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 : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servomotors

Kollmorgen (Radford, VA) has introduced Value-Line servomotors that cover the torque range from 0.5 Nm to 16 Nm (peak or continuous). The servomotors are available in most popular motor sizes with 12 standard windings, in both NEMA23 and NEMA34, and Metric (60 mm and 90 mm) mounting standards, and with multiple shaft configurations...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rubber Mountings

Advanced Antivibration Components (New Hyde Park, NY) offers the V12Z55M062M Series bell-shaped rubber mountings to dampen shock and vibration for loads up to 887 kgf (1956 lbf). They are made from a combination of natural rubber and styrene-butadiene rubber compound for pliability and elasticity. Of the 12 isolators in the...

Products : Motion Control
Drives

Advanced Motion Controls (Camarillo, CA) has released the DZE and DZS series EtherCAT® servo drives and DxM (Demultiplexed Motion) technology. The servo drives for EtherCAT-enabled control networks are housed in a package size that can fit in the palm of a hand. DxM technology allows connectivity of up to 3 DZS drives (sub-nodes) to a...

Products : Motion Control
Software-Based PLC

The A3200 MotionPAC from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) is a software-based programmable logic controller (PLC) that is integrated with the company’s A3200 motion controller. The MotionPAC can be used independently for full machine control, or in conjunction with AeroBasic™ programs, and complies with IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen....

Products : Motion Control
Tri-Axial Inclinometer

Sherborne Sensors (Wyckoff, NJ) has introduced the T835 Series gravity-referenced tri-axial inclinometer for challenging and space constrained environments. Available in angular ranges ±14.5° to ±60°, and measuring 25.4 mm in diameter, the unit is manufactured from aerospace-quality stainless steel for measurement in...

Products : Motion Control
Piezo Stage System

Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) offers the NZ400 NanoScan Piezo Stage System for researchers producing rapid Z sections and live cell 3D images of specimens grown in well plates, large petri dishes, or mounted to glass slides. The stage can create a stack of images using multiple objectives in the Z axis with nanometer...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Drive/Controller

Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) offers the ACS with Ethernet, which adds Ethernet connectivity to the ACS Stepper Drive/Controller. It supports both Ethernet/IP and Modbus TCP, allowing connectivity to PLCs and HMIs. It offers built-in configurations for all of the company’s electric actuators. The combination of the ACS and the...

Products : Motion Control
Diaphragm Micropump

The KNF Type NMP05 diaphragm micropump for sampling air and gases is available from KNF Neuberger (Trenton, NJ). It provides efficient operation for a wide range of portable, battery operated equipment applications. The miniature pump measures 17 x 26 x 31 mm, and weighs 18 g. Features include a bolted-on pump head for gas...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Medical Robotics Experts Help Advance NASA’s Satellite Surgery Project

Johns Hopkins engineers, recognized as experts in medical robotics, are helping NASA with a space dilemma: How can the agency fix valuable satellites that are breaking down or running out of fuel? One option — sending a human repair crew into space — is costly,...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
PDC Drill Bits Open Up Options for Geothermal Energy

Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology full circle, showing how...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Control and System Engineering Considerations

Motion control choices are best made in light of the whole system architecture, as the selection of system architecture will drive not only the implementation and integration stages of the project, but also manufacturing and field service, and even the ability to ship and install the final...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Optimized Machine Capability Through Mechatronics: Packaging for the Future

Mechatronics can be defined as the science to optimize the performance and capabilities of machines using a multi-domain synergistic design approach. It is also described as the combination of mechanical, electronic, computer, software, control, and systems de - sign...

Products : Motion Control
Rodless Actuators

Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Irwin, PA) announced the Light Capacity Rodless (LCR) actuator series that offers the ability to purchase a complete engineered motion solution with an optional onboard stepper drive. The actuators offer users two profile sizes; belt- or screw-drive options; stepper or servo...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Clutches

Industrial Clutch (Waukesha, WI) has introduced the Model HC/CH clutch designed for use in marine applications including drawworks, winches, and propulsion. The clutches feature a key seal that allows the use of standard O-rings and enables installation in current configurations using a double keyway and single drilled actuation hole....

