Motion Control

Controller Systems

Velmex (Bloomfield, NY) offers VXM controller systems for power systems that drive motorized products including slides and rotary tables. The controller is a 2-phase, unipolar stepper motor controller that can drive and control precise movements, multi-axis, and velocity. The system is capable of controlling up to four motors, one motor at a time. Two motors can be controlled simultaneously for coordinated motion. Features include an intuitive, comprehensive command instruction set; single-chip microcontroller that digitally controls the motor phase switching and all other interface functions; elimination of noise-sensitive step and direction translation circuitry; and resonance-free motor torque from modulated current control.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Motors & Drives

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Brushless DC Motor and Control

Groschopp (Sioux Center, IA) offers a brushless DC motor and control package consisting of brushless DC motors and gearmotors. The motors feature closed loop controls to deliver commutated power and variable speed control, maintaining speed regulation over a wide range of loads. The motors feature 2,600 to 3,800 RPM, 1.8 to 10.8 in-lb torque, 1/7 to 1/3 HP, and aluminum frames. The controls offer closed-loop speed regulation, line and low voltage, and chassis mount and NEMA 4X enclosures. Available options are a holding brake, foot mount, and IP66 compliance.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Motors & Drives

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Computation of Wing Deflection and Slope from Measured Strain

Patent-pending methodology computes detailed wing loads during actual flight. Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California A lightweight, robust fiber-optic system is the technology behind a new method to compute wing deflection and slope from measured strain of an aircraft. This state-of-the-art sensor system is small, easy to install, and fast, and offers the first-ever means of obtaining real-time strain measurements that can accurately determine wing deflection and slope during flight. Such measurements are particularly useful for real-time virtual displays of wing motion, aircraft structural integrity monitoring, active drag reduction, active flexible motion control, and active loads alleviation.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, Aviation, Measuring Instruments

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Specifying Actuators for Cleanroom Environments

Selecting the right actuator for use in any manufacturing operation involves a host of application-specific variables, including aspects such as the required stroke length, load capacity, acceleration, maximum speed, and positioning repeatability. Add a cleanroom specification to the list and the choice of available options becomes significantly smaller. Consider these questions to help make the best choice for your cleanroom application, whether it’s for the medical device, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or semiconductor manufacturing industry.

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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Spring Joint Package with Overstrain Sensor This flexible joint provides two degrees of freedom and a tremendous amount of compliance. The overstrain sensor joint has a passive and restoring force that allows the joint to return to a default position, and is also proportional to the amount of lateral deflection the spring has undergone; this allows the OS sensor joint to be used in many of the under-constrained situations that cause universal joints to lock up.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Fluid Handling, Motors & Drives

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Moving Magnet Voice Coil Actuators Offer Controllable Movement for High-Duty-Cycle Applications

There are two types of voice coil actuators: moving coil and moving magnet. The materials of construction are similar, since they both use rare earth magnets, steel, copper wire, and basic insulation materials. There is a tendency to want to say one type is better suited for certain applications; however, there are many different sizes and shapes of voice coil actuators, making it difficult to make blanket statements about which type of actuator works better, and where.

Posted in: Features, Articles

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Optimizing Closed-Loop Control in Hydraulic Motion

Performing closed-loop control of hydraulic servo systems is often more challenging than controlling servomotor systems. The main reason is that hydraulic systems use compressible oil to move the actuator. Because of this, a hydraulic system can be modeled as a mass between two springs, where the piston and the load is the mass, and the oil on both sides of the piston represents the two springs. In contrast, servomotor systems are easier to control because there is basically only the inertia of the motor and the connected load to be dealt with.

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