October 27, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 40

Motion Control News & Products

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New planetary BLDC gearmotors: High torque and compact design

Bodine Electric Company introduces the new type 22B4-60P planetary gearmotor. This integral gearmotor combines Bodine's high-performance type 22B brushless DC motor with the new 60P (60-mm) planetary gearhead. It is ideal for applications that require higher torque than conventional helical/spur gearheads of a similar size can provide, and where a very low backlash gearhead is not required. Typical applications include conveyors, pumps, packaging, industrial automation, and a wide range of solar- or battery-powered equipment.
Learn more.

Compact brushless DC servo motor with integrated controller

Nanotec has developed the compact PD2-C-IP, a brushless DC servo motor with integrated controller and 42-mm flange size for use in harsh environmental conditions (class IP65). The PD2-C-IP is available as a brushless DC motor, with an operating voltage of 12 V to 48 V and a rated power of 105 W, and as a stepper motor with a nominal torque up to 0.5 Nm. Due to the field-oriented control based on an integrated encoder, both motors are controlled in the same way and differ only in their working point. Each motor is available in a USB or CANopen version. They offer effective and economical drive solutions when high precision and maximum benefit are required.
Click here to learn more.

DriveWare 7.4.2 released with stepper motor support

DriveWare is ADVANCED Motion Controls' no-cost software tool that allows users to set drive limits, tune the control loops, configure various types of feedback, auto-commutate, analyze signals over a built-in multi-channel oscilloscope, and more. Because of its powerful capabilities and user-friendly interface, DriveWare is the best way to commission and configure the company's DigiFlex Performance series drives. The biggest update to DriveWare 7.4.2 is the expanded support for stepper motors -- making it easy to configure closed-loop steppers while streamlined algorithms make autocommutation 75% faster. DigiFlex Performance servo drives can operate two-phase and three-phase steppers in addition to rotary and linear permanent magnet, brushed, and brushless servo motors.
Click here to learn more.

Plug-and-play motion system in a box

Rollon Corp. has launched Motion Box, a new pre-engineered Cartesian robot system designed to deliver users six different motion profiles that can be set up and running in a couple of hours. Motion Box covers everything from the human-machine interface (HMI) to the output of reliable motion. Even the cable management is included. The initial system setup is already complete, so end users can get parts moving in a reliable and repeatable manner. Motion Box incorporates the Q-Motion Controller from Mitsubishi Electric, which features four-axis motion control, energy-efficient drivers, integrated I/O and network access, and a clean, efficient HMI setup.
Learn more.

High-torque rotary voice coil actuators

H2W Technologies has developed several high-torque rotary voice coil actuators, otherwise known as a limited angle torque motors (LATs). The model TWR-015-346-2RC was designed to allow for a low moving mass (68 grams per coil) and inertia, as well as dual independent coils to allow for two independent motion profiles or couple the coils together to double the torque output. This rotary voice coil actuator can generate a continuous torque of 185 in.-oz (1.29 Nm) and a peak torque of 555 in.-oz (3.88 Nm) at a duty cycle of 10% (i.e., 1 sec on and 9 sec off) in each coil on a 4-in. (102-mm) rotation arm. By coupling the coils, the continuous torque doubles. Applications include driving a gimbal axis in scanning applications and providing stabilizing torques for image stabilization.
Click here to learn more.

Linear actuators for medical applications

SKF Ecomag linear actuators from SKF Motion Technologies enable safe and precise power-driven movement and positioning of procedure tables and chairs in medical settings. Standard Ecomag actuators can be supplied in four versions: push models ECO 2/4 and ECO 6/8, and push/pull models ECO 3/5 and ECO 7/9. Depending on the model, the actuators can deliver push-load force up to 6,000 N or 1,348 lb and pull-load force up to 4,000 N or 899 lb, stroke ranges up to 300 mm or 12 in., and fast positioning speeds up to 13 mm/s or 0.5 in./s. All versions integrate built-in limit switches. As an option, encoder signals can be specified for added positioning functionality.
Click here to learn more.

Linear motion catalog and design guide 2018

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, a business unit of AMETEK Advanced Motion Solutions, announces the release of its new Catalog and Design Guide, revised for 2018 to illustrate a wide range of products engineered for use as building blocks in sophisticated linear motion assemblies. It is divided into three major sections: 1) Precision lead screw and nut assemblies; 2) Linear actuators and stepper motor drives; and 3) Motorized and non-motorized linear rail systems. In addition to basic product information, each section includes a brief overview of the technology behind the products, part number construction, sizing charts, and product comparison charts. Applications include industrial automation and robotics.
Get your catalog (no registration required).

