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
Digital Motion Controller

The EPOS P 24/5 from Maxon Precision Motors (Fall River, MA) is a programmable digital motion controller capable of position, velocity, and current mode. The unit’s supply voltage is 11 – 24 V DC; the controller is capable of 5 A maximum continuous current and 10 A peak current. The device, after initial...

Products : Motion Control
3-Phase Motor Control

TURCK (Minneapolis, MN) released the BL20 xStart motor starter modules that allow 3-phase motor control to be connected to the same rack as standard I/O. The units may be mounted next to other BL20 modules, allowing motors to be controlled via DeviceNet, Profibus-DP, or CANopen fieldbus protocols.

Products : Motion Control
Roller Bearings

AST Bearings (Montville, NJ) introduced the High Carbon Chromium Steel Tapered Roller Bearings line, comprised of the inner and outer rings, tapered rollers, and a cage (roller retainer). The rings and rollers carry the load; the cage spaces and retains the rollers on the inner ring. The product is stable under heavy loads, is...

Products : Motion Control
Magnetic Encoders

Baumer Electric (Southington, CT) released four magnetic encoders for harsh or contaminated environments. The devices come in diameters of 30 and 40 mm. The EcoMag 30 and EcoMag 40 are incremental encoders, offering resolution from 2 – 1,024 ppr. Their absolute counterparts, the MagRes 30 and MagRes 40, provide single-turn...

Products : Motion Control
Corrosion-Resistant Bearings

MRC Bearing Services (Kulpsville, PA) released the custom-engineered “HNCR” steel bearings made from high-nitrogen corrosion-resistant steel. The bearings display a hardness of 58 HRC, and have an extended fatigue life. Chromium has been added to further augment durability and corrosion resistance. The bearings...

Products : Motion Control
DIN Motion Controller

From Trio Motion Technology (Pittsburgh, PA), the MC302X DIN rail-mounted motion controller features two axes; the first can be configured in software for servo (with encoder feedback) or high-speed stepper control. The second axis may be either a reference encoder or a stepper axis. Differential line driver stepper outputs...

Products : Motion Control
Ball Splines

Released from THK (Schaumburg, IL), the SLS/SLF Ball Splines feature caged technology, allowing for smooth motion. A synthetic resin cage cradles each ball, separating it from others, while spaces between rolling elements retain the lubricating grease to act as a lubrication system. The units feature a rigidity of ±10%. Outer shaft...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Actuator

From Exlar (Chanhassen, MN), the Tritex™ Series of electric linear actuators, combining a brushless servomotor, servo amplifier, and position control in one unit. Up to 500 watts of continuous power can be applied to the actuator’s brushless servomotor. The standard product is rated IP54 with optional IP65 rating for...

Products : Motion Control
Ethernet Controller

Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) released the DMC-40x0 Ethernet/RS232 controller family as part of the Accelera line, coming in 1- to 8-axis formats. Accepting encoder input frequencies up to 22 MHz and providing servo update rates up to 32 kHz, the line can complete program instructions in 40 microseconds. The device...

Products : Motion Control
DC Gearmotor

Midwest Motion Products (Watertown, MN) released the Model No. MMP-S28-400A GP81-046 BR-015 DC gearmotor. The device accepts any 24 V DC source. The gearmotor is reversible; the output is rated for 61 Nm continuous torque at 43 rpm and 100 Nm peak. Motor windings for 36, 48, 60, and 90 V are available. The integrally mounted...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Solar-Powered Cooler and Heater for an Automobile Interior

A proposed apparatus would provide or augment cooling or heating of the interior of an automobile in the presence of sunlight. The apparatus could be added to an existing automobile, with little or no modification. Utilizing solar power, it would operate independently of the automobile...

Articles : Motion Control
Alternatives to Keyways in Motion Systems

The age-old tradition of using shaft keys in mechanical drives has served the power transmission industry well for many years. When appropriately sized, it guarantees that virtually no relative motion can take place between a shaft and its respective shaft hub in a unidirectional continuous motion...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Actuator Controls Valving in Micro-Satellite Thruster

In the 1980s and 1990s, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA) began developing advanced microsystems and microelectronics technologies and components for future space applications. One of these experimental designs, the Micro-Inspector Spacecraft, is capable of visual inspection...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Fiber Optic Rotary Encoder Helps Guide Aerial Tramways

In situations where human travel is necessary but where the geography is too steep or treacherous, aerial tramways often are used as a convenient alternative. Ski resorts, mountaineering centers, even archeological sites and cities with a diverse geography have tapped tramways as a method of...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Pneumatic Cylinders Used in Robotic “Hand”

Robotics are now and have been an inextricable aspect of American industry, performing tasks as varied as the robots themselves. Robots can, in most cases, accommodate greater production speeds, and can be re-tasked for any future changes or even re-assigned to a different application. As technology...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Drive System

YET US (Manchester, NH) introduced the XtraDrive® servo system, configured for compatibility with all brushless servo motor technologies. The unit features patented non-linear control technology (NCT) for performance and stability; NCT technology allows for zero settling time, and augments non-linear gain control and system...

