Features

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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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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