 cobot in a machine-tending application.
Learn about the new welding options and other UR FABTECH releases.
New! Multi-axis gantry attachment kits extend your working envelope
Multi-axis linear actuator assemblies from Bishop-Wisecarver extend the working envelope of automated motion systems and provide for more complex motion. ECO60 Gantry Kits create reliable and easy-to-assemble connections between ECO60 Linear Actuators. Benefits include: saving design time without sacrificing design freedom, easy ordering with single-part-number kits, and fast and simple assembly and installation. All multi-axis kits are made from aluminum with black anodize and stainless-steel hardware.
Robots handle post processing for metal AM parts and components
The NetShape Robot from Rivelin Robotics provides an automated solution for metal support removal and targeted finishing to meet the standards of mission-critical industries. Driven by the powerful NetShape control software, both machine learning and traditional deterministic control theory are used to optimize the quality and repeatability of the work. The result is an automated support-removal solution that reduces defects by 90%, exhibits a 10-fold reduction in operational costs, and eliminates human risk and variability.
Flat external rotor with encoder
The DF45 brushless DC motors from Nanotec are now available with an integrated encoder. The new flat motors with a diameter of only 45 mm are ideal for applications that require precise positioning in confined spaces such as AGV wheel drives, access control systems, and door drives. The two-channel encoder has a resolution of 1,024 CPR and provides additional Hall signals for commutation. The difference in length between the standard motor and the encoder version is only 2 mm, as the encoder has been completely integrated. The DF45-E has a rated power of 65 W at a rated speed of 4,840 rpm. Custom windings or shafts are also available.
The influence of operating speed on step motor selection
According to the engineers at Lin Engineering, "Frequently, when it comes to step motor selection, users will select a motor with the highest holding torque rating, assuming that it will give them optimal performance. However, it is an improper practice to select a motor based on holding torque alone. In fact, the step motor with the highest holding torque in many situations can prove to be a poor choice -- especially when trying to maximize torque at a desired operating speed."
Read this informative Lin Engineering article.
Extra-Duty Overhung Load Adaptors
Zero-Max has announced three entirely new Extra-Duty Overhung Load Adaptor (OHLA) models (350, 650, 950). The new designs feature a number of carefully chosen upgrades including spherical bearings, enhanced sealing technology, stronger shafts, and a longer profile delivering increased operating life, heavy load capacities, and higher speed ratings. They provide a solid, permanent mounting surface, eliminating premature motor or pump failure due to axial and radial overhung loads on a motor or pump shaft.
Heavy duty: Electric actuators open 3-ton bunker doors
Converting a 1960s nuclear-proof bunker into a museum is full of challenges, one of which was to repurpose 3-ton, all-metal nuclear-safe doors as fire doors. But how do you open and close such massive doors safely? Luckily, Thomson Industries' Electrak HD electric linear actuators were up for the challenge.
Read the full article.
Complete factory automation solutions from Bosch Rexroth
Bosch Rexroth is showcasing complete factory automation solutions that boost consumer packaged goods (CPG) productivity at PACK EXPO INTERNATIONAL 2022 this week (Oct. 23-26). Demonstrations include open control systems, plug-and-play smart mechatronics, autonomous mobile robots, cobots, flexible conveyors, and more. The main focal point is a live multi-tech demo that integrates several automation technologies: a lightweight, maneuverable Kassow Robot picks up product from a moving VarioFlow plus conveyor to place it on a pallet, and when the pallet is full Rexroth's MP1000R AMR moves the product to a storage location using Rexroth's ROKIT Locator software.
Learn about all the technologies featured.
Why are there different servo drive form factors?
Servo drives come in all shapes and sizes -- just ask the engineers over at Advanced Motion Controls. Oftentimes, a key part of deciding which servo drive to use for your application is deciding which form factor to use, which raises the question: What exactly is a form factor, and why are there so many of them? Learn about types, benefits, and applications.
Read this informative Advanced Motion Controls article.
Top Tech Tips: How to specify electric rod-style actuators for optimal performance, reliability, and efficiency
Andy Zaske, Vice President, Tolomatic, provides his Top 10 Tips for specifying electric rod-style actuators, which have a higher initial cost, more advanced design, and more predictable performance compared to fluid power cylinders. This is a really thorough presentation filled with useful information.
