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.

Articles : Motion Control
Reducing Electromagnetic Interference in Motion Systems

EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) comes in different forms, frequencies, and levels. Electronic equipment has different categories for both emissions and susceptibility. Under normal circumstances, elimination is not possible so reduction to acceptable levels is what can be reasonably...

Briefs : Medical
Controlling Devices Using the Ear as an Output Source

Current methods of device control include joysticks, which involve using one or both hands, external microphones that are cumbersome and pick up ambient noise, and external arrays that are also cumbersome and can restrict a user’s movement. Additionally, the external microphone and array...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Choosing the Right Touchscreen Display Technology for Your Control/Automation Process

From industrial panel PCs, to open-platform graphic operator interface terminals (OITs), to microOITs, to human-machine interfaces (HMIs), there are many choices of interactive display technologies for manufacturing and process control. It can be a challenge to...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Flex Cable Assembly to Aid Robot Arm in Mars Exploration Program
High-Flex
Cables Cicoil Corp.
Valencia, CA 661-295-1295
www.cicoil.com

Cicoil has provided a custom-formed high-flex cable to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), scheduled to launch in 2011 as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The program is...

Articles : Motion Control
Benefits of Magnetostrictive Sensors for Industrial Applications

Modern industrial machines rely on fast, accurate motion control in order to achieve high product quality and productivity, as measurement errors can lead to increased scrap and production downtime. However, these and other costly headaches can be avoided by choosing the proper...

Articles : Motion Control
Roller Pinion Technology Allows High Positional Accuracy for Precision Applications

Increasingly competitive markets make efficient and accurate processes more critical than ever before. To meet the demands of manufacturers, machine builders are constantly searching for new methods to design faster, more precise, and longer-lasting systems that...

Articles : Motion Control
All Motors are Stepping Motors

In 1938, General Electric began producing a two-phase synchronous induction motor which, at 60 Hz, ran at 75 RPM. The low speed resulted from using a different number of rotors to stator poles or teeth, which made the motor a good bi-directional control motor. This motor was used by Superior Electric Company of...

Articles : Motion Control
Intelligent Control Increases Motion System ROI

The economic realities of the industrial marketplace are driving machine builders and integrators to get creative and build more intelligence into their machines in order to increase productivity and lower lifecycle cost. This is done by minimizing time to communicate with the motion controller,...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Connector Improves Reliability, Cuts Cost on Engine Production Line

HARTING North America was recently asked to solve some of the problems associated with power distribution and motion control on a vehicle manufacturer’s long conveyor and engine block production line. The line’s system integrator needed to reduce installation costs to be...

Articles : Motion Control
Tips On Selecting Custom Gearmotors

A custom gearmotor is one that meets your particular specifications. It has the correct mechanical and electrical interfaces, fits within the envelope available, meets your performance, maintenance, lifetime, and aftermarket criteria, and fits within your budget.

Articles : Motion Control
Intelligent Motor Control ICs Simplify System Design

A new category of IC called an intelligent motor controller (IMC) is evolving that simplifies the task of designing high performance motor control drives. IMCs are dedicated, highspeed ICs that control multi-phase motors such as brushless DC and AC induction motors, and provide sophisticated...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Siemens Processor Helps KUKA Boost Robot Productivity

KUKA Flexible Production Systems is a leading producer of production systems for car bodies and chassis. When KUKA decided to become a Tier I supplier of automobile bodies to Chrysler, they needed to use their extensive knowledge of body shops and find a partner willing to work with them to...

Articles : Motion Control
Electric Actuators Deliver Energy Efficient, Low Maintenance Solutions

Machine designers and end users find themselves balancing sometimes opposing priorities such as improving energy efficiency while minimizing adverse impact on the environment, at the same time ensuring performance (e.g., precision, reliability) is not compromised. A key trend...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetic Rotary Encoders Aid Remote Control Vehicle

AB Precision (ABP) prefers to call its Guardian a vehicle (as in MROV - Miniature Remotely Operated Vehicle) rather than a robot. Names aside, the UK-based engineering company’s quadtracked, articulated creation is characterized by dexterity and maneuverability. Its network of ten Renishaw...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Fanuc Painting Robot Boosts Production for Metal Finisher

Classic Metal Finishing, based in Jackson, Mich., supplies components for the aerospace, motorcycle, racing, and medical industries. The plant was purchased in February, 2008 by Classic Metal Finishing and Classic Turning. Classic Turning performs high-end CNC machining of components and...

