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High Field Superconducting Magnets
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method
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Lightweight Internal Device to Measure Tension in Hollow- Braided Cordage
System, Apparatus, and Method for Pedal Control
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Simulation of Fluid-Structure Interaction in Hydraulic Pump Design

Axial pumps with cam-driven commutation units — so-called PWK pumps — emerged as a result of a research project conducted in the Department of Hydraulics and Pneumatics at the Gdansk University of Technology. As for all axial hydraulic piston pumps, several cylinder chambers are positioned around the rotating shaft of an axial pump with cam-driven commutation units — called PWK pumps. The rotation of the shaft and the attached swash plate leads to movement of the pistons that alternately decreases and increases the fluid volume of the chambers. A window — which is part of the control sleeve or commutating bushing — connects the chamber between the pistons with the low-pressure and highpressure intake and outtake channels.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Motion Controllers as Data Acquisition and Testing Tools

Manufacturers often need to test their products to verify that they meet customer specifications, and provide the data that verifies specification compliance. This is particularly true when government contracts are involved, public money is being spent, and public safety is an issue. Often, separate electronic subsystems are used to apply the stimulus and measure the results, but if the same module that applies the stress can also record the response, more cost-effective testing systems can be built. An added capability that is often overlooked by material strength and durability test system designers is the power of some motion controllers to also serve as data acquisition support or input devices.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Compact, Low-Force, Low-Noise Linear Actuator

This actuator has potential uses in military and automotive applications. Actuators are critical to all the robotic and manipulation mechanisms that are used in current and future NASA missions, and are also needed for many other industrial, aeronautical, and space activities. There are many types of actuators that were designed to operate as linear or rotary motors, but there is still a need for low-force, low-noise linear actuators for specialized applications, and the disclosed mechanism addresses this need.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Motion Control

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Ultra-Compact Motor Controller

Applications include industrial robotic arms, industrial machinery, and automobiles. This invention is an electronically commutated brushless motor controller that incorporates Hall-array sensing in a small, 42-gram package that provides 4096 absolute counts per motor revolution position sensing. The unit is the size of a miniature hockey puck, and is a 44-pin male connector that provides many I/O channels, including CANbus, RS-232 communications, general-purpose analog and digital I/O (GPIO), analog and digital Hall inputs, DC power input (18–90 VDC, 0–l0 A), three-phase motor outputs, and a strain gauge amplifier.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Motion Control

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Servo Control System

The MESA 7I77 card set from Mesa Electronics (Richmond, CA) is a FPGA-based, 6-axis analog control system for CNC, industrial automation retrofits, and OEM systems. Six axes of analog outputs and encoder inputs are sufficient for up to 5-axis machines plus spindle control. Encoder inputs are individually programmable for TTL or differential mode. The PCI or PCIE host interface provides real-time access to the motion hardware. In addition to the motion-related I/O, 32 digital inputs and 16 digital outputs are provided. These digital I/O points are isolated from the system ground and can use 5V to 32V I/O voltage.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Diaphragm Pump

The 118Z Series pressure/vacuum oil-less diaphragm pump from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) provides a low-vibration design that utilizes a lightweight nylon housing and end cap that limit the pump’s weight to 4.4 pounds. It features a 24V brushless DC motor.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Slotless Frameless Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) has introduced new models of the UTS slotless frameless direct drive motors in sizes from 12 mm to 300 mm diameter. The motors feature zero cogging and sinusoidal torque curves. With large through holes and thin radial cross-section, the frameless kits integrate into gimbal, rotary stage, or automation platforms. The motors offer smooth electromagnetic rotation when integrated with a servo control system with high-resolution encoder and sinusoidal current control amplifier.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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