Motion Control

Hybrid Stepper Advancements Improve Medical Pump Performance

Designers of medical pumps often have to deal with the challenge of implementing precise, yet low-cost motion control. For most medical pumps, there are three basic technology alternatives for implementing such electronic motion control: permanent magnet brush DC motors, brushless DC motors, or step motors. Step motors (sometimes called stepping motors, stepper motors, or simply steppers) are a solid choice for position or speed control. Steppers are inherently digital — a pulse applied to the drive electronics results in a shaft movement of one step. They are commonly used “open loop,” meaning without feedback, due to their ability to achieve the desired number of steps every time (if sized properly). The number of incoming pulses and the rate at which they are fed can be used to implement very precise, yet very simple motion (position, speed, and acceleration) control. As long as the speeds required are not too high (less than 3000 RPM, typically), steppers often offer a far simpler, lower-cost, and maintenance- free alternative.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Gait Analysis Based on Inertial and Magnetic Sensors

Motion analysis often is based on stereophotogrammetry, which estimates the three-dimensional coordinates of points on an object by measurements made in two or more photographic images taken from different positions. While it provides very useful and detailed information about walking, the technique’s full capability of quantitative analysis of movement often is not used.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Mini Cylinder

Intelligent Actuator – IAI America (Torrance, CA) offers the RCD Mini Cylinder that is designed to replace compact air cylinders used for short-stroke travel, pressing, and hoisting. It features a crosssection of 12 mm, with a body length as short as 60 mm. The cylinder incorporates a brushless DC motor, and provides maximum acceleration/ deceleration of 1G and maximum speed of 300 mm/s. It achieves 3-point positioning and push-motion operation is possible. Setting the appropriate acceleration/ deceleration rate enables the cylinder to push out a workpiece without impact. The capability for position adjustment based on a numeric value enables the cylinder to achieve precise film tension adjustment. The cylinder can be used to position a workpiece by pushing it from both sides.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Linear Actuators

K90 linear actuators from Exlar (Chanhassen, MN) are compact, 90-mm frame size actuators available in three performance levels, and allow the use of third-party motors. Featuring dimensions and form-factor consistent with ISO Metric pneumatic cylinder specifications, the actuators are designed to provide a universal solution for linear motion rod-style actuator applications. Three models offer two grades of roller screws and one Acme screw. KX90 actuators incorporate a high-performance planetary roller screw for applications in industrial automation, mobile equipment, process control, and other applications requiring millions of inches of travel under load.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Pneumatic Air Cylinders

NITRA™ E-Series pneumatic dual-rod guided air cylinders from Automation - Direct (Cumming, GA) are designed for applications that require precise alignment or have large side loads. The devices are interchangeable with other popular brands of cylinders. The double-acting cylinders are constructed with extruded aluminum housing and switch mounting tracks, dual chromeplated stainless steel guide rods, and bronze bushings. The cylinders feature a maximum operating pressure of 142 psi, and are available in eight bore sizes from 12 to 63 mm. Available stroke lengths range from 10 to 250 mm, depending on bore size.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Position Sensors

ASM Sensors (Elmhurst, IL) offers the PMIS4/PMIR5 non-contact measuring system developed for rotary applications. The system provides high EMC protection, large guiding distance tolerance, and signal performance up to 327,680 pulses/360°. The incremental system consists of a PMIS4 sensor head and a PMIR5 incremental magnetic ring. The sensor head is made of a fully enclosed, shielded metal housing, offering protection against electromagnetic interference and thermal overload. Guiding distance is ±1 mm. Available output types are HTL, TTL, and TTL24V.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Motion Controllers

ADLINK Technology (San Jose, CA) has released the PCI- 8254/PCI-8258 motion controllers that provide servo updates up to 20 KHz through hardware-based PID-FF control loop and secondorder filters, time-deterministic trajectory and velocity planning, comprehensive application functions, and diagnostic and control utilities. The program download function can execute up to eight individual tasks simultaneously, providing control performance in real time, and conserving CPU resources. The controllers also provide multidimensional interpolation, as in 3D linear/circular/spiral interpolation, for contouring applications in manufacturing industries such as laser engraving/cutting, glue dispensing, and others.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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