Motion Control

Linear Guide Kit

To simplify product selection of self-lubricating linear guides, igus (East Providence, RI) has developed a modular construction kit for belt-driven DryLin ZLW linear axes. The ZLW toolkit enables users to customize their solutions, including rail widths, system length, etc., even for small installation spaces. Cross beams, rails, and/or carriages are available in either aluminum or stainless steel to suit a wider range of application requirements. The ZLW system enables loads up to 165 lbf. to be lifted with stroke lengths of up to 3 meters (118"). Wide drive belts can also permit speeds of more than 5 m/s (16 ft./s), depending on the load. Underwater applications are possible via a special toothed belt.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control

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Actuators

Curtiss-Wright Sensors & Controls Division (Gilbert, AZ) announced Exlar® brand FTX Series actuators. The high-force electric rod style actuators replace hydraulics in highforce, high-duty-cycle applications in harsh environments. Based on planetary roller screw technology, the actuators offer a compact form factor. With continuous force rating to 178 kN (40,000 lbf), speed to 875 mm/sec (34 in/sec), and stroke lengths from 150 mm (6 inches) to 900 mm (3 feet), the actuators can be applied across a range of linear motion applications.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control

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Automation Cables

Molex, LLC (Lisle, IL) offers Flamar industrial automation cables for signal and control equipment and servomotors. The cables are available in multiple jacket materials (PVC, WSOR, PUR, TPE). The standard cables range from 26 AWG to 10 AWG for applications in food and beverage, material handling, automotive lines, and other manufacturing operations. The cables are rated for temperature ranges down to -40 °C (-40 °F) and up to 105 °C (221 °F). They are compatible with all standard industrial connectors, including RJ45, the Brad® range of circular connectors (M8, M12, M23) for servomotors, and mPm® DIN valve and Molex Heavy Duty connectors.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control

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Precision Ball Screws

Thomson Industries (Radford, VA) has introduced miniature metric precision ball screws in three interface styles: flanged, threaded, and rounded. The FSI metric ball screws are flanged, and the RSI style is rounded. Both feature a multi-liner ball return system that provides smooth operation and increased load capacity. The miniature ball screws are available in a range of standardized diameters from Ø6 mm – Ø14 mm. Flexible ball nut mounting configurations and rapid prototyping are options for the ball screws.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control

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Servo Drives

The MR-J4-TM multi-network servo drives from Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) are available with Ether Net/IP™ and EtherCAT® interfaces. The drives feature dual 100BASE-TX Ethernet ports in line, tree, and star topologies; One-Touch Auto-Tuning; 2.5 kHz speed frequency response for short settling time; high-resolution 4,194,304 pulse/revolution absolute encoders; and Advanced Vibration Suppression Control II for vibration suppression on both the load and the machine base. The drives also come with add-on instructions for EtherNet/IP networks using ControlLogix® or Compact - Logix® controllers.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motors & Drives

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Precision Robotics and Automation: Hexapods Advance Production Processes

Hexapods — six-legged parallel-kinematic machines — are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after “learning” how to directly communicate with PLC or CNC controllers via Fieldbus interfaces. As far as the semiconductor and electronics industry, automobile industry, and precision assembly are concerned, many production processes have become inconceivable without them. Today, the six-axis positioning systems are available with load capacity from 2 kg to 2000 kg, and travel from 10 to hundreds of millimeters while maintaining submicron precision. Hexapods are used for aligning the smallest optical components in the latest silicon photonics production processes, for controlling automated labeling machines, and positioning entire body parts for automotive production. The intrinsic hexapod features contribute to a wealth of new possibilities in robotics.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

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Motor Controller Provides Custom Electronic Control Solution

A Fortune 200 company needed a turnkey, DC voltage, agency-compliant electronic control solution capable of providing motion control with memory position capabilities and auto run/sense features for a multi-motor application involving four motors. Particularly important to the design criteria was the development of an interactive system of wireless remote control capabilities and other user interface devices, including iPhone and iPad interconnect devices. It was a complicated job, and the company would need to partner with experts who could deliver a time- and cost-effective solution.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motors & Drives

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