Variable Frequency Drives

Through a new partnership, variable frequency drives (VFDs) from American Control Electronics (South Beloit, IL) will now be offered as a product add-on to Brother Gearmotors’ portfolio of sub-fractional AC gearmotors and reducers. OEMs have access to an optimized VFD for the Brother sub-fractional power range instead of purchasing an offthe- shelf VFD that may not be the best fit for the application. For example, a user buying a sub-fractional HP (1/100th to 1/6th HP) gear motor will not have to choose an off-the-shelf VFD rated for 1/4 HP. ACE’s microprocessor-based VFDs control AC motor speed and torque by varying input frequency and voltage.

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Frameless Motors

Frameless motors from BEI Kimco (Vista, CA) were designed to meet the torque loads and size requirements of the robotics industry. The company created the DIP26-08, DIP30-11, and DIP38-13 frameless motors for use in a multi-axis assembly robot for semiconductor and other light manufacturing applications. Key to the robot’s design specifications was a motor that would support peak torque loads ranging from 85 oz-in to 531 oz-in within the frame sizes of 2.6", 3.0", and 3.8" OD. The compact sizes were needed to fit within the articulating robot wrist, elbow, and shoulder axis. Additionally, the motor needed to handle continuous duty cycles. All three motor designs incorporate rotor magnet material configurations that have only recently become available for volume applications.

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Shock Absorption Mounts

J.W. Winco, Inc. (New Berlin, WI) released the GN 254 inch and metric size stainless steel vibration/ shock absorption mounts. The RoHS-compliant, conical-type mounts are frequently used as end-stop bumpers (for example, with roller conveyor systems) because they absorb most of the accumulated kinetic energy on impact. Acting as dampers and preventing damaging shock and rebound, they also dampen sound. In addition, these isolation mounts can be used as leveling feet. The mount body is made from vulcanized, 55 durometer synthetic rubber, while the cover plate and the tapped inserts/threaded studs are molded in stainless steel. Versions with 40 or 70 durometer natural rubber material are available.

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Modular Encoders

CUI Inc. (Tualatin, OR) announced a partnership with Lin Engineering to integrate its AMT encoder technology with Lin’s latest stepper motor series, the G3718V NEMA 17 sized motors. The AMT series is a range of rugged, high-accuracy, modular encoders available in incremental, absolute, and commutation versions. The encoders are not susceptible to contaminants such as dirt, dust, and oil. They come with several programmable features, including resolutions up to 4096 PPR, zero position, line drivers, and in the case of the absolute version, a 12-bit absolute output. Operating temperature range is from –40 up to +125 °C.

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Machine Control Software

ACS Motion Control (Bloomington, MN) released a software suite to help simplify control of laser processing equipment. The SPiiPlusSPC (Smart Processing Commander) software integrates, manages, and coordinates the motion control system, laser, and other machine peripherals (vision, galvo, etc.). The software features an interface environment for manual and automated machine operation. Suitable for a wide range of laser processing applications, the SPiiPlusSPC system lets users create motion/process recipes from one or multiple imported CAD files (DXF, DWG, Gerber, NC Drill, or STL) and/or the built-in geometric functions. It’s compatible with any PC running Windows 7/8/10 or XP with SP3. Customization options are available through ACS and its partners, or via user created plugins. Applications include 3D engraving, laser micro-processing, polymer processing, laser drilling, PCB drilling, laser cutting, PCB stencil manufacturing, glass and polymer cutting, stent manufacturing, and laser additive manufacturing.

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Rotary Assembly

Intellidrives, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA) offers an integrated two-axes rotary assembly for accurate positioning on a hemispherical surface. It provides high-speed micro-machining capabilities for complex 3D part geometries, and for general testing; purpose pointing; scanning; and tracking applications for small optics, antennae, and other sensors. The system is motorized with high torque NEMA 17 stepper motors. It includes precision worm gear technology and offers positioning accuracy of 30 arc-sec, repeatability of 10 arc-sec, maximum speed of 60 rpm, yaw rotation of 360 degrees, tilt rotation of +/– 95 degrees, and maximum load of 10 kg. It can optionally be equipped with rotary encoders mounted to the back of the stepper motor to provide closed-loop servo performance with Intellidrives’ ServoStep controllers.

