August 13, 2013 Volume 09 Issue 30

Motion Control News & Products

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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.

Super cool and versatile palletizing gripper: OnRobot 2FGP20

Palletizing just got easier and more affordable with the 2FGP20 from OnRobot, an off-the-shelf electric gripper with a payload of up to 20kg and endless customization possibilities to fit any automation needs. The 2FGP20 is an ideal solution that can be deployed and redeployed for multiple processes and handling different parts.
Learn more about the 2FGP20.
Learn more about palletizing.

New linear stages for increased load, speed, stroke

Discover the enhanced possibilities with Tolomatic's new size TRS 225 twin profile rail stage, offering expanded capabilities for precise and powerful linear motion in a closed-package design. This unit is built from the ground up to be highly rigid and accurate and is now available with strokes up to 86.6 in., travel speeds up to 50 in./sec, and load-carrying capacities up to 4,320 lb. Perfect for your heavy-duty needs.
Learn more.

Are ball splines right for your application?

Thomson Industries says ball splines are making a comeback, because more opportunities for automation bring more axes of motion to machinery, and pre-packaged solutions may not have the flexibility you require. But are ball splines the right choice for your design needs? They have the unique capability of integrating rotary and linear motion on a single shaft.
Read the Thomson technical article.

New stainless steel AC inverter-duty gearmotors meet IP-69K

Bodine Electric Co. has introduced six new type 56R1-50JW/H hollow shaft gearmotors that combine a stainless-steel AC inverter-duty, 230/460 VAC motor with a stainless-steel hollow shaft gearhead. When used with an AC inverter (VFD) control, these gearmotors deliver variable speed and maintenance-free operation over a wide speed range. Ideal for equipment subject to intensive cleaning, such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and permanently wet environments.
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.

Motion systems: Check out THK's new online store!

THK has launched a new online store that is chock full of your motion system needs. Check out their latest offerings for Linear Motion Products (guides, actuators, rails, splines, and rollers), Feed Screw Products (ball and lead screws), Rotation Products (cross roller rings and cam and roller followers), Oscillation Products (link balls, rod ends, spherical bearings), and more. Lubrication Products available too.
See the new THK store.

Advantages of slotless motors over standard stepper motors

According to Lin Engineering, "Slotless motors have gone through innovations in design as well as manufacturing, making them a good choice for specific applications." This article explores the benefits and drawbacks of slotless motors and provides information that may help you decide when to -- and when not to -- select them as a solution.
Read the full article.

Intro to motor constants for fractional horsepower gearmotors

According to motor expert Bodine Electric, "Motor constants are needed to calculate permanent magnet DC (PMDC) or brushless DC (BLDC or EC) motor specifications and ratings, or to match the motor properly to an amplifier." You need the constants to predict the motor's performance with changing variables, such as different input voltages or different loads. This app note explains what the constants are, how they are derived. and how to use them. Very useful.
Read this informative Bodine Electric blog.

New wheel hub gearbox for AGVs and AMRs

Drive your automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) with the GAM GML Wheel Drive Gearbox. GAM's GML Series Wheel Drive Gear Reducer uses planetary gearing for a coaxial system. The motor mounts directly behind the wheel without axle offset for an inline drive from wheel to motor. Features a compact design with short overall length.
Learn more.

New rack-and-pinion LJ linear heads

Oriental Motor USA has released the new LJ Linear Heads for its Rack and Pinion system lineup. The LJ Series features a new linear head with a maximum transportation weight of 200 kg. By attaching it to the parallel shaft gearhead and motor, linear motion such as pushing, pulling, lifting, and lowering is possible. Perfect for high-load and long-stroke applications.
Learn more.

Frost & Sullivan: All-electric aircraft buzz gets louder at the Air Paris Show

The orders pipeline in the aviation industry may be thinner than expected, but innovation is still soaring as showcased by recent achievements and real demonstrations. Novel solutions presented by major industry players at the Air Paris Show in June could allow fuel savings and make some aircraft more environmentally friendly. The buzzword is "electric," with electric systems/engines to be used for faster taxi-outs and more aircraft maneuvers. Are these the first tangible signs of the all-electric aircraft revolution?

"The key attractions at the Air Paris Show were the electric prototypes from big industry players," said Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Analyst Alix Leboulanger. "Safran and Honeywell showed their Electric Green Taxiing System (EGTS) prototype, which could fundamentally change the aircraft taxi-out process by enabling the airplane to go autonomously from the airport gate to the runway without the need to engage the aircraft main engines. Another system intended to make airport areas greener and aircraft more environmentally friendly is the TaxiBot vehicle, jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, Airbus, TLD Group, and LEOS."

Video caption: A prototype of Project Zero, a futuristic all-electric tilt-rotor plane, was shown at the Air Paris Show in June.

If these solutions see wider adoption, they may well pave the way for an all-electric aircraft. There are two main reasons justifying this market move. First, it is said to fundamentally enhance each aircraft availability rate, as systems and engines would be more reliant, and hence with less support required. The second advantage is also financial. With less reliance on fuel, airliners should be less affected by rising oil prices -- and passenger fares could even significantly decrease. Consequently, the promised return of investment may be attractive enough to encourage investments despite the high costs of going all-electric.

"If developments go according to the plan, then the all-electric commercial aviation could take off by 2035-2040," said Leboulanger. "Therefore, it is the right time to start thinking of new electric infrastructures for airports, electric storage areas, new airplane support in service, and power by the hour bespoke deals."

For now, the focus is primarily on replacing aircraft pneumatic and hydraulics systems to make the airplane lighter and faster. Engineers are currently working on how electric drives can provide better efficiency when compared to mechanical transmissions and actuators. Eventually, maintenance costs are projected to decrease as system failures get easier to track and fix.

The final and golden milestone will be a completely electric power system and thrust. "As soon as aircraft propulsion becomes fully electric, (bio) fuels, heat engines, and combustion steel and aluminum will be by-gone memories of the twentieth century," said Leboulanger.

Despite all developments being on-track, recent debates on lithium-ion versus nickel-cadmium batteries give the impression that the 100-percent-electric aircraft is not ready to take off. However, there were some cutting-edge aircraft in the static display area of the Paris Air Show, which already flew earlier this year.

"There is also an essential question to be asked: Will it be an all-electric airplane first, then all-electric helicopter, and finally all-electric UAV -- or will it just be a radical new aircraft type, like Project Zero [Project Zero is a futuristic all-electric tilt-rotor plane]?" asked Leboulanger. "Based on this, the entire development timeframe for aviation to go electric will be revised. With aircraft interiors getting more modular and aircraft more versatile, research and development teams may well take this opportunity to realize an all-in-one change."

Source: Frost & Sullivan

Published August 2013

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