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
Motor Used to Stabilize Remote-Controlled Camera Crane

It is a staple of the summer box office blockbuster: the car chase. Car chases have not only become a vital component of an action movie, they have also had to evolve, with audiences demanding even more thrills. To put the audience directly into the flow of traffic, studio executives turn to...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Plasma Cutter Utilizes Motor for Gantry Control

To cut through metal and other materials, a plasma cutter sends an arc of electricity through a high-speed jet of an inert gas. When electricity and gas meet, plasma is formed, hot enough to melt through sheet metal, and still moving fast enough to blast molten metal away from the cut. When...

Products : Motion Control
Diaphragm Pumps

Thomas Products Div. (Sheboygan, WI) offers the Series 5002 miniature diaphragm liquid pumps, designed for all-liquid or mixed wet/dry pumping applications. Model 5002F pumps are single-head and measure 1.99 × 1.18 × 3.19". Model 5002FZ pumps are 1.99 × 1.18 × 4.88" and have twin heads. Both are oil-less. Standard materials...

Products : Motion Control
Motor Driver

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) has introduced the A3901 dual H-bridge low-voltage motor driver. Capable of operating one stepper motor or two DC motors, the unit is designed for portable applications with a power-off current of 50 nA and an operating voltage range of 2.5 V to 5.5 V. MOSFET output stages reduce voltage drop and...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Drive Module

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has announced the NI 9505, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based, H-bridge servo drive module for the NI CompactRIO embedded platform. The module offers direct connectivity to actuators such as fractional-horsepower brushed DC servo motors, relays, solenoids, lamps, and valves. A...

Products : Motion Control
Motor Controller

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) offers the SQ-2300 series benchtop motor controller for computer control of the company's SQUIGGLE motors and closed-loop linear nanopositioning stages. Using the controller, SQUIGGLE motor speed can vary continuously from micrometers per second to millimeters per second with better than...

Products : Motion Control
Anti-Backlash Nut

Haydon Switch & Instrument (Waterbury, CT) has released the “W” series of anti-backlash nuts, designed to minimize backlash between the leadscrew and nut interface. A blend of self-lubricating polyacetal and stainless steel screw material compensates for wear to avoid lock-ups. Available in a range of diameters and leads...

Products : Motion Control
Distance Measurement

The Acam-Messelectronic TDC-GPX chip from Transducers Direct (Miamiville, OH), allows distance measuring of ±1 mm rms to a range of 1,500 meters. The chip has four selectable operating modes: I-mode provides eight LVTTL input channels, a resolution of 81 picoseconds (ps), infinite measurement range, and 5.5 nanosecond (ns)...

Products : Motion Control
Multi-Axis Motion Control

Elmo Motion Control (Westford, MA) has unveiled its Maestro Multi-Axis Supervisor with firmware for support of the DS305 configuration protocol, DS401 CAN network IO integration protocol, and the DS402 motion control protocol. The Maestro is based on distributed motion control architecture and is now also integrated...

Products : Motion Control
Stepper Motor Controller

Nippon Pulse America (Radford, VA) has released the RoHS-compliant Motion Checker MCH-5, a palm-sized, standalone stepper motor controller with a built-in constant voltage driver. Front panel controls enable setting of rotation direction, speed control, position control, operation mode, stop time of the stepper motor,...

Products : Motion Control
Pneumatic Actuator

PHD (Fort Wayne, IN) has introduced the Series PLM pin locating clamp, a pneumatically powered actuator to locate, clamp, and support parts in welding applications. To protect against slag and other contaminants, the clamp is fully enclosed. A built-in locking mechanism fixes the pin in any position to secure parts if air...

Products : Motion Control
Positioning System

The WCS2A/WCS3A PosiTrak™ Position Tracking System from Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) consists of a U-shaped read head, a code rail and support hardware, and network and control interfaces. The read head optically scans a coded rail to determine a carrier mechanism's position. An internal microprocessor translates a 48...

Products : Motion Control
Motor & Driver Package

The CRK series from Oriental Motor USA Corp (Torrance, CA) combines a five-phase stepping motor with a compact, low-vibration microstepping driver. In microstep operating mode, the driver provides 25 preset angle selections up to a capability of 250 microsteps per full step. The basic angle can be adjusted to match a...

Products : Motion Control
Translation/Rotation Stage

PI L.P. (Auburn, MA) has released the M-110 series translation stages that provide linear motion of 5, 15, and 25 mm. Available are X, XY, and XYZ systems, which can be combined with the M-116 miniature rotary stage. The systems can be equipped with high-speed piezo drives. Features include 50-nm true minimum...

Products : Motion Control
Ball Bearings

MRC Bearings Services (Kulpsville, PA) offers the R Series inch-sized stainless ball bearings for small shaft diameters. The single-row, deep-groove radial conrad-type bearings carry radial and thrust loads in either direction at high speeds. Bore sizes range from 1/8 to 1 ½", and open, shielded, and sealed bearings are available....

