December 26, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 48

Motion Control News & Products

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Single-cylinder engines for combustion research

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has designed and manufactured two advanced single-cylinder engines for combustion research and friction analysis, as well as alternative fuel, wear, optical, crank offset, and bore-to-stroke relationship studies. The engines, one for light- and medium-duty applications and one for heavy-duty applications, can accommodate either multi-cylinder or single-cylinder heads through a custom cylinder barrel and head support shelf. They include several unique patent-pending innovations, including mechanisms that adjust compression ratios and crankshaft offsets without the need for disassembling the engine. Optical access, dynamic cam phasing, secondary balancers, and floating liner devices can be added to the standard configurations. Specs available in online "Single-Cylinder Research Engine" flyer.
Click here to learn more.


Hybrid gantry stage provides precision XY/XYZ motion with linear motors, air bearings, and ball bearings

PI's new A-341 hybrid gantry XY/XYZ positioning stage provides the framework for controlled precise overhead motion that is often sought after for 3D printing, assembly, pick-and-place, alignment, inspection, and industrial automation applications. The A-341 HGS hybrid gantry is designed to combine maximum throughput with smooth and highly accurate motion in a compact envelope. It features a unique hybrid bearing design. The cross axis utilizes a frictionless air bearing guiding system, which allows for excellent velocity control, repeatability, straightness, and cleanliness. The lower dual-motor axis uses precision mechanical linear bearings for rigidity and reduced size. This combo offers an overhead gantry motion platform optimized for step and scan applications in the smallest possible form factor.
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Micro-brakes for precise motion control applications

The ultra-compact 112 Model Electromag-netic Micro-Brakes from Miki Pulley ensure fast response in high-torque, demanding applications. The simple design features a stator with integrated mounting flange, proprietary composite friction liner, and armature complete with ring plate spring and hub. These brakes halt rotation mechanically by utilizing an electromagnetic field to create mechanical friction. With fast response, the brake's armature engages the stator when the coil is energized. A constant-force plate spring transfers torque to the rotating brake body, halting all motion.
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Electric high-force linear actuator choices: Ball vs. roller screw

Many applications require high-force linear actuators -- from moving equipment in a foundry to powering a press in metal forming to guiding heavy logs in a sawmill. Whatever the application, a machine designer is faced with a choice: whether to specify a ball or roller screw in the electric high-force linear actuator. Learn how to make the best decision for your application.
Read the Tolomatic blog.


Using SmartMotor data to diagnose linear actuator performance problems

Effective troubleshooting of a motion control system problem can be a daunting and time-consuming process, even for seasoned automation professionals. However, the Moog Animatics SmartMotor fully integrated servo, with built-in controller and firmware, is constantly monitoring a variety of operating parameters. This case study investigates how that data can be used to quickly and effectively troubleshoot and resolve a motion control system problem.
Read the Moog Animatics article.


Advantages of electroformed metal bellows

Servometer metal bellows manufactured using our patented electro-deposition process create flexibility, protection, motion, and balance for systems requiring precise, repeatable results. This exclusive manufacturing technology produces electroformed bellows that offer unique characteristics such as high-strength but lightweight construction and custom engineered geometries. Learn more by viewing our "Electroforming Basics of Miniature and Specialized Components" white paper.
Read the white paper (no registration required).


Top 5 challenges of motion control design

As motion control solutions -- from angle encoders to direct drive motors -- become even more ubiquitous in industrial situations, engineers face evolving demands and opportunities. From lowering the cost of advanced technologies to improving functional safety in automated environments, here are the top five challenges and opportunities in today's motion control design industry as seen by engineers from HEIDENHAIN.
Read the full article.


Two-way traction drives reduce motor torque ripple

Rolling Motion Industries (RMI) has released two new, highly efficient two-way gearless traction drives. The MAR-17-2-2.1 and MAR-23-2-2.1 permanently lubricated drives have only six moving parts and typically last three times longer than conventional gearboxes. The drives have demonstrated up to an 84 percent reduction in motor torque ripple. The MAR17-2-2.1 Traction Drive is designed for speeds to 3,600 rpm with 10 to 20 in./lb of torque, and the MAR-23-2-2.1 Traction Drive is rated for 3,600 rpm with 20 to 30 in./lb of torque.
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High-precision multi-axis motion with hexapod 6-axis systems -- New 130-pg PI catalog

Multi-axis motion and positioning systems are often used for precision automation and alignment applications in fields including optics, photonics, aerospace, medical engineering, and laser technology. Hexapod parallel-kinematic motion and positioning systems provide a novel approach to multi-axis motion, combining precision and compactness with versatility. PI's new 130-page catalog provides background information and features a variety of hexapod (Stewart-Platform) motion and positioning systems with 6 degrees of freedom and high resolution and repeatability in the sub-micrometer and even nanometer range.
Get the new catalog today (no registration required).


World's most compact 3,000-W integrated servo motor

JVL's newest addition to its motor portfolio is a complete, high-capacity MAC motor with a rating of 3,000 W. MAC motors are complete servo systems that include a high-dynamic AC servo motor, hall sensors, encoder, power supply, driver, and positioning controller and Nano-PLC, as well as options for incorporating various control modules such as Bluetooth, WLAN, ZigBee, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, CANopen, DeviceNet, Profibus, Profinet, Nano PLC, and more. With a length of only 311.8 mm and a torque of 9.55/28.6 Nm at 3,000 rpm, this MAC motor matches the size of traditional servo motors without built-in controllers. Many more features.
Learn more.


