Motion Control

Level Indicator

The Model BM-T tilt Switch from BinMaster (Lincoln, NE) is a level indicator used for point level detection of heavy materials in bins, tanks, or silos, or over a conveyor belt or open pile. It is suspended vertically over a control point using a wire rope, chain, or flexible hanger. As the material level rises, the switch tips and causes a steel ball within the unit to shift position. When tilted to 15°, it activates a microswitch and causes an alarm condition. A stainless steel paddle is attached to the stainless steel shaft when the switch is used in rock, aggregates, or other heavy solid materials. A plastic sphere is suitable for lighter powders and solids.

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Machine Controller

Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) introduced the iQ-R Series machine control system that incorporates sequence, motion, safety, process, and C language control into one platform. The control platform is designed for applications requiring integrated motion and safety control, tight synchronization between various processes, and high production throughput. The integrated design allows machines or production lines to consolidate control in one rack. The system can have up to 4 CPUs per rack for various combinations of motion, sequence, or process control.

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Linear Motor

Nippon Pulse America (Radford, VA) released the SL083 scaleless linear motor with a built-in linear encoder for positioning applications that would benefit from the repeatability, reliability, and robustness of a linear motor, with up to 5 μm in resolution. The motor consists of a tubular stainless steel shaft and a non-contact forcer. It requires no lubrication, and features a non-critical air gap that eliminates variation in the force. The housing is made of non-magnetic aluminum.

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Panel-Mount Piezo Drives

The Ndrive QLe digital, panel-mount nanopositioning piezo drives from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) are designed for use with the Aerotech Automation 3200 (A3200) motion controller. The drives enable coordinated motion between piezo stages and servo axes at higher rates than other controller/drive products. Featuring a dual-core, 456-MHz, floating-point DSP, the drives feature position latching and single-axis or multi-axis position synchronized output (PSO) to generate pulses based on actual position feedback.

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Encoders

Celera Motion (Bedford, MA) introduced the MicroE Veratus™ Series encoders incorporating VeraPath™ technology. All interpolation, automatic gain control (AGC), and signal processing is performed in the sensor head that measures 35 × 13.5 × 10 mm. Interpolation in the sensor head provides resolution from 5 μm to 20 nm for linear applications, with speeds up to 5 m/s. The encoders feature multiple mounting configurations, industry-standard analog and digital incremental encoder outputs, built-in limits, flexible index selection, and status LED in the sensor head.

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Brushless DC Motors

Crouzet Motors (Vista, CA) introduced brushless DC motors with CANopen® technology. The new communications protocol allows design engineers to connect multiple brushless motors to the various components in a system. The CANopen interface permits connection of up to 127 brushless DC motors with a single, shielded, two-wire cable. Data may be transmitted at speeds up to 125 kBd at distances over 550 yards. At lower baud rates, the transmission distance can exceed three miles, making communications flexible to virtually any location. Under the communications protocol, motors can be controlled separately or together.

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Lead Screw Assembly

The Micro Series ZBM anti-backlash lead screw assembly from Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions (Waterbury, CT) can be customized to specific applications that require unique geometry and custom materials such as Kerkite® composite polymers. The anti-backlash nut utilizes a special nut thread system that, when combined with a radial force, provides simple backlash compensation. The nut is suited for applications in which smooth motion is required and space is at a premium.

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Position Sensors

Macro Sensors (Pennsauken, NJ) offers the BBP Series air extended, spring-loaded LVDT position sensors to measure range of motion in pneumatic cylinders. The 3/8 "-diameter, pencil-type gaging probes measure the position of a target surface. They feature a probe that moves out and makes measurements only near the very end of the probe movement when it is almost fully extended, and then retracts so the probe gets out of the way of damage.

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Drive Couplings

Automation Direct (Cumming, GA) offers SureMotion drive couplings in four styles: jaw/spider, double loop, Oldham, and beam-style servo. The jaw/spider coupling is a clamp-style coupling with 14- to 65-mm aluminum hubs, and bore diameters ranging from 3 /16" to 32 mm. Double loop coupling hubs are made of series 300 stainless steel with corrosion protection, and are available in 10- to 40-mm hub sizes. Oldham drive couplings feature aluminum hubs in 19- to 57-mm sizes. Beam-style servo couplings are stainless steel set-screw couplings that feature the flexibility of a bellows coupling plus the torsional stiffness and strength of a disc coupling.

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Track Motion Platform

ABB (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRBT 2005 flexible, compact, modular, medium track motion platform for robots and transfer applications. It is designed to accommodate rapid product changes in applications that require an extended working range and high degrees of speed and accuracy. It is available with up to two carriages as a robot track, with additional carriage plates available to carry any necessary process equipment, and up to three carriages as a transfer track. The modular design is comprised of one-meter lengths that can be connected to form a track between 2 and 21 meters.

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