March 11, 2014 Volume 10 Issue 10

Motion Control News & Products

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High-force voice coil motor

Moticont has added a new high-force voice coil motor to its GVCM family of voice coil motors with an internal shaft and bearing. The GVCM-095-089-03 Linear Voice Coil Motor (also known as linear DC motor) features a continuous force of 63.9 lb (284.1 N) and 202.0 lb (898.4 N) of peak force at a 10 percent duty cycle. Guided by a long-life plain bearing that can allow side loads up to 3 lb (13.5 N), the precision-ground 0.236-in. (6-mm) diameter shaft with an internal thread has a stroke length of 0.5 in. (12.7 mm). Motion is quiet, efficient, smooth, and cog-free. Ideal for clamping, work holding, sorting equipment, assembly, medical devices, antenna positioning, slide actuators, shutters, doors, valve actuation, wafer handling, and optical focusing.
Learn more.


High-precision vertical elevator stage

Optimal Engineering Systems (OES) has released two new high-precision Z-Axis Elevator Stages. The AZV9010 and the AZV9020 Motorized Z-Axis Linear Positioning Stages have vertical travels of 10 mm and 20 mm, respectively. The vertical motion of each Z-Axis Stage is driven by an 8-mm-diameter ball screw with a 1-mm lead, and guided by cross roller bearings. Very high resolutions of 0.1 micron or 0.05 microns with 10/20 micro-steps per step motor drive, and repeatability of +/- 0.5 microns, make these two Z-Axis Stages ideal for microscopy, inspection, metrology, positioning, photonics, sampling, and laser drilling and machining.
Learn more.


Ideal choice for running two linear motion systems in parallel

Bishop-Wisecarver invented the DualVee guide wheel over 50 years ago in four sizes of carbon steel as a component-based problem solver for harsh, debris-laden environments. Now it's 2019, and they offer product options that include UtiliTrak linear guides and LoPro linear actuators to complete actuated system solutions. LoPro Linear Actuators excel in high-speed, long-length, and dirty environments. UtiliTrak is constructed with DualVee Motion Technology in vee and vee/crown designs, and using MadeWell Crown Rollers it is perfect for commercial applications in need of a compact, easy-to-install, and low-maintenance solution. Both are available as part of the Bishop-Wisecarver QuickShip Program (ships from the facility within 3 business days).
Learn more.


Compact stepper motor with high torque

With the SCA5618, Nanotec now offers a stepper motor with 15 to 30 percent more torque than comparable motors with a 56-mm flange (NEMA 23). Thanks to an improved stator geometry and optimized magnetic materials, the rotor inertia is no higher than that of the predecessor model. The SCA5618 is available in three lengths and with two different windings. Depending on length, the holding torque of this stepper motor is 0.6 to 2.3 Ncm; it has a resolution of 1.8 deg. For a higher resolution, the SCA5618 can also be combined with an optical or magnetic encoder. The integrated connector makes it easy to connect customized cables or replace an existing motor.
Learn more.


Cobots load and unload Haas CNC machines

Loading and unloading CNC machines is becoming one of the most popular applications for collaborative robots as manufacturers face significant difficulties in staffing this tedious task. A new distributor agreement between Universal Robots and Phillips Corp. aims to further the rapid deployment of cobots with Haas CNC machines, offering machine shops a safe, user-friendly solution to optimize spindle uptime. Haas provides the best-selling CNC machines in the Western Hemisphere, and Phillips is the world's largest Haas Factory Outlet. "Having an expensive machine sit idle and missing out on orders due to lack of staffing is every manufacturer's nightmare," says Stu Shepherd, regional sales director for the Americas division of Universal Robots, which has already sold more than 1,000 UR cobots for tending Haas CNC machines.
Watch cobots tending CNC machines and learn more about this partnership.


New Orbex brushless servo motors enhance efficiency

The Orbex Group, known for high-performance slip rings, now offers brushless servo motors that combine high torque, low inertia, and various customizable options to improve efficiency in dynamic servo-driven applications. Available in a range of frame sizes (60 to 176 mm), NdFeB-based brushless servo motors include incremental encoders for position feedback and electrical commutation -- enhancing motor efficiency, minimizing maintenance requirements, and increasing throughput. Customizable features include windings, brakes, additional feedback options, connectors, and custom mounting options. Frameless configurations are also available. The motors offer smooth, low-cogging motion and IP65-level protection. Typical applications include communications, security and AGVs, defense, packaging, robotics, and more.
Learn more.


