September 22, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 36

Motion Control News & Products

Designfax weekly eMagazine

Subscribe Today!
image of Designfax newsletter


View Archives


Manufacturing Center
Product Spotlight

Modern Applications News
Metalworking Ideas For
Today's Job Shops

Tooling and Production
Strategies for large
metalworking plants

Unlock cost savings: Revolutionary GAM GPL Gearbox

The GPL planetary gearbox, when paired with your preferred servo motor, delivers a solution that can match the fit and performance of direct drive motors while offering significant cost savings. With <6 arcsec backlash, GAM says this gearbox outperforms all other zero-backlash gearboxes on the market, making it the ideal choice for your applications. Discover how one company realized significant savings by replacing multiple direct drive motors with the GPL gearbox in a modular housing.
Read the GAM application story.

Bosch Rexroth new linear motor modules

Fast, compact, and precise. These properties characterize the new linear motor modules (LMM) with integrated screw-free direct drive from Bosch Rexroth. The axes are available in sizes 140, 180, and 220 mm and feature a zero-backlash direct drive. They complement the existing linear motion technology portfolio as a ready-to-install solution offering excellent value for money. The linear motor modules are available in all sizes with iron-core linear motors. Standard strokes are up to 1,540 mm and forces up to 2,400 N.
Learn all the specs and options.

OnRobot doubles payload capacity of its grippers

OnRobot's new 2FG14 and 3FG25 electrical grippers for heavy-duty, collaborative applications are now launching along with the new machine tending solution AutoPilot powered by D:PLOY, developed in collaboration with Ellison Technologies. The new three-fingered 3FG25 gripper provides users with 25 kg (55.1 lb) of payload power in a compact, all-electric, lightweight form, unlocking the potential of the latest cobots. Ideal for CNC machine tending, the 2FG14 is a lightweight parallel-finger gripper with a payload of 14 kg (30.8 lb). It doubles the payload and gripping force of OnRobot's popular 2FG7 gripper while also providing 30% more total stroke.
Learn more.

Linear guide system corrects misalignments

Bishop-Wisecarver's UtiliTrak® linear guide system includes vee rails for precision and open rails for misalignment float to provide smooth and accurate motion on inaccurate structures. Because precise parallelism is difficult to achieve, it is not uncommon for mounting surfaces to be slightly out of parallel. UtiliTrak's design compensates for mounting errors and does not require absolute parallelism for accurate operation. Genius.
Learn more.

Universal Robots emerges as preferred robotics platform for AI solutions at Automate 2024

At North America's largest automation show (Chicago, May 6-9), cobot pioneer Universal Robots will redefine the frontiers of physical AI, showcasing how the "ChatGPT moment for robots" has arrived in a wide range of applications. Automate attendees will also experience how Universal Robots' newest cobot models, the UR20 and UR30, automate tasks with increased payload, reach, and torque.
Learn more.

Multi-stage mini vacuum pumps: Max performance

Designed to meet the demanding needs of industrial users, the CMS M series mini vacuum pump from COVAL combines robustness, performance, and modularity, offering an optimum solution for applications requiring high suction flow rates, such as gripping porous parts, emptying tanks, or material handling when integrated into vacuum grippers. Thanks to their ultra-compact design and optimized multi-stage Venturi system, these pumps guarantee powerful suction flows up to 19.42 SCFM, while reducing compressed air consumption in a compact footprint.
Learn more.

Choosing a stepper motor: PM or hybrid?

Lin Engineering stepper motors are widely used in various applications that require precise control of motion, such as in robotics, 3D printing, CNC machines, and medical equipment. There are two main types of stepper motors: permanent magnet (PM) and hybrid. Learn the differences, advantages, and when to use one type or the other.
Read this informative Lin Engineering article.

Top Product: Integrated servo system is 20% smaller than standalone unit

Applied Motion Products has introduced the MDX+ series, a family of low-voltage servo systems that integrate a servo drive, motor, and encoder into one package. This all-in-one drive unit is an ideal solution for manufacturers in logistics, AGV, medical, semiconductor, the solar industries, and many others.
Read the full article.

Overhung load adaptors provide load support and contamination protection

Overhung load adaptors (OHLA) provide both overhung radial and axial load support to protect electrified mobile equipment motors from heavy application loads, extending the lifetime of the motor and alleviating the cost of downtime both from maintenance costs and loss of production. They seal out dirt, grime, and other contaminants too. Zero-Max OHLAs are available in an extensive offering of standard models (including Extra-Duty options) for typical applications or customized designs.
Learn more.

Why choose electric for linear actuators?

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.
Get this informative e-book. (No registration required)

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.

Plasma research aims to make airplane flight safer

By Jill Goetz, College of Engineering, University of Arizona

Plasma has generated excitement among aerodynamics researchers for its effects on air flow and its potential for building more agile and fuel-efficient flying machines, ranging from planes, helicopters, and drones to rockets and satellites.

Now a rising star in aerodynamics at the University of Arizona College of Engineering is putting plasma's promise to the test.

Assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering Jesse Little received a $245,000 grant in June from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, or DURIP, for a project titled "Interaction of Three-Dimensional Unsteady Flows With Aerodynamic Surfaces." DURIP is a collaboration of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force research divisions.

The grant augments Little's ongoing plasma aerodynamics work funded with a 2014 Army Research Office Young Investigator Program Award. Little received an earlier YIP Award in 2012 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

"These awards are evidence of Jesse's significant contributions to this important research focus," said Jeff Jacobs, head of UA aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Aerospace engineering student researcher Ken Decker adjusts a flow-control manifold in the UA College of Engineering's wind-tunnel facility.



Controlling chaos
Little directs the UA Turbulence and Flow Control Laboratory, where he studies what causes turbulence, how it behaves, and how it can be controlled. Turbulent flow is inherently chaotic -- think of water crashing at the bottom of a waterfall -- and filled with vortices and eddies that scientists are only just beginning to understand.

"As more airplanes, helicopters, and drones fly at lower altitude and in urban areas -- where air tends to be more unsteady than, say, at 40,000 feet -- it becomes even more important to understand turbulent air flows and how they interact with solid surfaces," Little said.

Little is one of many researchers around the globe using active flow control, a technology pioneered by UA aerospace and mechanical engineering professor Israel Wygnanski, who, with engineers from Caltech, Boeing, and NASA, designed a smaller, lighter airplane tail using sweeping-jet actuators that emit tiny bursts of air to disrupt and control air flow. [Read more about this project in Designfax here.

Little's actuators use high voltage to ionize air, producing plasma. Plasma, or ionized gas, is believed to be the most abundant state of matter in the universe. It produces thermal energy for some of nature's most spectacular displays: lightning and stars, for example, which can exceed 50,000 deg F.

The thermal energy from a plasma discharge can interrupt and control air flows to an extraordinary degree -- and even dissipate shock waves, which has prompted aerodynamics researchers to write of "plasma magic" in their papers.

In one example of turbulence, air flows can separate from a surface. This puts considerable drag on an airborne object and reduces its lift. Plasma's thermal bursts can reattach these separated flows at the precise spot they originated. This means plasma can reduce drag on an aircraft and prevent it from stalling.

Little and students working in his lab use power generators to ionize air particles that are exposed to strips of copper tape. The copper strips act as electrodes, conducting high-voltage electricity to actuate the plasma floating above them.

Actuators in hand, the researchers climb into the aerospace and mechanical engineering department's subsonic wind tunnel to attach them along with strips of dielectric, or insulating, tape at precise locations on the airfoil, a cross-section of a wing.

Back outside, with the press of a button, they turn on the actuators, which emit nanosecond pulses of plasma over the airfoil's surface. The team takes precise measurements and conducts computer analyses of how these plasma "hot spots" affect air flow at specific locations on the airfoil, particularly the leading edge.

Cleaner technologies
Little's findings will help engineers design plasma actuators that can be attached, perhaps in sheets, to an airplane wing or helicopter rotor blade. These lightweight electronic flow-control devices could shrink or even replace much heavier airplane control surfaces, such as wing flaps and tails, reducing the plane's weight and enabling it to fly farther on less fuel. The plasma actuators also have potential to revolutionize aspects of wind-tunnel testing, allowing researchers to perform experiments currently limited to expensive flight tests.

Plasma actuators could improve efficiency inside planes too.

"Industry faces ever greater pressure to improve combustion efficiency, reduce pollutant emissions, and make ignition and combustion processes more reliable," Little said. "We know that plasma discharges can enhance fuel-air reactivity and reduce exhaust. Plasma actuators could lead to much cleaner engines, not just in aviation, but in many industries."

A high school intern and undergraduate student -- funded by 2015 Army Research Office apprenticeship grants -- and an Army captain pursuing his master's degree are among the students working on the project with Little.

"I have wanted to be an aerospace engineer since I was in the fourth grade," said Zachary Wellington, who graduated from Sonoran Science Academy in May and is starting his first year as a UA engineering student.

For Timothy Ashcraft, a helicopter pilot whose military honors include the Bronze Star, the project hits close to home.

In August 2010, Ashcraft was co-piloting an Apache helicopter in Afghanistan when it was shot down. Both pilots survived.

Ashcraft is pursuing his UA master's degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering with funding from the Army. After he graduates, he will teach engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he received his bachelor's degree in 2007.

"I survived for two reasons," he said. "The exceptional skill of the pilot in command, and the engineers who built and designed the aircraft to withstand severe battle damage.

"I hope I can give back to the field of aerospace engineering, because it literally saved my life."

Published September 2015

Rate this article

[Plasma research aims to make airplane flight safer]

Very interesting, with information I can use
Interesting, with information I may use
Interesting, but not applicable to my operation
Not interesting or inaccurate

E-mail Address (required):


Type the number:

Copyright © 2015 by Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction Prohibited.
View our terms of use and privacy policy