Sensing Methodologies in Pinch Valves

This white paper examines various types of state sensors and their functional use in pinch valves for advanced system development. Many systems today, including medical and biopharmaceutical applications, require precise control and monitoring of a variety of fluids during operation. Systems can employ several methods to control fluid. Solenoid and pneumatic pinch valves, used in conjunction with flexible tubing, offer a simple approach to non-wetted fluid control. At the most fundamental level, various types of sensors can be incorporated into pinch valves to provide feedback showing the physical, open or closed, state of the valve. This paper covers both the basics of state sensing as well as advanced applications to detect the presence of tubing.

Posted in: White Papers, Medical, Motion Control, Sensors
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Drone Control: How the Human Brain Can Guide Robotic Swarms

Who needs a keyboard, a mouse, or a joystick? A researcher from Arizona State University wants to command machines with the human brain.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Motion Control
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Robotic Inspector Traverses Water Pipes

Today's water distribution systems lose an average of 20 percent of their supply because of leaks. Current leak-detection systems are expensive and slow to operate, and they don't work well in systems that use wood, clay, or plastic pipes. A robotic system developed by researchers at MIT could provide a fast, inexpensive way to find even tiny leaks with pinpoint precision, no matter what the pipes are made of.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control
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New Products: October 2017 Motion Design

Torque Motor

ThinGap (Camarillo, CA) has developed the first member of a new motor family of high peak torque density brushless PM motors that reach over 20 Nm/Kg. The frameless LSI 105 torque motor model is 105 mm OD (4.125 inches) and 25.4 mm (1.0 inch) long. Continuous torque reaches over 2Nm (283 oz-in) in typical applications. The motor has torque ripple of less than -1%, and zero cogging. A frameless configuration is combined with large ID through-bores to ease assembly into OEM motion products. The efficient potted winding and thermally conductive structure provide heat transfer in enclosed places, and the motors also work with active cooling systems such as cooling loops or oil filled assemblies. Adjusting windings are available that cover common bus voltages and speed requirements.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
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Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris

Large amounts of existing space debris pose a threat to satellites, space vehicles, and astronauts aboard those vehicles. However, cleaning up the debris is problematic. For example, suction cups don't work in a vacuum, and traditional sticky substances like tape are largely useless because the chemicals they rely on can't withstand extreme temperature swings.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control
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Computational Tool Simplifies Creating Machines That Bend

Replacing rigid joints and linkages with mechanisms that bend offers a number of potential advantages, even as it makes designing devices more difficult. A computational design tool developed by Disney Research promises to make this transition from rigid to compliant mechanisms easier. The tool can take a design for a conventional, rigidly articulated device and automatically substitute parts that achieve the same function through flexibility, drawing from existing catalogs of compliant mechanisms.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control
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Selecting the Correct Actuator

The need for actuators has grown exponentially. Nearly everywhere you look you can see pneumatic, hydraulic, or electric actuator systems at work in an endless variety of applications. There are many stereotypes surrounding these three types of motion systems, and while some of the ideas may stand true, many of the thoughts we have associated with these components are outdated and need to be revisited. Whereas you may think that your application's need for actuation rests on one specific type of actuator, technological advances have allowed us to reexamine the specifics of each, which could mean more than one option for your project.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control
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Electromagnetic Actuator Decouples Linear and Rotary Motions

A lightweight module for rapid, accurate, and versatile positioning of semiconductor chips features a novel electromechanical actuator that can move objects both linearly and rotationally. The technology was developed by researchers at the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (A*STAR SIMTech) and National University of Singapore (SIMTech-NUS) Joint Lab.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control
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MOTOR DRIVES: Build or Buy

Every system design presents a unique set of specifications regarding cost, space, time-to-market, and other factors. Designers must therefore make tradeoffs to meet these requirements, such as opting for a higher priced component to meet a stringent space constraint. For a motion application, design engineers can either source motion control components as complete self-contained units or build their own in-house, and each option has its pros and cons.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control
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Inch vs. Metric Ball Screws: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Because ball screws are available in both inch and metric dimensions, designers sometimes begin the specification process by selecting a product family based on the unit of measure. This decision may prematurely exclude the ideal product for the application and lead to significant losses in time, labor, and expense. This article explains how sizing and selection questions centered on performance — instead of monikers — can lead to more efficient linear motion designs.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control
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