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

Load Sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) has introduced Series 61 photoelectric sensors. The UL and cUL listed sensors are available in DC models with 4-in-1™ output, and AC/DC models with SPDT relay output. Accessible controls simplify set-up and adjustments, and color-coded labels make it easy to identify a given sensor’s sensing mode. The 4-in-1 output automatically sinks or sources, depending upon the load detected. Both 4-in-1 output models and SPDT output models include Standard Diffuse mode with a 1-m or 4-m sensing range, Diffuse with Background Suppression mode with a 500-mm or 2-m sensing range, Polarized Retroreflective mode with an 18-m sensing range, and Thru-beam mode with a 60-m sensing range. AC/DC versions with SPDT relay output are capable of switching up to 3 Amps. The sensors are also available in fiber optic versions where the sensing range is dependent on the fiber cable.

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Pump Components

Metallized Carbon Corp. (Ossining, NY), offers custom vanes, rotors, and end plates for use in rotary vane pumps pumping both liquids and gases. The carbon-graphite components provide lubrication in most environments, and are suited for pumping liquids with poor lubricating qualities, strong chemicals that attack metals, and to pump air, vacuum, combustion products, and gasoline vapors. The materials are chemically resistant and are compatible with FDA food and beverage regulations. They have a low wear rate running in both gas atmospheres and low-viscosity liquids. Carbon graphite vanes can withstand the rubbing of the vane tip against the housing bore, and the rubbing of the side of the vane against the slots in the rotor. Lightweight carbon graphite rotors withstand the rubbing against the vane and the end plates.

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Stepper Motors

Plug & Drive PD2-N integrated closed-loop stepping motors from Nanotec Electronic, U.S. (Medford, MA), provide closed-loop sine commutation. They feature 71 oz-in of torque, and speed up to 3000 RPM with near-servo performance. The sine commutation position, torque, and speed control, and 12-bit encoder, are integrated inside the motor envelope. The stepper motors are used wherever speed, high precision, and compact design are required. They are characterized by high-torque stepper motors combined with dspDrive technology developed by Nanotec, and an integrated position control system with an encoder.

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Brushless DC Pump

The Thomas 230 Series, a brushless DC WOB-L® air compressor designed for applications requiring a compact, lightweight pump with variable output, is available from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI). The pump measures 3.8 × 2.64 × 3.63" and weighs 1.2 pounds. It features variable output (1,000 – 3,000 RPM) utilizing a brushless DC motor, an enclosed crankcase for reduced sound, and WOB-L® piston technology. Maximum flow is .50 CFM (high speed), and maximum pressure is 30 PSIG.

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Orientation Sensor

Bosch Sensortec (Palo Alto, CA) offers the BMX055 9-axis sensor that contains three 3-axis sensors: a 12-bit low-noise accelerometer; a gyroscope with a resolution of 16 bits and programmable measurement ranges; and a low-noise, widerange geomagnetic sensor. The sensor uses proprietary MEMS sensor technologies. The FusionLib Software combines the sensor data outputs and generates virtual sensor outputs such as quaternion, linear acceleration, rotation, and gravity.

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Tubing Pumps

Masterflex® C/L® tubing pumps from Cole-Parmer (Vernon Hills, IL) feature a redesigned head that provides more secure tubing retention and more consistent performance over the full range of tubing sizes and flow. A single motion opens the cover and releases the occlusion bed for easy tubing changes. Tubing retainers are selfadjusting to accommodate tubing of different diameters. The peristaltic pumps are encased in a stackable, 1⁄4-DIN housing for mounting in an equipment rack or for placement on a lab bench. Pump head construction is of chemicalresistant engineered plastics and stainless steel. They also offer remote start/stop via contact closure, reversible flow, and a max-speed button for fast priming.

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Gear Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) has introduced custom gear motors for high-torque, low-speed, and low-profile applications. The assemblies combine precision gearing and directdrive frameless motor kits to form a high-torque alternative to coupling a servomotor to a traditional gearbox. The ULT, UTH, and UTS low-profile frameless motors are combined with an appropriate gearing solution. These assemblies include precision bearings and high-resolution encoders. Gear motor assemblies can be created ranging in size from 25 to 800 mm diameter.

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Fasteners

The Key-Rex™ high-security fastener is available from Bryce Fastener (Phoenix, AZ). The special safeguard feature of the screw is the endless combination of complex shapes developed in the drive (head) of the screw. Each keyway shape and matching driver bit is licensed to only one client. Because the driver bit functions like a key, the manufacturer recommends that clients restrict use of the bits to authorized personnel. Any standard fastener can be fitted with the security feature, safeguarding the integrity of the design, or a fastener can be made to meet the design’s requirements.

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Linear Rail System

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, a division of AMETEK Precision Motion Control (Waterbury, CT), has introduced the BGS04 Linear Rail System designed for high-moment loads. The roll, pitch, and yaw moment load capability allows the system to maintain accuracy and repeatability in applications requiring significant cantilevered loading. The system features a Haydon™ linear actuator driving a Kerk® 303 stainless steel precision lead screw. The screw is coated with Black Ice® TFE coating, providing a permanent wear-resistant dry lubrication. The lead screw drives an anti-backlash nut embedded in a machined aluminum carriage mounted to a stainless steel ball rail. The linear rail is available with either the Size 11 (28mm) double stack or Size 17 (42mm) single stack hybrid linear actuator. Maximum roll, pitch, and yaw moments are 5.72 lb-ft, 4.88 lb-ft, and 5.68 lb-ft, respectively.

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Factors to Consider When Selecting and Specifying LVDT Linear Position Sensors

Fitting the right type of linear position sensor to an application requires at least a working knowledge of the attributes of this electromechanical device. Starting with the basics, the LVDT (linear variable differential transformer) is a common type of linear position sensor widely used in electromechanical systems today. It consists of two basic elements: a stationary coil assembly and a movable core or armature. While most LVDTs are fundamentally AC-in/AC-out devices, some have electronics built-in to make them DC-in/DC-out devices. This gives rise to the terms “AC-LVDTs” and “DC-LVDTs”.

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