March 11, 2014 Volume 10 Issue 10

Motion Control News & Products

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4-axis motion controller for highly dynamic applications

The CM-CPB3-44 EtherCAT controller from Nanotec controls four brushless DC or stepper motors with a rated power of up to 150 W per axis. Feedback on the motor position is provided by Hall sensors or incremental or SSI encoders. Each axis is equipped with four digital inputs, two outputs, one analog input, and one output for a safety brake. Field-oriented torque, speed, and position control, combined with other features such as acceleration feed forward and jerk-limited ramps, ensure optimum dynamic performance and cycle time.
Learn more.


Robot-ready frameless servo motors

The new TBM2G series of frameless servo motors from Kollmorgen introduce new features that simplify the design of collaborative, surgical, aerospace and defense, and other robots while delivering high-performance torque in a lighter, more compact package. These next-gen motors enable robots with lower joint weight, higher load-carrying capacity, improved energy efficiency, lower thermal rise, and faster, smoother movements. Sized for a perfect fit with readily available strain wave systems.
Learn more.


Mini motors and drive systems on-demand webinars: Chock full of informative details!

Faulhaber has made available a library of on-demand webinars about its miniature motors and drive systems. Each presentation is full of product details, technology overviews, selection help, design tips and tricks, and application examples. Topics include: stepper motors, brushless motors, DC motors, linear motors, encoders, gearheads, motion controllers, and more. Filled with useful information!
View the Faulhaber webinar library page.


High-speed linear VCA with built-in encoder

Moticont has added a high-speed, high-acceleration/-deceleration, non-cogging, high-resolution, high force-to-size electric cylinder to its extensive product line of linear voice coil actuators (VCAs). The new SDLM-051-095-01-01 Linear DC Actuator features high repeatability, 1.25-micron resolution, and a continuous force of 33.9 N (7.6 lb). A linear encoder mounted internally provides the feedback for very high accuracy and repeatability.
Learn more.


Guide to machine shop automation

We know that collaborative automation starts with your specific needs: your shop, your employees, your products. OnRobot can help you find the easiest and most cost-effective way to get started with automation. Download our free ebook to learn how to transform your machine shop with automation.
1. Download your ebook.
2. Learn how to build your own robotic machine tending application.


Mini medical motor with way more torque

Portescap's 22ECP35-2A brushless motor with integrated driver is the company's latest addition to its Ultra EC mini brushless DC motor line. This compact, 22-mm diameter motor is available in a length of 35 mm and offers almost 50% more continuous torque over similar motors without compromising on smooth operation and long life. The integrated motor drive is a good fit for applications such as respiratory and ventilation devices, infusion pumps, miniature industrial pumps, medical hand tools, and valve actuation.
Learn more.


Miniature linear guides simplify mounting in tight spaces

IKO's new LWLF2 linear motion rolling guide addresses the demand for device miniaturization with a compact, lightweight design that makes mounting easy in tight spaces. With an ultra-small 2.5-mm height dimension, it is designed with tapped rails for bottom mounting and stability. The LWLF2 guide is structured with two rows of balls that make contact with the raceway at four points to provide high stability and accuracy -- even in applications with varying load direction or complexity. Applications include robotics and grippers, semiconductor fabrication, life science, and aerospace.
Learn more.


Motors for the robotics industry

Lin Engineering has been supporting the robotics industry for more than 30 years by designing and manufacturing a wide variety of motion control products that include hybrid step motors, PM steppers, linear actuators, BLDC motors, servo motors, frameless BLDC motors, and slotless BLDC motors. Applications include manufacturing robots, delta robots, collaborative robots, and more.
See all Lin Engineering has to offer.


NEMA 24 stepper motor with best-in-class power density

Permanent magnets between the stator teeth make Nanotec's SCB6018 with 60-mm flange a smooth-running -- yet powerful -- stepper. FluxFocus technology guides the entire magnetic flux into the stator teeth. This prevents flux leakage and provides more torque across all speeds. This motor generates a holding torque up to 3.6 Nm. Combined with a closed-loop controller, the SCB6018 is ideal for use in valves and textile or other applications that require rapid acceleration over a short distance.
Learn more.


