New rotary microstage includes built-in controller
The new M3-RS-U2-4.5-360 Rotary Smart Stage from New Scale Technologies is a miniature positioning module that simplifies the task of embedding high-precision rotary motion into scientific and industrial instruments. The latest addition to the M3 Smart Stage family provides point-to-point angular positioning with closed-loop resolution better than 0.022 degrees. M3 Smart Stages integrate piezoelectric motors, position sensors, and built-in controllers in compact modules that accept direct digital input from a system processor. Learn more.
New high-performance hollow shaft gear unit for heavy-duty applications
Harmonic Drive has released its HPF series of hollow shaft gear units designed for heavy-duty industrial applications. These advanced gear units offer high torque outputs and flexible installation options, and they provide exceptional torque density and positional accuracy. Industrial applications include robotics, packaging, and material handling. Learn more and get all the specs.
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.
Another success! NASA's Webb telescope reaches mirror alignment milestone
This artist's conception of the James Webb Space Telescope in space shows all its major elements fully deployed. The telescope was folded to fit into its launch vehicle, and then was slowly unfolded over the course of two weeks after launch.
[Credits: NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierre]
NASA's $10 billion, 7-ton James Webb Space Telescope, the world's largest and most complex space science telescope, has reached another milestone by completing critical alignment of its 18 hexagonal beryllium mirror segments.
Positioned nearly a million miles from Earth in its permanent orbit around the Sun, the telescope has had an incredible run of extremely difficult -- and flawless -- technical executions. These have included deploying its five-layer, tennis court-size sunshield and unfolding its 21-ft, gold-coated primary mirror made up of 18 segments.
The two wings of Webb's primary mirror had been folded to fit inside the nose cone of an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket prior to launch on Dec. 25, 2021.
The Webb team began remotely unfolding the hexagonal segments of the primary mirror in the first week of January. This was a multi-day process, with the first side deployed Jan. 7 and the second Jan. 8.
For this stage of Webb's mirror alignment, known as "fine phasing," each of the primary mirror segments have been adjusted to produce one unified image of the same star (bottom image) using only the NIRCam instrument. This image of the star uses a red filter to optimize visual contrast. Top is the image of the 18 segments each focused on the same star prior to alignment (the same star shows up in 18 different locations). [Credits: NASA/STScI]
For the mirror alignment, the ground team commanded 126 actuators from Earth on the backsides of the segments to flex each mirror into precise position to within nanometers. On March 11, the Webb team completed the stage of alignment known as "fine phasing." At this key stage in the commissioning of
Webb's Optical Telescope Element, every optical parameter that has been checked and tested is performing at, or above, expectations. Now the 18 mirrors form a single mirror surface.
The team also found no critical issues and no measurable contamination or blockages to Webb's optical path. The observatory is able to successfully gather light from distant objects and deliver it to its instruments without issue.
While some of the largest ground-based telescopes on Earth use segmented primary mirrors, Webb is the first telescope in space to use such a design. The 21-ft, 4-in. primary mirror will now help Webb's primary imager, the Near-Infrared Camera, do its work.
Webb is designed to peer back over 13.5 billion years to capture infrared light from celestial objects, with much higher resolution than ever before, and to study our own solar system as well as distant worlds.
Although there are months to go before Webb ultimately delivers its new view of the cosmos, achieving this milestone means the team is confident that Webb's first-of-its-kind optical system is working as well as possible.
This new "selfie" was created using a specialized pupil imaging lens inside of the NIRCam instrument that was designed to take images of the primary mirror segments instead of images of the sky. This configuration is used strictly for engineering and alignment purposes. In this image, all of Webb's 18 primary mirror segments are shown collecting light from the same star in unison. [Credits: NASA/STScI]
Over the next six weeks, the team will proceed through the remaining alignment steps before final science instrument preparations. The team will further align the telescope to include the Near-Infrared Spectrograph, Mid-Infrared Instrument, and Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph. In this phase of the process, an algorithm will evaluate the performance of each instrument and then calculate the final corrections needed to achieve a well-aligned telescope across all science instruments. Following this, Webb's final alignment step will begin, and the team will adjust any small, residual positioning errors in the mirror segments.
The team is on track to conclude all aspects of Optical Telescope Element alignment by early May, if not sooner, before moving on to approximately two months of science instrument preparations. Webb's first full-resolution imagery and science data will be released in the summer.
Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners at ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.