March 01, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 09

Motion Control News & Products

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Totally new! Hybrid stepper and PM motor

The Hybrid-PM-Mix (HPM) from Lin Engineering is the first motor of its kind, combining the stator of a hybrid stepper and the rotor of a PM motor in the form factor of a high-speed BLDC. The result is a motor that behaves like a typical high-speed BLDC with the added benefits of hybrid steppers -- precise position control and position holding -- with low noise and vibration too. The 1330 Series is a small motor with a frame size of just 13 mm, which is perfect for small applications with minimal space.
Find out all the specs.


New magnetic tracks for linear motors -- more force with no redesign

The MWD+ is a new family of magnetic tracks from ETEL equipped with stronger magnets. These tracks are compatible with any existing ETEL LMG and LMS linear motor, enabling an average of 15% higher continuous and peak force compared to existing MWD products. Benefits include higher force density per unit volume, which allows users to improve the overall duty cycle or run a given duty cycle at lower temperatures.
Learn more about ETEL linear motors.


maxon adds dynamism to robotic drives

Innovative motor concepts are the answer to growing market requirements for dynamic response, compactness, and power density. With the EC frameless DT, maxon presents a solution that really packs a punch. The DT50 with matching encoder is the precursor of a new product family developed specifically for dynamic movements like those in robotics. The brushless motor with its frameless concept can be easily integrated into a wide range of applications by design engineers in applications where speeds can change in an instant. When installed, the EC frameless DT50 effortlessly reaches a nominal torque of over 500 mNm at a nominal speed of 4,000 rpm.
Learn more.


Better conveyors for automotive assembly lines

The Torque Arm Conveyor Drive is a more energy-efficient and maintenance-friendly replacement for the legacy "Floating Frame" conveyor drives used in many automotive assembly lines. Developed by OCC Systems, it features a custom-built gearbox solution with an Overhead Conveyor Drive gear unit from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS. This new drive concept contains far fewer parts, has a modular and maintenance-friendly construction, and comes with a built-in back-up system.
Read the full article.


Robot handles precision masking tape application for aerospace

Engineers from Aerobotix and FerRobotics have developed an impressive End of Arm Tooling system that provides smooth masking on parts varying in shape and puts down precise tape lines where the customer needs them -- even on intricate curvy paths. You've got to see it in action.
Read the full article.


Linear robots are now even more versatile

Bosch Rexroth has expanded its portfolio of linear robots (eight different axis combinations with 68 sizes!) for various applications in factory automation. The much wider range of working areas and loads makes the Cartesian subsystems also suitable for applications like battery handling or intralogistics. Predefined axis combinations make for quick and easy sizing and selection. Configure and finalize online and order as preassembled subsystems -- optionally with controllers. Each multi-axis system is also available as a Smart Function Kit for handling or dispensing. Preinstalled software allows for fast commissioning and intuitive programming.
Learn more about Bosch Rexroth smart mechatronic systems.


Selecting linear actuators for robotics

Nick Novotny over at Nook Industries has put together a handy and very useful short guide on selecting linear actuators for robotic applications. Besides addressing the primary considerations, he also explains motor types, linear actuator types, modularity, and advantages and disadvantages.
Read this informative Nook Industries blog.


5 key considerations for selecting a propulsion motor

Josh Jennings, mobile servo motor and drive applications engineer for Parker Hannifin's Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems Division, runs through the key factors to consider for a vehicle electrification project, including how the motor is cooled, its speed range, flexibility, efficiency, and reliability. Solid basic information.
Read the full Parker blog.


New mini planetary gearmotors

New PH Series Mini Planetary Gearmotors from Applied Motion Products are used with small step motors in NEMA 8, 11, and 14 frame sizes. These gearmotors are used in applications where space is critical. Small motors usually don't produce enough torque for demanding applications. Mini Planetary Gearmotors are an ideal solution. They offer an increase in torque and better inertia matching without breaking the budget.
Learn more and see all the options offered by Electromate.


New cobot welders with extended range unveiled at FABTECH 2022

Universal Robots has grown its welding application segment more than 80% this year as partners develop new capabilities for the pioneering cobot welders. At FABTECH last week, Universal Robots' booth showcased new solutions from Vectis Automation and Hirebotics, enabling the weldment of larger and more complex parts. Attendees also experienced Precision Cobotics' automated MECCO laser-marking solution with Apera AI bin picking, laser welding with Cobot Systems, metal deburring with Kane Robotics, along with the new UR20 cobot in a machine-tending application.
Learn about the new welding options and other UR FABTECH releases.


New! Multi-axis gantry attachment kits extend your working envelope

Multi-axis linear actuator assemblies from Bishop-Wisecarver extend the working envelope of automated motion systems and provide for more complex motion. ECO60 Gantry Kits create reliable and easy-to-assemble connections between ECO60 Linear Actuators. Benefits include: saving design time without sacrificing design freedom, easy ordering with single-part-number kits, and fast and simple assembly and installation. All multi-axis kits are made from aluminum with black anodize and stainless-steel hardware.
Learn more.


Robots handle post processing for metal AM parts and components

The NetShape Robot from Rivelin Robotics provides an automated solution for metal support removal and targeted finishing to meet the standards of mission-critical industries. Driven by the powerful NetShape control software, both machine learning and traditional deterministic control theory are used to optimize the quality and repeatability of the work. The result is an automated support-removal solution that reduces defects by 90%, exhibits a 10-fold reduction in operational costs, and eliminates human risk and variability.
Learn more.


