Delta Robot

igus (East Providence, RI) introduced a delta robot that can be delivered pre-assembled or can be assembled onsite. It is suited for simple assembly functions, pick-and-place tasks, and applications in inspection technology. The robot is based on three drylin® ZLW toothed-belt actuators, lubrication-free igubal spherical bearings, and other lightweight components. NEMA stepper motors and encoders provide handling by the delta robot of up to ±0.5 millimeters. The system has an installation space of up to 420 millimeters in diameter and can carry up to five kilograms at low speeds. The unit is constructed with aluminum and plastic materials and reaches a maximum pick rate of 60 per minute.

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Ball Check Valves

The TC Series True Union ball check valve from Hayward Flow Control (Clemmons, NC) is made of natural PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) for use in high temperatures, extreme corrosive media, and high-purity systems. The valves feature a true union design with threaded or IPS Sch40/80 socket fusion end connections. The ball is made from solid PTFE. Sizes include 1/4" through 1". FPM seals are standard. All sizes carry a pressure rating of 150 psi 10 bar non-shock, at 70 °F (23 °C). Maximum service temperature is 240 °F (115 °C). Features include a square-cut seat for positive sealing and standard FPM O-ring seals with optional EPDM.

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Servo Drive

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) offers the Double Gold Twitter ultra-small servo drive and the Platinum Maestro motion controller with up to 256 axes. The drive is STO-certified (IEC 61800-5-2, SIL-3) and delivers more than 10,000 W of qualitative power with a weight of 1.2 ounces and continuous currents of 160A (80V) and 140A (100V). The miniature drive can be placed on a moving load, on the motor or inside the motor, helping to save space, reduce cables, and eliminate electrical cabinets.

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Position Sensor System

Micronor (Camarillo, CA) introduced the MR430 Size 11 fiber optic position sensor absolute rotary encoder. The sensor is based on Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) technology that features EMI-immune position feedback for operating environments with high voltage, RFI, microwave radiation, magnetic fields, or explosive atmospheres. The encoder offers 25-bit resolution (13-bit single turn and 12-bit multi-turn) with an update rate of 850 µs and the ability to operate interference-free over distances up to 30 meters (100 feet). The system consists of the MR430-1 DIN rail-mount controller and MR431 rotary sensor. The controller provides built-in interfaces for SSI, RS-485/Modbus RTU, Digital Set Point, and programmable 4-20mA and ±10V analog outputs.

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Collaborative Robot Module

Visumatic Industrial Products (Lexington, KY) offers the VCM-3X.2 collaborative robot module, a complete assembly feed and drive end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT) package. It includes an automatic screwfeeder, drive system, skeleton robot program, and end effector for direct mounting to a collaborative robot wrist. The module incorporates a bit advance assembly with dual-powered motion for controlled fastener installation. Slide position sensors confirm bit advance and retract, reporting to the robot controller that it is OK to move when the bit reaches the home position. The system has pre-programmed fault recovery logic to automatically continue driving screws after a force safety stop. This occurs without operator intervention.

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Motor Driver

US Digital (Vancouver, WA) released the MD3 programmable microstepping motor driver that drives motors up to 7A continuous duty. In addition to digital input controls, the driver can be configured and controlled using the open MODBUS RTU protocol over a RS-485 bus. A GUI application is supplied that allows many settings to be changed including the number of microsteps per full step, acceleration/deceleration rates, speed, and current cutback. The design supports multiple units on the same RS-485 bus and allows for programmable motion profiles. In addition, the driver has a brushed DC motor speed control mode.

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Angle Sensors

Novotechnik, U.S. (Southborough, MA) offers the RFC4800 Series of touch-less angle sensors measuring angular position up to 360°, revolution counter, and speed with a J1939 CANBus interface in addition to CANopen. Features include programmable zero-point offset, measurement averaging, and sign of rotational direction. The sensors have resolution of 14 bits across 360°, repeatability of 0.36°, and independent linearity of ±0.5% of full scale. Other output interfaces include analog voltage and current as well as digital output options of IO-Link, SSI, SPI, and incremental. Single- and multi-channel versions are available. The sensors are sealed up to IP69K and operating temperature range is -40 to +125 °C.

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Electric Drive Simulation

dSPACE (Wixom, MI) introduced hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems for emulating electric motor and battery components with voltages up to 800 V, which means that all drive components of hybrid and fully electric drives can be represented with a real energy flow. The high-voltage-load hardware can be flexibly used with regard to currents and number of phases as well as the type of voltage source to be emulated. Using the same hardware for the emulation of loads such as electric motors, and sources such as batteries and the AC grid, makes the systems cost-effective. The energy flow in the system circulates without complex grid feedback. An open (Simulink/Xilinx) library provides the required simulation models, from FPGA models for motors and incremental encoders, to Automotive Simulation Models (ASMs) for batteries and complete powertrains. High-frequency rotating fields and all operation points of an electric motor can be emulated, both in motor and generator operation. By frontloading the conventional dynamometer testing to emulators, the high-voltage electronic loads integrate seamlessly into hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) validation. Because the currents can be emulated precisely, it is possible to display ripple currents as well as harmonic frequencies, which allows for testing the latest control concepts. Furthermore, it is possible to emulate many important aspects for fault simulation, such as leakage currents, zero currents, or current-limited short circuits. The integrated monitoring and limiting of voltages, currents, and temperatures protects the connected electronic control units (ECUs) at all times.

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Plastic Bearings

Anticorrosive, chemical-resistant, nonmagnetic, and lubrication-free plastic bearings from Kashima Bearings (Schaumburg, IL) feature dimensional tolerance, linear thermal expansion, and water absorption characteristics. Materials include PTFE or UHMWPE for chemical environments due to their corrosion resistance and non-absorbency, and PEEK and PPS for various applications for high chemical and heat resistance, and dimensional stability. The bearings do not require grease or oil and meet the cleanroom demands of the semiconductor industry; they also do not rust when exposed to chemical cleaners or rinsing water in semiconductor applications. The non-magnetic design makes them suitable for use in medical equipment or control units where the development of any static and noise should be prevented.

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Motion Design Magazine

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

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