Briefs : Medical
Computer-Assisted Laser Treatment Using Real-Time Retinal Tracking

Diabetic retinopathy resulting from long-term diabetes mellitus is one of the common diseases that leads to choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a leading cause of blindness. Among the currently available treatment methods, a laser can be used to photocoagulate the diseased areas....

Articles : Motion Control
Introduction to Linear Actuators

Students trained in classic mechanical engineering are taught to construct a system using conventional mechanical components to convert rotary into linear motion. Converting rotary to linear motion can be accomplished by several mechanical means using a rotary motor, rack and pinion, belt and pulley, and other...

Articles : Motion Control
Fluid Handling Products Gain in Performance, Efficiency

Today’s pumps, valves, and flow meters are being designed with greater accuracy and flexibility to handle a wide range of fluids, chemicals, and other materials. Demands for more reliable operation and lower energy usage dictate these parts be made of materials lighter than previously...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Assembly Machines Produce Optics for NASA’s NuSTAR Telescope
Cylindrical optics module assembly machines
ABTech
Swanzey, NH
603-358-6431
www.abtechmfg.com

ABTech has completed the first of two cylindrical optics module assembly machines for Columbia University’s Nevis Astrophysics Laboratory. The multi-axis...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
HAWE Hydraulic Valves Improve Maintenance for Conveyor Application Systems

HAWE Hydraulics, Charlotte, NC, offers proportional valves and controls typically used by companies manufacturing machine tools, lifting platforms, mobile cranes, construction machinery, forestry, material handling, shipbuilding, wind and solar power, offshore technology,...

Articles : Motion Control
Hermetic Feedthroughs Critical for Flywheel Energy Storage

Next-generation flywheels are made possible by advances in material science in rotor technology, as well as the application of magnetic bearings running in a vacuum environment. While the movement of the rotating flywheel into a vacuum eliminates parasitic drags, such as windage friction...

Articles : Motion Control
Motion Control Advancements Ease Medical Procedures

Whether performing an intricate surgery, positioning a patient, or taking a tissue sample, today’s biomedical devices are taking advantage of advanced motion control devices to ensure accurate control and movement in biomedical applications. Robots are making it possible to perform surgical...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Rotary Motors Customized for Telescope Spectrometer
SQUIGGLE® custom rotary piezoelectric motors
New Scale Technologies
Victor, NY
585-924-4450
www.newscaletech.com

The Wide-Field Multi Object Spectrometer (WFMOS) is a ground-based astronomical instrument that is scheduled to be commissioned on the Subaru...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion
Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion

Machine vision can quickly and accurately determine the location of parts so they can be inspected, measured, or manipulated by a robot. An example is using machine vision to guide a robot unpacking...

Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion
Articles : Motion Control
Slip Clutches Solve Diverse Design Problems

Slip clutches are commonly used to protect against overloads, but they can solve many other problems as well. Their applications include increasing machine speeds, applying constant tension to webs or wires, indexing a mechanism, holding a hinged object in position, controlling torque on capping or...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Delta Motion Controller Helps ADI Improve Automotive Chassis Testing

There’s a science to testing metal structures for rigidity and performance under stress. The development of new testing methodologies is continuing at a fast pace, aided by innovations in supporting technologies. For example, motion controllers have evolved to support special...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

Winner of an HP Workstation

Small-Area Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor

Mahmoud Assaad
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Akron, OH

This sensor is being used in tires of all types and sizes, and has also been applied to engineering products such as hoses, belts, and...

Motion Control Technology : Motion Control
Magnetostrictive Sensing Ensures Accurate Level Monitoring

For process industries, one of the greatest challenges plant operators face is finding a sensor technology that will provide reliable measurement of liquid levels in tanks while requiring minimal attention and maintenance.

Motion Control Technology : Robotics, Automation & Control
Multi-turn Encoders Find Home in Industrial Applications

Single-turn encoders have long been used in industrial automation to gauge angular displacement in a broad range of applications, ranging from steering control on a mobile equipment vehicle to boom extensions. A single-turn encoder is a transducer that precisely measures angular...

Motion Control Technology : Robotics, Automation & Control
Safely Stopping Motion Using Discrete Wiring

Functional machine safety using discrete wiring is an established way to protect workers from injury, and protect companies from the expense associated with accidents and downtime.