Motion Control

Axis Motion Software

National Instruments (Austin, TX) released NI Motion Assistant 2.0 interactive software for prototyping single- and multi-axis motion control systems. Motion profiles from CAD and drafting programs can be imported using a DXF file format, and the software facilitates the implementation of profiles in NI CompactRIO programmable automation controllers or generation of code for PCI/PXI plug-in motion controllers. After saving a motion profile as a DXF file in a CAD or drafting program, the software can be used to import the profile and save motion-specific commands in an XML file format without writing additional code. Also featured is smart contouring and a graphical, point-and-click interface with 3D visualization capabilities for creating motion control applications using stepper, servo, and piezo actuators.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

Read More >>

DC Gear Motors

Nidec Copal USA Corp (Torrance, CA) offers the MG16 series of sub-miniature brush DC motors with high torque planetary boxes. The 8-model series is RoHS compliant and measures 16 mm. Available gear ratios include 60:1, 120:1, 240:1, and 500:1 with two excitation voltage levels of 6 VDC and 12 VDC. Performance ranges from 4.86 oz-in rated torque at 164 rpm and 22.6 oz-in starting torque for the 6-volt model with a 60:1 ratio, to 28 oz-in rated torque at 21 rpm and 146 oz-in started torque for the 12-volt model with a 500:1 ratio. Maximum gear motor weight for the 500:1 gear ratio is 1.24 oz. All models can operate from 0°C to 50°C ambient temperature range. Options include an encoder.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

Read More >>

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

Read More >>

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

Read More >>

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

Read More >>

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

Read More >>

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

Read More >>