Servo Controller IC

TRINAMIC Motion Control (Hamburg, Germany) announced the TMC-4671 fully integrated servo controller IC that provides field-oriented control for BLDC/PMSM and 2-phase stepper motors, as well as DC motors and voice coils. It embeds all necessary control loops in state machines. It offloads real-time critical tasks from the processor and software, and implements all control functions in hardware. Integrated ADCs, position sensor interfaces, and position interpolators enable a fully functional servo controller for a range of servo applications such as robotics, pick-and-place machines, factory automation, e-mobility, and lab automation. It offers high switching frequency and controller update rates of up to 100 kHz, and has filtering and interpolation features like digital Hall signal interpolation for smoother operation. The IC can work with various encoders such as digital or analog Hall sensors over A/B/Z incremental and high-resolution sin/cos analog encoders. Sensors can be flexibly mapped as an input for position and velocity control loops.

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Linear Table Slides

DESTACO (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced T110 linear pneumatic table slides for high-speed machine part transfer, pick-and-place operations, and machine tending applications. The slides have an industry-standard footprint, allowing for drop-in replacement. Features include 44 model configurations for machine tending applications, various stroke options ranging from 10 to 150 mm, cross roller bearing system, and shock absorbers or rubber stops for fine end-of-stroke adjustment.

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Motors and Gearmotors

The Globe line of Mil-Spec-qualified fractional horsepower PMDC motors and gearmotors are available from Allied Motion Technologies (Amherst, NY). Modified versions — with specially machined mounting provisions, holding brakes, tachometers, and/or encoders — also are available. Models range in size from 0.75 to 2.25” (19 to 57 mm) in diameter. Rated speed ranges from 2,400 to 19,200 RPM, with rated power from 3 W to 62 W. Planetary gearhead models are available with output torque rated to as high as 62 Nm (8800 oz-in).

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IO-Link Sensor Programming

Novotechnik, U.S. (Southborough, MA) offers an IO-Link programming tool for the RFC-4800 Series of touch-less angle sensors. The device connects a sensor to a mini USB port of a PC running Windows or newer operating system. IO-Link enables users to program, test, and adjust custom offset values to null point, set direction of rotation as clockwise or counter-clockwise, and average the output across 4, 16, or 64 values to smooth the signal for noise filtering. It also reads an error signal if the magnet the tool is connected to is absent or outside the sensor's operating range by being too close or far from the sensor. Once a sensor has been programmed, it can be software-locked through IO-Link. A device identifier is also readable over the IO-Link interface.

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Motion Terminal

Festo (Islandia, NY) offers the Festo Motion Terminal VTEM, a universal, programmable platform for flexible and adaptive automation with digitized pneumatics. The Industry 4.0 system is capable of replacing 50 different components through the download of various combinations of cloud-based apps. The system integrates computational algorithms and physical components for adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety, security, usability, and cloud-based predictive analytics. A feature of the system is the Festo CPX-IoT gateway for preconfigured, customizable dashboards.

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Telescopic Slides

JW Winco (New Berlin, WI) offers GN 1400 series steel telescopic slides with full, partial, and double-sided full extensions. With a range of extension types and additional functions and dimensions, the RoHS-compliant slides can handle loads of between 50 and 700 pounds (220 and 3100 N) of force per pair. The slides feature telescopic rails made of rolled sheet metal. Depending on the length of the extension, between 250 (9.84”) and 1500 mm (59.06”), the slides are made up of two, three, or four interconnected slides. The slide profile is zinc-plated steel with a blue passivated finish. The bearings are steel and hardened, while the ball cage outer slide is either steel with a zinc-plated finish, or plastic with a steel, zinc-plated inner slide. The rubber stops on select versions are plastic/elastomer, while the self-retracting mechanism is stainless steel and plastic. The telescopic slides function in operating temperatures of -4 to 212 °F (-20 to 100 °C).

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Ball Screws

The SP Series of ball screws from SKF Motion Technologies (Lansdale, PA) features an internal ball recirculation system and thread design for a range of medical, laboratory, automation, and other small equipment applications. The ball recirculation path allows balls to be picked up and recirculated smoothly for quieter and faster operation up to 15,000 RPM, depending on ball diameter. Other features include compact nut geometry, thread profile and specialized surface finish technology, a threaded nose for mounting, and a lubrication hole for accessible greasing. The screws range in diameter from 8 to 16 mm, and are available with leads from 2.5 to 5 mm and screw shaft lengths up to 2,000 mm.

