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
Scales Work as Part of Thermonuclear Ignition Target Assembly

Scheduled for completion in 2009, the National Ignition Facility Project (NIF), part of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, Livermore, CA), is a component of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Stockpile Stewardship Program, whose mission is to maintain...

Articles : Motion Control
Motion Capture Software and Systems for Gait Analysis and Biomedicine

Nowadays, there are many technologies available that are used to quantify the motion of humans and animals. However, recent innovations in optical motion capture systems have added unprecedented capabilities, allowing the same program to be used by clinicians to assess walking...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Hydraulic Safety Catchers Protect Spallation Neutron Source Shutter Operation

At full power, the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN), will produce the world’s most intense pulsed neutron beams for neutron scattering research methods. With a full-power capability of 1.4 megawatts, the SNS...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Piston Pump Helps Drive Cotton Module Loading Procedure

World cotton production in 2006/07 is forecast at 115.7 million bales, and global cotton consumption is forecast at a record of nearly 121 million bales, with 13.2 million acres dedicated to cotton in the United States alone. Cotton is one of the most heavily traded commodities on the world...

Products : Motion Control
Optical Encoder Module

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) introduced the AEDS-964x optical encoder modules, with resolutions of up to 360 lines per inch, for printing applications. The modules are used with a transmissive code strip to detect linear motion, or with an 11 mm optical radius transmissive code wheel for rotary motion. Features...

Products : Motion Control
Digital Torquemeter

S. Himmelstein and Co. (Hoffman Estates, IL) released the MCRT® 48200V Series Compact Digital Torquemeters, having no pots, switches, and requires no manual adjustment. The non-contact devices have full-scale ranges from 25 to 10,000 lbf-in. Two accuracy grades are available: 0.2% (Code N standard performance) and 0.15%...

Products : Motion Control
Multi-Axis Controllers & Drives

Festo Corp. (Hauppauge, NY) released the SEC-ACSMLC Multi-Axis Controller and SEC-SDD drive. Featuring the CoDeSys programming platform, the SEC-AC-SMLC is based on the IEC61131-3 standard, offering the programming languages of Relay Ladder Logic, Function Block Diagram, Structured Text, Instruction List,...

Products : Motion Control
Magnetic Brakes

Danaher Motion (Wood Dale, IL) released the Thomson-Deltran Power-Off Magnetic Brake (PMB) series of power-off DC, spring-set, multifunctional brakes. Nine standard frame sizes from 30 to 120 are available. Torque range is 45 lb-in to 4,250 lb-in (5 to 48 Nm), in diameters from 3.30 to 11.89". Operating voltages of 24, 90, and...

Products : Motion Control
Hybrid Linear Actuator

Haydon Switch & Instrument (Waterbury, CT) released size 8 hybrid linear actuators with encoder feedback. Encoder resolutions range from 120 to 330 cycles per revolution, or 480 to 1,200 pulses per revolution; encoder operating temperatures are -10 to 85°C. The optical incremental encoder design is available with...

Products : Motion Control
Incremental Encoder

From SICK STEGMANN, INC. (Dayton, OH), the DRS61 CoreTech® Incremental Encoders can be programmed the number of lines from 1 to 8,192, as well as the width of the zero pulse. The units are available in face mount flange, servo flange, blind or through hollow shaft with connector or cable outlet, TTL, or HTL interface...

Products : Motion Control
Torque Motor

Animatics Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) released the SM2315DT as part of the OEM Series of SmartMotors. The unit features an 8-pole rotor design with a high copper filling factor, and delivers 112 oz-in of peak torque while maintaining 57 oz-in of continuous torque with a maximum speed capability of 4,700 rpm. A servomotor, amplifier, and...

Products : Motion Control
Rotating Torque Sensor

The Model 01424 rotating torque sensor from Sensor Developments (Lake Orion, MI) uses a shaft-to-shaft configuration for in-line placement, and incorporates a digital non-contact wireless system that provides power to the rotating electronics mounted on the shaft, transmitting the signal back to the receiver in digital...

Articles : Motion Control
Grand Prize Winner, “Create the Future” 2006 Design Contest

Winner of a hybrid automobile or $20,000

Designed by:David A. Torrey, Ph.D., P.E.

Advanced Energy Conversion LLC

Malta, NY

There is tremendous interest today in reducing the parasitic losses in engineered vehicle systems in order to improve fuel...

