Features

Today's Automobile: Supercomputer on Wheels

With every passing year, it's getting more difficult to recognize the current crop of passenger vehicles as the descendants of Henry Ford's Model T. Those first mass-produced vehicles didn't even include a battery or starting system, relying instead on a hand-cranked engine with a magneto to provide ignition. As recently as 20 years ago, many cars were still essentially mechanical systems supplemented by hydraulic or electrical systems for handling functions like steering, ignition, lights, and audio entertainment.

Posted in: Articles, Automotive, Infotainment systems, Infotainment systems, Product development, Technical reference, Technical review, Autonomous vehicles
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Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing

Shaker tables developed for satellite testing will protect Webb telescope during launch.

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Automotive, Vibration, Vibration, Performance tests, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Scanning Performance of Air Bearing Equipped Precision Motion Systems

Scanning is a common technique in applications ranging from high-resolution microscopy to industrial material processing. Scanning involves moving either a workpiece or an optic at a constant velocity while a reading or writing operation takes place. Air bearings are used for both purposes, especially when high precision and reliability are vital. While the physical act of writing an image or capturing an image differ by application and industry, all such applications share a common requirement — maintaining a constant velocity.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Automation, Bearings, Reliability, Reliability
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Four Ways to improve Production by Understanding the Physics of Servos

There is always a need to increase production in automation applications. Sometimes achieving improvements requires breaking the process down to its fundamental basics. The science behind the technology of servo-based motion control systems should be considered when attempting to eliminate inefficiencies. Four fundamentals to examine are inertia, resonance, vibration suppression, and regeneration.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Finite element analysis, Electronic control systems, Electronic control systems, Automation, Productivity
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Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators

Hydraulics are rugged and deliver a low cost per unit of force, but electric rod actuators have attained higher force capacities while becoming more flexible, precise, and reliable.

Advances in motion control technology have prompted a new debate — do hydraulic cylinders or electric linear actuators offer the best solution for a linear motion application? Hydraulic cylinders provide high force at an affordable cost. Hydraulics are rugged, relatively simple to deploy, and deliver a low cost per unit of force. However, electric rod actuators (electric cylinders), particularly those with roller screws, have attained increasingly higher force capacities while becoming more flexible, precise, and reliable.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Electrical systems, Flight control actuators, Electrical systems, Flight control actuators, Hydraulic control, Reliability, Reliability
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Low-Outgassing Labels Identify Instruments on the International Space Station

CILS 8900OG low-outgassing printable labels
Computer Imprintable Label Systems (CILS)
Burlington, MA
877-512-8763
www.cils-international.com
Posted in: Application Briefs, Instrumentation, Identification, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft
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Cooling Solution Helps NASA Get Closer to Mars

Cold conditioning system
Aggreko
Houston, TX
281-985-8200
www.aggreko.com
Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Research and development, Cooling, Spacecraft
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Optical Fiber for NASA's Next Climate-Viewing Satellite

Polymicro Technologies™ optical fiber
Molex
Lisle, IL
1-800-78MOLEX
www.molex.com
Posted in: Application Briefs, Fiber Optics, Optics, Fiber optics, Fiber optics, Weather and climate, Polymers, Satellites
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Custom Brakes Meet the Challenges of Gearless Motor Elevators

Standard braking systems could not meet the difficult speed, energy, and dynamic torque constraints.

A manufacturer of low and high-rise elevators faced a challenge when customers began calling for a flexible elevator to meet the needs of the growing mid-rise, mixed-use building market. The global construction boom of mid-rise buildings can be attributed to several factors. Developers are more apt to build “short” because it requires less capital and the time to get permits approved is reduced considerably, especially in developing countries.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Braking systems, Needs assessment, Product development
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New Products: April 2017 Motion Design

Variable Frequency Drives

Through a new partnership, variable frequency drives (VFDs) from American Control Electronics (South Beloit, IL) will now be offered as a product add-on to Brother Gearmotors’ portfolio of sub-fractional AC gearmotors and reducers. OEMs have access to an optimized VFD for the Brother sub-fractional power range instead of purchasing an offthe- shelf VFD that may not be the best fit for the application. For example, a user buying a sub-fractional HP (1/100th to 1/6th HP) gear motor will not have to choose an off-the-shelf VFD rated for 1/4 HP. ACE’s microprocessor-based VFDs control AC motor speed and torque by varying input frequency and voltage.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
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