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Pneumatic Valves

Aventics Corp. (Lexington, KY) introduced the ES05 Essential Valve System for distributors, machine manufacturers, and system integrators to configure a customized valve system online from a set number of readily available components. The modular system offers 25 unique components. Orders are supplied as complete assembly kits, and only one tool is required for the job. All fittings are of the same type and tightened with the same torque. The portfolio also includes the Essential Test Box to test correct function and leak-tightness of the valves before installing the valve systems. Aventics can also deliver factory assembled and tested ES05 valve manifolds. The valves come in a polymer housing, are stable and compact, and provide flows up to 0.61 Cv. Users connect the end and base plates (available with metric or inch ports), and can extend the system in pairs up to twelve single or double solenoid valves. The valves are controlled via single wiring. The online configurator can help with design, documentation, and drawings.

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Miniature Bearings

The family of standard miniature bearings from IKO International, Inc. (Parsippany, NJ) includes rail widths from 1 mm to 25 mm, with wide-bearing options as high as 42 mm. They are also available in up to four different lengths — compact, standard, long, and extra-long in many sizes. The largest miniature models have dynamic load ratings of more than 16,600 N (LWLG25) and moment load ratings over 320 Newton meters (MLFG42) in the roll axis. The C-Lube lubrication system, which is integrated into many units, offers a controlled release of lubricant over 20,000 km of operation. C-Lube technology can be integrated into bearings as small as 3-mm wide. Options include corrosion resistant coatings; ceramic balls; stainless steel or carbon steel rails; stainless steel end plates for applications with thermal extremes; and bottom-mounted, threaded mounting hole rails.

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Machine Safety Door

Dynatect (New Berlin, WI) introduced the Gortite® VF automated machine safety door. The Vertical Fabric door helps keep hazardous processes like robotic welding separate from people, equipment, and materials. The high-speed fabric roll-up door is intended for safe machine access and maximizing production time in automated manufacturing. It supports three-week lead times, 1-hour field installation, multiple t-slot mounting surfaces, and long-life non-contact sensors. Conforming to OSHA guardrail requirements, the door’s fabric curtain is retained in columns to minimize risk of falling through the closed door. The door comes standard with proximity switches that sense the end-travel for the door. Providing a physical and visible barrier, the door can be positioned closer to hazardous machines versus standalone light curtains. Door actuation is triggered via the automation governing the guarded machine, has a standard speed of 44"/second, can complete two cycles per minute, and is developed for more than 1 million cycles.

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Angle Sensors

POSIHALL® sensors from ASM Sensors, Inc. (Elmhurst, IL) measure absolute angular position of a shaft over multiple revolutions. They employ a gear coupled multi-hall sensor system that uses a magnetic nonius (vernier) principle. The sensors can be mounted directly onto a machine’s rotation axis, and are available in protection class up to IP69. The sensor electronics are completely enclosed and protected by a rugged housing. The non-contact magnetic multi-hall technology can reliably detect measuring data even if the machine housing is filled with water or oil. The sensor body has an integral shielding against magnetic fields, and works in environments with magnetic field strengths up to 0.5 Tesla. The measurement range for the PH36 is up to 31 × 360° revolutions, and for the PH58/PH68 up to 255 × 360° revolutions. Digital (SSI, CANopen, and CAN SAE J1939) and analog outputs are available.

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Smart Motors

Trinamic Motion Control (Redwood City, CA) announced the PD42-1070 family of PANdrive smart motors that were developed specifically to simplify the application of advanced power control technology. The stepper motors meet NEMA16 standards. They feature amplifiers preconfigured for the motor types and are controlled via step and direction signals. All amplifiers will include the silent PWM control mode stealthChop™ and a microPlyer™, which transforms a starting micro-step resolution of 16- microsteps-per-full-step into a sinusoidal power curve with 256 micro-steps. Drives with a holding torque of 0.27 to 0.29 Nm are available with matching cable kits to help accelerate development. The drives are immediately usable upon delivery, but can be configured for application via a UART interface with the free TMCL-IDE.

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Moving Coil Actuator

SMAC Corp. (Carlsbad, CA) announced the LCA6 moving coil actuator. The 6-mm wide, stackable LCA6 is cross roller guided for increased accuracy. Flat coils are centered between cross rollers so deflection load is reduced and rigidity is increased. Specifications include a 10-mm linear stroke; 0.1- to 5-micron encoder resolution; coil resistance of 18.9 Ohms (24 V); moving mass of 38 g; total mass of 210 g (without cable); and peak force of 3.5 N (24 V). The LCA6 is suited for electronic pick-and-place, biomedical dispensing, and QC measurement applications.

