April 25, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 16

Motion Control News & Products

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Telescoping linear actuators for space-constrained applications

Rollon's new TLS telescoping linear actuators enable long stroke lengths with minimal closed lengths, which is especially good for applications with minimal vertical clearance. These actuators integrate seamlessly into multi-axis systems and are available in two- or three-stage versions. Equipped with a built-in automated lubrication system, the TLS Series features a synchronized drive system, requiring only a single motor to achieve motion. Four sizes (100, 230, 280, and 360) with up to 3,000-mm stroke length.
Learn more.


Competitively priced long-stroke parallel gripper

The DHPL from Festo is a new generation of pneumatic long-stroke grippers that offers a host of advantages for high-load and high-torque applications. It is interchangeable with competitive long-stroke grippers and provides the added benefits of lighter weight, higher precision, and no maintenance. It is ideal for gripping larger items, including stacking boxes, gripping shaped parts, and keeping bags open. It has high repetition accuracy due to three rugged guide rods and a rack-and-pinion design.
Learn more.


Extend your range of motion: Controllers for mini motors

FAULHABER has added another extremely compact Motion Controller without housing to its product range. The new MC3603 controller is ideal for integration in equipment manufacturing and medical tech applications. With 36 V and 3 A (peak current 9 A), it covers the power range up to 100 W and is suitable for DC motors with encoder, brushless drives, or linear motors.
Learn more.


When is a frameless brushless DC motor the right choice?

Frameless BLDC motors fit easily into small, compact machines that require high precision, high torque, and high efficiency, such as robotic applications where a mix of low weight and inertia is critical. Learn from the experts at SDP/SI how these motors can replace heavier, less efficient hydraulic components by decreasing operating and maintenance costs. These motors are also more environmentally friendly than others.
View the video.


Tiny and smart: Step motor with closed-loop control

Nanotec's new PD1-C step motor features an integrated controller and absolute encoder with closed-loop control. With a flange size of merely 28 mm (NEMA 11), this compact motor reaches a max holding torque of 18 Ncm and a peak current of 3 A. Three motor versions are available: IP20 protection, IP65 protection, and a motor with open housing that can be modified with custom connectors. Ideal for applications with space constraints, effectively reducing both wiring complexity and installation costs.
Learn more.


Closed loop steppers drive new motion control applications

According to the motion experts at Performance Motion Devices, when it comes to step motors, the drive technique called closed loop stepper is making everything old new again and driving a burst of interest in the use of two-phase step motors. It's "winning back machine designers who may have relegated step motors to the category of low cost but low performance."
Read this informative Performance Motion Devices article.


Intelligent compact drives with extended fieldbus options

The intelligent PD6 compact drives from Nanotec are now available with Profinet and EtherNet/IP. They combine motor, controller, and encoder in a space-saving package. With its 80-mm flange and a rated power of 942 W, the PD6-EB is the most powerful brushless DC motor of this product family. The stepper motor version has an 86-mm flange (NEMA 34) and a holding torque up to 10 Nm. Features include acceleration feed forward and jerk-limited ramps. Reduced installation time and wiring make the PD6 series a highly profitable choice for machine tools, packaging machines, or conveyor belts.
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FAULHABER IEP3 incremental encoder: Impressive accuracy through latest chip tech

With a diameter of just 8 mm, FAULHABER's new IEP3 incremental encoder is lightweight and compact yet still offers a resolution up to 10,000 lines per revolution -- made possible by the latest chip technology with high interpolation. The chip ensures a high positional accuracy of 0.3° m as well as high repeatability thanks to accuracy compensation. Application areas include telescopes, microscopes, lasers, and cameras; semiconductor production; robotics; and prosthetics.
Learn more.


