Features

Axis Motion Software

National Instruments (Austin, TX) released NI Motion Assistant 2.0 interactive software for prototyping single- and multi-axis motion control systems. Motion profiles from CAD and drafting programs can be imported using a DXF file format, and the software facilitates the implementation of profiles in NI CompactRIO programmable automation controllers or generation of code for PCI/PXI plug-in motion controllers. After saving a motion profile as a DXF file in a CAD or drafting program, the software can be used to import the profile and save motion-specific commands in an XML file format without writing additional code. Also featured is smart contouring and a graphical, point-and-click interface with 3D visualization capabilities for creating motion control applications using stepper, servo, and piezo actuators.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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DC Gear Motors

Nidec Copal USA Corp (Torrance, CA) offers the MG16 series of sub-miniature brush DC motors with high torque planetary boxes. The 8-model series is RoHS compliant and measures 16 mm. Available gear ratios include 60:1, 120:1, 240:1, and 500:1 with two excitation voltage levels of 6 VDC and 12 VDC. Performance ranges from 4.86 oz-in rated torque at 164 rpm and 22.6 oz-in starting torque for the 6-volt model with a 60:1 ratio, to 28 oz-in rated torque at 21 rpm and 146 oz-in started torque for the 12-volt model with a 500:1 ratio. Maximum gear motor weight for the 500:1 gear ratio is 1.24 oz. All models can operate from 0°C to 50°C ambient temperature range. Options include an encoder.

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Glass Molding Makes High-Quality Aspheres Cost Effective

High-resolution digital imaging, low-light-level biomedical devices, and automotive sensing are just a few of today’s hot technologies demanding both low-cost and high-performance optical systems. Critical in this effort is the mid- and high-volume requirement for aspheric optical components. Unfortunately, CNC polishing methods are expensive and take too long to produce each component, which has pushed precision glass molding to the front of asphere manufacturing technologies.

Posted in: Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Articles

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New Metals, Optics, Tools, and Processes Focus on Satellite Imaging

Lightweight, aspheric, reflective optical designs commonly are designed and built for demanding space-based remote sensing, targeting systems, and aerial reconnaissance. Traditional designs utilizing low expansion optical glasses steadily are giving way to metals such as aluminum, beryllium, and AlBeMet, and ceramics such as silicon carbide. These materials can be produced in extremely lightweight, yet robust and athermalized, designs by virtue of their superior tensile strength, fracture toughness, and the ability to compose support structures and mirrors from identical materials.

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Product of the Month: CCD Color Camera

Toshiba Imaging Systems Division (Irvine, CA) offers the IK-TF9C three-chip, color CCD camera with a 2048 × 1536 pixel output resolution. It offers a full frame rate of 20 fps and a partial scan rate of 40 fps. The camera’s proprietary scan technology eliminates image-jitter for high-speed industrial machine vision applications.

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Fiber Laser Control Kit

Nutfield Technology (Windham, NH) offers a fiber laser and scan-head control kit that contains software, electronic control, X/Y scanning, scan lens, power, and cables. Included in the kit is the PipeLine laser/scanner control rack with WaveRunner laser/scanner control software, a SurfBoard USB control card with power supply, and an IPG Laser control/protection board. PipeLine is mounted in a 1U 19" rack with breakout connections. The kit also includes an XLR8 2-axis packaged scan head that features a fiber laser collimator mounting bracket with an optional electromechanical safety shutter. Applications include marking, engraving, and cutting.

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Xenon Flash Lamp

The SIL 500 Joule multi-headed Xenon flash lamp from Specialised Imaging Ltd. (Tring, Herts., UK) is for use with ultra-fast cameras that have short recording times. When using high-speed cameras to fast record transient phenomena, very short exposure times are necessary to arrest image motion — typically a few nanoseconds. The flash lamps create high-intensity illumination for short periods of time (2 mSec) that can be controlled and synchronized to match the time frame of an event being recorded by an ultra-high-speed camera.

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