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Gearbox

STOBER Drives, Inc. (Maysville, KY) released the PS Two Speed gearbox for the machine tool industry. It features two different options — a direct drive and customer ratio choice. The 1:1 ratio direct drive can be used for high-speed cutting up to 10,000 RPM. The customer can choose from two ratios, 4:1 or 5.5:1, that can turn at 7,000 RPM. The gearbox offers shafted and flanged outputs, with three different versions of each utilizing a short, medium, or long output. There is an option for a standard deep groove ball bearing, an angular contact bearing, or cylindrical roller bearings. There are two gearbox sizes to fit a variety of motors. This family of gearboxes is capable of up to 2,200 Nm worth of torque.

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Slide Way

The NB STUDROLLER™ slide way from NB Corp. of America (Hanover Park, IL) is suited for motion control applications with extremely fast acceleration and deceleration. Features include 30- to 600-mm lengths, 2- to 12- mm rollers, and endurance of 150 million cycles. The NV type slide way with stainless steel anti-creep cage technology offers zero slippage. Its Raceway depressions track the nodules and prevent slippage in any position. Load capacities are increased 1.4 to 2.3 times over the standard SV type. Roller-to-rail contact area is extended 42 to 58 percent, while the number of rollers is increased 20 to 55 percent.

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Inertial Sensors

SBG Systems (Rueil-Malmaison, France) released a new version of the Ellipse Series miniature inertial sensors. The accuracy of the sensors improved from 0.2° to 0.1° in roll and pitch. In addition, the new accelerometers tolerate high vibration environments (up to 8g). The Ellipse-N model is an allin- one inertial sensor that embeds an L1 GNSS receiver, and is compatible with GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou constellations. Galileo tracking adds access to more satellites, improving the signal strength in harsh environments. Ellipse sensors are well suited for automotive testing, and can connect to a car’s odometer while receiving RTK correction for an accurate trajectory even during GPS outages. CAN protocol is available on every model.

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Vibration-Free Platform

A portable vibration-free platform from Terra Universal (Fullerton, CA) reduces movement for microscopes and motion-sensitive instruments and applications. The low-profile surface maintains a controlled position when supporting equipment up to 213 pounds. Pneumatic isolators, working with built-in pressure regulators, function as air springs to isolate 90% of building movement. These isolators control motion both horizontally and vertically. Removable weights may be added to adjust the surface load. Platform surfaces are 21.75" wide by 18.25" deep. Pressure may be adjusted and monitored using knobs and gauges built into the 3" high unit. The cleanroom-compliant work surface is made of ultra-clean stainless steel. Platforms come assembled and ready to use.

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3D Model Interface

Miki Pulley US (Plymouth, MN) has a tool that lets designers select and configure a coupling, brake, or clutch through its website. Using the 3D model interface, designers enter the product type and the search provides varying degrees of performance criteria, sizes, bore configurations, voltage, and so on. Each selection will shorten and narrow the list. Once the exact model, size and configuration is shown, it can be downloaded in most CAD formats for importing into a designer’s drawing. Rather than having to modify a generic drawing, designers will get an exact drawing of the desired part. The model interface operates with all popular browsers.

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Magnetic Encoder

Encoder Products Company (Sagle, ID) introduced the Model 30MT low-profile 30-mm diameter magnetic encoder module. Designed for tough industrial environments, the Model 30MT offers sealing up to IP69K to protect against dust, dirt, and moisture. Features include a chemically inert high-temperature nylon composite housing and noncontact magnetic sensing. The encoder can operate in temperatures from –40 °C to 120 °C, has a sensor-to-magnet air gap of 0.022", offers threaded housing to simplify installation, and holds ratings of 100g @ 11ms for shock and 20g @ 10 to 3000 Hz for vibration. Resolution goes up to 1024 CPR and maximum frequency is 350 MHz. Other features include an optional index channel with quadrature, four output types, and an 8-pin M12 connector.

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Rotary Tables

KOMA Precision, Inc. (East Windsor, CT) introduced a line of highrigidity rotary tables from Tsudakoma. The RBS (Rotary Ball System) Series is a 4th-axis rotary table series suitable for single-axis vertical machining centers (VMCs), and the TBS (Tilt Ball System) Series is a 5thaxis rotary table series suitable for dual axis use on VMCs. Three new models are available for the RBS Series: the RBS-160, RBS-250, and RBS-320 with corresponding face-plate capacities of 6.3" (160 mm), 8.27" (210 mm), and 10.04" (255 mm). The TBS Series is being introduced with TBS-130 and TBS-160 models. Various options include chucks, tailstocks, and support spindles. Pneumatic and hydraulic rotary joints for automatic load and unload of the work piece are also available.

