Rotary Ball Spline

NB Corporation of America (Hanover Park, IL) released a rotary ball spline that can be used for both rotational and linear motion. Applications include SCARA robots, the vertical shaft of assembly equipment, automatic tool changers, and loaders. The rotary ball spline has a nut that rolls on the ball spline shaft, providing sub-millimeter accuracy. Splines feature arch-shaped grooves on both the shaft and inner portion of the cylinder that approximate the diameter of the ball bearings, allowing them to carry a high load in a linear motion.

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Inertial Measurement Unit

Bosch Sensortec (Kusterdingen, Germany) offers the BMI270 ultra-low-power smart Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for wearable applications that combines gyroscope technology and an accelerometer. It includes intuitive gesture, context, and activity recognition with an integrated plug-and-play step counter for wrist-worn devices. The IMU is also suited for other types of wearable devices such as hearables, smart clothes, smart shoes, smart glasses, and ankle bands. The IMU features current consumption of 30 μA and is available in two versions: a gesture version and a context and activity version.

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Electromagnetic Clutches

The CSZ electromagnetic clutches from Miki Pulley (Plymouth, MN) have a zero-backlash design and provide connection between a motor and a load with low inertia and minimal drag. The clutches function using the magnetic force generated by the energized coil, providing engagement of input and output members of the clutch. They feature an integrated bearing design and operate in temperatures from 14 °F to 104 °F (-10 °C to 40 °C). The clutches are available in bores ranging from 10 to 15 mm.

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Linear Stepper Motor

Nippon Pulse (Radford, VA) introduced the PFL20 Linearstep stepper motor, a tin-can linear actuator with a 20-mm diameter and a bipolar winding. It is RoHS-compliant, has a 30/60-mm effective stroke, and can reach 6 N of force at 200 pps. With 24 steps per revolution, the lead screw has a 1.2-mm thread pitch and reaches 5V rated voltage, resistance of 33 Ohms/phase, and inductance of 12 mH/phase. The structure of the motor — a threaded rotor hub and lead screw — helps to save space due to fewer components. The motor can be ordered with unipolar or bipolar windings and a variety of usable voltages. In addition to the 20-mm motor size, it is also available in 25-mm (captive or non-captive option) and 35-mm diameter sizes.

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Smart Motors

TRINAMIC Motion Control (Hamburg, Germany) released PD42-x-1670 smart BLDC motors designed for 4,000-rpm nominal velocity and 6.25 to 18.5 Ncm rated holding torque. The BLDC PANdrive comes with two firmware options: TMCL™ and CANopen. The motors feature a Hall-based rotary feedback system and are integrated in PLC environments or in standalone applications. The motors come in three lengths, each with 42-mm flange size brushless motors, and work with a 24V power supply. Features include supply voltage of 10 to 28 VDC and 5.2A RMS.

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Linear Motors

The SDLM-025-070-01-01 and SDLM-025-070-01-05 direct drive linear motors from Moticont (Van Nuys, CA) have built-in encoders and feature high speed, high resolution, zero backlash, and zero cogging. The motors are 1" (25.4 mm) in diameter and 2.75" (69.9 mm) long. Protected inside the motor housings are linear optical quadrature encoders that directly connect to the non-rotating shaft. The motors have a stroke length of 0.500"(12.7 mm), a continuous force rating of 22.2 oz. (5.9 N), and peak force of 67.2 oz (18.7 N). The non-commutated motors offer direct coupling of the load or stage to eliminate backlash and enable high acceleration/ deceleration. Both ends of the motor and shaft ends are drilled and tapped for integration into new and existing applications.

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Closed-Loop Controllers

Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) announced Queensgate NanoScan NPC-D-6000 Series multi-channel closed-loop controllers. Both the single-and multi-channel digital nanopositioning controllers are designed to operate in a closed-loop feedback mode with stages or actuators incorporating capacitive position sensors. The controllers can control up to three piezo-driven actuators and two- or three-axis nanopositioning systems.

