Motion Control

Understanding Robot Movements Through Kinematics

Many robotic and mechanical systems require the calculation of kinematic equations to express the relationship between variables that are to be controlled (motor/actuator position obtained via feedback sensors and manipulated by motors/actuators) and variables that are to be commanded, such as the position of a tool tip or objective.

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Linear Motors and Actuators Meets Automation Needs

Linear motors and actuators are now cost-competitive with ball screws and belt drives and offer distinctly superior agility and bandwidth for advanced positioning applications. New micromotors and actuators are helping to automate tasks not previously feasible. Direct linear drives are increasingly replacing servo-controlled pneumatic cylinders, contributing reliability and controllability, free from the cost, noise, and upkeep of air compressors.

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Motion Control Components Lend Hand to Biomedical Applications

The worlds of biomedical and motion control are joining at the hip, with motors, controllers, actuators, and other motion control components becoming key elements in advanced biomedical applications ranging from fluid dispensers to imaging tables to surgical simulation systems.

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Protecting AC Motors From Destructive Shaft Currents

The use of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) to control AC motors has increased dramatically in recent years. In addition to low operating cost and high performance, they save energy. Today, the challenge facing system designers and engineers is to minimize damage to AC motors from shaft current.

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Getting on the Right Motion Bus

As modern machines have become more advanced, the complexity involved in motion control has escalated. Today, servos have replaced cams and gears on machines and multiple axis of synchronized motion control have become commonplace. Distributed motion control requires busses able to handle rigid jitter and timing demands including:

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Integrated Motor Control Meets Aviation Needs

The trend in aircraft design is toward more efficient brushless DC motors. A integrated motor drive module for brushless DC motors from International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) reduces the effort of programming the motor control and simplifies certification. Because the device is configured for sensorless field oriented control, the elimination of Hall sensors improves reliability while reducing component count. It enables the aircraft to achieve greater fuel economy and lower maintenance costs.

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Motion Control Market Marches Toward Higher Integration and Performance

Evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes characterize the motion control market. Motors and motor controllers continue to gravitate toward higher performance and functionality as market demands become more stringent. At the same time, higher levels of intelligence — driven largely by software advancements, are giving engineers greater control and flexibility in designing motor-based systems.

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