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 : Medical
Omron Controls and Drives Improve Animals’ Joint Health

Ferno Aquatic Therapy, Wilmington, OH, designs and manufactures canine and equine underwater treadmill equipment used by veterinarians to provide aquatic therapy, rehabilitation, and conditioning for both dogs and horses. Designed specifically for canine rehabilitation, the Ferno Aqua...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Slide Assembly

HaydonKerk Motion Solutions™, Waterbury, CT, offers the Kerk RGS(R) linear slide assembly combined with the Haydon™ MotoDrive™ PDE Actuator. The integrated linear slide, stepper motor, and electronic drive assembly combines both Kerk and Haydon technology.

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Multi-Axis Controller

ACS Motion Control, Eden Prarie, MN, has developed a low-cost, small-footprint approach for machine control. Designated the SPiiPlus LF-CM, the machine controller provides multi-axis integrated control and up to 64 additional nodes via CANOpen network extension. The controller includes a logic controller programmable in any...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motor

Portescap, West Chester, PA, has introduced hollow-shafted versions to its revolutionary family of h3 stepper motors. Hollow shaft models promise increased design flexibility by allowing wires or other media to be routed through the motor shaft, effectively reducing the space required of the motor solution. H3 hollow shaft step...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Direct Drive Motors

The ULT-O Outside Rotating frameless motor kits latest from Applimotion, Loomis, CA, give the customer flexibility of a large through hole and low profile. The rotor is external to the stator, enabling the customer to integrate the rotor ring into an outside rotating hub.

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Displacement Sensor

The KD-2306 non-contact linear displacement sensor from Kaman, Middletown, CT uses balanced bridge eddy current technology to sense both ferrous and non-ferrous metal targets. The RoHS-compliant, CE-marked sensing system includes the electronics, sensor, and interconnecting cable.

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motor/Driver

The MDrive® from Intelligent Motion Systems, Marlborough, CT, is a quad stack NEMA size 23 brushless 1.8deg stepping motor that delivers speed-torque comparable to a single stack NEMA 34, but with a footprint 1/3 smaller. In addition, the quad stack 23 motor solution costs 20% less than the size 34.

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Absolute Encoder

BI Technologies, Fullerton, CA, offers an absolute encoder that utilizes the company’s proprietary DAPS (Digital Angular Position Sensor) technology. Available with multiple output configurations, the encoder will feature 12-bit resolution over 360-degree rotation.

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Roller Guides

The RB series of roller guides from NSK, Franklin, IN, provides a 26% reduction in overall height compared with NSK’s conventional RA series roller guides. This facilitates downscaling of equipment and lowering the center of gravity of precision/positioning tables.

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion
Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion

Machine vision can quickly and accurately determine the location of parts so they can be inspected, measured, or manipulated by a robot. An example is using machine vision to guide a robot unpacking...

Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion
Products : Photonics/Optics
Near-Infrared Photodetectors

The Siletz series of carrier multiplication devices (CMDs) from Voxtel (Beaverton, OR) are nanostructured InGaAs/ InAlAs devices that are designed to overcome the limitations of avalanche photodiodes (APDs) in the 0.9 to 1.6 micron spectral region, including the eye-safe range beyond 1.3 microns. Featuring...

Articles : Motion Control
Slip Clutches Solve Diverse Design Problems

Slip clutches are commonly used to protect against overloads, but they can solve many other problems as well. Their applications include increasing machine speeds, applying constant tension to webs or wires, indexing a mechanism, holding a hinged object in position, controlling torque on capping or...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Delta Motion Controller Helps ADI Improve Automotive Chassis Testing

There’s a science to testing metal structures for rigidity and performance under stress. The development of new testing methodologies is continuing at a fast pace, aided by innovations in supporting technologies. For example, motion controllers have evolved to support special...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

Winner of an HP Workstation

Small-Area Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor

Mahmoud Assaad
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Akron, OH

This sensor is being used in tires of all types and sizes, and has also been applied to engineering products such as hoses, belts, and...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
BEI Duncan’s Steer-by-Wire Technology Improves Fuel Efficiency for AGCO Challenger® Tractor

Off-highway tractors slog through mud, muck, and other rough terrain on a daily basis. Achieving high reliability and performance in spite of these harsh conditions requires technology at its best. To improve fuel efficiency and reliability while...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Heidenhain Encoders Help TRW Machine Ford SUV Parts

