April 21, 2020 Volume 16 Issue 15

Motion Control News & Products

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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.
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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.
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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.


Bottom tapped rails available for quick ship

Bottom tapped rails are useful for mounting from the bottom of a base, as well as when contamination protection is required -- eliminating the need for bolt-hole caps. See the available models from THK, including standard and radial LM guides and standard and radial caged ball. All units are available for quick shipping.
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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.


Army selects top two Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft prototype design performers

The Bell 360 Invictus is one of two final contenders in the U.S. Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program competition.

 

 

The U.S. Army selected two performers executing under Other Transaction Authority for Prototype agreements for the design and testing of the Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototypes to continue into phase two of the program.

The two vendors selected are Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (Fort Worth, TX) and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. (Stratford, CT).

The Army requires an aircraft capable of operating in a complex airspace and degraded environments against peer and near-peer adversaries with an advanced integrated air defense system. The current aviation fleet does not possess a dedicated aircraft to conduct armed reconnaissance, light attack, and security with improved standoff and lethal and non-lethal capabilities from a platform sized to hide in radar clutter and for the urban canyons of mega cities.

"Our focus is on delivering capability for our Soldiers at the speed of relevance," said Gen. John M. Murray, Army Futures Command commanding general. "We're doing that here -- providing opportunities for our industry partners to design, test, and build capability alongside our Soldiers to ensure that we win on a future battlefield."

"The Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft is the Army's number one aviation modernization priority and is integral to effectively penetrate and disintegrate adversaries' Integrated Air Defense Systems," said Dr. Bruce D. Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. "It will enable combatant commanders with greater tactical, operational and strategic capabilities through significantly increased speed, range, endurance, survivability and lethality."

The FARA CP solicitation structured the program into three phases: preliminary design; detailed design, build, and test; and prototype completion assessment and evaluation for entrance into production phase.

In April 2019, five OTAP agreements for the aircraft design, build, and test of FARA were awarded for phase one. The five industry performers were AVX Aircraft Co. partnered with L3Harris, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., The Boeing Company, Karem Aircraft, Inc., and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. (Lockheed Martin). Phase one ended when the government conducted an initial design and risk review assessment with each performer and selected these two performers to continue into phase two.

The project transitions into phase two now, as the two performers will complete detailed design, build, and test of their air vehicle solutions. This phase will end with a government flight test evaluation no later than the fall of 2023.

Bell Textron unveiled its entrant for the U.S. Army's FARA Competitive Prototype program in January 2020. The new rotorcraft, dubbed the Bell 360 Invictus, "combines proven low-risk technologies with advanced processes to deliver soldiers an affordable, agile, and lethal solution to win on the modern battlefield."

The Bell 360 Invictus FARA helicopter.

 

 

The Bell 360 Invictus design emphasizes exceptional performance using proven technologies to fulfill the Army's FARA requirements at an affordable cost and on schedule. One example is the Invictus' rotor system. This design is based on Bell's 525 Relentless rotor system which has been tested and proven at speeds in excess of 200 Knots True Air Speed (KTAS).

Sikorsky debuted its RAIDER X FARA concept copter at the end of 2019. It's a fast-flying, agile, and lethal compound coaxial helicopter that has been specifically designed for securing vertical lift dominance against evolving threats on the future battlefield.

Sikorsky's RAIDER X light-attack copter.

 

 

RAIDER X can reach speeds of more than 250 knots (over 280 mph), almost double the speed of a conventional civilian helicopter, and is capable of flying in excess of 9,000 ft in 95 F heat. It can carry six troops and external weapons, and it aims to redefine helicopter flight during the 21st century.

Based on Sikorsky's Collier Award-winning X2 Technology, RAIDER incorporates the latest advances in fly-by-wire, flight controls, vehicle management systems, and systems integration. It also has retractable landing gear, active vibration control, a composite fuselage, active elevator and rudders, split torque transmission, and a rigid co-axial rotor system. These technologies enable the aircraft to operate at high speeds while maintaining the low-speed handling and maneuverability of conventional, single main-rotor helicopters.

Sources: U.S. Army, Bell Textron, Sikorsky

Published April 2020

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