Motion Control

Machine Control

Unitronics (Quincy, MA) has introduced Samba, a palm-sized PLC with HMI and onboard I/Os for machine control that features a color 7" HMI panel. The 16-bit touchscreen enables data entry and display of variable data, including color trend graphs and alarm screens. Samba supports 24 userdesigned screens and 5-MB images per application. The integrated PLC offers features including two auto-tuned PID loops, time-based RTC control, data logging, and recipes. The internal memory holds 112 KB of application logic, plus 512K for fonts and 5 MB for images. Onboard I/Os offer digital, analog, and high-speed functionality.

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Accelerometer Chips

Silicon Designs (Kirkland, WA) offers industrial-grade MEMS variable capacitive accelerometer chips and modules for zero- to medium-frequency instrumentation applications. Onboard voltage regulation and an internal reference minimize temperature and voltage changes while eliminating additional external power regulation requirements. Each sensor is made to be virtually identical, allowing users to swap out parts in the same g range with few to no testing modifications. This also provides a plug-and-play solution for almost any application.

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Bonded Magnets: A Versatile Class of Permanent Magnets

Permanent magnets are ubiquitous in modern societies. Devices which use permanent magnets include motors, sensors, actuators, acoustic transducers, etc. These are used in home appliances, speakers, office automation equipment, aerospace, wind turbine generators, medical laboratory diagnostic test equipment, and more. It is estimated, for example, that a typical automobile uses up to 120 permanent magnets in windshield wipers, starter motors, seat adjusters, door lock actuators, fuel pumps, sensors, gauges, etc. The development of Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Electric Vehicle drive technologies has been greatly enhanced by the availability of high performance magnetic materials.

Posted in: White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives

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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.

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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, Motors & Drives, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

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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, Robotics

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Reducing Power-On/Off Glitches in Precision DACs

Voltage glitches are common in a signal chain path, especially when the system is being powered up or down. Depending on the peak amplitude and glitch duration, the end result in the system output can be catastrophic. One example is an industrial motor control system where a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) drives the motor drivers to control motor spin. If the glitch amplitude is higher than the motor driver’s sensitivity threshold, the motor could be spinning without control in any direction when the system is powered up/down.

Posted in: Briefs, Power Management, Motors & Drives

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