Products : Motion Control
Motorized Stages

Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) has added patent-pending Intelligent Scanning Technology (IST) to its Prior ProScan™ II H101A, H107, and H117, 4 × 3" scanning stages. IST allows each stage to be pre-programmed with a unique set of operating characteristics to that particular stage. The technology also allows the controller to...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Hundreds of Gearmotors Drive Times Square Scrolling Sign

With a zoning ordinance requiring businesses to throw up big, bright, eye-catching signs, Times Square in New York City has an illuminated-sign density rivaling Las Vegas. When Toys “R” Us moved into the neighborhood, it contacted Revolution Display Systems, (Toronto, Canada) to create...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Drive Retrofit Update Enables Smoke-Removal System at Atlanta Airport

When the City of Atlanta finalized plans for the capital-improvement project at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, an integral part of the 10-year, $5.4 billion project included upgrading the ventilation system of the underground Automated People Mover (APM)....

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Device Simulates Spine Motions

The spine is the most complex mechanical system in the human body. With the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Instron (Norwood, MA) is utilizing the BioPuls™ Multi-Axial Spine Testing System to characterize the multi-axial dynamism of the backbone. Such testing will help further the understanding of spine...

Products : Motion Control
Toroidal Roller Bearings

Serving as non-locating bearings in large electric motors, SKF USA’s (Kulpsville, PA) CARB® toroidal roller bearings accommodate heavy radial loads and compensate for misalignment. Suitable for both coupled and belted loads, the bearings offer users a single bearing solution for motors, regardless of mounting method....

Products : Motion Control
Hydraulic Power Unit

SPX Fluid Power (Rockford, IL) has released the SPX Smiths Model SMR low-pressure DC bi-rotational hydraulic power unit, available in both holding and non-holding designs. The power unit comes with a standard emergency override shaft, pressure setting options, four tank sizes, and SAE and BSPP port options. A handset...

Products : Motion Control
Contouring Control

The TNC 320 contouring control from Heindenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) features the ability to control five axes, an analog drive interface for interfacing to existing drive systems, and one-piece construction, the device sports a 15" TFT color flat-panel display (1024 x 768 pixels). The unit’s main computer contains several...

Products : Motion Control
Vibration Control System

LMS North America (Troy, MI) has introduced the LMS Test.Lab Vibration Control system for closed-loop vibration control testing under a wide variety of usage and transportation circumstances. Allowing engineers to test products under normal to extreme operating conditions, the system supports endurance testing, online...

Products : Motion Control
Ethernet Motion Control Card

Saelig (Pittsford, NY) offers the FMOD-IPDCMOT motion control card that uses an Ethernet bus to communicate data and supply power simultaneously at distances of several thousand yards. Via its integrated Web server, the unit combines a 32-bit motion controller and the speed of the Ethernet communication protocol. The...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Drive

The TA330 linear three-phase servo drive from Trust Automation (San Luis Obispo, CA) is a 150-V, 900-W continuous (2700-W peak) linear drive. It can be configured to interface with any motion controller, including three-phase DC brushless servo motors using Hall Effect sensors, three-phase AC brushless motors using external...

Products : Motion Control
Belt-Driven Slide

The Voyager Series VB1 from Techno (New Hyde Park, NY) is a belt-driven slide that features lengths up to three meters and speeds up to five meters per second. Used for dispensing, inspection, pick and place, and parts transfer, the slide can be assembled to make two- and three-axis systems. It is available in 15 different...

Products : Motion Control
Gearmotor

The Model MMP-TM55-12V GP52-308 DC gearmotor from Midwest Motion Products (Watertown, MN) accepts any 12-V DC source including battery power. The unit has a diameter of 2.14" and a length of 7.75", with a keyed output shaft 12 mm in diameter by 25 mm long. Mounting is accomplished with 4 face mount M5 threaded holes, equally spaced on...

Products : Motion Control
Dual-Axis Stepper Driver

The dual-axis EZHR17EN stepper motor controller and driver from AllMotion, (San Jose, CA) is designed for off-the-shelf, rapid implementation in miniature applications. Measuring 1.6 × 1.6" and featuring encoder feedback, it provides up to two amps drive current for one axis and up to one amp for the second, with an...

Products : Motion Control
Gearheads

The LP+/LPB+ Value Line series of gear-heads from alpha gear drives (Bartlett, IL) offer a lubrication concept that makes them maintenance-free. The LPB+ offers the option of adding an integrated geared pulley drive system. The belt pulley eliminates the need for a right-angle gearbox, couplings, and/or additional bearings. At full...

Products : Motion Control
Rotary Encoders

Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) has introduced the 40-mm-diameter, IP54-protected TVI401 Series incremental rotary encoders capable of providing pulse outputs of up to 1024 ppr. Offering a tangential cable outlet for buckle-free connection, the encoders operate at 4.75 to 30 VDC with short-circuit-proof, push-pull output, or 5 VDC...