July 28, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 28

Motion Control News & Products

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New AC hypoid inverter-duty gearmotors

Bodine Electric Company introduces 12 new AC inverter-duty hypoid hollow shaft gearmotors. These type 42R-25H2 and 42R-30H3 drives combine an all-new AC inverter-duty, 230/460-VAC motor with two hypoid gearheads. When used with an AC inverter (VFD) control, these units deliver maintenance-free and reliable high-torque output. They are ideal for conveyors, gates, packaging, and other industrial automation equipment that demands both high torque and low power consumption from the driving gearmotor.
Learn more.

Next-gen warehouse automation: Siemens, Universal Robots, and Zivid partner up

Universal Robots, Siemens, and Zivid have created a new solution combining UR's cobot arms with Siemens' SIMATIC Robot Pick AI software and Zivid's 3D sensors to create a deep-learning picking solution for warehouse automation and intra-logistics fulfillment. It works regardless of object shape, size, opacity, or transparency and is a significant leap in solving the complex challenges faced by the logistics and e-commerce sectors.
Read the full article.

Innovative DuoDrive gear and motor unit is UL/CSA certified

The DuoDrive integrated gear unit and motor from NORD DRIVE-SYSTEMS is a compact, high-efficiency solution engineered for users in the fields of intralogistics, pharmaceutical, and the food and beverage industries. This drive combines a IE5+ synchronous motor and single-stage helical gear unit into one compact housing with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. It has a system efficiency up to 92% and is available in two case sizes with a power range of 0.5 to 4.0 hp.
Learn more.

BLDC flat motor with high output torque and speed reduction

Portescap's 60ECF brushless DC slotted flat motor is the newest frame size to join its flat motor portfolio. This 60-mm BLDC motor features a 38.2-mm body length and an outer-rotor slotted configuration with an open-body design, allowing it to deliver improved heat management in a compact package. Combined with Portescap gearheads, it delivers extremely high output torque and speed reduction. Available in both sensored and sensorless options. A great choice for applications such as electric grippers and exoskeletons, eVTOLs, and surgical robots.
Learn more and view all the specs.

Application story: Complete gearbox and coupling assembly for actuator system

Learn how GAM engineers not only sized and selected the appropriate gear reducers and couplings required to drive two ball screws in unison using a single motor, but how they also designed the mounting adapters necessary to complete the system. One-stop shopping eliminated unnecessary components and resulted in a 15% reduction in system cost.
Read this informative GAM blog.

Next-gen motor for pump and fan applications

The next evolution of the award-winning Aircore EC motor from Infinitum is a high-efficiency system designed to power commercial and industrial applications such as HVAC fans, pumps, and data centers with less energy consumption, reduced emissions, and reduced waste. It features an integrated variable frequency drive and delivers upward of 93% system efficiency, as well as class-leading power and torque density in a low-footprint package that is 20% lighter than the previous version. Four sizes available.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.

Nanosatellites being tested to communicate with U.S. Soldiers

By David Vergun, U.S. Army

Tiny Army satellites may someday provide Soldiers with voice, data, and even visual communications in remote areas, which lack such communications.

Already some of that technology has been successfully tested, said Dr. Travis Taylor.

Taylor is the senior scientist for Space Division, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command - Tech Center, or SMDC, at Redstone Arsenal, AL. He spoke during Lab Day at the Pentagon, May 14, 2015.

The main goal of the SMDC-ONE nanosatellite tests is to demonstrate voice and data communications through a low-Earth orbit satellite using military standard radios. During its first test 185 miles up, ground stations in Huntsville, AL, and Colorado Springs, CO, sent messages back and forth via the satellite, demonstrating beyond-line-of-sight and over-the-horizon communications between stations over 1,000 miles apart. [Photo Credit: U.S. Army]





Voice, data
In many remote areas where Soldiers operate today, Army radio over-the-horizon communication from the field to higher headquarters like the brigade is nonexistent, Taylor said.

To address this gap in coverage, Army scientists and researchers built the SMDC-ONE nanosatellite, he said, the ONE standing for Orbital Nanosatellite Effect. "It's basically a cellphone tower in space, except it's not for cellphones, it's for Army radios," Taylor said.

