Features

Electric Motors vs. Fluid Power: Robotic System Designers Have a Choice

Robotic system designers should choose the right power source for the job. Often, electric motors are chosen without thinking about the benefits of hydraulics or pneumatics. For applications where precise control of large forces and smooth motion are required, or applications that require “forgiveness” in the motion, fluid power can deliver significant benefits compared to electromechanical motion.

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Lead Screws Used in Diamond Analyzer

Traditionally, once they are shaped, but before they are mounted, diamonds are rated by the “4 Cs” — clarity, color, carat, and cut. Modern gemology, however, grades finished diamonds by a more accurate standard: light performance. The quality of how a diamond innately captures and “plays” with light separates a superior gemstone from a flawed one. Supporting 10 million people and recording a profit of $1,010 billion in 2006, but facing a global supply crunch and competition from gem-quality synthetic diamonds, the diamond industry must get superior stones on the market quickly and reliably. For quality assurance, many firms have turned to the BrillianceScope™ Analyzer from GemEx (Mequon, WI) to measure the light performance of finished diamonds in a comparative test against some of the industry’s highest-rated stones. GemEx utilized the RGS™ Rapid Guide Screws from Kerk Motion Products (Hollis, NH) to maintain the precision of the BrillianceScope’s testing mechanism.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Scales Work as Part of Thermonuclear Ignition Target Assembly

Scheduled for completion in 2009, the National Ignition Facility Project (NIF), part of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, Livermore, CA), is a component of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Stockpile Stewardship Program, whose mission is to maintain the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear stockpile without underground nuclear testing, banned since 1992. To continue research into thermonuclear ignition, NIF began the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program for high-energy density physics. To this end, NIF constructed a complex system of lasers ending in a chamber ten meters in diameter to house tiny fuel capsules called “targets” that are subjected to a high-energy pulse, setting off a small thermonuclear burst. The target assembly machine, part of NIF’s thermonuclear testing system, is custom built by ABTech (Swanzey, NH), using the LIP 481R linear scales from HEIDENHAIN Corp. (Schaumburg, IL).

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Linear-Type Stepper Motor

Nippon Pulse America (Radford, VA) released the Captive LINEARSTEP Series Linear-Type Stepper Motor, a RoHS-compliant, linear-type stepper motor with a one-piece captive shaft. The linear shaft movement is guideless, and an anti-rotation cap allows the shaft to actuate without external influence. Linear motion is produced in a rotary-size package with outside dimensions of 25 mm and 35 mm, with a 30-mm stroke. Shaft travel in resolutions from 0.010 to 0.05 mm per step can give 5 kg of force. The unit features ball bearing shaft supports and a welded motor case. Custom stroke lengths are available.

Posted in: Products, Products

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Ring Tachometer

Madison Electric Products (Mentor, OH) offers the C-face ring tachometer that monitors motor shaft RPM when using NEMA C-face, metric flanged, or faced motors. The device is designed with a dual C-face mount to fit between the motor and gearbox, break, or clutch, and has a slim-line profile. Features include single and quadrature models, differential line driver outputs, a drop-in sensor, and safe barriers.

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Planetary Gearheads

Boston Gear (Quincy, MA) released Helical Planetary Precision Gearheads for direct attachment to servo and stepper motors. All exposed gearhead parts are composed of stainless steel. Housings are available in anodized aluminum (for standard applications) and epoxy-coated (for wet and washdown applications). The device provides high output torque, quiet operation, and reduced backlash. A 5-year “tip-to-tip” warranty covers seals, bearings, and all elements for the gearhead.

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Multiple Position Slide

From PHD (Fort Wayne, IN), the Series SMF Multiple Position Slide allows for a switch to be mounted at any point along the slide’s travel. Multiple intermediate stopping positions are available, and a stainless steel band and saddle seal protect the bearing system from contaminants. Optional adjustable cushions augment control of slide deceleration with optional travel adjustment. Cap-mounted and saddle shock absorbers are also optional.

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