Motion Control

Optimizing Drive Systems for Energy Savings

Energy savings are an extremely important topic in virtually every segment of industry today. In general, the largest consumer of power in a converting line or machine is the drive system. As energy costs continue to increase and energy conservation becomes a greater priority, are there technologies or methods that can be implemented to reduce the energy consumption on converting machinery?

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Energy consumption, Vehicle drive systems

Choosing the Right Potentiometer for Reliable Sensing

In today’s market, there are a variety of available types of position sensing systems. It is important to compare unique features to application needs in order to find the best fit.

A potentiometer sensor is an electromechanical component that consists of a resistor where the voltage divider value can be measured at any position by means of sliding contacts between the applied voltage values. Physically, a potentiometer consists, at a minimum, of a resistance track, a collector track, and a sliding contact that can be moved along the resistance track by means of mechanics (Figure 1). The movement of the sliding contact can be rotatory (angle) or translational (path).

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Sensors and actuators, Test equipment and instrumentation

Imitative Robotic Control: The Puppet Master

Automated systems can have a hard time completing complex tasks in a timely manner. When controlling a robot outside autonomous mode, a good control device needs to give the user full control of the system while enabling the mission to be completed in a quick, accurate, and efficient manner.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Robotics

Choosing the Right Drive Technology

Coming up with the right drive technology for an application often depends on the options available. Here are five of the most common drive configurations being used today, along with their benefits and drawbacks.

Although there are a number of variations of drive technologies for motion applications, there are a few that are used for the majority of systems being built today. These most common drives do take a bit of understanding before applying.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Electronic control systems, Vehicle drive systems

Reasons for Turning to Slotless DC Motor Technology

When first introduced, brushless DC motors, despite their many advantages, were cast as a costly alternative to brush-commutated motors, and were typically only specified for low-power applications where long life was the primary desired requirement. Without the mechanical brush-commutator mechanism that would wear and eventually result in motor failure, brushless motors could be relied upon to deliver performance over time. As for other advantages, conventional wisdom held that brushless motors provide high speed and fast acceleration, generate less audible noise and electromagnetic interference, and require low maintenance. Brush-commutated motors, on the other hand, would afford smooth operation and greater economy.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Automation, Electric motors

What Engineers and Customers Need from a Motion Control System

In the automation industry, engineers strive every day to advance their process and products. Engineers have to select components, learn and use many tools to construct their automation systems, and support the systems in production. More importantly, to be successful and competitive, they are faced with many challenges to achieve higher throughput and ease of use within budget and time limitations.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Automation, Production engineering

Integrating Functional Pneumatic Safety Devices into Control Systems

Over the past several years, controls engineers have become adept at applying control systems to machine safety applications. The issue is that safety is a moving target. There are new and revised international standards to contend with. Furthermore, the supplier community is moving swiftly forward in developing solutions that render the old way of doing things obsolete.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Electronic control systems, Pneumatic systems, Risk assessments

Reducing Power-On/Off Glitches in Precision DACs: Part 2

Part 1 of this article introduced a phenomenon called power-on/off glitch. The example discussed the impact of this phenomenon on a motor control system. We limited our analysis to a DAC where the output buffer is powered on in normal mode: zero-scale or mid-scale. In Part 2, we analyze when the DAC output is powered on in high-impedance mode. We present a mathematical model for the power-on glitch, followed by board-level solutions to minimize it.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Mathematical models, Automation

Autonomous Robots Keep Warehouse Running Green

YLOG, a startup company in Austria, uses an intelligent and very environmentally friendly logistics system that is winning an increasing number of customers. The technology makes use of individual, freely moving Autonomous Intelligent Vehicles (AiVs) that detect each other, observe right-of-way rules, recognize one-way routes, and complete their tasks fully autonomously without intervention from or coordination by a central computer.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Green Design & Manufacturing, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Automation, Robotics, Logistics, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles

PLC-Based Robotic Controls Versus OEM Robotic Controls

As more manufacturing facilities and distribution centers discover the benefits of robotic material handling solutions, the decision of how best to control the robot must be made. While robot original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) offer their own tightly integrated controller, recent developments have enabled control by a Programmable Logic Controller, or PLC. For facilities where PLC-based controls are already used in other machine control applications, the benefits of using one for the robot as well may be a wiser choice than the OEM controller. Let’s review PLC-based robotic control to help you determine if it’s the best choice for your application.

Posted in: Articles, Industrial Controls & Automation, Motion Control, Robotics, Communication protocols, Materials handling, Robotics

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