Motion Control

Automation Control Platform

GE Intelligent Platforms (Charlottesville, VA) has announced the PACSystems® control and computing platform designed for the industrial Internet. It incorporates COM Express architecture with multi-core CPUs. The RXi platform offers high-speed interfaces, with multiple gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports. These features are coupled with GE’s PACSystems control engine. The controllers feature built-in redundant PROFINET interfaces, and can run HMI, Historian, and analytics applications at the machine, even in harsh environments.

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Harmonic Gearhead

Nexen Group (Vadnais Heights, MN) has announced a harmonic gearhead that directly replaces much larger, high-ratio planetary gearheads utilizing the latest harmonic strain wave gearing technology. In addition to its compact size, the gearhead features high torque, true zero backlash, and positional accuracy. A gearing-forward design overlaps components and allows the gearing to be integrated into the same plane as the bearing, resulting in a short and rigid gearhead. This narrow, rigid design is combined with a large, rugged, crossed-roller output bearing, designed to handle all combinations of radial, axial, and overturning moment loads in a single, compact envelope. The gearhead can fit virtually any machine, and can operate in less than half the space of conventional planetary gearheads.

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Helical Gearbox

GAM Gear (Mt. Prospect, IL) has introduced the SPH series inline planetary gearbox featuring helical gearing. It is designed for dynamic and cyclic motion control applications, and can be optimized for high-speed and continuous-duty applications. The gears are cut at an angle to help reduce axial forces associated with helical gearing, and then are ground for reduced noise levels and improved smoothness. The gear teeth are wider, allowing for larger permissible torques relative to the frame size, and heavy-duty taper roller bearings enable large loading capabilities.

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Microstepping Drive

Servo2Go.com (Greenville, DE) offers Applied Motion Products’ STR2 stepper drive, a compact, digital step and direction drive for applications requiring basic step and direction control of a 2-phase step motor. The drive outputs up to 2.2 A/phase to the step motor, and is compatible with a variety of 2-phase step motors that have been selected to optimize performance of both the drive and motor. The drive features microstepping performance and current control with anti-resonance. Anti-resonance electronically damps motor and system resonances, which improves motor smoothness and torque over a wide speed range.

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Position Sensor

Honeywell (Minneapolis, MN) offers the SMART rotary configuration position sensor that provides 360° non-contact angular position sensing. The sensor enables users to replace an optical encoder, or to utilize a sensor instead of a resolver. The sensor utilizes non-contact magnetoresistive (MR) technology to determine the object’s position, which allows it to sense position in dirty and harsh environments. It is designed to measure values down to 0.01º. Potential applications include steering angle, articulation angle, and boom arm detection, as well as solar panels or wind turbines. A combination of an ASIC and an array of MR sensors is used to determine the position of a magnet collar attached to a rotating object to identify and control the object’s position. The sensor’s automotive-grade potting makes it more resistant to vibration, shock, and extreme temperatures.

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Positioning Stages

Rollon (Hackettstown, NJ) has in - troduced the Actuatorline TT series of high-precision linear positioning stages. Available in a range of sizes and configurations, the stages are suited for use in robotic handling systems, semiconductor equipment, X-Y-Z Cartesian robots, machine tools, and automated assembly lines. The stages are made of anodized aluminum extrusions, and bodies are CNC machined on all outer surfaces and where mechanical components are attached, such as ball bearing guides.

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Linear Guides

Lee Linear (Piscataway, NJ) offers the SBC Linear Profile SBI linear guide system that uses a low profile and wide base design for less noise, less vibration, and increased life over caged ball assemblies. The extra load capacity, which is the same in all directions, includes a dynamic load rating from 14.1–232.5 kN, and a static capacity from 24.1–354.1 kN. The available guide sizes are 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 45, 55, and 65. Block types available are flanged (FL), flanged long (FLL), slim (SL), and slim long (SLL). Raydent coatings are available for protection against corrosion.

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Robotics Simulation Software

Siemens PLM Software (Plano, TX) has introduced RobotExpert software for robotics simulation and programming. The software enables the design, simulation, optimization, and offline programming of robotic applications to maximize the speed, flexibility, and operation of automated systems. It features an intuitive 3D environment and combines the ability to optimize robotic paths and improve cycle times, with the ability to simulate virtual mockups of manufacturing cells and systems.

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Linear Shaft Supports

The SBL and LPB series of linear shaft supports from Ondrives.US Corp. (Freeport, NY) feature removable top clamps that enable easy removal of shafts and permit reassembly without upsetting the critical alignment between parallel shafts. At reassembly, the shafts return to their exact, original position. The supports are precision machined and supplied in anodized aluminum. The standard SBL series is a drop-in replacement for popular industry supports. They have the same mounting hole locations, base dimensions, and shaft height. The overall height is slightly shorter. The LPB series is a low-profile support that has the lowest possible shaft height for clearance of ball bushing pillow blocks. Both series are available in shaft diameters from 1⁄4" to 2", and from 8 mm to 50 mm.

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Speed Controls

Four controls from Bodine Electric (Northfield, IL) provide speed control for low-voltage 12 or 24V permanent magnet DC (PMDC) gearmotors and motors (up to 1/3 HP/250 Watts). The controls utilize pulse width modulation (PWM) technology for quiet operation, low operating temperature, and optimal brush life. The controls feature five trim pots to adjust min/max speed, torque (current) limit, and acceleration time. In addition, DIP switches allow the user to match a motor/gearmotor to the controls. System speed may be controlled with a single-turn speed pot, or an isolated 0-5 VDC remote signal. Models are available with either 1⁄4" quick connect tabs or a plug-in terminal block. The type WPM low-voltage motor speed controls are suited for portable or remote applications where connection to an AC line is not possible. Typical applications include accessories on electric vehicles, mobile medical equipment, solar powered devices, chemical injection pumps at oil wells, and automatic gate openers.

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