September 16, 2014 Volume 10 Issue 35

Motion Control News & Products

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Brushless slotted flat motor weighs only 15 grams

The 20ECF brushless slotted flat motor is the latest motor to join Portescap's flat motor line. The motor's 19-mm rotor diameter is notably smaller than the 20-mm diameter of competitive solutions. At 15 grams, the 20ECF provides a mass savings of at least 30% when compared to competing motion solutions. The motor's design optimization also helps it achieve a 50% improved motor regulation factor relative to standard available solutions. Applications include surgical and service robotics, lab automation, premium tattoo machines, electric grippers, LiDar, and pumps.
Learn more.


Efficient, reliable and flexible robot gripper optimizes machine tending operations

To continuously deliver high-quality results to its customers, WEFAG AG not only invested in new CNC machines, but also deployed a collaborative application with the 3FG15 gripper from OnRobot to tend the CNC machines. This makes it possible for the Swiss family-owned company to meet extremely short delivery times and smaller batch sizes confidently, while also reducing the workload of employees, who can now focus on more demanding tasks.
Watch how the 3FG15 delivered an ROI in 2 months.
Learn more: How to automate machine tending.


Differences between types of multi-axis positioning stages -- parallel vs. stacked

According to the experts at PI (Physik Instrumente), stacking individual motorized stages is a fine approach for assemblies of just a few axes, but as applications become more complex a 6-axis stage design based on parallel kinematics could be the best option. Learn about stiffness, inconsistent dynamics, size and weight fragility, and even cabling considerations for multi-axis applications. Lots of good info here.
Read this informative PI blog.


Universal Robots' new UR20 Cobot makes its U.S. debut at IMTS 2022

Attendees at North America's leading machine tool show (IMTS) are experiencing how the all-new collaborative, industrial cobot from Universal Robots delivers the longest reach and payload in its class, offering the ability to automate even more hard-to-staff tasks in a market struggling to hire. Also learn about cobot grippers, machine tending, robo welding, and more.
Read the full article.


Miniature voice coil servo motor with 1-micron resolution

The miniature GVCM-016-019-01M Linear Voice Coil Servo Motor from Moticont is smaller in diameter than a dime and features a high force-to-size ratio of 1.5 N (5.3 oz) continuous force and 4.6 N (16.6 oz) of peak force. These brushless mini linear servo motors are clean, quiet, and feature high acceleration/deceleration, high speed, high reliability, and cog-free linear motion. An ideal choice for haptic feedback, pipetting in medical devices, machining and drilling, scanners, laser beam steering, sorting, assembly, and more. Can also be a low-cost replacement for pneumatic linear actuators.
Learn more.


MAHLE claims new EV motor is most durable -- can run indefinitely with high performance

Automotive supplier MAHLE says it has developed "the most durable electric motor available" for electric vehicle (EV) applications. Unique to the market, the traction motor -- with a continuous output of more than 90% of its peak output -- can run indefinitely with high performance thanks to a new cooling concept.
Read the full article.


What are Crossed Roller Bearings?

Learn all about HIWIN Crossed Roller Bearings that are three to four times more rigid than standard bearing solutions and are capable of handling loads in the axial, radial, and moment directions. They consist of an outer ring, an inner ring, and a plurality of rollers and spacers. The roller lies between the inner and outer ring with the spacers placed between the rollers to prevent the mutual friction between them, thereby decreasing the torque resistance for rotation. Many options are available depending on the level of rigidity needed.
Learn more.


Compact electrically controlled hydraulic actuator

Bosch Rexroth has expanded its range of standardized self-contained actuators by adding the CytroMotion system solution. With the help of the new compact actuator, linear movements involving forces up to 110 kN can be achieved in a range of machines and systems in smaller spaces -- more efficiently and more sustainably. These benefits can be seen over the entire life cycle. Thanks to fully electric control, CytroMotion makes engineering and commissioning easier. The efficient, power-on-demand drive and the maintenance-free, hermetically sealed design also minimize operating costs.
Learn more.


Belt-driven actuators for harsh environments

Rollon's newly enhanced Plus System lineup of belt-driven linear actuators can be integrated seamlessly with industrial machines. Combining sturdy construction, protective features (sealed), and high-performance characteristics for load, moment control, speed, and acceleration, the Plus System family features an anodized aluminum structure and steel reinforced driving belt. Three types available: Plus System ELM completely enclosed unit, Plus System ROBOT for multi-axis or SCARA robots, and Plus System SC for vertical motion in gantry applications.
Learn more.


Linear positioning and motion systems at IMTS 2022

SCHNEE-BERGER Linear Technology will spotlight its precision positioning and motion systems at IMTS 2022 in September. On display will be a fully functioning demo of a complete linear motion technology system featuring the company's leading and most innovative linear motion components. When linear tech components are designed to work together to create the most effective solution for machine movement, OEMs can accelerate design and manufacturing, reduce assembly time and labor, and achieve a lower TCO.
Learn more.


Micro-sized FlexPro servo drive

ADVANCED Motion Controls' new 60-A continuous FlexPro servo drive model FM060-60C-RM is the third "machine embedded" version in this power range, adding RS-485/232 communication to the previously released EtherCAT and CANopen versions. This drive can operate at its 60-A peak rating continuously with no need for current foldback -- impressive because the micro-package size means up to four units can fit within the footprint of a business card. Applications include cobots, AMRs, AGVs, portable devices, lab and warehouse automation, military equipment, and more.
Learn more.