In-wheel motor unit upgraded to carry 500 lb

If you are a developer of mobile robots and the like, it may be worth your while to check out ElectroCraft. The motor and motion solutions provider has expanded its award-winning MobilePower wheel drive family with the MPW86, which features a high-torque-density brushless DC motor with a heavy-duty integrated planetary gearbox mounted inside the hub of a lightweight aluminum wheel with custom tread. The MPW Wheel Drive combines optimum performance with high efficiency, quiet operation, and long life -- and now it can handle heavier loads.
Read the full article.


SMART SYSTEM belt-driven linear actuators

Rollon has updated its SMART SYSTEM lineup of belt-driven linear actuators with a rugged new design that supports heavy loads and ensures low-maintenance operation in automated manufacturing, packaging machines, and food and beverage equipment. The actuators have a self-sustaining anodized aluminum frame and a steel-reinforced driving belt, and they are engineered to provide stiffness for greater load capacity. Symmetrical heads on both ends of the actuators allow users to assemble the gearbox in one of four different positions. The SMART SYSTEM also simplifies creating multi-axis systems.
Learn more.


New Twin profile Rail Stage actuator improves accuracy in XYZ motion systems

The new Twin profile Rail Stage (TRS) actuator from Tolomatic improves accuracy and increases production uptime on XYZ linear motion systems with two- or three-axis configurations. Applications include machining centers, collaborative robot movement, drilling, cutting, pick-and-place, material handling, and more.
Read the full article.


How to specify pneumatic cylinders

As the number of standard options available on the pneumatic-cylinder market grows, you may feel spoiled for choice due to the array of products that may fit within your specs. But how often is "good enough" actually good enough? How do you specify a pneumatic cylinder without resorting to a custom option? Learn this and more in Fabco-Air's new informative white paper (PDF).
Learn more. No registration required.


KUKA cobot: How to build a collaborative robotic cell

LBR iiwa is KUKA's robot for collaborative applications where people and robots share spaces. See how easy it is to use hands-on training to teach this lightweight little 7-axis robo worker, which features redundant torque sensors in each joint, to carry out assigned tasks safely and effectively.
View the video.


Bearing protection standard on Food Safe motors

AEGIS Shaft Grounding Rings, which mitigate the effects of bearing currents caused by variable frequency drives, have been made standard equipment on the Baldor-Reliance Food Safe line of motors. The addition of the internal shaft grounding ring provides increased motor reliability and stops early bearing failure from EDM. The Baldor Food Safe line consists of 25 models with horsepower ratings from 1/2 to 30 hp. They are ideal for food processing, high-pressure washdown, sanitary washdown, and outdoor or caustic environment applications. AEGIS Shaft Grounding Rings are also a retrofit option.
Learn more about AEGIS Bearing Protection.
Learn more about Baldor Food Safe motors.


Cincinnati Inc., ORNL working on machine that 3D prints HUGE parts; Local Motors plans to use the tech to 3D print electric car

By Mike Foley, Designfax

Cincinnati Inc., a metal fabrication juggernaut for more than 100 years, has teamed up with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop and commercialize a new large-scale additive manufacturing system capable of printing huge polymer components -- much, much faster than many current systems can build small parts.

Hmmm ... how can that be?

Well, according to Lonnie Love, Ph.D., group leader of ORNL's Manufacturing Systems Research Group, the secret is in the materials and the delivery.

Love says that the new machine has an 8 ft x 8 ft x 8 ft build envelope and is scalable, with the biggest near-term future platform envisioned to be 20 ft x 10 ft x 8 ft. That is huge, when you consider that a 3 ft3 build envelope is considered large these days.

The proposed large-part additive manufacturing machine from Cincinnati Inc.

 

 

But how can the material print and cure faster? Now that is interesting. Love says that the answer is two-fold.

First, the machine prints with a big nozzle, so more material is heated and extruded (but not anywhere near as precisely). Love says that a typical fused-deposition modeling (FDM) machine has a 0.020-in. nozzle. The ORNL machine uses a 0.3-inch one. The material comes out looking like, and this is a really accurate description, something you'd see when looking at your piped-icing-decorated birthday cake (see Local Motors video below). No one said this machine is fast and accurate, at least when it comes to the printing part.