Integrated motors for high-throughput applications

Applied Motion Products introduces three models of StepSERVO Integrated Motors that provide cost-effective and high-speed motion control for high-throughput applications such as packaging and labeling, automated test and measurement, and automated assembly. With encoder feedback and advanced control loops that incorporate servo control, StepSERVO Integrated Motors provide a motion control system that operates faster, cooler, and quieter than competitive technology. The three model series (TSM, SSM, and TXM) support different options for step and direction, streaming commands, fieldbus communications, and stored Q programming for standalone operations.
Learn more.

Minimizing noise in electric linear motion systems

Under most circumstances, electric linear motion systems are quiet. They certainly don’t create the hissing and bang-bang noises associated with pneumatic systems. However, there’s another type of noise that comes with electric systems of all types: electrical noise or interference. The results can be anything from erratic movements to complete system failure. Patrick Hobart from Tolomatic runs through best practices for minimizing noise in these automation systems.
Read this insightful blog.

New 22-mm brushless servo motor packs a punch

MICROMO has launched the brand new FAULHABER 2264 BP4 series brushless dc servo motor, which is ideally suited for handheld tools and devices such as motorized surgical instruments, grippers and robotics, advanced prosthetics, aerospace applications, and even for electric pruning shears and motorized screwdrivers. At 22 mm in diameter, 64 mm in length, and weighing only 140 grams, the 2264 BP4 series delivers 59 mNm of continuous torque and reaches speeds up to 34,500 rpm. These impressive power and performance characteristics are possible due to a new segmented winding of the coil, which also improves the overall efficiency of the motor.
Click here to learn more.

New telescopic pillars for medical equipment support heavier loads

SKF CPMT telescopic pillars from SKF Motion Technologies for integration into surgical tables, procedure chairs, and similar medical equipment are complete plug-and-play systems that provide OEM designers with ideal technologies to equip healthcare facilities with reliable, safe, and virtually maintenance-free vertical motion solutions. CPMT telescopic pillars combine a low retracted height (320 mm or 12.6 in.) with a high stroke range (up to 600 mm or 23.6 in.) to improve accessibility for patients without compromising the extended height necessary for procedures. Other capabilities include a high load-carrying capacity (up to 6,000 N or 1,350 lb), as well as fast positioning speeds and the ability to access pre-set positions for overall clinical efficiencies.
Click here to learn more.

Tips for selecting linear actuators

Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic runs through the main specifying considerations for electric actuators, citing their high performance, adaptability, low total cost of ownership, and easy integration. But what about accuracy and repeatability? Should you go with a rod-style actuator or a screw type? What kind of force should you expect if you are considering converting from hydraulic to electric actuation? Tolomatic also offers an extensive ebook to help with your decision-making if you need it.
Click here to learn more.

Universal Robots' CTO wins 'Nobel Prize of Robotics' for pioneering cobots

The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) recently announced Esben Østergaard as the recipient of the Engelberger Robotics Award. Østergaard spearheads the development of Universal Robots’ collaborative robot arms, representing one of the most significant technology breakthroughs coming out of the robotics community in decades.
Read the full article.

High-performance, high-load linear stages for industrial use

The new reference-class linear stages from precision nano-positioning global leader PI (Physik Instrumente) are available in ballscrew (L-417) and linear motor (V-417) configurations. Both cost-effective designs offer high resolution with improved tracking performance, smaller tracking error, and improved settling time. Applications include laser cutting, scanning, digital printing, electronics assembly and inspection, and more. The L-417 precision heavy-duty ball screw model easily accommodates a load capacity of 450 N on its 166-m width frame with a travel up to 813 mm. Powered by an ironless linear motor, the V-417 has a similar load capacity, width, and travel range.
Learn more about the L-417 ball screw model.
Learn more about the V-417 ironless linear motor model.

Motor-to-motor communication is 1-2 punch for machine builders

Combitronic™ is a propri-etary communica-tions protocol developed by Moog Animatics exclusively for its SmartMotor™. With Combitronic technology, any SmartMotor can read from, write to, and control any other SmartMotor, can act as the master, and can pass master control from one SmartMotor to another -- virtually eliminating the need for a PLC or other bus master. Combined with the CDS7 motor option, the technology allows a simple, single-cable, power and communications connection from motor to motor, giving the machine builder a simple, cost-effective way to build a network of Class 5 D-Style SmartMotor integrated servos.
Learn more.

MIT researchers say detour to the moon is the best route to Mars

By Jennifer Chu, MIT

[Illustration: Christine Daniloff/MIT]



Launching humans to Mars may not require a full tank of gas: A new MIT study suggests that a Martian mission may lighten its launch load considerably by refueling on the moon.