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Roller Chain

Super Stainless Steel roller chain from U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission (Wheeling, IL) combines the corrosion resistance and extreme temperature operating range of stainless steel chain with the strength of a carbon steel chain. One #50 super stainless chain has a comparable maximum allowable load (MAL) to one #50-6AS (6-strand) roller chain. Features include high sidebar waists for fatigue strength, and hardened pins and bushings for bearing strength. The chain is used where chains are exposed to parasitic acids, tap water, salt water, low-dosage caustics, and operating temperatures ranging from -40 to +750 °F.

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Spring-Engaged Brakes

Nexen Group (Vadnais Heights, MN) released the Zero-Backlash Spring-Engaged (ZSE) brake family. The pneumatically released brakes offer high torque, high speed, and zero backlash for holding applications. The brakes are zero-backlash up to 100% of its rated holding torque. Four sizes (450, 600, 800, 1000) are available; bore sizes are available in three standard sizes and can be customized. Other features include internal sensors, speeds up to 5,000 RPM, holding torque up to 300 Nm, and a zero-backlash integral clamp collar.

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Linear Stages

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the ATX series linear positioning stages that combines the capabilities of a crossed-roller-bearing positioner with a ball-screw drive mechanism. Featuring anti-creep crossed-roller bearings and a fine-pitch ball-screw, the stages feature up to 250 mm of nominal travel for use in vertical positioning of sensors and cameras, optics focusing, and beamline measurement and manipulation applications. The stages offer an integral center-mounted linear encoder to provide direct position measurement at the stage's moving carriage. Standard features and options allow them to be integrated into a larger subsystem or machine, or to serve as a standalone positioning axis. Brushless, slot-less servomotors, with or without a holding brake, as well as stepper motors are available. The stages can be equipped with an optional motor foldback kit to reduce the overall length of the stage.

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Shaft Couplings

Miki Pulley (Plymouth, MN) introduced Step-Flex™ couplings with a two-part elastomer element combination. This assembly dampens vibration caused by the actuator carrier when finding its home position by making small adjustments in rapid sequence. With this design, the hard element is separated from the aluminum alloy hubs by a softer elastomer disc. This combination maintains adequate torsional stiffness for positional accuracy while still allowing for minimal angular and parallel misalignment, and absorbing vibration. Nine sizes are available with torque of 531 in-lbs, and bore size range from 1/8 to 1.125”.

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Controllers and Drives

AMKASYN centralized controls and drives from AMK Automation Corp. (Carpentersville, IL) include KE/KW servo converters, KE/KW controller cards, the A Series motion controller, and AMKAMAC I/O. KE/KW servo motors combine compact design with a modular structure that provides combination options for machine builders. With a choice of cooling systems, single-and multi-axis solutions, and choice of controller cards, this system is suited for dynamic positioning tasks requiring maximum energy efficiency. The A-series motion controllers are available as compact control cabinet motion controllers and as complete units with touch displays. The KE/KW controller cards are application-oriented and work with all major communication protocols.

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IoT Sensor Kit

Harting (Elgin, IL) and Bosch Sensortec (Mt. Prospect, IL) introduced the MICA® CISS Industrial IoT Kit, a plug-and-play kit that enables digital condition monitoring of any kind of machinery. The kit comprises a CISS (Connected Industrial Sensor Solution) multi-sensor unit by Bosch and the MICA® Edge Computing System by Harting. The sensor unit can be attached to any surface and detects up to eight physical factors including temperature, humidity, vibration, change of position, pressure, light, magnetic field, and acoustics. The mini-computer can be installed next to the machine. MICA is connected to the sensor unit and the local network via industry-standard connectors.

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Gearbox

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) offers IronHorse worm gearboxes with left-hand shaft models in four frame sizes and six gear ratios from 5:1 to 60:1. The cast iron worm gearboxes (worm gear speed reducers) are mechanical power transmission drive components that can drive a load at a reduced fixed ratio of the motor speed. Constructed of one-piece housings, the gearboxes feature a C-flange input. Designed to change drive direction by 90 degrees and to increase torque output, worm gearboxes are used when space is at a premium, or to simplify mechanical design.