Compact wheel drive for automated guided vehicles

Nanotec has introduced the WD42 compact wheel drive, a very short drive unit for automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and service robots. Each unit consists of a powerful BLDC motor, a high-torque planetary gearbox, a magnetic encoder, and an exchangeable wheel. All components are integrated directly at the wheel, which makes the drive only 103 mm long and reduces the number of moving parts and connections.
Learn more.


Bottom tapped rails available for quick ship

Bottom tapped rails are useful for mounting from the bottom of a base, as well as when contamination protection is required -- eliminating the need for bolt-hole caps. See the available models from THK, including standard and radial LM guides and standard and radial caged ball. All units are available for quick shipping.
Learn more.


Hybrid actuation system reduces energy consumption, simplifies designs

Learn how a leading manufacturer of household cleaning products solved its downtime problems due to an overloaded ball screw in its production-line electromechanical automated plastic cap dumping function. A Hybrid Actuation System (HAS) did the trick, combining the controllability of traditional electromechanical actuators with the power density, longer life, and failsafe conditions commonly found on traditional hydraulic systems.
Read this informative Parker blog.


Machine tending solution now compatible with any CNC machine

The Robotiq Machine Tending Solution has made automation accessible to businesses of all sizes, overturning the belief that automation is too complicated. The company says their part-feeding solutions can provide up to a 30% production runtime increase -- without communication cards, expensive wiring, custom programming, or permanent modifications.
Learn how to boost your CNC productivity.


How to implement redundancy in stepper motors

Some of the recent research activities in the area of electric motor drives for safety-critical applications (such as aerospace and nuclear power plants) are focused on looking at various fault-tolerant motor and drive topologies. After discussing different solutions, this article focuses on a miniature permanent magnet (PM) stepper motor design that provides increased redundancy.
Read this informative Faulhaber article.


Why choose electric for linear actuators? When precision, multiple positions, repeatability, or position feedback is important

Tolomatic has been delivering a new type of linear motion technology that is giving hydraulics a run for its money. Learn the benefits of electric linear motion systems, the iceberg principle showing total cost of ownership, critical parameters of sizing, and conversion tips.
Read this informative e-book. (No registration required)


New mini gearhead for robotics, semiconductor fab

Harmonic Drive is proud to announce the release of its CSF-2XH mini gearhead designed for servo and stepper motors. Available with an output shaft or flange, these gearheads are offered in four sizes with gear ratios of 30:1 to 100:1 and peak torque of .5 to 28 Nm. These mini strain wave gears are ideal for applications such as semiconductor manufacturing and robotics. Available through Electromate.
Learn more.


Engage the spin rocket motor: Drop of U.S. mock B61-12 nuclear weapon is first of new flight tests

An F-16C makes a pass over Nevada's Tonopah Test Range after a March test of a mock nuclear weapon as part of a Sandia National Laboratories life extension program for the B61-12. Teams will spend months analyzing the data gathered from the test. [Photo: John Salois]

 

 

 

 

From a distance, the drop of a mock nuclear weapon -- containing only non-nuclear components -- was a mere puff of dust rising from a dry lake bed at Nevada's Tonopah Test Range. However, it marked the start of a new series of test flights vital to the nation's B61-12 weapon refurbishment program.

Initial data showed the March 14 test was a success, said officials at Sandia National Laboratories, which runs Tonopah. For months, teams will be analyzing a wealth of data they collected from this first of a qualification test series planned over the next three years.

Those watching from the tower of the range's Test Operations Center felt "excitement and pleasure that it all worked as we expected," said Anna Schauer, director of Sandia's Stockpile Resource Center.

The B61-12 consolidates and replaces four B61 variants in the nation's nuclear arsenal. The first production unit in the weapon's life-extension program is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

An F-16C from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada releases a mock nuclear weapon for a March test at Tonopah Test Range. The test is the first in a series planned over the next three years. [Photo: James Galli]

 

 

 

 

Test day dawned cloudless and wind-free, perfect weather at the range, an area of 280 square miles with two main target areas on flat lake beds sitting between mountain ranges. Workers from Sandia and contractor Navarro Research and Engineering operated tracking telescopes, remote cameras, and other instruments in the field to gather information on the reliability, accuracy, and performance of the weapon under conditions meant to replicate operations.

