Motion Control/​Automation

Explore the latest developments in motion control and automation. Discover innovative advances from NASA and major research labs in robotics, autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, PID controller applications, motor drives and power transmissions.

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Embedded Servo Drive Boosts Speed of Packaging Lines

Pfankuch Machinery, based in Ahrensburg, Germany, is a leading manufacturer of friction feeder systems for inserting leaflets and products into sales packaging. An embedded smart servo drive from Metronix (part of the Apex Tool Group in Sparks, MD) has allowed Pfankuch to increase the speed of...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Motion Platform

The SIMO® Series linear motion platform from PBC Linear (Rockford, IL) offers low-profile rail heights for tight spaces, or a tall version for greater structural integrity. Each aluminum base rail is qualified with the SIMO (Simultaneous Integral Milling Operation) option for less bow and twist, and better...

Products : Motion Control
Bearings and Wear Rings

Graphite Metallizing Corp. (Yonkers, NY) offers self-lubricating, non-galling GRAPHALLOY® bearings and wear rings for pumping problems caused by low-viscosity, light hydrocarbon liquids such as Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), LNGs, and CO2. The bearings are used in horizontal and vertical pumps to eliminate...

Products : Motion Control
Wireless Coupling Devices

Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) has added flat-pack-style transmitter coupling devices to the WIS (short-range wireless inductive coupling system) product family. The new devices allow power and signal coupling to be transferred across an air gap of up to 20 mm. These wireless devices allow sensors to be connected to...

Products : Motion Control
Automated Laser Scanner

NVision (Coppell, TX) has introduced the RoboScanner, a lightweight, turnkey laser scanning system that offers fully automated scanning with 3D analysis for measuring components in a production environment. The scanner weighs 50 pounds and is touch-sensitive, eliminating the need for a safety cage required by large,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Pneumatic Torque Wrenches

Snap-on Industrial (Kenosha, WI) offers pneumatic torque wrenches for applying torque to fasteners using a dual-speed gearbox and pneumatic technology that controls input air pressure. This design provides a rundown gear with speeds up to 100 RPM for fast rundown of fasteners, and a torque gear with a much slower RPM...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Encoder

The LC 200 linear encoder from Heidenhain (Schaumburg, IL) is designed for linear measurement on long machine tool axes. Available with a Mitsubishi interface, the encoder is an absolute-type encoder that measures lengths of up to 28 meters. It ensures that the absolute position value is available immediately upon switch-on. It is...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Positioning System

Parker Hannifin Corp. (Highlands Ranch, CO) and Flexibility Engineering (Loveland, CO) have introduced the patented Anysize™ pneumatic-based positioning system. The Compact Anysize™ is designed specifically to fit into tighter spaces for conventional mechanical conveyors. Users need only input a desired guide rail width,...

Products : Motion Control
Drive Rack

The Npaq® 6U from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) is a high-power drive rack that uses plug-in amplifiers supporting both linear and PWM topologies to control brushless, DC brush, or stepper motors. PWM amps offer up to 320 VDC operating voltage and 30 A peak current capability. Linear amplifiers provide up to 80 V and 20 A peak...

Products : Motion Control
Integrated Motors

Schneider Electric Motion USA (Marlborough, CT) offers Lexium MDrive® LMD42 integrated motors. The NEMA 17 integrated motors are available in four communication versions for a range of motion applications. They integrate a high-torque NEMA 17 stepper motor with 12- to 48-VDC drive, controller, and I/O, and an...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Force Control Software

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) has introduced Integrated Force Control, a consolidation of the discrete software features that were available separately in either the machining or assembly Force Control offerings into a single base module. Force control technology makes robots more intelligent and able to handle process...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Speed Reducers

Emerson Industrial Automation (Florence, KY) offers Morse Raider Plus speed reducers that use finishing techniques, additional bearings, and special seals to arm them for leak-free performance. For use with conveyors, mixers, and bucket elevators, the device’s computerized gear centering optimizes the gear mesh for reduced heat...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Drive-Motor Systems

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) has released the Gold Duet drive-motor system that integrates a servomotor with an intelligent Gold servo drive, making it suitable for use in compact lab machines and medical devices. The EtherCAT-based system is available in a range of flange sizes (40, 60, 80, and 130) and power ranges (30...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Hydraulic Cylinder

Bosch Rexroth Corp. (Bethlehem, PA) offers the CDL2 mill-type cylinder for pressure ranges of 160 and 250 bars. They are designed for two million load cycles. Design engineers can calculate the cylinder’s lifecycle for each application, and determine the price/performance ratio. The cylinder features four different mounting...

