Motion Control

Motor Used to Stabilize Remote-Controlled Camera Crane

It is a staple of the summer box office blockbuster: the car chase. Car chases have not only become a vital component of an action movie, they have also had to evolve, with audiences demanding even more thrills. To put the audience directly into the flow of traffic, studio executives turn to companies like Adventure Equipment, whose Ultimate Arm, a gyrostablized, camera-mounted, remote-controlled crane system attached to an SUV, gets in where the action is. Maxon Motors’ (Fall River MA) RE40 motor is used to maneuver the camera, capturing all the adrenaline-pumping moments.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Plasma Cutter Utilizes Motor for Gantry Control

To cut through metal and other materials, a plasma cutter sends an arc of electricity through a high-speed jet of an inert gas. When electricity and gas meet, plasma is formed, hot enough to melt through sheet metal, and still moving fast enough to blast molten metal away from the cut. When engineers at Dynatorch (Padukah, KY) began to design a line of plasma and oxy-acetylene cutting machines, they utilized the SM2315D SmartMotor from Animatics (Santa Clara, CA) to operate the gantry, where the torch is mounted. To avoid the warping, kinking, or scorching that can occur when metal is improperly heated, the gantry and torch must maintain a fixed distance from whatever is being cut.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Diaphragm Pumps

Thomas Products Div. (Sheboygan, WI) offers the Series 5002 miniature diaphragm liquid pumps, designed for all-liquid or mixed wet/dry pumping applications. Model 5002F pumps are single-head and measure 1.99 × 1.18 × 3.19". Model 5002FZ pumps are 1.99 × 1.18 × 4.88" and have twin heads. Both are oil-less. Standard materials include thermoplastic housings with ethylene propylene diene monomer diaphragms. Optional housing and diaphragm materials are available for use with aggressive media. Open flow is rated at 400 ml/min for single-head, and 850 ml/min for twin-head. Maximum pressure is rated at 40 m H2O, and maximum dry suction is 6 m H2O. Both 12 VDC and 24 VDC versions are available, with electromechanical compatibility protection included.

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Motor Driver

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) has introduced the A3901 dual H-bridge low-voltage motor driver. Capable of operating one stepper motor or two DC motors, the unit is designed for portable applications with a power-off current of 50 nA and an operating voltage range of 2.5 V to 5.5 V. MOSFET output stages reduce voltage drop and power dissipation of the outputs. Internal circuit protection includes thermal shut down and hysteresis, transient-suppression diodes, and crossover current protection. The device is supplied in a lead-free, ten-lead MLP power package (3 × 3 × 0.75 mm) with an exposed thermal pad. Both H-bridges can be paralleled for higher current operation.

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Servo Drive Module

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has announced the NI 9505, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based, H-bridge servo drive module for the NI CompactRIO embedded platform. The module offers direct connectivity to actuators such as fractional-horsepower brushed DC servo motors, relays, solenoids, lamps, and valves. A continuous current of up to 8 A at 40°C (or 2 A at 70°C) can be delivered, with a peak current of 12 A at 30 V, it can be used with NI's LabVIEW graphical system design platform to create intelligent control systems.

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Motor Controller

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) offers the SQ-2300 series benchtop motor controller for computer control of the company's SQUIGGLE motors and closed-loop linear nanopositioning stages. Using the controller, SQUIGGLE motor speed can vary continuously from micrometers per second to millimeters per second with better than 20-nanometer position resolution. Multiple controllers can be connected to one PC and driven simultaneously from a single screen, enabling multi-axis set and hold positioning. The unit comes with an ActiveX command library and USB connection, and can also be controlled by an analog input (0 to 3.3 volt) or optional manual handset.

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Anti-Backlash Nut

Haydon Switch & Instrument (Waterbury, CT) has released the “W” series of anti-backlash nuts, designed to minimize backlash between the leadscrew and nut interface. A blend of self-lubricating polyacetal and stainless steel screw material compensates for wear to avoid lock-ups. Available in a range of diameters and leads for applications requiring precise positioning, the nuts provide long operational life and a system that augments system stiffness while reducing drag torque. It can be used as a standalone product.

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