Motion Control

Using Source Measure Units to Characterize High-Power Semiconductors (Part 1)

The proliferation of electronic control and electronic power conversion into a variety of industries (e.g., energy generation, industrial motor drives and control, transportation, and IT) has made efficient power semiconductor device design and test more critical than ever. To demonstrate technology improvements, new device capabilities must be compared with those of existing devices. The use of semiconductor materials other than silicon demands the use of new processes. To be sustainable, these new processes must be tuned to deliver consistent results and high production yield. As new device designs are developed, reliability measurements must be performed on many devices over long periods. Therefore, test engineers must identify test equipment that is not only accurate, but scalable and cost-effective.

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Instrumentation Valves

Brennan Industries (Cleveland, OH) offers a line of compression-end instrumentation valves available with single or double ferrule-style tube fittings. The NVB Series ball valves range in size from 1/8" to 3⁄4 " and are available in either 316 stainless steel or brass construction. These valves can have two- or three-way configurations and are rated to 3,000 psi. NVN-2200 and NVN-2300 Series screwed bonnet needle valves range in size from 1/8" to 1" and are available with either metal-to-metal or soft-seat stem types. The 316 stainless steel valves are rated to 6,000 psi, and the brass valves are rated to 3,000 psi.

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Linear Actuators

Exlar, a business group of Curtiss-Wright Controls (Chanhassen, MN), offers the K Series™ linear actuators with a 75-mm frame size. They combine roller screw technology in varying performance levels, and allow the use of third-party motors. Along with 60-mm and 90-mm frame sizes, the actuators feature dimensions and form-factor consistent with ISO Metric pneumatic cylinder specifications for pneumatic and hydraulic replacement. They are compatible with any type and style of motor such as DC, stepper, and servo, and offer universal mounting configurations. They offer standard stroke lengths up to 48 inches. The standard body design provides an IP54S sealed housing with options available for IP65S sealing. A variety of materials and coatings is also offered, such as Type III hard coat anodizing, electroless nickel plating, and epoxy coating.

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Motor Controller

Fairchild Semiconductor (San Jose, CA) has released the FCM8531 analog and digital integrated motor controller. The 3-phase, hybrid BLDC/PMSM controller offers two parallel processors — an advanced motor controller (AMC) and an embedded microcontroller (MCU) — that provide a one-chip solution for complex motor control applications. The two core processors exchange data through an internal communications interface.

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Drive Module

ACS Motion Con - trol (Eden Prairie, MN) offers SPiiPlusUDMlc compact EtherCAT dual/quad-axis drive for equipment utilizing small motors such as pick/place machines, tabletop motion platforms, and wide-format inspection/ assembly equipment. The universal drives can run servo, stepper, and voice coil motors with a power range of 10W to 200W. The type of motor is selected by the user, and can be set differently for each drive axis. It is available in three current levels (cont./peak per axis): 1.25/2.5A, 2.5/5A, or 5/10A (dual-axis version only); supports motor bus voltages from 15-48Vdc; and has inputs for four digital incremental and up to two absolute encoders.

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Axis Calibrator

The XR20-W calibration system from Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) wirelessly measures the an gular position of rotary axes to within ±1 arc second for testing the accuracy of lathes, multi-axis ma chine tools, mill-turn machines, trunnion tables, and spindles. It works in conjunction with XL-80 or ML10 laser interferometers, and combines the readings of the rotary calibrator and laser to determine positioning errors in axes under test. Off-axis rotary software allows it to be used even when it cannot be positioned directly on the rotary axis under test. The software calculates true position and records axis performance and errors when compared to the intended target. It attaches to a rotary axis via a flexible mounting ring assembly, and is centered within ±1 mm (0.04") using a visual aid. Flexible mounting options include an adapter plate for rotary tables with unsuitable center recesses, and a chuck adapter for lathes.

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Motor Cables

HELUKABEL® (Elgin, IL) offers the TOPSERV® Hybrid PVC and TOPSERV® Hybrid PUR cables that allow machine end-users, OEM machine builders, and drive system manufacturers to combine the existing power and feedback cables into a single cable in order to connect the frequency inverter to the motor’s feedback system. The cables combine the existing structure of power conductors and break pairs with an encoder cable element. The encoder element serves as the central communication interface between the frequency inverter and the motor-feedback system. The use of an encoder cable allows for enhanced transmission of motor position data and feedback, such as operating temperature. Combining both the power and data transmission elements into one cable allows a minimal amount of cabling to be used.

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