Features

Servo Drive Module

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has announced the NI 9505, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based, H-bridge servo drive module for the NI CompactRIO embedded platform. The module offers direct connectivity to actuators such as fractional-horsepower brushed DC servo motors, relays, solenoids, lamps, and valves. A continuous current of up to 8 A at 40°C (or 2 A at 70°C) can be delivered, with a peak current of 12 A at 30 V, it can be used with NI's LabVIEW graphical system design platform to create intelligent control systems.

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Motor Controller

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) offers the SQ-2300 series benchtop motor controller for computer control of the company's SQUIGGLE motors and closed-loop linear nanopositioning stages. Using the controller, SQUIGGLE motor speed can vary continuously from micrometers per second to millimeters per second with better than 20-nanometer position resolution. Multiple controllers can be connected to one PC and driven simultaneously from a single screen, enabling multi-axis set and hold positioning. The unit comes with an ActiveX command library and USB connection, and can also be controlled by an analog input (0 to 3.3 volt) or optional manual handset.

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Anti-Backlash Nut

Haydon Switch & Instrument (Waterbury, CT) has released the “W” series of anti-backlash nuts, designed to minimize backlash between the leadscrew and nut interface. A blend of self-lubricating polyacetal and stainless steel screw material compensates for wear to avoid lock-ups. Available in a range of diameters and leads for applications requiring precise positioning, the nuts provide long operational life and a system that augments system stiffness while reducing drag torque. It can be used as a standalone product.

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Distance Measurement

The Acam-Messelectronic TDC-GPX chip from Transducers Direct (Miamiville, OH), allows distance measuring of ±1 mm rms to a range of 1,500 meters. The chip has four selectable operating modes: I-mode provides eight LVTTL input channels, a resolution of 81 picoseconds (ps), infinite measurement range, and 5.5 nanosecond (ns) pulse-pair resolution. G-mode has a 40-ps resolution, a measurement range of 65 μsec, and a minimum pulse-width measurement of 1.5 ns. In R mode, the resolution is 27 ps, the measurement range is 40 μsec, and the pulse-pair resolution is 5.5 ns. In M-mode, the resolution is 10 ps rms with a peak-to-peak of 10 ps, and a measurement range of 10 μsec. Power consumption ranges from 39 to 45 mA. Applications include navigation systems, speed measurement devices, frequency and phase measurement, and medical imaging systems.

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Multi-Axis Motion Control

Elmo Motion Control (Westford, MA) has unveiled its Maestro Multi-Axis Supervisor with firmware for support of the DS305 configuration protocol, DS401 CAN network IO integration protocol, and the DS402 motion control protocol. The Maestro is based on distributed motion control architecture and is now also integrated with CAN network IOs according to the DS401 protocol. The system is a network-based multi-axis motion controller, which operates in conjunction with intelligent servo drives. It operates as an Ethernet-CAN gateway as well as a full motion controller, and has two CAN ports; each port can handle up to 64 axes. Other ports allow it to handle up to 16 digital inputs, 16 digital outputs, and four analog inputs.

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Stepper Motor Controller

Nippon Pulse America (Radford, VA) has released the RoHS-compliant Motion Checker MCH-5, a palm-sized, standalone stepper motor controller with a built-in constant voltage driver. Front panel controls enable setting of rotation direction, speed control, position control, operation mode, stop time of the stepper motor, and homing operation. Motion profiles can be run indefinitely or for a set number of times. It allows connection to other external driving circuits enabled by pulse/direction output signals and to connect to external inputs. The built-in driver is intended for tin-can stepper motors. It is available in a bipolar or unipolor driver configurations.

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Pneumatic Actuator

PHD (Fort Wayne, IN) has introduced the Series PLM pin locating clamp, a pneumatically powered actuator to locate, clamp, and support parts in welding applications. To protect against slag and other contaminants, the clamp is fully enclosed. A built-in locking mechanism fixes the pin in any position to secure parts if air pressure is removed. A manual part release is standard. Part support height adjusts with NAAMS™ shims. Position sensing provides open or closed sensing with industry standard AC or DC weld field immune switches mounted in a protected housing for consistent position sensing. Pin sizes are available in 13, 16, 20, and 25 mm.

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