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

Slide

The NV type STUDROLLER™ from NB Corp. (Hanover Park, IL) is designed for motion control applications with extremely fast acceleration and deceleration at dimensions ranging from 30 to 600-mm lengths. The slide features Anti-Creep Cage Technology and raceway depressions that track the nodules, preventing slippage in any position. Load capacities were increased 1.4 to 2.3 times over the standard SV type, and the number of rollers was increased 20 to 55 percent.

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Control Platform

The Ensemble® LAB control platform from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) enables automation of light industrial manufacturing applications. The full-color touchscreen display enables access to core functionality, while the tabbed interface provides singlepress access to setup and operation screens. An integral rubberized frontpanel interface provides tactile feedback for jogging and manual positioning operations. The platform is programmed in a BASIC-like syntax, and is programmed offline with a graphical user interface in Windows®.

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Inclination Sensors

Balluff (Florence, KY) offers BSI inclination sensors that measure the deviation in a horizontal axis of up to 360 degrees. They operate in temperatures down to -40 °C. They feature rugged metal housing and accuracy of 0.1 degree for controlling processes. An extended temperature range of -40 to 85 °C is suitable for outdoor applications such as oil and gas extraction, wind energy systems, and solar-thermal power plants.

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Coupler Brake

Force Control Industries (Fairfield, OH) offers a double C-Face coupler brake that mounts on the drive end of a standard C-Face motor. Mounting the brake between the reducer and C-Face motor allows a standard C-face motor to be used. Applications include palletizers, packaging machinery, and cranes. The Posistop air-actuated and MagnaShear electrically actuated coupler brakes never need adjustment. An annual fluid change, without removing the motor, is required.

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Rotary Actuator

Oriental Motor (Torrance, CA) has introduced the DGII Series hollow rotary actuator that uses an AR Series closed loop motor. In addition to the pulse input type package, a built-in controller (stored data) type package with I/O, Modbus, or EtherCAT (via a gateway converter) communications is also available. Both types come with a 3-m (9.8-ft.) cable. The actuator offers reduced power consumption and heat output, and the large-diameter hollow hole (through-hole) helps to reduce the complexity of wiring and piping.

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Slotless Motor

Koford Engineering (Winchester, OH) offers a 6,300-rpm, hollow shaft, 48-mm-diameter, slotless, 2-pole motor with a shaft bore size of .400". The motor is designed for low temperature rise and low operating current (.06 amps at 12v for 6,300 rpm). The cogless design results in smooth rotation. Applications include optics, filter, beam choppers, and any application where access through the center of the motor is required. Matching sensorless drives are also available.

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Servo Controller

PI (Physik Instrumente) LP (Auburn, MA) offers the C-884 4-axis digital servo controller for motorized linear translation stages and rotary positioners with very high accuracy and repeatability. The high-speed encoder interface allows the use of direct-metrology linear and angular scales with resolutions down to the nanometer and microrad realm and below. The controller is equipped with a dual-core architecture for fast servo handling and command interpretation. Software tools are provided, including PIMikroMove software that does not require writing code.

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Actuator

BEI Kimco Magnetics (Vista, CA) has released the Moving Magnet voice coil actuator series. When combined with smart drive electronics, the actuator can be controlled for speed and desired output force. Moving magnet actuators are designed for applications that require moderate speed and controllable, gentle stop points including remotely controlled circuit breakers, medical hand tools, and other delicate instrumentation. Unlike standard voice coil actuators where the magnet assembly is intended to remain fixed while the coil assembly moves, these actuators are designed to use a stationary coil.

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Linear Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) offers LARC (Linear Arc) motors for large-diameter applications greater than 1 meter in diameter. The modular nature of the motors allows them to integrate with large assemblies for scanning, imaging, and metrology applications where size requirements take priority over high-torque requirements. LARC motors come in modular pieces and bolt into any large-diameter servo motor application. The motors operate from standard brushless motor amplifiers from 24 to 30V. They work with encoders, resolvers, or magnetic encoders for directdrive applications. The motors offer a low-profile design to fit into tight spaces. Hermetically sealed magnet tracks and coil assemblies are available for vacuum or special environments.

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Position Switches

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) offers the NITRA® line of position switches for pneumatic cylinders, including round, dovetail, t-slot, square, and D-shaped. Additional dovetail accessories are available to accommodate larger dovetail slots. The solid-state electronic switches are available in normally open, 3-wire DC PNP and NPN configurations, and can be purchased with an M8 wiring connector or 3-meter integral cable with wire leads. Mounting bands with adapters for round body cylinders are available ranging from 1/8" to 4" sizes.

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