Smart gripper has fingertip sensors that see and feel objects

You can automate high-precision assembly tasks with the OnRobot RG2-FT smart gripper. The built-in 6-axis F/T sensors at the fingertips provide extremely accurate gripping for better production quality. This gripper is so smart it detects the risk of slipping before it happens! The Danish company OnRobot has just opened its U.S. headquarters in Dallas. The company is a global leader in end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robots and also provides hardware and software used with collaborative robots from a variety of robot manufacturers such as Universal Robots, KUKA, FANUC, and Yaskawa.
Learn more.


SmartMotor can handle extreme low temps

Moog Animatics has released its new Low Temperature Range (LTR) SmartMotor in two standard NEMA frame sizes: model SM17205M-LTR (the LTR-17) and model SM23165M-LTR (the LTR-23). Both motors have been meticulously engineered for robust and reliable operation in extremely frigid environments and at high altitudes. To achieve this, onboard internal heaters ensure that the motors can start up in temperatures below -40 degrees C. Other design changes allow these motors to withstand random vibrations up to 6G 10-2000 Hz, and standard IP sealing protects the motors from condensation.
Learn more.


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.


100 million random moves: New lifetime spec for rotary micro stage with integral controller

New Scale Technologies has significantly increased the lifetime specification for its M3-RS-U Rotary Smart Stage, a precision rotary micro stage with embedded controller. The new specification of 100 million random positions underscores the utility of these compact, all-in-one motion modules for integrating embedded motion inside in medical, commercial, and industrial instruments. The increased lifetime spec makes the selection decision even easier for product designers who need to embed motion in their portable and hand-held systems.
Learn more.


Electric extreme-force linear actuators beat hydraulics in metal casting

Metal casting is precise work conducted in a high-temperature environment. Unmolding a workpiece requires both force and control. It's a task often left to hydraulic cylinders, but their high-force capabilities come with significant drawbacks, like inadequate control and messy leaks. New, electric extreme-force linear actuators offer precision and clean operation.
Read the Tolomatic blog.


Boeing gives sneak peek of autonomous aerial refueler for U.S. Navy MQ-25 competition

The unmanned refueling aircraft is completing engine runs and testing.

Boeing's MQ-25 unmanned aircraft system is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations next year. The aircraft is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with refueling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed jet fighters. [Boeing photo by Eric Shindelbower]

 

 

 

 

We'll make it short and sweet because, well, we have to. Boeing isn't putting out a lot of details for its new unmanned aircraft system (UAS) best suited for refueling U.S. Navy jets operating from aircraft carriers.

The company released a photo Dec. 19 of the super-stealth-looking, working prototype for the Navy's MQ-25 competition. The Navy is seeking unmanned refueling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. The MQ-25 will also have to seamlessly integrate with a carrier's catapult and launch and recovery systems.

The UAS is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations early next year.

The company's famed Phantom Works division is working on the aircraft. Don "BD" Gaddis, a retired admiral, is leading the refueling system program. Gaddis says, "We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded."

The Navy issued its final request for proposals in October. Proposals are due Jan. 3.

It was widely reported at the end of October in industry news, including Jane's 360, that top-contender Northrop Grumman had withdrawn from the competition.

The official Navy description for the project is as follows:

The MQ-25 system will deliver a robust organic refueling capability to make better use of our combat strike fighters and extend the range of our aircraft carriers. The system will be a critical part of the future Carrier Air Wing (CVW) and will enhance carrier capability and versatility for the Joint Forces Commander through the integration of a persistent, sea-based, multi-mission aerial refueling Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) into the CVW.

MQ-25 will be the first air system procured by the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation Program Office. It is comprised of three major architectural segments: an Air Segment (AS), a Control System & Connectivity (CS&C) Segment, and a Carrier (CVN) Segment.

  • AS -- Includes the MQ-25 UAS, which is composed of the MQ-25A Stingray air vehicle and associated support and handling equipment including the deck handling system, spares, and repair materials.
  • CS&C -- Includes the Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA) Mission Control System (UMCS) and its associated communication equipment; the Distributed Common Ground Station-Navy (DCGS-N) mission support functionality; all network-based interfaces and routing equipment required to control the Stingray; and all required modifications to existing networks and C4I system infrastructure to enable tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination (TCPED) of the Stingray's ISR information.
  • CVN -- Composed of CVN ships' spaces allocated to UCA as well as installed ship systems and modifications necessary for interface with the Air and CS&C segments. CVN systems important to the MQ-25 include aircraft launch and recovery systems, data dissemination systems (including radio terminals and antennas), and deck operations systems.

These segments are overseen by the Government Lead Systems Integrator (LSI), providing government-led system-of-systems integration for the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Program. MQ-25 will leverage existing Line of Sight (LOS) and Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications links and interface with existing ship and land-based command and control systems, including ISR TCPED systems. It will significantly increase the range of manned CVW aircraft with its enhanced refueling capabilities, pioneer the integration of manned and unmanned systems within the CVW, and pave the way for more multifaceted multi-mission UAS' to pace emerging threats.

Sources: Boeing, U.S. Navy

Published December 2017

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