Motion Control

QC Lasers Improve Hazardous Gas Monitoring

The measurement of gases associated with industrial processing/emissions monitoring has become increasingly important as the need to improve efficiencies in process control has increased, and legislation governing emissions has come into force. Gases including NOx, SOx, CO2, CO, NH3, and H2O commonly are used to assess processes such as combustion and quenching, while many fall under emissions legislation resulting from the Kyoto agreement.

Posted in: Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Motion Control, Articles

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AC Drives Provide Precise Control Critical to Next-Generation Test Stands

Direct Torque Control (DTC) is widely used as a method for controlling AC motors in many demanding applications. It is a unique method for controlling AC motors. In pulse-width modulation (PWM) drives, the output frequency and voltage are the primary control reference signals for the power switches, rather than the desired torque in/of the motor shaft. For those who are not familiar with inverter technology, the DTC principle can be illustrated most accurately via this mechanical analogy: the continuous calculation of the best angle at which to rotate a shaft, with a given arm length and the forces available. These electrical “force vectors” are generated with the help of semiconductor switches called Integrated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT).

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Software Used to Control Master-Slave Haptics Experiment

Haptics, also known as “force feedback teleoperation,” attempts to provide environmental interactions through a robotic system. Users mimic these interactions with robotic arms. By varying the amount of force the haptic devices exhibit, a user can achieve the sensation of interacting with the system. As it allows a user to interface with a remote or virtual environment, the goal of haptics is to augment a user’s sensory feedback while performing a given task. In order to construct safer haptic systems, researchers at the Intelligent Machine Dynamics Laboratory (IMDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) have built a series of master-slave devices, and utilize National Instruments’ (Austin, TX) LabVIEW 8.0 software and its various toolkits to control all feedback calculations, communication, control, and simulation, with the objective to investigate control difficulties that occur using a passive master with an energetically active slave.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Motor Used to Stabilize Remote-Controlled Camera Crane

It is a staple of the summer box office blockbuster: the car chase. Car chases have not only become a vital component of an action movie, they have also had to evolve, with audiences demanding even more thrills. To put the audience directly into the flow of traffic, studio executives turn to companies like Adventure Equipment, whose Ultimate Arm, a gyrostablized, camera-mounted, remote-controlled crane system attached to an SUV, gets in where the action is. Maxon Motors’ (Fall River MA) RE40 motor is used to maneuver the camera, capturing all the adrenaline-pumping moments.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Plasma Cutter Utilizes Motor for Gantry Control

To cut through metal and other materials, a plasma cutter sends an arc of electricity through a high-speed jet of an inert gas. When electricity and gas meet, plasma is formed, hot enough to melt through sheet metal, and still moving fast enough to blast molten metal away from the cut. When engineers at Dynatorch (Padukah, KY) began to design a line of plasma and oxy-acetylene cutting machines, they utilized the SM2315D SmartMotor from Animatics (Santa Clara, CA) to operate the gantry, where the torch is mounted. To avoid the warping, kinking, or scorching that can occur when metal is improperly heated, the gantry and torch must maintain a fixed distance from whatever is being cut.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Diaphragm Pumps

Thomas Products Div. (Sheboygan, WI) offers the Series 5002 miniature diaphragm liquid pumps, designed for all-liquid or mixed wet/dry pumping applications. Model 5002F pumps are single-head and measure 1.99 × 1.18 × 3.19". Model 5002FZ pumps are 1.99 × 1.18 × 4.88" and have twin heads. Both are oil-less. Standard materials include thermoplastic housings with ethylene propylene diene monomer diaphragms. Optional housing and diaphragm materials are available for use with aggressive media. Open flow is rated at 400 ml/min for single-head, and 850 ml/min for twin-head. Maximum pressure is rated at 40 m H2O, and maximum dry suction is 6 m H2O. Both 12 VDC and 24 VDC versions are available, with electromechanical compatibility protection included.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Motor Driver

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) has introduced the A3901 dual H-bridge low-voltage motor driver. Capable of operating one stepper motor or two DC motors, the unit is designed for portable applications with a power-off current of 50 nA and an operating voltage range of 2.5 V to 5.5 V. MOSFET output stages reduce voltage drop and power dissipation of the outputs. Internal circuit protection includes thermal shut down and hysteresis, transient-suppression diodes, and crossover current protection. The device is supplied in a lead-free, ten-lead MLP power package (3 × 3 × 0.75 mm) with an exposed thermal pad. Both H-bridges can be paralleled for higher current operation.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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