Previous studies have suggested that lunar soil and water ice in certain craters of the moon may be mined and converted to fuel. Assuming that such technologies are established at the time of a mission to Mars, the MIT group has found that taking a detour to the moon to refuel would reduce the mass of a mission upon launch by 68 percent.

The group developed a model to determine the best route to Mars, assuming the availability of resources and fuel-generating infrastructure on the moon. Based on their calculations, they determined the optimal route to Mars, in order to minimize the mass that would have to be launched from Earth -- often a major cost driver in space exploration missions.

They found the most mass-efficient path involves launching a crew from Earth with just enough fuel to get into orbit around the Earth. A fuel-producing plant on the surface of the moon would then launch tankers of fuel into space, where they would enter gravitational orbit. The tankers would eventually be picked up by the Mars-bound crew, which would then head to a nearby fueling station to gas up before ultimately heading to Mars.

Olivier de Weck, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and of engineering systems at MIT, says the plan deviates from NASA's more direct "carry-along" route.

"This is completely against the established common wisdom of how to go to Mars, which is a straight shot to Mars, carry everything with you," de Weck says. "The idea of taking a detour into the lunar system ... it's very unintuitive. But from an optimal network and big-picture view, this could be very affordable in the long term, because you don't have to ship everything from Earth."

The results, which are based on the PhD thesis of Takuto Ishimatsu, now a postdoc at MIT, are published in the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets.

A faraway strategy
In the past, space exploration programs have adopted two main strategies in supplying mission crews with resources: a carry-along approach, where all vehicles and resources travel with the crew at all times -- as on the Apollo missions to the moon -- and a "resupply strategy," in which resources are replenished regularly, such as by spaceflights to the International Space Station.

However, as humans explore beyond Earth's orbit, such strategies may not be sustainable, as de Weck and Ishimatsu write: "As budgets are constrained and destinations are far away from home, a well-planned logistics strategy becomes imperative."

The team proposes that missions to Mars and other distant destinations may benefit from a supply strategy that hinges on "in-situ resource utilization" -- the idea that resources such as fuel, and provisions such as water and oxygen, may be produced and collected along the route of space exploration. Materials produced in space would replace those that would otherwise be transported from Earth.

For example, water ice -- which could potentially be mined and processed into rocket fuel -- has been found on both Mars and the moon.

"There's a pretty high degree of confidence that these resources are available," de Weck says. "Assuming you can extract these resources, what do you do with it? Almost nobody has looked at that question."

Building a network in space
To see whether fuel resources and infrastructure in space would benefit manned missions to Mars, Ishimatsu developed a network flow model to explore various routes to Mars -- ranging from a direct carry-along flight to a series of refueling pit stops along the way. The objective of the model was to minimize the mass that would be launched from Earth, even when including the mass of a fuel-producing plant, and spares that would need to be pre-deployed.

The approach models the movement of cargo and commodities, such as fuel, in a supply chain network in space. Ishimatsu developed a new mathematical model that improves on a conventional model for routing vehicles. He adapted the model for the more complex scenario of long-term missions in space -- taking into account constraints specific to space travel.

The model assumes a future scenario in which fuel can be processed on, and transported from, the moon to rendezvous points in space. Likewise, the model assumes that fuel depots can be located at certain gravitationally bound locations in space, called Lagrange points. Given a mission objective, such as a set of weight restrictions, the model identifies the best route in the supply network, while also satisfying the constraints of basic physics.

Ishimatsu says the research demonstrates the importance of establishing a resource-producing infrastructure in space. He emphasizes that such infrastructure may not be necessary for a first trip to Mars. But a resource network in space would enable humans to make the journey repeatedly in a sustainable way.

"Our ultimate goal is to colonize Mars and to establish a permanent, self-sustainable human presence there," Ishimatsu says. "However, equally importantly, I believe that we need to 'pave a road' in space so that we can travel between planetary bodies in an affordable way."

"The optimization suggests that the moon could play a major role in getting us to Mars repeatedly and sustainably," de Weck adds. "People have hinted at that before, but we think this is the first definitive paper that shows mathematically why that's the right answer."

William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA, says understanding what resources may be available, both along the way to Mars and once there, is "essential to sustainable human presence beyond low-Earth orbit."

"The paper shows clearly that leveraging water and other valuable in-space resources will lower the cost for human exploration of the solar system," says Gerstenmaier, who was not involved in the research. "NASA had previously planned on using Mars resources to reduce propellant needs at Mars. This study, along with others, is showing the potential advantages of using lunar resources as well."

Source: MIT

Published October 2015

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