Products : Motion Control
Electric Cylinders

SMAC (Carlsbad, CA) has released the CBL series of electric cylinders that feature a “snap-together” design that controls tight tolerance stack-up. The CBL35 cylinder has a 35-mm diameter and stroke lengths of 10 mm and 25 mm. The cylinders offer cycle rates of over 100 million cycles. Features include carriage-free design...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Shaft Collars

Amacoil/Uhing (Aston, PA) has introduced Easylock shaft collars that hold reels, spools, and other objects in place on shafts. Objects are held between two pintles, one of which has a clamping force control. The clamping control permits adjustment of the holding force from 90 to 1,124 pounds. A conical point mounted to each pintle...

Products : Motion Control
AC Drives

Vacon (Vaasa, Finland) has introduced the VACON® NXP System Drives, a line of standardized AC drives that is based on the VACON NXP and VACON Common DC bus products, which include a variety of modules in a wide power range. The system drive product range is available in various IP ratings, and CE and UL certifications...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Automation Software

Kollmorgen (Radford, VA) has announced Kollmorgen Automation Suite IDE Version 2.7, which includes new runtime features and IDE enhancements that accelerate machine integration for OEMs. The software is used to program and refine most automated functions, including line shafting, gearing, and camming. The software is also...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Glass-Handling Robots

QComp Technologies (Greenville, WI) offers robotic glass-handling systems and conveyors for the flat glass industry. Using precision conveyors and robotics, the systems provide accuracy, handling, and gapping of glass to maximize throughput of a system through ovens and coating lines. The systems are suited for line...

News : Software
Driving Simulator Helps Engineers Calculate Human Factor

Simulations are an important development tool in the automobile and utility vehicle. The properties of vehicle components, such as how they respond in an accident, their reliability, or their energy efficiency can be investigated using simulations before the first component is...

News : Motion Control
Harnessing Everyday Motion to Power Mobile Devices

Imagine powering your cell phone by simply walking around your office or rubbing it with the palm of your hand. Rather than plugging it into the wall, you become the power source. Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed the first triboelectric nanogenerator, or "TENG." The team paired two...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Re-entry Vehicle Shape for Enhanced Performance

A vehicle entering the atmosphere of a planet will do so at hypersonic speeds and will need to decelerate and maneuver through that atmosphere while protecting its payload from excessive heating. As a consequence, the vehicle shape must be designed to provide optimal aerodynamic lift and drag...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
CubeSat Deployable Log Periodic Dipole Array

The antenna is composed of two main deployable structural components that help it achieve the large packing factor necessary to fit within the small volume of the CubeSat. The primary component of the antenna array is a tension stiffened truss, which is preloaded using a large tape spring. The truss...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Protective Sleeve for a Pyrotechnic Reefing Line

A metallic sleeve provides protection and guidance for the actuating lanyard pull of a parachute system reefing line cutter. This device ensures that the reefing line cutter is not damaged during packing or deployment. In addition, the device ensures that the actuating lanyard that initiates the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Metabolic Heat Regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption

Two fundamental problems facing the development of a portable system to sustain life on extraterrestrial surfaces are (1) heat rejection and (2) rejection of metabolically produced CO2 to an environment with a ppCO2 of 0.4 to 0.9 kPa as is present on Mars. Portable...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Moving Magnet Voice Coil Actuators Offer Controllable Movement for High-Duty-Cycle Applications

There are two types of voice coil actuators: moving coil and moving magnet. The materials of construction are similar, since they both use rare earth magnets, steel, copper wire, and basic insulation materials. There is a tendency to want to say one...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Integrated Motion Solution Keeps Laser Marking Machine Costs Down

As the demands of traceability and compliance are put on manufacturers, using a laser provides permanent marking of a variety of information, including 2D bar codes, serial numbers, company information, and logos.

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM)

Autonomous robotic manipulators have the potential to increase manufacturing efficiency, provide in-home care, and reduce the risk to humans in hazardous situations. The current challenge in autonomous robotic manipulation is to approach the capabilities of dedicated, one-off manipulators in known...

Briefs : Motion Control
Sliding Gait for ATHLETE Mobility

ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer) is a multipurpose mobility platform for planetary surfaces. It is a cross between a wheeled rover and a walking robot, and travels using powered wheels mounted on the end of each of six robotic limbs. Each limb is a fully articulated robotic manipulator...

Products : Motion Control
DC Motors and Gearheads

The DCX 10S and DCX 22L motors from maxon motor (Fall River, MA) are new additions to the DCX series of DC motors. Also available is the GPX 22 gearhead in a version with reduced noise level and with ceramic axes. The DCX 10S is a brushed DC motor with high power density and low vibration that exceeds the 1 mNm threshold...

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New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2