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Stepper Controller/Drive

Advanced Micro Controls (Terryville, CT) released the SD4840E2 DC-powered integrated stepper controller drive package with multi-protocol Ethernet communication. It combines drive and motion control technology into a single product and communicates with the host PLC over the EtherNet/IP, Modbus-TCP, or Profinet network. Features include 0.1 to 4.0Arms output current, motion profiles including homing and electronic gearing, and E2 Technology — a multi-protocol approach to Ethernet distributed I/O that simplifies moving from one industrial Ethernet protocol to another. Vari-step velocity control provides smoothness independent of the user’s configured resolution.

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Bearing/Pillow Blocks

LM76 (E. Longmeadow, MA) offers one-piece ETX linear bearing/pillow blocks machined from a solid block of self-lubricating ETX. They have a low coefficient of friction and dimensional stability at higher temperatures. They are maintenance-free and travel on ceramic-coated shafting with a slight interference fit between bearing ID and shaft. The blocks are available in inch and metric sizes with a continuous service temperature up to 210 °F (100 °C). They offer chemical and abrasion resistance, low moisture absorption, and resistance to staining.

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Gradient Valves

Clippard (Cincinnati, OH) introduced NIV series gradient valves with multiple 2-way, normally closed solenoids connected around a central body. Each actuator operates independently, allowing for flow of various media to be mixed or for one media to be split into multiple streams. Features include low power consumption, minimal dead volume, all wetted areas in PTFE, high cycle life, and compatibility with corrosive and aggressive fluids.

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Integrated Servomotors

MDX integrated servomotors from Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) combine a high-torque-density, low-inertia servomotor with an onboard drive and controller for applications including automated guided vehicles and autonomous mobile robots. The motors feature control electronics at the back near the feedback device; no other external electronics package is required to drive or control the motor. The back of the motor also contains connectors for power, communications, and I/O. The controllers utilize the same command interfaces as external motor controllers including CANopen, RS-485, Modbus, and Ethernet as well as discrete I/O interfaces like pulse and direction. Command signals from a robot or machine’s central processing unit can be wired directly to the integrated servomotor.

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Encoders

POSITAL (Hamilton, NJ) announced 2- and 4-wire versions of the single-cable BiSS Line interface for motor feedback kit encoders. Single-cable connectivity enables motor manufacturers, machine builders, and system integrators to build absolute position feedback into devices such as servomotors, stepper motors, and robotic joints. With the 4-wire version, there are separate wire pairs for power and data transmission with both wire pairs packaged in a single cable. For the 2-wire version, modulated data signals share the conductor pair with the power supply. Interfaces use BiSS open-source data communications protocols that offer Forward Error Correction to detect and correct transmission errors at the receiver.

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Robotic Programming

READY Robotics (Columbus, OH) offers the Forge suite of products unifying cross-robotic platform programming and control. The suite consists of the Forge/Ctrl hardware controller and Forge/OS software to control industrial and collaborative robots. The suite utilizes one user interface across multiple robotic brands, creating an intuitive programming experience. With a small installation footprint and an IP54 rating designed to withstand heavy industrial environments, the controller features plug-in pneumatic peripherals, sensors, and grippers. The software allows users to create programs via touchscreen while controlling peripherals, grippers, sensors, and pneumatic devices.

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Rotary Stage

The AY110-300 motorized rotary stage from Optimal Engineering Systems (Van Nuys, CA) features a 180-mm (7.087") open aperture. The rotary table of the stage has a pattern of threaded holes for mounting custom tooling and fixtures, and holes in the base for integration into new and existing applications. The diameter of the table is 300 mm (11.811") and the range of travel is 360º. The stage is also available with a servomotor and optical encoder. It features backlash of 0.0005° and positional accuracy of 0.001º for laser positioning and machining, testing, assembly, inspection, alignment, and other critical applications.