Products : Motion Control
Angle Encoders

Heidenhain (Schaumburg, IL) expanded its ERA 4000 series of angle encoders with the ERA 4×80, 4×81, and 4×82 versions. The ERA 4x80 is mounted using a centering collar method, with a low profile encoder system. With seven standardized diameters, system accuracies are offered with the 20 μm grating period version from ±6.1 arc...

Products : Motion Control
Linear-Arc Motor

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) offers the LARC Series of linear-arc motors, a combination of a disk drive voice coil motor and brushless linear motor. The units can be driven by three-phase brushless motor controllers from 24 to 300 volts with speeds ranging from 0.1 to 1000 rpm. Features include axial low profile, with options as low...

Products : Motion Control
Angle Torque Motors

H2W Technologies, Inc. (Valencia, CA) released limited angle torque motors (“torquers”) that are single phase, brushless, low profile motors, vacuum compatible to 10^5 torr. Options include kit motors and housed motors. A linear servo amplifier and plug-and-play systems are available. Standard/custom designs include...

Products : Motion Control
Magnetic Ring Encoder

Madison Electric Products (Mentor, OH) has released the Model HPRT C-Face Magnetic Ring Encoder, compatible with AC vector drive applications. Standard features include digital square wave quadrature-signal (064, 128, 256, 512, 1024, or 2048 cycles per revolution), stainless steel components, detachable screw terminal...

Products : Motion Control
Couplings

Helical Products Co. (Santa Maria, CA) introduced single-piece, flexible couplings to compensate for mechanical movement irregularities. The units require neither maintenance nor lubrication; they offer constant rotational velocity, smooth bearing loads, and feature no backlash. Outside diameters (OD) range from 3/8 to 3". Metric OD of...

Products : Motion Control
Plug-In Relays

The plug-in General Purpose Relays from c3controls (Beaver, PA) are designed for use in motors and motion control devices. Base configurations come in Octal, Square, Flange Mounted, and Miniature Square, with pin and blade terminals (5A to 25A) from 1-pole up to 4-poles. Sockets are keyed for proper assembly. UL approved, the...

Products : Motion Control
Frequency Inverters

NORD Gear Corp (Waunakee, WI) offers the NORDAC SK 500E and 520E AC vector frequency inverters. Both feature high torque, rapid response, and wide spread range for extended power outputs ranging from 0.25 kW to 7.5 kW. Available in sizes between 7.32 × 2.99 × 5.94" and 11.26 × 3.86 × 7.01", and features selectable modes...

Products : Motion Control
Axial Piston Pump

Oilgear (Milwaukee, WI) introduced a contaminant-resistant PVWH open loop, axial piston pump. Ten sizes are available, and reach a pressure of 5,000 psi. With sleeve bearings that run on wet film and are pressure lubricated for stability, reliability, and repeatability, the unit is able to operate in special fluids. Features...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Amplifier

Copley Controls (Canton, MA) introduced the Model 800-1514 dual-axis servo amplifier for current (torque) control of brushless servomotors. The unit accepts encoder and Hall feedback data from a range of servo motor types. Drive torque is controlled by a ±10 V command from a motion controller or PLC, and uses CME 2 Windows...

Products : Motion Control
Axis Motion Software

National Instruments (Austin, TX) released NI Motion Assistant 2.0 interactive software for prototyping single- and multi-axis motion control systems. Motion profiles from CAD and drafting programs can be imported using a DXF file format, and the software facilitates the implementation of profiles in NI CompactRIO...

Products : Motion Control
DC Gear Motors

Nidec Copal USA Corp (Torrance, CA) offers the MG16 series of sub-miniature brush DC motors with high torque planetary boxes. The 8-model series is RoHS compliant and measures 16 mm. Available gear ratios include 60:1, 120:1, 240:1, and 500:1 with two excitation voltage levels of 6 VDC and 12 VDC. Performance ranges from 4.86...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
QC Lasers Improve Hazardous Gas Monitoring

The measurement of gases associated with industrial processing/emissions monitoring has become increasingly important as the need to improve efficiencies in process control has increased, and legislation governing emissions has come into force. Gases including NOx, SOx,...

Articles : Motion Control
AC Drives Provide Precise Control Critical to Next-Generation Test Stands

Direct Torque Control (DTC) is widely used as a method for controlling AC motors in many demanding applications. It is a unique method for controlling AC motors. In pulse-width modulation (PWM) drives, the output frequency and voltage are the primary control reference...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Software Used to Control Master-Slave Haptics Experiment

Haptics, also known as “force feedback teleoperation,” attempts to provide environmental interactions through a robotic system. Users mimic these interactions with robotic arms. By varying the amount of force the haptic devices exhibit, a user can achieve the sensation of interacting...