Motion Control

Electric Actuators Deliver Energy Efficient, Low Maintenance Solutions

Machine designers and end users find themselves balancing sometimes opposing priorities such as improving energy efficiency while minimizing adverse impact on the environment, at the same time ensuring performance (e.g., precision, reliability) is not compromised. A key trend towards meeting the challenges has been to shift from hydraulic actuation towards electric actuation, especially in applications characterized by high degree of responsiveness, space constraints, high uptime/low maintenance, low energy consumption, and minimal environmental impact.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Computer-Assisted Laser Treatment Using Real-Time Retinal Tracking

This computerized system accurately guides laser shots to diseased retinal areas. Diabetic retinopathy resulting from long-term diabetes mellitus is one of the common diseases that leads to choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a leading cause of blindness. Among the currently available treatment methods, a laser can be used to photocoagulate the diseased areas. Several thousand laser shots are usually required during such treatment. Special care must be taken to avoid hitting the blood vessel tree, the macula, the optic disk, and the region among them. For a single eye, this procedure requires up to several hours that are usually divided over many treatment sessions. Consequently, the development of an accurate laser treatment guidance system to treat the whole retina in one session would improve the effectiveness of such procedures.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Photonics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Motion Control, Medical, Briefs, TSP, MDB

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Introduction to Linear Actuators

Students trained in classic mechanical engineering are taught to construct a system using conventional mechanical components to convert rotary into linear motion. Converting rotary to linear motion can be accomplished by several mechanical means using a rotary motor, rack and pinion, belt and pulley, and other mechanical linkages, which require many components to couple and align. Although these methods can be effective, they each carry certain limitations.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Fluid Handling Products Gain in Performance, Efficiency

Today’s pumps, valves, and flow meters are being designed with greater accuracy and flexibility to handle a wide range of fluids, chemicals, and other materials. Demands for more reliable operation and lower energy usage dictate these parts be made of materials lighter than previously available, yet robust enough for high pressure, high duty cycle applications.

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Hermetic Feedthroughs Critical for Flywheel Energy Storage

Next-generation flywheels are made possible by advances in material science in rotor technology, as well as the application of magnetic bearings running in a vacuum environment. While the movement of the rotating flywheel into a vacuum eliminates parasitic drags, such as windage friction losses, mechanical bearings are not suited to operate in a vacuum or for the high speed requirements of the new designs.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Motion Control Advancements Ease Medical Procedures

Whether performing an intricate surgery, positioning a patient, or taking a tissue sample, today’s biomedical devices are taking advantage of advanced motion control devices to ensure accurate control and movement in biomedical applications. Robots are making it possible to perform surgical procedures not only with higher precision than before, but in less time and with less pain and suffering for the patient. Moreover, improvements in the design and packaging of motors and other control components are making it possible to shrink biomedical devices and make it easier to perform procedures in tight, confined spaces.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Slip Clutches Solve Diverse Design Problems

Slip clutches are commonly used to protect against overloads, but they can solve many other problems as well. Their applications include increasing machine speeds, applying constant tension to webs or wires, indexing a mechanism, holding a hinged object in position, controlling torque on capping or assembly operations, and providing soft starts or cushioned stops.

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