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Servo Amplifiers

Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) offers MR-J4-GF servo amplifiers with integrated CC-Link IE Field Safety features for industrial Ethernet safety communication capabilities and attributes. CC-Link IE Field is an open 1-Gbit Industrial Ethernet automation network. The 1-Gbit per second (Gbps) data transfer rate provides the necessary speed and capacity required for Industry 4.0 requirements. This additional bandwidth capacity over the 150 megabits per second (Mbps) used for motion communication can allow for both necessary safety control and future diagnostic communications and other non-realtime transmissions. The safety signal from the safety PLC can be transmitted directly to the amplifiers via CC-Link IE Field for uses in automotive, packaging, welding, and material handling applications. The amplifiers include One-Touch Tuning™ for servo tuning, Advanced Vibration Suppression Control II™, and 2.5 kHz speed frequency response.

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Gas Flow Measurement

Hoffer Flow Controls (Elizabeth City, NC) introduced the HIT-4G compact gas measurement rate and total computer with temperature, pressure, and AGA-8 compressibility compensation. It provides temperature and pressure compensated gas flow measurement and also offers features such as Dual Totalizers, Modbus ®, and data logging. Featuring a 6-digit rate display and separate 8-digit resettable and non-resettable flow totalizers, the device is configurable for 4-20 mA loop power or DC power. Several enclosure options are available including an explosion-proof enclosure that is available in a powder-coated aluminum or stainless steel option for harsh installation conditions; other enclosure options include Nema 4X and panel mount. The multi-drop Modbus® RS-485 serial port allows for two-way communication while in operation and configuration with remote devices.

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Actuators

Curtiss-Wright's Sensors & Controls Division (Gilbert, AZ) released Exlar FTX Series high-force, electric, rod-style actuators. They are intended for use in high-force, high-duty-cycle applications in harsh environments. Based on planetary roller screw technology, the actuators offer robustness in a compact form factor, making them an alternative to hydraulic cylinders. With continuous force ratings to 89 kN (20,000 lbf), speeds to 1,000 mm/sec (39 in/sec), and stroke lengths from 150 mm (6”) to 900 mm (36”), they can be applied across a range of linear motion applications. The FTX160 features high-capacity planetary roller screws offering up to 15X the life and significantly higher shock load resistance than a comparably sized ball screw. Other features are IP65S (min.) environmental protection, grease zerk fitting and removable front seal bushing for maintenance and re-greasing of the nut assembly, and a modular design with bolt-on mounting hardware.

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Programmable Encoder

Encoder Products (Sagle, ID) introduced the Model 58TP 58-mm, thru-bore, programmable encoder. Contained within the housing is a set of electronics that allows the encoder to be programmed for exact application needs. Using an optional programming module, users may select from six output types, choose from 32 different waveforms, and program any resolution from 1 to 65,536 CPR. These programming features allow a single encoder to be configured for multiple applications, enabling one encoder to replace many different part numbers. Standard and metric bore sizes up to 5/8” or 15 mm are available, with multiple flex mount options. Operating temperature ranges from -40 to 100 °C. It can be used for rotary feedback in industrial and non-industrial applications such as motor control, conveyors, machine control, process control, robotics, material handling, and all types of motion control feedback.

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Locking System

Emuge Corp. (West Boylston, MA) announced the SELF-LOCK integrated locking system. The threading tools offer an alternative in thread locking for safety applications in aerospace, medical, communications, and transportation industries. The internal thread shows constant, maximum holding power under dynamic stress. Junctions remain in good operation even with repeated loosening and re-tightening of the thread connection. This locking effect is caused by the ramp-shaped surface integrated into the thread profile. SELF-LOCK technology results in increased threading tool life for larger thread hole diameters and provides larger tolerances for thread hole diameters. The thread locking feature is integrated in the internal thread, and has a modified profile with a 30-degree ramp surface in the direction of stress that provides the self-locking effect. In an ideal screw connection for high-stress situations where there is a standard external thread in a SELF-LOCK internal thread, the internal thread yields a self-locking screw connection that can be used repeatedly.

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Motion Design Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2018 issue of Motion Design Magazine.

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