Motion Control

Advantages of Servo Motor and Direct Drive Technology

For many years, stepper motors have been the most popular type of electric motor designed into instrumentation for a wide variety of reasons. Stepper motors have become increasingly commoditized, and can be sourced easily. In addition, the growing “maker movement” has simultaneously made them more popular and reduced their cost. Unlike servo motors, stepper motors don’t require tuning to optimize their performance. What’s more, scaling and motion commands are typically quick and simple to execute using stepper motors. Servo motors often require a bit more expertise in executing complicated (torque, velocity, or position) loop closures. Finally, micro-stepping allows most modern drive electronics to step or increment a stepper motor to a resolution of 50,800 steps per revolution or higher.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Motors & Drives


An Inside Look at Electromechanical Power-Off Braking Options

Making the right choice between spring set and permanent magnet brakes can impact safety, durability, maintenance, and performance. Power-off brakes are designed to hold or stop motion in the absence of power. Adding an electrical current releases the brake, freeing the load for motion. Given the safety ramifications of keeping a system locked in place until it is powered up, motion control system designers tend to specify power-off brakes more often than power-on brakes. There are, however, two different failsafe brake technologies: one uses compression springs to hold its load in place, and the other uses permanent magnets. Each has specific strengths and weaknesses, and knowing the difference can impact safety, durability, cost, and performance.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control


A Soft Control Architecture: Breakthrough in Hard Real-Time Design for Complex Systems

How to cut costs, improve quality, and differentiate your products with a software-based approach to machine automation OEMs have long relied on expensive, cumbersome hardware like FPGAs and DSPs for precision motion control. But new advances in software-based machine automation are changing that paradigm, with huge potential benefits.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics & Computers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, Semiconductors & ICs, Software


5 Real-Time, Ethernet-Based Fieldbuses Compared

Ethernet-based fieldbus standards have changed the game for machine builders. But with so many protocols competing to be most valuable and viable, how should you decide which to use?

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics & Computers, Motion Control, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, Software


Software vs Hardware Machine Control: Cost and Performance Compared

OEMs traditionally used DSP-based hardware, plugged into a PC, for motion control. But new software-based solutions have challenged this approach, claiming equal or better performance at lower cost.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Metal Bellows - Key Enabling Technology for a Wide Range of Engineering Applications

Convert pressure, mechanical, vacuum and temperature changes into linear or rotational motion using metal bellows. It may be the smallest component of an overall machine assembly but it very often plays the most critical role in the functionality of a system. This newest whitepaper from Servometer outlines seven key enabling technologies that benefit from bellows across a wide range of engineering applications – providing a more precise, more reliable or less costly alternative to an existing engineering solution.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Motion Control


Model-Driven Innovation in Machine Design

This whitepaper discusses a Model-Driven Innovation process, an approach that makes a multidomain, system-level model the core of design activities, allowing engineers to see how individual subsystems work together. With this approach, problems can be fixed early without project delays, and designs can be validated with access to the underlying mathematics, allowing organizations seeking to mitigate system complexities to improve their ability to control costs, produce high-quality designs and move products to market more quickly. Using tools like MapleSim, the multidomain system modeling tool from Maplesoft, enables engineers to develop and test high-fidelity virtual prototypes of their complex dynamic systems.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


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