Motion Control

Dust Tolerant Connectors

The ruggedized housing for electrical or fluid connectors is designed to withstand harsh environments and rough handling. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has developed a novel ruggedized housing for an electrical or fluid umbilical connector that prevents intrusion of dust, sand, dirt, mud, and moisture during field use under harsh conditions. The technology consists of a pair of hand-sized protective umbilical interface housings, each containing a connector with an integrated end cap. When the end cap covers the connector, the connector is protected. Each housing has a unique lever assembly connected to the end cap that, when squeezed, flips the end cap up to expose the connector. When in the up position, the two end caps face each other. To mate the connectors, the levers on both housings are squeezed, raising the end caps, and the two umbilicals are joined and twisted to couple them. Once the connectors are mated, the levers on both housings are released. This simultaneously seals both the umbilicals and the end caps. When dealing with cryogenic connectors, a purge can be applied to the housings to prevent icing when the connectors are demated.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Fluid Handling, Machinery & Automation

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Anti-Creep Mechanism Enables Ultra-Precise Motor Table Positioning

Motion control is essential for the digitization and automation of high-tech equipment, but bearings remain basic to frictionless movement. Bearing Engineers, a bearing distributor, recently changed its name to Motion Solutions (Aliso Viejo, CA) to better reflect their evolution into a custom designer of motion solutions for high-tech electromechanical systems. Developing custom solutions has lead to developing lines of proprietary products that the company manufactures in-house.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Motion Control Challenges for Deep-Sea ROVs

Deep-sea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) present motion control design engineers with some difficult challenges. Applications may include ROV propulsion, position thrusters, dive vanes, rudders, or robotic arms. Some problems are common to all of them.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Automation System Retrofit Transforms 175-Ton Hydraulic Forming Press

Southern Manufacturing Group (SMG) of Morrison, TN, makes automotive components and industrial valves. In 2012, the automation system for its 175-ton hydraulic forming press received electrical damage resulting from a lightning strike (Figure 1). Purchasing a new hydraulic forming press would be prohibitively expensive — in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, SMG needed a company that could repair the forming press in a short timeframe to maintain its production schedule.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Embedded Virtualization Enables Highly Integrated “Soft Motion” Platforms on the PC

With the increased processing power that PCs have attained, a complex machine that used to require an expensive and dedicated hardware-based motion control solution can now be accomplished on a multicore PC running on a real-time operating system (RTOS).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Service Robots Use Flat Motors to Provide Reliable, Safe Motion

Unlike industrial robots for manufacturing, service robots come with their own specification requirements aimed specifically at the end user, and the most discriminating user at that — a human being. That’s why designing and manufacturing service robots takes a particular set of skills and engineering expertise.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Encoders Ensure Position Accuracy of Linear-Torsion Tester

Instron (Norwood, MA) manufactures materials testing equipment and accessories that are used to test samples ranging from components for jet engines to medical syringes. The company’s ElectroPuls systems are used for fatigue testing, which examines the behavior of materials under fluctuating or cyclic loads in the elastic regime. The E1000, E3000, and E10000 fatigue test systems are suited for biomedical/biomechanical research applications, and feature a wide dynamic performance range and low force characteristics. The all-electric systems use linear motor technology to eliminate the need for ball/lead-screws, and enable slow-speed static tests through to high-frequency dynamic tests at over 100 Hz.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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