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.
High-speed, high-precision mechanical gantry system
PI has added to its family of precision automation sub-systems with the A-351 MGS, a compact mechanical gantry system engineered to deliver maximum throughput for applications that require controlled precise overhead motion. The gantry is driven by linear motors, and each axis is equipped with preloaded linear bearings. Applications include high-precision 3D printers, assembly, pick-and-place, alignment, inspection, and other industrial automation applications. The A-351 MGS gantry system is designed for high load capacity of 20 kg, twice the amount of its A-341 air-bearing-based sibling. Absolute-measuring linear encoders with nanometer resolution are optional.
See PI automation platforms in action.
New inductive-technology position sensors
Novotechnik's TF1 Series touchless linear position sensors overcome issues with legacy magnetostrictive technology. They are unaffected by strong magnetic fields and metal flakes or filings present in a user's environment. The TF1 Series consists of an inductively coupled position marker attached to a moving rod/piece of the user's application that requires a position measurement and the sensor with operational and programming status LEDs. While operating, LEDs indicate whether the sensor is operating and the marker within measuring range or out of range, as well as indicating results of internal diagnostics for valid output from the sensor. Can also measure speed and temperature.
High-traction robot goes underground
Recent developments in motion control and engineering make it possible to inspect and perform maintenance in compact sewers from the inside. The underground sewer robot is equipped with a swiveling camera and an air-powered milling machine driven by FAULHABER miniature DC motors from MICROMO.
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'Vortex surfing' could prove revolutionary for long-haul U.S. Air Force fliers
By Roger Drinnon, Air Mobility Command Public Affairs, U.S. Air Force
Migrating birds, NASCAR drivers, and Tour de France bicyclists already get it. And now the Air Force is thinking about flying gas-guzzling cargo aircraft in formation -- "dragging" off one another -- on long-haul flights across the oceans.
The view from a C-17 cockpit while trailing behind another C-17 during the first tests of "vortex surfing" at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, in October. Early indications from the tests promise a reduction of fuel consumption by up to 10%. [Image courtesy: U.S. Air Force]
Flight tests with C-17s "vortex surfing" at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, Sept. 6 and Oct. 2, have demonstrated potentially large savings of fuel and money by doing what geese do naturally. Tests show that flying in formation might be smarter than flying alone for Airmen, and not just for birds.
As one effort in the Air Force drive to reduce its overall fuel consumption, vortex surfing may be the wave of the future.
"The concept, formally known as Surfing Aircraft Vortices for Energy, or $AVE, involves two or more aircraft flying together for a reduced drag effect like what you see with a flock of geese," said Dr. Donald Erbschloe, the Air Mobility Command chief scientist.
A series of test flights involving two aircraft at a time allowed the trailing aircraft to "surf" the vortex of the lead aircraft, positioning itself in the updraft to get additional lift without burning extra fuel.
Early indications from the tests promise a reduction of fuel consumption by up to 10% for the duration of a flight. Over long distances and with even a small fraction of Air Mobility Command's average of more than 80,000 flights a year, the fuel and cost savings could reach into the millions of dollars, experts say.
Next up: The Air Force Research Laboratory will analyze the data from for possible applications to other aircraft on a variety of missions.
Dr. Erbschloe said larger air mobility aircraft like the C-17 can fly in formations that are potentially easy to maintain and that do not require the planes to be exceptionally close together.
"The test flights were flown at longitudinal separations of 4,000 or greater," said William Blake, one of the key developers of $AVE at the AFRL.
According to AFRL officials, modified C-17 formation flight system software enabled precise auto-pilot and auto-throttle systems to ensure the trailing aircraft achieved and maintained proper flight position without active assistance from pilots.
"The autopilot held the position extremely well -- even close to the vortex," said Capt. Zachary Schaffer, an aircraft commander on one of the test flights. "The flight conditions were very safe; this was as hands-off as any current formation flying we do."
Other pilots found differing levels of ride quality and discovered some flight test points might be difficult for long-endurance flights.
"The key will be finding the right balance of quality for improving fuel efficiency and ride," said Maj. Eric Bippert, another aircraft commander on one of the test flights.
Bippert said being a part of the test program with so many talented engineers was a remarkable experience, and the concept could eventually impact global air transportation, overall.
"AMC has done really well with fuel efficiency at the operational level," said Erbschloe. "The command has worked to gain efficiencies from the 'low-hanging fruit' such as optimizing flight routing, reducing weight where possible, and by not carrying excess fuel. $AVE offers significant efficiency gains, if employed in concert with these initiatives."
He said early indications show the tests meet AMC criteria of the concept regarding safety and minimization of aircrew and aircraft strain while also being operationally sensible with a viable return on investment.
"AMC consumes 20 percent of the fuel used by the overall federal government, so we're constantly looking for pragmatic ways to improve our fuel efficiency," said Erbschloe.
"Assured energy advantage for our Air Force is only possible through revolutionary energy initiatives like $AVE," said Dr. Mark Maybury, Air Force chief scientist, upon hearing the results of the tests.
The $AVE concept was previously highlighted in the 2011 Energy Horizons study, sponsored by the Secretary of the Air Force and chaired by Maybury.
The tests were the culmination of an ongoing, combined effort between AMC, the AFRL, the 412th Test Wing, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Boeing Company, and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.
(Holly Jordan, Air Force Research Laboratory, contributed to this report.)
Published December 2012
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