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Brushless Motor

Maxon Motor (Fall River, MA) offers a 70- Watt flat brushless motor that delivers a maximum continuous torque of 130 mNm at an efficiency of up to 85%. The motor measures 45 mm in diameter and is available with Hall sensors. It comes in four windings: 24, 30, 36, and 48 V, and can be combined with more than 54 different planetary...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Three-Phase Motor

Lenze Americas (Uxbridge, MA) has released the L-Force Three-Phase MF Motor design for operation with a frequency inverter. The motor can be up to two sizes smaller than conventional asynchronous motors with the same rated power. Available in power ranges from 0.55 to 22 kW, the motors feature the modular system of the L-force...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft Starter

ABB (New Berlin, WI) has released the PSE soft starter family with two-phase torque control. Additional features include built-in class-selectable electronic overload, built-in bypass, and an LCD display. The PSE features a compact design, and is suitable for all common applications including centrifugal pumps, fans, blowers,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Rail Platform

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions (Waterbury, CT) offers the Kerk® RGS/RGW linear rail platform that includes a 180° folded- over motorized design for motion applications where space is at a premium. The rail contains all the components needed for a complete motion subassembly, including the stepper motor, belt and pulley,...

Products : Motion Control
Machine Automation Controller

Omron Industrial Automation (Schaumburg, IL) has released the NJ-Series Machine Automation Controller (MAC) that integrates multiple, specialized controllers (motion, logic, sequence, vision, operator safety, and RFID tracking) with system synchronization on a single controller. The system features access to one...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Torque Wrench

Advanced Torque Products (Berlin, CT) offers the ATP 40000 mechanical torque multiplier, a digitally controlled wrench that produces up to 40,000 ft/lbs. The device employs all-mechanical operation, which eliminates the need for heavy pumps, tubes, and bleed-off. Mechanical gears rotate on needle roller bearings with hardened and...

Products : Motion Control
Direct Drive Motor Systems

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) has introduced custom direct drive motor systems with precision encoders and bearings. The systems incorporate frameless motor kits into application-specific direct drive motors for special mechanical requirements, special sealing, autoclave heat cycles, and harsh environments. A selection of...

Products : Motion Control
Voice Coil Motor

Equipment Solutions (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the RVC-5 rotational voice coil motor that creates rotational translation using a flexure bearing. The rotational translation is achieved by tilting a precision mirror, grating, or other user-supplied load ±5°. Typical applications include semiconductor fabrication, scanning...

Products : Motion Control
Metal Gear Motors

Nidec Copal U.S.A. Corp. (Torrance, CA) offers the MG16B brush and LB16MG brushless metal planetary gear motors. The metal planetary gear train allows for higher torque and protection against shock and vibration loads. Eight gear ratios from 16:1 to 643:1 are available. The brush DC gear motor develops a range of rated torques...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Drive

Portescap (West Chester, PA) offers the LVD low-voltage servo drive designed to support small and large brushed DC or brushless motors. Packed in a high-power-density package, it is powered from a supply voltage of 12-48 VDC, and is capable of 7 amps RMS continuous and 12 amps RMS peak current with CANopen® communication interface....

Products : Motion Control
Motion System Design Software

MOTIONEERING® Application Engine 6.2.0 motion system sizing and selection software from Kollmorgen (Radford, VA) utilizes a mechanism project concept to collect and save load information for multiple axes, automatically calculates application results, and compares them against a database catalog of Kollmorgen...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Solar Cell Manufacturing and Robot Automation: Right Fit, Right Robot

The United States has set 2015 as a goal to reach grid parity (that point where solar electricity is equal to grid electricity). No matter your thoughts on regulatory involvement, it is clear there will be a resurgence in investment, development, and innovation within the PV...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Springs and Couplings Keep Mars Science Laboratory Rover on Track

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover “Curiosity” is the biggest rover to roam the Red Planet, measuring almost the size of a standard car. The rover is expected to land on Mars this summer, joining Opportunity, which has been exploring the planet since 2004. Working with...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Air Conditioning Cools Lunar Test Vehicles

NASA tests robotics for lunar electric rovers (LERs) and space exploration in remote locations, such as the Arizona desert, that closely simulate the terrain of the Moon or planets. The LER tests are conducted by a team of NASA engineers also known as the Desert RATS (Desert Research and Technology...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Reducing Design Time for Linear Motion Systems

Reducing design time is critical in engineering because the result is lower costs and faster time to market. Design time often includes a number of non-value-added activities such as re-design, over-design, or scope creep that can be minimized by thoroughly understanding all of the application...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Robots Play Role in Future Aircraft Wing Production

KUKA Systems (Sterling Heights, MI), in conjunction with Bombardier Aerospace, has devised an innovative robotic cell for laying up dry carbon fiber material as a result of a national research and development project.