Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

DC Compressor

Designed for air seats, light-duty air suspension, and other mobile applications, the Thomas 135 Series DC WOB-L® compressor from Thomas Division, a Gardner Denver Company (Sheboygan, WI), is a compact, lightweight intermittent-duty pump. The compressor is 1.16 pounds and 3.6 × 1.66 × 4.34". Avail able in 12V or 24V, the compressor features an oil-less piston and cylinder, stain tless steel and silicone valves, and a built-in inlet filter. All models are balanced for low-vibration operation, and are dust- and moisture-resistant.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

DC Accelerometer

Measurement Specialties (Hampton, VA) has introduced a rugged, triaxial DC accelerometer for steady-state, low-g vibration measurements and high-g transient shock measurements. The piezoresistive, MEMSbased Model 3803A provides triaxial measurement under harsh operating conditions. Hermetically sealed in a welded, stainless steel housing, the IP65-rated sensor is used for testing applications in harsh, high-performance installations. The unit is offered in dynamic ranges from ±2 g’s to ±2,000 g’s, and is gas-damped to provide a wide frequency response across all three axes. The unit’s MEMS sensing elements include overrange stops for protection to shock levels greater than 5,000 g.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control


Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) offers the Leine & Linde DRIVE-CLiQ encoder platform for operation in harsh drive environments where they are exposed to vibration, shock, and mechanical loads. The encoder can be installed to the motor mechanics typically found in heavy-duty applications without any adaptation needed. DRIVE-CLiQ is Siemens’ communication protocol for motor feedback in a SINAMICS drive system. It is an Ethernet-based interface for connection of different kinds of components like motors, frequency converters, and encoders.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

Torque Transducers

HBM (Marlborough, MA) offers the T40B and T40FM torque transducers that include an integrated speed measurement system. They are designed to work in harsh environments such as those that contain humidity, condensation, dust, oil, and grease. The transducers take measurements based on the contactless sensing of an anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) sensor, so the transducer signal is more stable than that of an optical system. The transducer integrates both the magnetic technology and the speed measurement sensor.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

Linear Actuators

Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) offers Roh’lix® linear actuators made from stainless steel for use where cleanliness is a priority. Used to convert rotary motion to linear travel, the actuators carry loads at speeds up to 70 inches per second, depending on size. Stainless steel components make the actuators suitable for food, drug, packaging, and similar applications where cleanliness and frequent system wash-downs are required.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

Linear Motor Stages

The PlanarDL-series stages from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) are available in nine different travel and performance configuration applications ranging from high-accuracy surface profilometry to high-speed semiconductor and LED wafer scribing. The PlanarDL XY design allows for use in applications where straightness and flatness of motion are critical. Capable of achieving 1 m/s velocities and 1.5 g accelerations, the stages enable high-throughput and the company’s proprietary directdrive technology.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

Real-Time Software Enables Multi-Core PCs for Industrial Automation

As early as 25 years ago, industrial system integrators saw the great potential that the Windows operating system brought to PCs. They saw the possibility of using the advanced graphic capabilities that Windows offered versus the relatively primitive human interfaces of DOS-based applications and those of other proprietary OSes. Windows enabled the development of controllers with advanced human-ma chine interfaces (HMIs) that provide a whole new level of functionality, and make machines easier to use and maintain.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Automation, Industrial vehicles and equipment

Couplings Synchronize Motion in Pipe Bending System

Pines Technology’s (Westlake, OH) Model 250 Heavy Duty CNC bender is a powerful automatic precision system for fast, repeatable bending of tube and pipe up to 10" in diameter. Providing fast setup and changeover advantages, this giant bender has an advanced level of programming to deliver automated high performance and flexibility in tube and pipe bending operations.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Automation, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Parts

Using Source Measure Units to Characterize High-Power Semiconductors (Part 1)

The proliferation of electronic control and electronic power conversion into a variety of industries (e.g., energy generation, industrial motor drives and control, transportation, and IT) has made efficient power semiconductor device design and test more critical than ever. To demonstrate technology improvements, new device capabilities must be compared with those of existing devices. The use of semiconductor materials other than silicon demands the use of new processes. To be sustainable, these new processes must be tuned to deliver consistent results and high production yield. As new device designs are developed, reliability measurements must be performed on many devices over long periods. Therefore, test engineers must identify test equipment that is not only accurate, but scalable and cost-effective.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Semiconductor devices, Semiconductor devices, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures

Motors Power NASA’s Interactive Humanoid Tour Guide

RoboThespian is a programmable, interactive humanoid robot designed to communicate, interact, and entertain. First developed in 2006 by Cornish company Engineered Arts, RoboThespian stands 5'9", with a full range of upper-body movement and human-like eyes. NASA will employ the robot’s third generation as a figurehead — meeting and greeting over 1.5 million visitors per year at its futuristic Cape Canaveral base.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motors & Drives, Human machine interface (HMI), Air transportation facilities, Robotics, Biomechanics

White Papers

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