NSK's new Active Casters help robots move effortlessly

NSK has developed new Active Caster technology for service robots and mobility drive applications. The compact, electric-powered turning unit provides both drive and steering functions based on the difference in rotation between two motors. The developers say it generates less vibration compared to an omnidirectional mobility unit using Mecanum wheels.
Read this informative NSK article.


Hybrid stepper motor with 8-pin integrated connector

Lin Engineering's NEMA 23 (57-mm) hybrid stepper motor can be ordered with an 8-pin integrated connector that allows for multiple connection options. Standard and customized windings and shaft options are available to match your performance requirements, as well as customizable leads and wire harness. This high-volume-availability motor may be the perfect drop-in replacement for your designs if you are experiencing supply chain issues.
Learn more.


IronHorse jet pump and stainless steel motors

Automation-Direct has added the new, economical IronHorse MTRJ series of jet pump motors to their AC motor lineup. They come in a TEFC enclosure with a 56J frame that has a threaded shaft for direct connection to a jet pump, and are available in 120/230 VAC from 1/3 to 2 hp and in 208-230/460 VAC from 1/3 to 3 hp at 3,600 rpm. AutomationDirect has also added the MTS series of IronHorse motors that offer premium efficiency (EISA compliant) and come with an IP69K-rated stainless steel construction that can survive the harshest of environments. They are available in sizes from 1/3 to 20 hp in 208-230/480 VAC 3-phase and in speeds of 1,200, 1,800, and 3,600 rpm.
Learn more.


Machine learning eliminates cogging for linear motors

The highly dynamic AL8000 linear motors from Beckhoff now meet even greater requirements for accuracy and synchronization with the new TwinCAT Cogging Compensation software, which compensates for cogging forces. Cogging forces in linear motors are caused by the magnetic attraction between the iron core in the primary part and the permanent magnets in the secondary part. AL8000 linear motors are particularly suitable for high-precision applications such as milling machines or laser cutting machines.
Learn more.


Ditch the magnets: Tabletop motor with electrostatic drive developed at UW-Madison

A prototype electric motor that uses a new principle for transforming electricity into rotary force is being developed at C-Motive Technologies, a company co-founded by UW-Madison assistant professor Dan Ludois. [Photo: Dan Ludois]

 

 

 

 

By David Tenenbaum, UW-Madison

A tabletop motor using an entirely new driving principle is under development at the headquarters of C-Motive Technologies, a startup business that is commercializing technology from the College of Engineering at UW-Madison.

"We have proven the concept of a new motor that uses electric fields rather than magnetic fields to transform electricity into a rotary force," says company co-founder Dan Ludois, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UW. The distinction may sound minor, but it could solve a number of practical problems while saving money, he explains.

Actually, the concept is not entirely new: Benjamin Franklin and others described and built motors based on electrostatic forces back in the 18th and 19th centuries, but none achieved practical operation. Since the widespread adoption of electric motors a century ago, magnetism has been the only practical source of rotation. Magnetism is easier to exploit than electrostatic fields due to the properties of naturally occurring materials and simple engineering techniques. However, new advances in materials, mechanical engineering, and advanced manufacturing may enable electrostatic motors.

In 2011, while Ludois was finishing a Ph.D. thesis at UW-Madison, he realized that instead of relying on magnetic fields, he could achieve a similar result by manipulating electric fields to create a motor based on electrostatic attraction. The new technique, he realized, could deliver major advantages in weight, material cost, operating efficiency, and maintenance requirements.

In the motor on display, nested stationary and rotating plates are held hairs-width apart by a unique air-cushioning strategy. An electric voltage delivered to the fixed plates creates an electrostatic field that attracts the rotating plates in a way that forces them to spin.

"A charge builds up on the surfaces of the plates, and if you can manipulate the charge, you can convert electricity into rotary motion or transfer electric power from one set of plates to the other," says Ludois.

This type of coupling can be used "to power things that move without touching," Ludois adds.

The breakthrough relies on electronics that precisely control a high-voltage, high-frequency electric field and fluid mechanics to keep the surfaces close without touching. "Nothing is touching, because you are using electric fields to couple the stationary and rotating parts," Ludois says. "There is no contact, and no maintenance.

"Rather than magnetism, we are using the force that holds your clothes together when you take them out of the drier: electrostatic force. This technique can power anything that needs to move, and that you don't want to touch while it's moving."

Because motors and generators are essentially mirror images of each other, the invention may first meet the market in the form of a generator for wind turbines, an application for which C-Motive Technologies received a Small Business Innovation Research grant for development and research from the National Science Foundation in 2014.

By saving weight and materials, and boosting efficiency, the new design should give the company a bottom-line advantage. The new design avoids the use of precious "rare earth" metals and substitutes aluminum for the more expensive copper found in magnet windings of conventional motors and generators.

When C-Motive was founded, Ludois and co-founders Justin Reed and Micah Erickson were all Ph.D. students. "It's really hard to beat the world, especially when you start out as three graduate students," Ludois says.

C-Motive has had its share of help from UW-Madison. Two years ago, the idea won two awards in the G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition, run through the Wisconsin School of Business. C-Motive has also received $100,000 in seed funding from the Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship course, another School of Business resource.

In 2011, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation supported Ludois and his colleagues for patent protection on the discovery, giving them the leverage to pursue additional funding. After six months in the Metro Innovation Center on East Washington Avenue, C-Motive is now housed in an office/lab space near Stoughton Road in Madison to house its five full-time employees, including two of the three founders.

Published September 2014

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