Features

Pneumatic Valve

I&J Fisnar (Fair Lawn, NJ) has released the VMP30H multipurpose mini-poppet pneumatic valve designed for controlled dispensing of low to high viscosity materials such as silicone, epoxy, rubber adhesives, and greases. The poppet design minimizes surface area and friction between the valve and the material. A diaphragm located between the driving parts and the wetted parts increases valve life. Shot sizes may be fine-tuned by turning the control knob at the top of the valve. The valve features a “suck-back” effect, where material is drawn back into the fluid body at the end of the dispensing cycle.

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Positioning System

The WCS2A/WCS3A PosiTrak™ Position Tracking System from Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) consists of a U-shaped read head, a code rail and support hardware, and network and control interfaces. The read head optically scans a coded rail to determine a carrier mechanism's position. An internal microprocessor translates a 48 sender/receiver LED array status into a 19-bit code, providing 0.8-mm positional resolution over travel distances to 1,070 feet. Read heads require no calibration. The code rail is available in fiber-laminate or stainless steel, and provides a unique positional code every 0.8 mm of read head travel. Both are sold in customer-specified lengths. All rail types can be horizontally curved; fiber-laminate rails can be flexed for vertical bends. Control interfaces are available to convert R5-485 signals to most standard network protocols.

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Motor & Driver Package

The CRK series from Oriental Motor USA Corp (Torrance, CA) combines a five-phase stepping motor with a compact, low-vibration microstepping driver. In microstep operating mode, the driver provides 25 preset angle selections up to a capability of 250 microsteps per full step. The basic angle can be adjusted to match a two-phase stepping motor's step angle. The series is available in four frame sizes: 20 mm, 28 mm, 42 mm, and 60 mm. Motors are available with step motor holding torques ranging from 3.2 oz-in to 230 oz-in.

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Translation/Rotation Stage

PI L.P. (Auburn, MA) has released the M-110 series translation stages that provide linear motion of 5, 15, and 25 mm. Available are X, XY, and XYZ systems, which can be combined with the M-116 miniature rotary stage. The systems can be equipped with high-speed piezo drives. Features include 50-nm true minimum incremental motion, choice of lead screw drives and ball screw drives, and integrated Hall effect limit and reference switches. A choice of closed-loop DC motors and stepper motors is available. The encoder on the DC servo motor version features 0.007 micrometer resolutions per count. One- to four-axis systems are available.

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Ball Bearings

MRC Bearings Services (Kulpsville, PA) offers the R Series inch-sized stainless ball bearings for small shaft diameters. The single-row, deep-groove radial conrad-type bearings carry radial and thrust loads in either direction at high speeds. Bore sizes range from 1/8 to 1 ½", and open, shielded, and sealed bearings are available. Basic radial dynamic load ratings range from 70 lbf to 3,780 lbf and basic radial static load ratings range from 27 lbf to 2,650 lbf, depending on type. The bearings are supplied with pressed steel cages. Two-piece riveted machined phenolic or bronze cages are available.

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Motorized Stages

Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) has added patent-pending Intelligent Scanning Technology (IST) to its Prior ProScan™ II H101A, H107, and H117, 4 × 3" scanning stages. IST allows each stage to be pre-programmed with a unique set of operating characteristics to that particular stage. The technology also allows the controller to periodically interrogate the stage and make adjustments to maintain orthogonality and metric accuracy.

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Distributed Intelligence Drives High-Energy Laser Manufacturing

Historically, high-energy (Joule-class) nanosecond YAG lasers have been confined primarily to laboratory research facilities and government labs. System designs were unique for each facility and the low number of systems worldwide made the learning curve for system improvement slow. It is only in recent years that the maturity of the technology has reached a state that makes it possible to consider these lasers for industrial applications.

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