Features

Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators

Hydraulics are rugged and deliver a low cost per unit of force, but electric rod actuators have attained higher force capacities while becoming more flexible, precise, and reliable.Advances in motion control technology have prompted a new debate — do hydraulic cylinders or electric linear actuators offer the best solution for a linear motion application? Hydraulic cylinders provide high force at an affordable cost. Hydraulics are rugged, relatively simple to deploy, and deliver a low cost per unit of force. However, electric rod actuators (electric cylinders), particularly those with roller screws, have attained increasingly higher force capacities while becoming more flexible, precise, and reliable.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Low-Outgassing Labels Identify Instruments on the International Space Station

CILS 8900OG low-outgassing printable labels Computer Imprintable Label Systems (CILS)Burlington, MA877-512-8763www.cils-international.com

Posted in: Application Briefs, Instrumentation, Identification, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft

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Cooling Solution Helps NASA Get Closer to Mars

Cold conditioning systemAggrekoHouston, TX281-985-8200www.aggreko.com

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Research and development, Cooling, Spacecraft

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Optical Fiber for NASA's Next Climate-Viewing Satellite

Polymicro Technologies™ optical fiberMolexLisle, IL1-800-78MOLEXwww.molex.com

Posted in: Application Briefs, Fiber Optics, Optics, Fiber optics, Weather and climate, Polymers, Satellites

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Custom Brakes Meet the Challenges of Gearless Motor Elevators

Standard braking systems could not meet the difficult speed, energy, and dynamic torque constraints.A manufacturer of low and high-rise elevators faced a challenge when customers began calling for a flexible elevator to meet the needs of the growing mid-rise, mixed-use building market. The global construction boom of mid-rise buildings can be attributed to several factors. Developers are more apt to build “short” because it requires less capital and the time to get permits approved is reduced considerably, especially in developing countries.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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New Products: April 2017 Motion Design

Variable Frequency DrivesThrough a new partnership, variable frequency drives (VFDs) from American Control Electronics (South Beloit, IL) will now be offered as a product add-on to Brother Gearmotors’ portfolio of sub-fractional AC gearmotors and reducers. OEMs have access to an optimized VFD for the Brother sub-fractional power range instead of purchasing an offthe- shelf VFD that may not be the best fit for the application. For example, a user buying a sub-fractional HP (1/100th to 1/6th HP) gear motor will not have to choose an off-the-shelf VFD rated for 1/4 HP. ACE’s microprocessor-based VFDs control AC motor speed and torque by varying input frequency and voltage.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Darmindra Arumugam, Senior Research Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

In outdoor locations, firefighters and emergency responders can use GPS technology to track one another. Indoor environments like high-rises and steel-reinforced structures, however, frequently block radio signals. With the development of POINTER (Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders), Darmindra Arumugam has addressed the sensing challenge, and provided a potentially game-changing tool for search and rescue teams.

Posted in: Who's Who, Communications

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