New pan-tilt stages ideal for positioning, inspection, assembly

A pair of high-resolution, motorized pan-tilt stages has been added to the extensive line of OES (Optimal Engineering Systems) motion control products. The PT60-1 Pan-Tilt Stage is a combination of two 60-mm (2.362-in.) rotary stages, and the PT100-1 is a combination of two 100-mm (3.937-in.) rotary stages, set at a 90° angle to each other. The rotary stage of each pan-tilt unit features a high repeatability of 0.005° (18 arc-sec), a positional accuracy of 0.005° (18 arc-sec), and a resolution of 0.001° = 3.6" (10 micro-steps per step motor driver in use). They are ideal for scanning, testing, inspection, assembly, positioning, laser and micro machining, pointing optics and cameras, and other applications.
Learn more.


Replacing hydraulics with electric actuators -- avoid pitfalls, gain the benefits

Electric actuators continue to find new and exciting places within automation processes from the mundane to some of the most extreme operating environments on the planet. Every day, machine designers seek alternative electric solutions to hydraulic cylinders for the very first time. However, there are many common pitfalls to properly sizing an electric equivalent. When sized correctly, replacement with high-force electric linear actuators can provide tremendous benefit in processes, quality, and reducing your total cost of ownership.
Read this informative Tolomatic blog.


Precision motion for X-ray optics

Despite their potential danger, X-rays are one of the most powerful instruments and resources utilized in medical diagnostics to help medical professionals restore health by identifying the correct prognosis. When it comes to achieving the best imaging with the lowest X-ray exposure, lenses made by Optec are almost inevitably involved. Their aperture, focus, filters, and zoom are precisely moved by FAULHABER DC motors.
Read the full article.


Important Qs about linear motor actuators that design engineers should ask

Many design engineers overestimate how accurate traditional motors and actuators stay over long travel runs, mistakenly believing that if the solution works well for short runs, it will work equally well on long ones. Do you know what type of actuator you should use for your application? Patrick Lehr, Product Manager, Precision Mechanics at Parker Hannifin, has some really good tips for you.
Read the full article.


Small DC motors for spectrophotometry

The DeNovix team needed a motion solution for their spectrophoto-meter application which called for intermittent short, quick motions with micron-level accuracy. After research and testing, they chose a FAULHABER small DC motor configured with a MICROMO encoder and an all-plastic planetary gearhead to successfully bring their product to market.
Read the full article.


Integrated brushless servo motor and controller

Save money and space by utilizing the EC042B 42-mm IDEA Motor's integrated package of motor, drive, and feedback connections in a compact and programmable unit. A single motor/drive unit reduces motion system components by up to 75 percent per axis and simplifies machine troubleshooting -- all while providing excellent precision. Further reductions can be achieved by wiring sensor inputs and control outputs directly to the IDEA Motor, rather than through a control cabinet. Available in three motor lengths with continuous torque up to 0.15 Nm from Haydon Kerk Pittman. Applications include lab automation, medical devices, communications equipment, aerospace systems, and more.
Learn more.


Extreme-force electric actuator for press and punch

Tolomatic's RSX extreme force electric actuator family has been expanded -- this time with more options capable of replacing hydraulic cylinders. The new RSX096P Press Model is designed for pressing, punching, clinching, joining, and other applications requiring extreme force. This hydraulic-class actuator is capable of forces up to 40,000 lbf (178 kN). It features Tolomatic planetary roller screw technology for long life and consistent performance.
Learn more.


New optical joysticks for medical and military

CTI Electronics (an affiliate of Electro Switch Corp.) has launched a new line of optical joystick motion controllers and mouse pointing devices. Made in the USA, LightStick Series controllers exceed medical and military performance standards for electromagnetic and RF disturbance in applications to 200 V/m -- without additional shielding. The LightStick's patented noncontact optical sensor technology ensures highly repeatable operator feedback for the life of the controller -- up to 10 million cycles and a MTBF greater than 10 years of operation.
Learn more.


Just out! THK introduces TRK Robot Hand assembly

THK America is known for being a leader in linear motion guides, but now they're stretching their reach into the end-effector market. The Schaumburg, IL-based company has just added the Type TRX Robot Hand to its quality lineup.
Learn more.


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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