Motion Control

Service Robots Use Flat Motors to Provide Reliable, Safe Motion

Unlike industrial robots for manufacturing, service robots come with their own specification requirements aimed specifically at the end user, and the most discriminating user at that — a human being. That’s why designing and manufacturing service robots takes a particular set of skills and engineering expertise.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Electronic control systems, Electronic control systems, Robotics

Encoders Ensure Position Accuracy of Linear-Torsion Tester

Instron (Norwood, MA) manufactures materials testing equipment and accessories that are used to test samples ranging from components for jet engines to medical syringes. The company’s ElectroPuls systems are used for fatigue testing, which examines the behavior of materials under fluctuating or cyclic loads in the elastic regime. The E1000, E3000, and E10000 fatigue test systems are suited for biomedical/biomechanical research applications, and feature a wide dynamic performance range and low force characteristics. The all-electric systems use linear motor technology to eliminate the need for ball/lead-screws, and enable slow-speed static tests through to high-frequency dynamic tests at over 100 Hz.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Automation, Test equipment and instrumentation

Motion Solutions for Electric Expansion Valves

Expansion valves are flow-restricting devices present in any refrigeration system. The valve needle remains open during steady state of operation. The size of the opening, or position of the needle, is related to the pressure and temperature of the evaporator. When set and controlled properly, an expansion valve will keep the evaporator active throughout its operation.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Thermal management, Thermal management, Cooling

Hamburg Airport Relies on Drive Technology to Keep Bags Moving

Hamburg Airport in Germany handles nine million pieces of baggage every year. For the baggage handling staff, the reliability of the conveyor system and the prevention of faults are the highest priorities. The breakdown of even a single component of the system would result in a backlog and unacceptable delays.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Ground support

The Increasing Use of Electrical Actuators in the Aerospace and Defense Industry

Hydraulic and pneumatic systems have traditionally been the market leader in providing power in the aerospace and defense industry because of their low cost and high power density. But in recent years, attention has been focused on the limitations of hydraulic actuators, including their weight, performance, and high maintenance requirements, as well as concerns over their vulnerability due to security issues and other risks.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Electrical systems, Sensors and actuators, Electrical systems, Sensors and actuators, Electric power, Lightweighting

Thermoplastic Racks Open Up New Motion Control Applications

Rack and pinions are linear actuators that play a critical role in a wide range of linear motion control applications. While rack and pinions are commonly thought of as a timeless technology, several new developments have helped provide significant performance improvements in specific applications. One new approach, the Roller Pinion System, replaces the traditional rack and pinion with bearing-supported rollers, increasing positional accuracy, speed and durability.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators

Autonomous Robots Keep Warehouse Running Green

YLOG, a startup company in Austria, uses an intelligent and very environmentally friendly logistics system that is winning an increasing number of customers. The technology makes use of individual, freely moving Autonomous Intelligent Vehicles (AiVs) that detect each other, observe right-of-way rules, recognize one-way routes, and complete their tasks fully autonomously without intervention from or coordination by a central computer.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Green Design & Manufacturing, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Automation, Robotics, Logistics, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles

Reducing Power-On/Off Glitches in Precision DACs

Voltage glitches are common in a signal chain path, especially when the system is being powered up or down. Depending on the peak amplitude and glitch duration, the end result in the system output can be catastrophic. One example is an industrial motor control system where a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) drives the motor drivers to control motor spin. If the glitch amplitude is higher than the motor driver’s sensitivity threshold, the motor could be spinning without control in any direction when the system is powered up/down.

Posted in: Briefs, Power Management, Motors & Drives, Engine control systems

Piezoelectric Actuated Inchworm Motor (PAIM)

This linear piezoelectric actuator can operate at temperatures of 77 K or below.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Conventional piezoelectric materials, such as PZTs, have reasonably high electromechanical coupling over 70%, and excellent performance at room temperature. However, their coupling factor (converting electrical to mechanical energy and vice versa) drops substantially at cryogenic temperatures, as the extrinsic contributions (domain wall motions) are almost frozen out below 130 K.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Energy, Fluid Handling, Motors & Drives, Electric motors

Advanced Rolling Mechanics Analysis (AROMA) 1.0

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

AROMA uses a boundary-element formulation to calculate normal and shear pressure distributions and sub-surface stresses for elastic bodies in contact. In addition to handling static normal and sheer loading, it also solves the contact problem for rolling elements such as bearings, traction drives, and wheel-to-rail interfaces. AROMA is a powerful and flexible tool for studying the tractive forces that arise during rolling in combination with kinematic effects, such as creepage and spin that are related to rolling element alignment. This GUI-based tool was developed in MATLAB, and can run within the MATLAB environment or as a standalone application.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control, Software, Measuring Instruments, Analysis methodologies

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