The other difference is the material. Instead of using a line of (plastic or ABS) filament like most 3D printers use, the ORNL machine uses a mixed plastic-and-carbon-fiber material that comes in pellets. The carbon fiber greatly reinforces the material, so it can be formed lighter and stronger. But unlike traditional FDM, Love says that this material enables part stability at room temperature. "There is no oven," he says, so parts cure extremely fast, even if they are large.

A prototype of the large-scale additive machine is in development using the chassis and drives of Cincinnati's gantry-style laser cutting system as the base, with plans to incorporate a high-speed cutting tool, pellet feed mechanism, and control software for additional capability.

Cincinnati's experience in designing, making, and controlling large-scale manufacturing systems, as well as its long working relationship with ORNL, led to the partnership.

"As one of the oldest U.S. machine tool makers, with continuous operation since 1898, we view this as an opportunity to start a new chapter in our history," says Andrew Jamison, CEO of Cincinnati Inc. "Over the years, we've supplied more than 40 metal working machine tools to Oak Ridge and its subcontractors. Now, working together, we intend to lead the world in big-area additive manufacturing for prototyping and production."

According to Love, the capability of this machine to produce tooling -- and not particularly standardized "parts" -- is its big breakthrough. "We have already made and tested large metal forming tools for the aerospace industry," says Love. "It will revolutionize U.S. tooling. We've made custom furniture and are working with Local Motors on customized printed electric vehicles." Love says the project was initially an internal Lockheed Martin program. They partnered with ORNL last year, and ORNL has funded it internally for a year. This year the goal is transitioning to a commercial product with Cincinnati Inc.

So rather than printing "parts" (be they big or small) like most of think of when we think of 3D printing, this printer can also print the base materials to create things like big molds or dies.

"But I thought you said this process isn't particularly accurate," you are probably thinking, "so how can you use it for tooling?" Well, that is where another process comes in: subtractive manufacturing (or milling). Remember that Cincinnati said that the machine can incorporate a high-speed cutting tool?

A look into the Local Motors project can shed a little more light on this. Alex Fiechter, head of R&D and community management at Local Motors, explains (in the video below) that the large ORNL 3D-printing machine also contains a machining head for material removal, so that once the 3D part is printed in the rough it can be machined to needed tolerance/specifications.

Local Motors, a pioneer in the online design and hardware co-creation market and known for creating a really cool customizable car called the Rally Fighter, has agreed to build a 3D-printed electric car for the Association For Manufacturing Technology to be featured at the upcoming International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014 in Chicago, IL, September 8-13, 2014.

Local Motors Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) electric car concept to be demonstrated at IMTS 2014.

 

 

"We're printing the body and frame of the vehicle, along with seats and anything else that we can," says James Earle, advanced manufacturing engineer at Local Motors. "... The printed parts will all be one piece."

"We won't be printing the drive train components or any other electrical systems," says Earle.

A look at a video update that Local Motors posted recently gives some insight into what is going on with their IMTS car and the ORNL printer. In it, Fiechter explains how the printer first lays down the basic form of the polymer/carbon fiber part quickly and then the part is machined out (that's the subtractive part) to produce a finished result. Local Motors also says that it is investigating using ULTEM with carbon as one possible material and ABS with carbon as another.

Using this method, both standard "parts" and tooling can be created.

"We're using chopped fiber that is integrated into the plastic pellets we buy (we don't add it ourselves)," says Earle. "For FDM parts (fused deposition modeling, how we're printing the car), it's relatively new. We're one of only a few using carbon fiber to reinforce printed plastic at this scale, but there are a lot of people interested in the idea and studying it."

Earle says that they probably won't be 3D printing metal parts for the IMTS car, but the project engineers "have looked into printing custom fasteners that we could incorporate into the car as we print."

"For our purposes, we want to print a functional car," says Earle. "That means printing 'usable' parts. There is a lot of interest in the machine from other companies for use in creating dies for tooling purposes, e.g. to form sheet metal, but Local Motors wants the car to be printed in one piece. It's possible we may, in the future, use the printer to create molds for door panels or something, but initially no."

Published March 2014

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