TRW has been making parts for the automotive industry for many years, but when Ford Automotive considered giving them the contract to manufacture the rear toe-links for their Navigator and Expedition SUVs, their traditional lathes were considered inadequate for the task. The solution was to...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Optical Encoder

The TONiC optical encoder from Renishaw, Hoffman Estates, IL, provides the accuracy of fine-pitch encoders in a rugged, simple-to-install package. It employs a compact read head (35mm long × 13.5mm wide × 10mm high for design/application flexibility and installation; even on micro-manufacturing systems for the semiconductor,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Pillow Blocks

Pillow blocks from Quality Bearings & Components, Garden City Park, NY, feature both locking collar and set screw types. Designated the BBXBLK-HCP and BBXBLK-UCP Series, the blocks have cast iron housings and are designed to fit shafts ranging from 1/2 to 3-1/2in. in diameter. The height from the bottom of the unit to the shaft...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Incremental Encoder

The DFS 60 incremental encoders from Sick|Stegmann, Dayton, OH, are available in fully programmable versions to accommodate any value from 1 to 65,536 pulses per revolution. With the help of a simple programming tool, users, system integrators and distributors can select any number of lines between 1 and 65,536 via their PC...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Piezo Linear Actuator

Based on the Piezo Walk principle, the N-380/N-381 NEXACT® ceramic linear motor actuator from Physik Instrumente replaces classical lead screw actuators. It combines high forces and long travel ranges with sub-nanometer resolution in a small package. It provides 1 kg of push/pull force, 30mm of travel, and 10mm/sec...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Gearmotors

Designed for high torque, tight space applications, the FlexTorq™ 762 series hollow shaft offset DC gearmotors from Bison Gear & Engineering Corp., St. Charles, IL, feature either a 1.25in. (31.75mm) I.D. hollow shaft, or a 1.25in. diameter solid shaft in u-shaped or s-shaped configurations. Driven by 1/20, 1/4 or 1/2hp,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Speed Regulator

The Cushion-Start Kinechek® speed regulator from Deschner Corp., Santa Ana, CA, combines the shock absorbing feature of the company’s Cushioneer® shock absorber with the Kinechek® speed regulator. The impact-absorbing feature is a safeguard for those applications where a fast moving load exerts an impact force beyond the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Electric Actuator

The EGC electric actuator from Festo Corp., Hauppauge, NY, is designed for high dynamic speeds and high rigidity. It can be used as an individual component adapted to third-party motors, or as a complete system. The actuator is available with ball screw pitches in sizes 70, 80, 120, 185, and toothed belt pitches sizes of 50,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Drive

The TA333 high-power linear drive from Trust Automation, San Luis Obispo, CA, combines a Class-AB linear amplifier with pure analog throughput at currents up to 25A. Highly configurable, the drive can be used with a brushless motor using external sinusoidal commutation, with an internally commutated brushless motor with Hall Effect...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetostrictive Sensing Ensures Accurate Level Monitoring

For process industries, one of the greatest challenges plant operators face is finding a sensor technology that will provide reliable measurement of liquid levels in tanks while requiring minimal attention and maintenance.

Articles : Motion Control
Multi-turn Encoders Find Home in Industrial Applications

Single-turn encoders have long been used in industrial automation to gauge angular displacement in a broad range of applications, ranging from steering control on a mobile equipment vehicle to boom extensions. A single-turn encoder is a transducer that precisely measures angular...

Articles : Motion Control
Safely Stopping Motion Using Discrete Wiring

Functional machine safety using discrete wiring is an established way to protect workers from injury, and protect companies from the expense associated with accidents and downtime.

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Yaskawa Controllers Help Echo Hill Upgrade Grinding Operation

Echo Hill Automation Inc., a Beamsville, Ontario, Canada company founded by mechanical engineers and brothers Dan and Harry Schellenberg, has grown from a small two-man operation to a successful manufacturer of centerless grinding automation, with the help of servomotors and...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Renishaw Encoder Improves Positional Accuracy for CNC Optical Maker

When a leading manufacturer of CNC optical manufacturing technology needed ultra-accurate and stable positioning for a new system to measure conformal optics, it turned to ABTech Manufacturing Inc., specialists of custom- made ultra-precision air bearings and motion systems. In...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control

The KXTE9 accelerometer from Kionix (Ithaca, NY) has embedded algorithms for orientation and activity monitoring. The algorithms simplify the adoption of motion-based functionality in consumer electronics, while reducing operating power consumption.