Special Coverage

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
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Vacuum Cups

Vi-Cas Manufacturing (Cincinnati, OH) offers vacuum cups in sizes to 15" in diameter to lift and manipulate large, bulky, or cumbersome materials like aircraft fuselage segments and fabricated assemblies. Round, rectangular, or oval cups are available for a variety of lift manufacturers. Sizes and types are available to fit virtually any type of vacuum equipment used for lifting, manipulating, or “pick-and-place” applications. Materials are available to suit applications such as food handling, high-temperature materials, anti-static for handling electronic components, and non-marking materials for sensitive products.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
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Permanent Magnet Motors

NovaTorque (Fremont, CA) offers the Gen2.0 PremiumPlus+™ Electronically Commutated Permanent Magnet (ECPM) motors in 3hp and 5hp 2400-rpm (maximum speed 3600 rpm) models. Also available in 3hp and 5hp 1800-rpm models (maximum speed 2700 rpm), the motors utilize ferrite magnets. Driven by variable frequency drives, the motors feature motor-only rated point efficiencies of 93.0 and 92% percent for 3hp and 5hp versions, respectively. The motors are packaged in standard NEMA frame sizes and mounting dimensions. They are available both in the mounting frame size typical for induction motors, as well as one frame size smaller, and are compatible with variable frequency drives (VFDs) from most leading manufacturers.

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Servo Drives

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) offers the Gold Bell and Gold DC Bell servo drives for stepper motors. The Gold Bell servo drive weighs 55 g (1.94 ounces) and operates at 20A/100V, delivering 1.6kW continuous power (3.2kW peak power) with multiple voltage ratings of 12V-95V. The PCB-mounted driver is designed to operate in a closed loop (single or dual feedbacks), or in open loop, and has a “smart” control-supply algorithm enabling it to operate with only one power supply.

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Motion Tracking System

InvenSense (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the MPU-9250 9-axis motion sensing device housed in 3 × 3 × 1 mm QFN package. The full integrated device includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, and electronic compass, with an onboard Digital Motion Processor. The accelerometer consumes 6.4 mA of current in low-power mode. The compass has a resolution of 16 bits, and full-scale measurement range of ±4800 μT. It is supported by the company’s MotionApps software. The software drivers are fully compliant with Google’s Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, Microsoft Windows 8, and Windows RT releases, and support low-power DMP capabilities that offload the host processor to reduce power consumption and simplify application development.

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Miniature Slide Guides

NB SEBS-B type slide guides from NB Corporation (Hanover Park, IL) feature standard clearance. The SGLS all-stainless models are suitable for high-temperature applications, cleanroom, and vacuum environments. They are available in both retained-ball (whose elements allow for easier handling since the guide block may be removed from rail without ball loss) or low-cost nonretained- ball lines. Sizes range from 2 mm, and friction-free travels range from 104-mm to 1000-mm rail lengths.

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Drives

Lenze Americas (Uxbridge, MA) offers an Ethernet/IP communication module as an option on its 8400 StateLine, HighLine, and TopLine control cabinet devices, in addition to the Lenze 8400 motec and protec decentralized frequency inverters. Featuring dual-port technology and an external 24V back-up supply, the Fieldbus interface allows communication via Ethernet/IP enabled control systems. The 8400 series features L-Force automation technology for motion control solutions. Decentralized 8400 protec and motec inverter drives offer solutions for motion control at the source. The 8400 StateLine, HighLine, and TopLine inverters for control cabinet installation feature IP20 and IP31 protection.

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Magnetic Gyro

Kionix (Ithaca, NY) offers the KMX61G accelerometer-magnetometer sensor and sensor fusion software that delivers gyro emulation using 550 μA of power. The six-axis device can provide nine-axis accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyro outputs. The system features 512-byte FIFO buffer with watermarking, embedded temperature sensor, and low-power, embedded motion wakeup function. The system offers a user-programmable, full-scale accelerometer range; user-selectable ODR from 0.781 Hz to 1.6 kHz, magnetometer algorithms for auto-calibration and MI rejection, and supply voltages between 1.8 and 3.3V.

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Hybrid Stepper Advancements Improve Medical Pump Performance

Designers of medical pumps often have to deal with the challenge of implementing precise, yet low-cost motion control. For most medical pumps, there are three basic technology alternatives for implementing such electronic motion control: permanent magnet brush DC motors, brushless DC motors, or step motors. Step motors (sometimes called stepping motors, stepper motors, or simply steppers) are a solid choice for position or speed control. Steppers are inherently digital — a pulse applied to the drive electronics results in a shaft movement of one step. They are commonly used “open loop,” meaning without feedback, due to their ability to achieve the desired number of steps every time (if sized properly). The number of incoming pulses and the rate at which they are fed can be used to implement very precise, yet very simple motion (position, speed, and acceleration) control. As long as the speeds required are not too high (less than 3000 RPM, typically), steppers often offer a far simpler, lower-cost, and maintenance- free alternative.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Hybrid power, Medical equipment and supplies, Pumps, Electric motors
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Gait Analysis Based on Inertial and Magnetic Sensors

Motion analysis often is based on stereophotogrammetry, which estimates the three-dimensional coordinates of points on an object by measurements made in two or more photographic images taken from different positions. While it provides very useful and detailed information about walking, the technique’s full capability of quantitative analysis of movement often is not used.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Kinematics, Magnetic materials
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Mini Cylinder

Intelligent Actuator – IAI America (Torrance, CA) offers the RCD Mini Cylinder that is designed to replace compact air cylinders used for short-stroke travel, pressing, and hoisting. It features a crosssection of 12 mm, with a body length as short as 60 mm. The cylinder incorporates a brushless DC motor, and provides maximum acceleration/ deceleration of 1G and maximum speed of 300 mm/s. It achieves 3-point positioning and push-motion operation is possible. Setting the appropriate acceleration/ deceleration rate enables the cylinder to push out a workpiece without impact. The capability for position adjustment based on a numeric value enables the cylinder to achieve precise film tension adjustment. The cylinder can be used to position a workpiece by pushing it from both sides.

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