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Linear Position Sensors

NewTek Sensor Solutions (Pennsauken, NJ) offers free-core and spring-loaded LVDT linear position sensors with 4-20 mA output capabilities for industrial monitoring and feedback applications. The sensors are suited for use in liquid level gaging, robotic automation, and industrial automation controls. Output signal integrates with a variety of PLCs, digital indicators, computer-based data processors, and QC data collection systems. Hermetically sealed versions can withstand dirt, water, steam, and other harsh elements. Constructed of TIG welded stainless steel, the sensors operate from 11 –28 VDC and are available in full ranges from 0.10" (2.5 mm) to 20" (500 mm).

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Explosionproof Motor Control

Larson Electronics (Kemp, TX) introduced the EPCS-MTS-3P-5HP-480V-PB.RG-3XPL explosion-proof motor control station for Class I, II, and III hazardous locations. The three-pole unit is rated for use in wet locations and features three pilot lights with start/stop momentary pushbuttons in green for run, red for stop, and amber for trip events. The unit is made of corrosion-resistant cast copper-free aluminum with an external flanged ground joint between the body and cover. The 18-amp motor control station has an IP66 rating and offers several coil and lamp voltages including 120 VAC, 230 VAC, or 24 VDC. It features three 2" NPT hubs for completing electrical connections — one on the top and two on the bottom. The device includes a pre-drilled mounting plate inside the enclosure that is removeable for mounting. Applications include indoor or outdoor general motor protection in hazardous locations where rain or water spray may occur.

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Autonomous Mobile Robot

Mobile Industrial Robots (Holbrook, NY) launched the MiR1000 autonomous mobile robot that can automatically pick up, transport, and deliver pallets and other heavy loads up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs.) through dynamic environments. With artificial intelligence capabilities incorporated into the software and cameras that function as sensors, the robot provides optimized route-planning. The cameras enable the robot to detect and recognize different moving obstacles and react accordingly. The robot has two flexible pallet lifts and can integrate different top modules such as conveyors, a robot arm, or other options.

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Bevel Gearboxes

Wittenstein (Bartlett, IL) released bevel gearboxes available in a range of sizes and output options. The NPK/NPLK/NPSK/ NPTK/NPRK right-angle coaxial gearboxes feature multiple interfaces; the CP/CPS and CPK/CPSK series feature a replaceable B5 output flange with a long centering component that enables a compact connection to the machine. The series features additional output variants and bevel gear stages to deliver <12 arcmin of torsional backlash in the coaxial version or <17 arcmin in the right-angle version.

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Motor Drive

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the XC4 PWM digital drive, a single-axis motor drive designed for brushless DC, brush DC, voice coil, and stepper motors at up to 340 VDC operating voltage and 30 A peak current. The digitally closed current loop and servo-loop ensure positioning accuracy and rate stability. This allows loop closure rates up to 20 kHz and digital and analog I/O processing, data collection, process control, and encoder multiplication tasks in real time. Features include Safe Torque Off , a data array of more than four million 32-bit elements, digital and analog I/O, one-axis Position Synchronized Output, dedicated home and end-of-travel limit inputs, and an enhanced current sense device.

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Brushless DC Motors

The EC042B IDEA motors from Haydon Kerk Pittman, a business unit of AMETEK Advanced Motion Solutions (Harleysville, PA), are 42 mm in diameter and integrate a high-torque, brushless servo motor with an IDEA Drive in a single unit. They are available in three motor lengths with continuous torque up to 0.15 Nm with integrated inputs, outputs, encoder, and RS-485 communication. The motors can store and execute multiple programs with I/O driven nested, prioritized, and vectored interrupts as well as polled I/O for autonomous realtime control. Applications include lab automation, medical devices, communications equipment, semiconductor processing equipment, aerospace systems, and other applications where precision motion and compact packaging are critical.

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Motion Design Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2019 issue of Motion Design Magazine.

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