Articles : Motion Control
Incorporating Intelligent Energy Savings and Predictive Maintenance in a Soft Start

Electric motors consume approximately one quarter of the electricity in the U.S. and are the main motive force in our commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and appliances. Everyone knows reducing energy consumption has become a priority for the U.S. Many...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Slide Guide Used in Fluorescence Microscope

In the USA and other developed countries, cancer is responsible for 25% of all deaths. In spite of the most recent advances in cancer research, by far the best curative treatment for the disease is early detection. Such technology revolves around quick identification of malignant cells, necessitating...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
High Flow Valve Used in Optic Processing Line

As the race to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for fiber optic assemblies began, the need for a fully automatic assembly line has come into focus. Individual filaments must be connected in such a way that the light traveling from strand to strand is not degraded. Owens Design (Fremont, CA)...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motion Controller Helps Test for Hard Disk Defects

Hard disks were originally intended for computers in ultra-clean, ultra-safe data offices; by the 21st century, hard disks had moved beyond the office, finding their way into digital cameras, video recorders, PDAs, and cell phones. With the ubiquity of hard disks comes the risk that any number...

Products : Motion Control
Valve Motor

Eaton Corp. (Cleveland, OH) released the HP30 high-pressure disc valve motor for mobile off-highway applications requiring up to 30,000 in-lbs of intermittent torque. Options include a hydraulic parking brake offering up to 3,570 Nm of static holding torque. The device includes bearing pack, break, output shaft, and port mounts....

Products : Motion Control
Fringe Tracing Software

Engineering Synthesis Design, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) released the IntelliWave ™ interferometric measurement software package to monitor fringe change in fluid flow and thermodynamic analysis applications. The software allows for parallelism, angle, ROC, tool offset, homogeneity, and absolute measurements. Users can monitor...

Products : Motion Control
Rotary Stages

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) released the ALAR series of direct-drive, large-aperture rotary stages. Coming in five aperture sizes (100, 150, 200, 250, and 325 mm), the units are designed for angular positioning and velocity control, and feature zero backlash, no gear wear, or gear vibration. Features include 45 – 300 rpm continuous...

Products : Motion Control
Ball Bearing Mounts

Asymmetric Fasteners, Inc. (Hackettstown, NJ) released the Torksleeve B mounting for ball bearings, compatible with roller, needle, linear, or plain bearing types. The unit provides quick assembly time, is compact, and lightweight. The unit also rebuilds in the field, and mounts to metal or plastic walls. The asymmetric...

Articles : Motion Control
Achieving Positioning Accuracy Goals

The task of choosing the correct mix of motion control components for a successful servo positioning system involves a combination of art, science, and experience. It also includes a little luck, but luck is not needed when you fully comprehend the principle of operation, accuracy, resolution, and...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
CNC Wood Routers Use Drive for Precision Control

The woodworking industry is as advanced and under pressure to deliver high-quality goods quickly as any. One of the most versatile tools devised to quicken production with flat panels of wood is the wood router, used to rout (hollow out) an area in the face of a piece of wood, and used for 3D...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Drive Utilized in Filament Respooler

Optical fiber, now the mainstay of telecommunications as well as sensor, illumination, and imaging systems, is made by first pulling a large-diameter preform into a long, filimentous fiber. Then divided into bunches, a resin cladding is applied to keep the transmital of light uncontamintated. The finished...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless Motor Drive

Intelligent Motion Systems (IMS, Marlborough, CT) released the MDrivePlus motion control system for brushless motor applications. The unit features 20 microstep resolutions to 51,200 (full step, degrees, metric, and arc minutes), a motion control system-on-a-chip, electronic gearing, 6,385 bytes of program storage, and...

Products : Motion Control
Motor Drive Module

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) released the IRMCT3UF1 fully integrated high-reliability hybrid motor control modules enabling digital, sensor-free vector control of permanent magnet motors. The module combines digital control, analog interface, and power stage. Speed and torque control are provided with commutation...

Products : Motion Control
Hub-Fastening Gears

Sterling Instrument (New Hyde Park, NY) released the “S1268Z-...M” series of 84 combination aluminum-acetal gears. Coming in metric and imperial sizes, the gears are 20° pressure angled, AGMA Q10 and ISO Class 7. Sizes range from 21 – 210 teeth with outer diameters ranging from 0.958 – 4.083". The gears are designed...

Products : Motion Control
Translation Stage

Physik Instrumente (PI) LP (Auburn, MA) introduced the P-652 piezoelectric linear-motor driven translation stage, measuring 9.0 × 6.5 × 2.4 mm. Consisting of four parts (ultrasonic piezoelectric resonator, two lateral sliders, and a spring doubling as the moving carriage), the device can replace classical drive elements in a...

Products : Motion Control
Bi-Directional Motors

Oilgear Co. (Milwaukee, WI) introduced the MFW and MVW fixed and variable displacement bi-directional high-speed motors, offered in two frame sizes and four displacements. Features are: cylinder mounted in polymerous journal bearings for special fluids, a hard-on-hard rotating group for greater contaminate resistance, a...

Products : Motion Control
Mini Servo Actuator

Harmonic Drive (Peabody, MA) introduced the FHA Mini Actuator, a hollow shaft, brushless servo actuator. The unit is a combination brushless DC servomotor and an encoder, with a through-bore up to 14 mm in diameter. The flanged output is supported by a bearing structure allowing the load to be mounted to the actuator. The...