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Reducing Machine Controller Design and Deployment

Machine design and deployment requires integration of various technologies such as controls, mechanics, vision, lasers, data acquisition, and software, to mention only a few. These mechatronic solutions usually target a specific purpose such as part manufacturing, marking, packaging, etc. Often the controller is a key focus in the design because it must connect and coordinate all of the processes on the machine. Using separate programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and motion controllers necessitates integration, which is costly and time-consuming. Using a single controller for the machine eliminates the need for integration and shortens design and deployment time and cost.

Posted in: Features, Articles

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Reducing Linear Bearing Wear

To get the longest working life out of a linear bearing, keep it clean and well lubricated. This common-sense advice may sound easy enough to follow. Yet in the real world of round-the-clock, high-cycle manufacturing operations, bearings do get dirty and dry. And when either of these conditions happens, linear bearings will wear prematurely. In the worst-case scenarios, contamination and inadequate lubrication can create metal-on-metal contact between the bearing’s rolling elements and raceway. This can cause excessive wear in the form of denting, pitting, or galling results.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Hull-Cleaning Robot for Large Ships

Toxic paint is used on the bottoms of large ships to prevent fouling, which is when a biofilm layer develops, decreasing the ship’s efficiency moving through the water. To further complicate the matter, the paint must be blasted off and replaced every 5 to 10 years, at which time literally tons of toxic waste is produced and needs to be disposed of.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Rotating Machinery Analysis

Microstar Laboratories (Bellevue, WA) has announced the release of the Rotating Machinery Analysis module with software tools to facilitate mixed time measurements and rotation measurements of rotating machinery. The software enables time-based sampling or encoder-based sampling, or both at the same time. The module processes data captured by a fixed-rate, high-resolution sampling clock with software processing operating at continuously varying rates aligned to pulses from the encoder device. The processing uses DSP technology based on classical sampling theory.

Posted in: Products, Products

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Thermoplastic Pumps

Hayward Flow Control (Clemmons, NC) has released the T-Series Webster thermoplastic pumps. The vertical, seal-less, immersible pumps feature a single, non-coupled motor/impeller shaft with a proprietary shaft seal. The pumps are available from 1/3 HP to 1-1/2 HP, with standard and washdown motors, and in voltages of 115/230 and 208-230/460. Other features include 303 stainless steel shaft material and an extended shaft sleeve. Options include GFPP or PVDF pump head and impeller assembly, inlet screen, in-tank filtration, impeller trim variations, explosion-proof motors, 575V motors, and S-J type electrical cord.

Posted in: Products, Products

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Motorized Microscope Stage

PI, L.P. (Auburn, MA) has introduced the M-687 motorized microscope XY stage for inverted microscopes that features fully integrated, miniaturized ceramic linear drives. The stage is delivered as a complete system including a controller, joystick, and software. The self-clamping ceramic/ceramic linear motors in the XY positioner provide positional stability. No energy is consumed to hold position (no heat dissipation); there are no leadscrews to heat up due to friction during motion and cause drift, cooling down once the motion stops; and there is no creep caused by lubricant flow in the drive mechanism.

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Accelerometer

Dytran Instruments (Chatsworth, CA) has introduced the Model 3225M39 ultraminiature teardrop IEPE accelerometer with a sensitivity of 10 mV/g, designed to adhesively mount in spaces typically inaccessible to other types of accelerometers. The sensor has an overall height of 0.23" (5.8 mm), and weighs 0.95 grams. Featuring a quartz shear sensing element in a titanium housing, the accelerometer utilizes an integral three-foot coaxial cable assembly terminating to a 10-32 jack. It incorporates low-noise electronics, and has a frequency response of 1.2 to 10,000 Hz, making it suitable for modal analysis and Environmental Stress Screening (ESS) applications.

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