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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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