The 13-in.-long, 10-lb SMDC-ONE satellite is currently a technology demonstration, he said, adding that one has been successfully tested. It's up in space right now communicating. Three more are scheduled to go up this year, and an undetermined number will go up next year as well.

"Hopefully, we're at a point in the process where the technology is proven and they're wanted, perhaps three to five years" from now, Taylor said.

"If we put five to 12 of these small satellites in orbit, it will cover most areas Soldiers are operating, providing them real-time, all-the-time" communications, he said. Once we've proven it can be done, it will be time to start to deploy a "real constellation" of them that the warfighters can use.

SMDC-ONE is the first Army-developed satellite launched in more than 50 years.

What if a Soldier not only wants to communicate, but wants to see if there's a threat or something of interest over the next hill or the other side of a city? Taylor asked rhetorically.

The answer is an imaging satellite, which is several times larger than SMDC-ONE, but still considered nano, he said. This satellite, which is still unnamed, will be given a space test-flight in February 2016, launched from the International Space Station.

The imaging satellite will produce a ground resolution of 2 to 3 meters, he said. That's high enough resolution to inform a Soldier if he's looking at a tank or a truck. Or, if there's smoke in an urban area, the Soldier will be able to tell which building it's coming from. "This is capability the Army doesn't have right now."

Once the technology is successfully demonstrated, the next step will be to establish the process for how it works and provide training to the Soldiers.

"The first step is proving we can collect [the data] and the next step is disseminating it," he explained. For example, a squad leader might need to ask brigade for an image over the next hill. Someone at brigade would need to prioritize that request, because the satellite can only process one image at a time, usually in about a minute.

Then, the data from that image or even the image itself would need to be pushed out to the Soldier on the ground, he said. The details are still fuzzy about how all of that would work, so the focus for now is getting through the demonstration phase.

How it's put in space
The technology is already proven, Taylor said. The biggest challenge is getting the satellites hitched on a ride into space, where they'd be in low-Earth orbit. Most are launched now by piggybacking them as part of a larger payload of a spaceship.

One problem is, you can't put rocket motors on these to change their orbits, because it's considered too dangerous for the mothership and the other payloads, he said, meaning it could inadvertently explode. So, when the mothership drops off its payloads, the Army satellite might not be in an optimal position in space since the mothership can't zigzag around dropping off each payload in different places where their optimal orbits are located.

"So we developed a clever way around that," Taylor said, holding up a plastic container about the size and shape of a fancy pill bottle.

"This is an actual rocket motor, made from a plastic printer," he said. "Inside is liquid nitric oxide and a sparker -- just like a barbeque lighter inside -- so the nitric oxide combusts with the plastic" when the sparker is fired. "That's your rocket fuel. Then you have a very good rocket motor."

Once the rocket motor puts the satellite in correct orbit, the satellite still needs to orient its solar panel array so it's continuously tracking the sun and collecting energy, he said.

Dr. Travis Taylor, senior scientist for Space Division, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command - Tech Center is shown holding a plastic liquid nitric oxide container, which propels the satellite into low-Earth orbit after it leaves the mothership. Behind him is the imagery satellite, and to the right is the smaller data and voice satellite. [Photo Credit: David Vergun]





To do that, the satellite contains three wheels spinning in the x, y, and z axis called momentum wheels, he explained. They act like gyros and can be programmed by speeding or slowing each one to adjust the orbit or orientation of the spacecraft. There are also magnetic torque rods in the satellite that interact with the magnetic field of the Earth to help align it.

Once in space, the satellites are not completely immune from damage, Taylor said. Besides space debris, there's solar flares and coronal mass ejections that could penetrate the satellite's shielding. "But we do everything we can to harden and ruggedize them."

These satellites are very inexpensive, he said, adding the biggest cost is the launch.

Taylor concluded: "It's exciting to work with spacecraft that can actually help warfighters in the field of the future. We've had many would-be users tell us that if they had this, they'd use it tomorrow, so I think the odds are good this will be something we see in the future."

Published July 2015

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