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.

Products : Motion Control
Harmonic Gearhead

Nexen Group (Vadnais Heights, MN) has announced a harmonic gearhead that directly replaces much larger, high-ratio planetary gearheads utilizing the latest harmonic strain wave gearing technology. In addition to its compact size, the gearhead features high torque, true zero backlash, and positional accuracy. A gearing-forward...

Products : Motion Control
Helical Gearbox

GAM Gear (Mt. Prospect, IL) has introduced the SPH series inline planetary gearbox featuring helical gearing. It is designed for dynamic and cyclic motion control applications, and can be optimized for high-speed and continuous-duty applications. The gears are cut at an angle to help reduce axial forces associated with helical...

Products : Motion Control
Microstepping Drive

Servo2Go.com (Greenville, DE) offers Applied Motion Products’ STR2 stepper drive, a compact, digital step and direction drive for applications requiring basic step and direction control of a 2-phase step motor. The drive outputs up to 2.2 A/phase to the step motor, and is compatible with a variety of 2-phase step motors...

Products : Motion Control
Position Sensor

Honeywell (Minneapolis, MN) offers the SMART rotary configuration position sensor that provides 360° non-contact angular position sensing. The sensor enables users to replace an optical encoder, or to utilize a sensor instead of a resolver. The sensor utilizes non-contact magnetoresistive (MR) technology to determine the...

Products : Motion Control
Positioning Stages

Rollon (Hackettstown, NJ) has in - troduced the Actuatorline TT series of high-precision linear positioning stages. Available in a range of sizes and configurations, the stages are suited for use in robotic handling systems, semiconductor equipment, X-Y-Z Cartesian robots, machine tools, and automated assembly lines. The...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Guides

Lee Linear (Piscataway, NJ) offers the SBC Linear Profile SBI linear guide system that uses a low profile and wide base design for less noise, less vibration, and increased life over caged ball assemblies. The extra load capacity, which is the same in all directions, includes a dynamic load rating from 14.1–232.5 kN, and a static...

Products : Motion Control
Robotics Simulation Software

Siemens PLM Software (Plano, TX) has introduced RobotExpert software for robotics simulation and programming. The software enables the design, simulation, optimization, and offline programming of robotic applications to maximize the speed, flexibility, and operation of automated systems. It features an intuitive 3D...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Shaft Supports

The SBL and LPB series of linear shaft supports from Ondrives.US Corp. (Freeport, NY) feature removable top clamps that enable easy removal of shafts and permit reassembly without upsetting the critical alignment between parallel shafts. At reassembly, the shafts return to their exact, original position. The supports are...

Products : Motion Control
Speed Controls

Four controls from Bodine Electric (Northfield, IL) provide speed control for low-voltage 12 or 24V permanent magnet DC (PMDC) gearmotors and motors (up to 1/3 HP/250 Watts). The controls utilize pulse width modulation (PWM) technology for quiet operation, low operating temperature, and optimal brush life. The controls feature...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Motion Platform

PBC Linear®, a Pacific Bearing Company (Roscoe, IL) has introduced the SIMO® Series linear motion platform. Options allow a design engineer to meet multiple application requirements with a single platform. Options include a low-profile rail for tight spaces or a tall version for greater structural integrity. Each...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Micromotors

Pittman® Motors, a division of AMETEK/Precision Motion Control (Harleysville, PA), offers high-performance slotless brushless DC motors for medical applications such as high-speed surgical tools, dental tools, medical instruments, and other small medical devices. The miniature motors produce little or no EMI emission...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Drives

Danfoss VLT Drives (Loves Park, IL) has introduced D-Frame VLT® drives available in a power range from 125-450 HP (90-315 kW). They leverage back channel cooling to remove 90% of the heat generated by the drive. The drives are available with IP20, IP21 (NEMA 1), or IP 54 (NEMA 12) enclosure protection ratings. They come standard with...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Drive Transistors

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) has introduced a family of 600V insulatedgate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) for motor drive applications operating below 10 kHz, including compressors for refrigerators and air-conditioners. The Gen7 F devices employ punch-through Trench technology to deliver high power density, and...