Read the full article.
Pro Tip: What is the clearance/thrust relationship in induction motors?
A linear induction motor has a primary or coil assembly and a secondary or reaction plate. In this pro tip, engineers from H2W Technologies explain why machine and systems designers should pay particular attention to the clearance gap between these two components -- especially since an epoxy, varnish, or case enclosure may be involved.
Read the full article.
Navy researchers look to rotating detonation engines to power the future
With its strong dependence on gas-turbine engines for propulsion, the U.S. Navy is always looking for ways to improve fuel consumption. At the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), scientists are studying the complex physics of Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs), which offer the potential for high-dollar savings by way of reduced fuel consumption in gas-turbine engines, according to Dr. Kazhikathra Kailasanath, who heads NRL's Laboratories for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics.
Many Navy aircraft use gas-turbine engines for propulsion, with the Navy's gas-turbine engines being fundamentally similar to engines used in commercial airplanes. The Navy also depends on gas-turbine engines to provide propulsion and electricity for many of its ships. Even as future ships move toward the model of an "all-electric" propulsion system, they will still need gas-turbine engines to produce electricity for the propulsion system and other critical systems. So building a gas-turbine engine that can handle the Navy's requirements for its warfighting ships and provide greater fuel efficiency is a high priority for researchers.
The U.S. Navy finds gas-turbine engines attractive because they scale nicely to large powers, are relatively small and self-contained, and are relatively easy to maintain. The gas-turbine engines the Navy uses today are based on the Brayton thermodynamic cycle, where air is compressed and mixed with fuel, combusted at a constant pressure, and expanded to do work for either generating electricity or for propulsion. To significantly improve the performance of gas-turbine engines, researchers need to look beyond the Brayton cycle to explore alternative and possibly more innovative cycles.
NRL researchers believe that one attractive possibility is to use the detonation cycle instead of the Brayton cycle for powering a gas turbine. NRL has been on the forefront of this research for the last decade and has been a major player in developing Pulse Detonation Engines (PDEs), which use the detonation cycle rather than the Brayton thermodynamic cycle used in previous gas-turbine engines. Use of the detonation cycle eliminates the need for compressors to generate the high pressures required by the engines.
NRL researchers have constructed a model of a Rotating Detonation Engine.[Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory]
Controlling detonations, however, is the key to maximizing efficiency. The Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE) is an even more attractive and different strategy for using the detonation cycle to obtain better fuel efficiency. It can do this by allowing the detonation to propagate azimuthally at phenomenal speed around the combustion chamber, thereby holding the inflow kinetic energy to a relatively low value and using most of the compression for better efficiency.
NRL researchers have constructed a model for simulating RDEs, using earlier work done on general detonations as a foundation.
Using models to study the detonation processes and dynamics allows the researchers to understand more fully the flow field, wave structure, the basic thermodynamic cycle, and the key role that pressure change plays in engine performance. These simulations also allow researchers to study performance under a wide array of conditions and how it is affected by engine and sizing parameters.
NRL researchers believe that RDEs have the potential to meet 10% increased power requirements as well as 25% reduction in fuel use for future Navy applications. Currently there are about 430 gas turbine engines on 129 U.S. Navy ships. These engines burn approximately $2 billion worth of fuel each year. By retrofitting these engines with the rotating detonation technology, researchers estimate that the Navy could save approximately $300 to $400 million a year.
NRL researchers estimate that retrofitting engines on existing Navy ships, like the USS Arleigh Burke pictured here, with rotating detonation technology could result in millions of dollars in savings a year. [Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tommy Lamkin]
Like PDEs, RDEs have the potential to be a disruptive technology that can significantly alter the fuel efficiency of ships and planes; however, there are several challenges that must be overcome before the benefits are realized, says Kailasanath. NRL scientists are now focusing their current research efforts on getting a better understanding of how the RDE works and the type of performance that can be actually realized in practice.
You can read more about the specifics of NRL's research on RDEs by clicking here to download the NRL Review article titled, "Rotating Detonation-Wave Engines," by D.A. Schwer and K. Kailasanath, Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics.
Published December 2012
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