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Modular Motors and Drives

ABM Drives Inc. (Loveland, OH) offers a modular design system for its motors and drives to provide custom products with low-volume production runs. Custom motors and drives are available for applications such as forklifts, lifting technology, biomass heating systems, textile machines, wind power control, warehouse logistics, high-speed doors, air compressors, construction equipment, packaging machinery, and vehicleinspection equipment. All products are engineered in-house, and components that represent a core competence are produced in-house as well. A large center distance between the motor centerline and the hollow drive shaft centerline gives designers more freedom and/or clearance to integrate the unit into an application. Many layouts are possible, including integration of the motor into the gearbox housing, U-mounting of the motor, and customizing the output shaft.

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Miniature Optical Encoder

US Digital (Vancouver, WA) announced the E8T miniature optical encoder. It offers nine resolutions up to 720 CPR, and its package footprint fits NEMA 11, 14, and 17 motors. The encoder supports up to 2,880 pulses per revolution, is available in over 3,240 different configurations, offers a 100-kHz frequency response, and comes with either single- ended or differential signal outputs. Other features include a secure push-on hub disk design and a high-retention connector. The outside diameter of the package is 1.120 inches (28.45 mm), and the height is 0.460 inches (11.68 mm).

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Speed Controller

Pisco USA, Inc. (Elmhurst, IL) introduced the Type JSD slothead speed controller that reduces unwanted adjustments and ensures settings are maintained during operation. The Type JSD does not include the external needle needed to make speed adjustments. Instead, to ensure consistent speeds, a separate screwdriver is required to make any adjustments. The absence of a built-in tool has reduced the height of this new controller to approximately 2/3 the height of its conventional counterpart. The JSD is available in an elbow type with a 360° rotatable x-axis resin body, and a free type with a 360° rotatable x- and y-axis resin body. Both operate with air as a medium and feature operating pressure ranges from 14.5-130 psi, check valve opening pressure of 7.25 psi, and operating temperature ranges from 32-140 °F.

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Position Hinge

The RT-50 position hinge from Reell Precision Manufacturing Corp. (Saint Paul, MN) holds the angle of mounted components at any position in small assemblies. The 5-mm hinge delivers constant torque capabilities (1.0 lb.-in. to 3.0 lb.-in./0.11 N-m to 0.33 N-m) throughout its full 360° range of motion. A dual-ended mounting configuration enables a single hinge to be used in place of two. It uses ReellTorq® clip technology and has a qualified service life of 50,000 cycles. Hinge shaftend attachment styles include flag, straight, and exposed knurled shaft (all available with the dual-ended mounting option). The hinge’s symmetric design eliminates the need to specify and install separate left-side or right-side versions. It features zinc die-cast housings and bushings combined with hardened steel shaft and torque elements.

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Safety Couplings

R+W America, L.P. (Bensenville, IL) has developed a standard model of corrosion-proof ball detent safety coupling for clarifier drives in water treatment plants. The function of the ball detent torque limiter is to disengage the driveline to protect flights, chains, and sprockets in the event of overload. The couplings are made of high grade stainless steel, and come with tamper-proof options. An optional switch plate and/or extension hub is also available. Two standard bodies have a maximum bore diameter of 2.5" and disengagement torque settings ranging from 1,600 to 21,000 inch-pounds.

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Sine Wave Filter

Schaffner EMC Inc. (Edison, NJ) introduced the FN530 sine wave filter with EMC output filter, which eliminates premature motor damage caused by high dv/dt, overvoltages, cable ringing, motor overheating, and eddy current losses in industrial applications. It is suitable for motors operating at 1.5 to 7.5 kW, 4-16 A, and with frequencies up to 200 Hz. The filter converts the PWM output voltage of motor drives into a smooth sine wave with low residual ripple. The FN530 can improve bearing life by eliminating circulating bearing currents, and allows the use of very long unshielded motor cables. Various models are available to accommodate switching frequencies of 6 to 20 kHz, and VDC link voltage ratings up to 850 VDC max. The filter meets UL 1283, CSA 22.2 No. 8 1986, and IEC/EN 60939 standards, and features IP20 protection.

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Motion Design Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2017 issue of Motion Design Magazine.

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