Products : Motion Control
Motion and Automation Control

Kollmorgen (Radford, VA) offers the AKD PDMM that combines a multi-axis motion controller, IEC61131-3 soft PLC, EtherCAT® master, and AKD® servo drive in a single, compact package. The system is suited for applications in printing, packaging, converting, and medical, as well as other automation applications where...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rod-Style Actuators

ERD electric cylinders from Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) are available with a reverseparallel motor mount that makes a more compact package. The motor is mounted in parallel with the actuator instead of inline, which reduces the length of the total package and, with the addition of a rear clevis pivot mount, provides greater...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Positioning Stages

Mini-MAG precision linear positioning stages from Dover (Boxborough, MA) are available with a complete controls package. Users can combine a Mini-MAG linear motor stage with a board-level, single-axis servo drive for integration into a control cabinet, or a Kollmorgen AKD™ servo drive for single- or multi-axis...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Actuator

BEI Kimco Magnetics (Vista, CA) has introduced the Model LA100-93-000A high force linear actuator with a peak force of 500 pounds. It features a continuous force of 292 pounds with 2" total stroke. Other features include semi-housed construction with built-in shaft and bushings that orient the coil assembly concentric to the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Brush Motors

Crouzet, a brand of Custom Sensors & Technologies (San Diego, CA), has introduced the DCmind Brush range of direct-current brush motors. The motors, even under full load, offer a range of gearboxes and accessories. The new motors have a noise level of 35 db. The motors are available in 15-, 25-, and 55-Watt configurations with a...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motion Control Components Keep Curiosity on the Go

PI Ceramic monolithic piezo actuators (PICMA) were put to use in the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. CheMin is an Xray diffraction-capable mineralogy instrument whose purpose is to determine if water was present in the formation of...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Simulation of Fluid-Structure Interaction in Hydraulic Pump Design

Axial pumps with cam-driven commutation units — so-called PWK pumps — emerged as a result of a research project conducted in the Department of Hydraulics and Pneumatics at the Gdansk University of Technology. As for all axial hydraulic piston pumps, several cylinder chambers...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Controllers as Data Acquisition and Testing Tools

Manufacturers often need to test their products to verify that they meet customer specifications, and provide the data that verifies specification compliance. This is particularly true when government contracts are involved, public money is being spent, and public safety is an issue....

Briefs : Motion Control
Compact, Low-Force, Low-Noise Linear Actuator

Actuators are critical to all the robotic and manipulation mechanisms that are used in current and future NASA missions, and are also needed for many other industrial, aeronautical, and space activities. There are many types of actuators that were designed to operate as linear or rotary motors, but...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Ultra-Compact Motor Controller

This invention is an electronically commutated brushless motor controller that incorporates Hall-array sensing in a small, 42-gram package that provides 4096 absolute counts per motor revolution position sensing. The unit is the size of a miniature hockey puck, and is a 44-pin male connector that provides many I/O...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Control System

The MESA 7I77 card set from Mesa Electronics (Richmond, CA) is a FPGA-based, 6-axis analog control system for CNC, industrial automation retrofits, and OEM systems. Six axes of analog outputs and encoder inputs are sufficient for up to 5-axis machines plus spindle control. Encoder inputs are individually programmable for TTL...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Pump

The 118Z Series pressure/vacuum oil-less diaphragm pump from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) provides a low-vibration design that utilizes a lightweight nylon housing and end cap that limit the pump’s weight to 4.4 pounds. It features a 24V brushless DC motor.

Products : Motion Control
Slotless Frameless Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) has introduced new models of the UTS slotless frameless direct drive motors in sizes from 12 mm to 300 mm diameter. The motors feature zero cogging and sinusoidal torque curves. With large through holes and thin radial cross-section, the frameless kits integrate into gimbal, rotary stage, or...

Products : Motion Control
Electromagnetic Machine Software

SPEED 2012 software from CDadapco (Melville, NY) consists of five machine programs: PC-BDC (Brushless PM Motors), PC-IMD (Induction Motors), PCDCM (DC Brush Motors), PC-WFC (DC and AC Wound Field Motors), and PC-SRD (Switched Reluctance Motors). Each program is intended for designing and calculating a range of...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Variable Speed Drive

The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America (Waukegan, IL) has released the P1000 variable speed drive that provides control for variable-torque loads through 500. Configuration tools include a multi-language LCD display with a real-time clock, parameter storage, fan and pump application presets, and a portable USB copy...

Products : Motion Control
Synchronous Motors

Bauer Gear Motor, an Altra Industrial Motion Company (South Beloit, IL), offers a range of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM). The motors employ a rotor design that integrates embedded permanent magnets made from the rareearth material, instead of the squirrel-cage rotor found in induction motors. The motors offer high...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Stages

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the MPS-GR series rotary stages available in two sizes: the MPS50GR and MPS75GR. They incorporate wormgear drive and bearing components for repeatable positioning, and are available with DC servo or stepper motors and either a 20-mm (MPS50GR) or 30-mm (MPS75GR) clear aperture. The clear aperture...