An F-16C from Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, chosen to drop the test unit representing a B61-12, began with a dry run over one of the lake beds. But during his next pass for the planned release, he had to roar off after a small group of wild horses ambled onto the lake bed.

A video feed from a remote camera in the area showed the horses trotting away to safety, herded by wranglers: security officers in a white pickup, its headlights and rack lights pulsing. "That's a first for us," said test director Joe Simile of Sandia. "We've never had to chase horses away from the target."

The extra pass meant the F-16 carrying the test unit and a companion wingman F-16 would have to refuel in flight from a tanker airplane circling the area before returning to base.

F-16 final pass: "Commence run"
Then, horses cleared off, the pilots circled back. The test director queried those responsible for the various aspects of the test, from telemetry to the pilot of the drop plane. One by one they gave the test a go and a disembodied voice over the intercom announced, "Range is green. Cleared to release."

The announcement, "Commence run," galvanized dozens of people watching and listening to live feeds of preparations at the tower. Most dashed out to the balconies to watch -- a natural reaction despite knowing the lake bed was miles away and they'd see nothing more than dust rising from the high-altitude drop. The video feed, a much closer look, showed the F-16 release the test unit, the unit's spin rocket motor ignite, and the mock weapon fall through the air.

"It's great to see things all come together: the weapon design, the test preparation, the aircraft, the range, and the people who made it happen," Schauer said.

The U.S. Department of Energy's website says, "In April 2003, the Nuclear Weapons Council Standing and Safety Committee (NWCSSC) approved the development of a new Spin Rocket Motor based on Sandia's assertions that test data collected between 1997 and 2002 showed the motors, due in large part to 'detrimental aging,' were not performing according to specifications. Detrimental aging occurs when a component's age prevents it from performing to meet military requirements."

According to a May 18, 2014, article in the Albuquerque Journal, "Spin motion is needed to stabilize the bomb as it glides toward its target. It's controlled by rocket motors and slanted fin tails. But in earlier B61 designs, air plumes from the motors have interfered with fin performance, thus weakening the push, or torque, created by the motors and reducing spin rates."

The article also says a new tail kit assembly "is important because it adds a guidance system to the bomb, basically converting it from a gravity-dependent dumb bomb into a smart one that can be aimed more precisely at a target."

These are only two of many steps taken in the broad nuclear arsenal modernization project.

"The bomb modernization program, which aims to extend the B61's life another 20 years, is one of the biggest endeavors undertaken at Sandia since before the Cold War ended," the Albuquerque Journal article states.

Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons analyst at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, D.C., said in the Albuquerque Journal article, "The National Nuclear Security Administration estimated about $4 billion originally in 2010, and then in 2012 that ballooned to $8 billion. The new tail kit assembly alone could cost up to $1.5 billion."

"The U.S. Department of Defense now estimates total B61-12 program costs at $10.4 billion," the article said, attributing that estimate to Kristensen. "With about 400 B61 bombs to be refurbished, that's about $25 million per bomb."


VIDEO: Tonopah Test Range flight test.

After the drop, the two F-16s turned to scream past the control tower about a half mile away, giving observers a closer look at the planes.

On the lake bed, the only sign of the drop was a surprisingly neat hole. An hour or so after the test, Simile stood near the hole, describing plans to recover the weapon, his discussion punctuated by a warning beep-beep-beep from a truck backing up to unload recovery equipment.

Crews were back later to dig the mock weapon out of the dirt.

"The test unit recovery went very well, with the unit packaged up for return to Albuquerque," said Lee Post, B61-12 flight test lead. "We can only hope our future tests go this well."

Source: Sandia National Laboratories

Published April 2017

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