Special Coverage

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
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

Cartesian Robot

IAI America (Torrance, CA) offers a Cartesian robot with commanded acceleration of up to 3.2 G (maximum instantaneous acceleration: 4.8 G). The dedicated cast aluminum frame ensures high rigidity. The shape and vibration damping of the fastening brackets for XY-axes reduce the vibration at the tip of the Zaxis, while the vibration control function of the XSEL controller reduces vibration during highspeed operation. A wide operation range of 400 mm (X-axis) × 300 mm (Y-axis) is provided. The high-speed Cartesian robot combines single- axis robots, each performing linear motion, for straight-moving performance.

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AC Vector Drives

The SK 200E series distributed size 4 AC vector drives from NORD Gear Corp. (Waunakee, WI) offers power capacity to 30 HP. The drives are capable of operating up to 15-HP motors on 200 to 240 VAC 3-phase power, and up to 30-HP motors on 380 to 500 VAC 3-phase power. The drive mounts directly to the motor and not in the control panel. The drive offers sensorless current vector control (ISD), plug-in memory-storage module (EEPROM) for storing application-specific drive settings on a transferrable memory module, diagnostic LEDs, internal 24V control power supply with the option to provide external 24V control power, and POSICON positioning control with incremental or absolute encoder feedback.

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Lens Actuator

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) offers the UTAF (ultra-thin auto focus) piezoelectric lens actuator module that measures 8.5 × 8.5 × 3.8 mm. The module integrates the company’s UTAF piezoelectric beam motor with a drive IC and position sensor IC for closed-loop motion control. A pin bushing system moves the lens in a straight line with dynamic tilt of less than 0.1 degree, a requirement for high-megapixel cameras and imaging systems. A flexure preload or magnetic preload system produces substantially zero additional friction in the bearing guide, irrespective of the location along the optical centerline. This allows the module to lift a mass at least three times greater than the typical lens mass of 0.25 grams, insuring a low sensitivity to gravity orientation for the camera system.

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Gear Reducer

The Able VRB Gear Reducer from Shimpo Drives is available from Servo2Go.com (Greenville, DE), and is suited for packaging machinery, medical equipment, and assembly cell automation. The standard mounting is a through-bolt style. The maximum output torque peaks at 2,300 in-lbs. It provides high-precision backlash rating of

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Robotic Accuracy Improves Aerospace Manufacturing

Where accuracy is concerned, robots have traditionally relied on repeatability. In the past, robotic accuracy has not been developed to a level of maturity acceptable to standard production processes. Critical aerospace manufacturing techniques such as fastening and drilling were historically not held to tight tolerances. Typical tolerances for airframe assembly fastening were in the +0.030" range. The standard is set by the positional requirement for drilling of fastener holes, which is a key target application for robotics in manufacturing.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Drilling, Fastening, Robotics, Quality standards
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Linear Stage Brings Speed and Precision to Semiconductor Inspection

With some of the most demanding quality control regimens of any industry, semiconductor manufacturers use a variety of sophisticated metrology instruments to inspect wafers at each production step. All of these instruments have something in common: They simply will not function without precision motion stages.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Semiconductors, Quality control, Inspections
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Rotary Stroke Bearings

A line of rotary stroke bearings is available from Mahr Federal (Providence, RI). Suitable for applications where linear, rotary, and combined movements are required, MarMotion high-precision linear or rotary stroke bearings are frequently specified for high-precision applications such as machine tool spindles and pick-and-place assembly robots used in semiconductor manufacture. The bearings are used in measurement transducers, positioning units, centering and tilting tables, and in other modules that have an influence on the measuring result. They exhibit virtually no backlash, stick slip, or wear.

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Linear Rails

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, a brand of AMETEK Precision Motion Control (Waterbury, CT), has introduced the BGS06 BGS (Ball Guide Screw) linear rail system utilizing the popular size 17 single-stack or double-stack stepper motor linear actuator. Depending on static, dynamic, and moment load requirements, the user can choose among three BGS frame sizes: the BGS04, BGS06, and BGS08. All frame sizes are designed to position heavy loads and maintain repeatability and accuracy, while withstanding significant cantilevered loading.

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Motion Program Software

CADFusion software from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) bridges the gap between part drawings and motion control. Users import a vector-based DXF drawing into the software environment to see the resulting tool path graphically on CADFusion’s canvas. Part optimization is performed with shape re-ordering, feature scaling, and rotational/translational features. Overall process management, including local and global feed-rate control and lead in/out moves, can be automatically configured in advance so that every import file produces a consistent motion control program.

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Linear Actuators

The MSR Series of five linear actuators from Techno-Omil (New Hyde Park, NY) includes configurations such as cross roller guides, adjustable position, shock absorbers, guide bushings, and external cylinder. The actuators feature operating pressures from 0.2 to 0.88 MPa. The housings are made of high-tensile hard-coated aluminum alloy, hard anodized, and are maintenance-free for the first 2 million cycles. Their speed is from 0.5 m/s to 0.7 m/s, and stroke ranges are from 10 mm to 50 mm for the smallest unit, to 30 to 125 mm for the largest.

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