Flat external rotor with encoder

The DF45 brushless DC motors from Nanotec are now available with an integrated encoder. The new flat motors with a diameter of only 45 mm are ideal for applications that require precise positioning in confined spaces such as AGV wheel drives, access control systems, and door drives. The two-channel encoder has a resolution of 1,024 CPR and provides additional Hall signals for commutation. The difference in length between the standard motor and the encoder version is only 2 mm, as the encoder has been completely integrated. The DF45-E has a rated power of 65 W at a rated speed of 4,840 rpm. Custom windings or shafts are also available.
Learn more.


The influence of operating speed on step motor selection

According to the engineers at Lin Engineering, "Frequently, when it comes to step motor selection, users will select a motor with the highest holding torque rating, assuming that it will give them optimal performance. However, it is an improper practice to select a motor based on holding torque alone. In fact, the step motor with the highest holding torque in many situations can prove to be a poor choice -- especially when trying to maximize torque at a desired operating speed."
Read this informative Lin Engineering article.


Extra-Duty Overhung Load Adaptors

Zero-Max has announced three entirely new Extra-Duty Overhung Load Adaptor (OHLA) models (350, 650, 950). The new designs feature a number of carefully chosen upgrades including spherical bearings, enhanced sealing technology, stronger shafts, and a longer profile delivering increased operating life, heavy load capacities, and higher speed ratings. They provide a solid, permanent mounting surface, eliminating premature motor or pump failure due to axial and radial overhung loads on a motor or pump shaft.
Learn more.


Top 5 robot trends of 2022 named by International Federation of Robotics

The operational stock of industrial robots has hit a new record of about 3 million units worldwide -- increasing by 13% on average each year (2015-2020). The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) recently analyzed the top 5 trends shaping robotics and automation around the globe.

"Transformation for robotic automation is picking up speed across traditional and new industries," said Milton Guerry, president of the IFR. "More and more companies are realizing the numerous advantages robotics provides for their businesses."

IFR sees the top robot trends as:

1. Robots adopted by new industries: Segments that are relatively new to automation are rapidly adopting robots. Consumer behavior is driving companies to address demand for personalization of both products and delivery.

The e-commerce revolution was driven by the pandemic and will continue to accelerate in 2022. There are thousands of robots installed worldwide today that did not exist in this segment just five years ago.

In an effort to address labor shortages, companies that have not previously considered automation will reconsider. Businesses that rely on service workers, such as retail and restaurants, are unable to fill job openings, and as a result, we can expect to see them invest in automation to meet patrons' needs. Relatively new robotics customer industries like delivery and logistics, construction, agriculture, and many more benefit from technologies advancing by the day.

2. Robots easier to use: Implementing robots can be a complex task, but new generations of robots are easier to use. There is a clear trend toward user interfaces that allow simple icon-driven programming and the manual guidance of robots. Robot companies and some third-party suppliers are bundling hardware packages together with software to ease implementation. This trend may seem simple, but offerings that focus on complete ecosystems are adding tremendous value by reducing the effort and the time to operation.

The trend for low-cost robotics also comes with easy setup and installation, with specific applications pre-configured in some instances. Suppliers offer standard programs combined with grippers, sensors, and controllers. App stores provide program routines for various applications and support lower-cost robot deployment.

3. Robots and humans up-skilling: More and more governments, industry associations, and companies are seeing the need for basic robot and automation education at an early stage for the next generation. The journey of data-driven production lines will focus on education and training. In addition to the training of workers in-house, external education routes can enhance staff learning programs. Robot manufacturers like ABB, FANUC, KUKA, and YASKAWA all register between 10,000 and 30,000 participants in their robot classes across more than 30 countries every year.

Robotics is changing job profiles of factory workers for the better. As the recent "Great Resignation" shows, people want to work in a modern environment where they can build a career. New training opportunities with robotics are a win-win strategy for companies and employees alike: Dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks get automated, while people learn key skills for the industrial workplace of the future and increase their earning potential throughout their careers.

4. Robots secure production: Trade tensions and COVID-19 are driving manufacturing back closer to the customer. Supply-chain issues lead companies to consider nearshoring, with automation as a solution.

One particularly revealing statistic from the United States shows how automation is helping businesses get back to business: According to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), robot orders in the United States in the third quarter of 2021 were up 35% over the same period in 2020. More than half of the orders were from non-automotive sectors.

And this record growth isn't just robotics either -- machine vision, motion control, and motors are also seeing big increases. "The pandemic and the resulting disruptions to supply chains and labor availability appear to have been the push that many needed to justify the investment," says Dr. Susanne Bieller, general secretary of the IFR. "The companies most likely to invest in automation are those that have been considering it for a while but just hadn't taken the final step."

5. Robots support digital automation: In 2022 and beyond, we see an emphasis on data as key enablers of future manufacturing. Data collected from intelligently automated processes will be analyzed by producers to make more informed decisions. With a robot's ability to share tasks and learn through AI, companies can also adopt intelligent automation more easily in new environments, from construction to food-and-beverage packaging facilities to healthcare labs.

AI for robotics is maturing, and learning robots are becoming mainstream. The industry is past the pilot phase, and we can expect to see a larger deployment of these technologies in 2022.

The IFR Statistical Department provides data for two annual robotics studies: "World Robotics - Industrial Robots" and "World Robotics - Service Robots." Learn more at ifr.org/worldrobotics/.

Source: IFR

Published March 2022

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