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.

Briefs : Materials
Self-Lubrication Improves Standard Braking Systems
Self-Lubrication Improves Standard Braking Systems

By mixing carbon fibers into polymer-based brakes, researchers designed brakes that are self-lubricating. These new and improved brakes can prevent wear-and-tear and have better frictional...

Self-Lubrication Improves Standard Braking Systems
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Understanding the Basics of Gas Spring Application
Understanding the Basics of Gas Spring Application

When choosing a gas spring for a particular application, it’s imperative to have a basic understanding of the workings and terminology used when specifying gas springs. This article offers...

Understanding the Basics of Gas Spring Application
Application Briefs : Nanotechnology
Keck Telescopes Get a Motion Control Upgrade
Keck Telescopes Get a Motion Control Upgrade

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii Island is surrounded by thousands of miles of thermally stable seas. The 13,796-foot Maunakea mountain summit has no nearby ranges to roil the upper...

Keck Telescopes Get a Motion Control Upgrade
Briefs : Motion Control
Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials
Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. A new cooling concept...

Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials
Products : Electronics & Computers
New Products: April 2019 Motion Design
New Products: April 2019 Motion Design

Bearing Sensor

ABB (Zurich, Switzerland) introduced the ABB Ability™ smart sensor that enables health checks for bearings. The smart sensor technology provides an early indicator of potential...

New Products: April 2019 Motion Design
Products : RF & Microwave Electronics
Product of the Month: April 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: April 2019 Tech Briefs

nanotron, Munich, Germany, introduced 360° Edge Analytics tools and location-aware wireless sensors for manufacturing and healthcare. The products automatically extract event information in real...

Product of the Month: April 2019 Tech Briefs
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Achieving Carbon Footprint Reduction with Flywheel Technology
Achieving Carbon Footprint Reduction with Flywheel Technology

Recent technical advances have enabled flywheel energy storage systems (FESS) to become more compact and able to support higher-power applications. Due to their proven...

Achieving Carbon Footprint Reduction with Flywheel Technology
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants

Industrial machinery, agricultural equipment, transportation vessels, and home applications depend on lubricants; however, they leave a heavy environmental footprint. Common lubricants, oils,...

Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants
Products : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New on the Market: April 2019
New on the Market: April 2019

Wave Springs

Smalley, Lake Zurich, IL, announced a Nested Spirawave Wave Springs series. The multiple-turn, flat wire wave springs are coiled in parallel to produce two to three times as much force as...

New on the Market: April 2019
White Papers : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermoplastic Material Selection for Injection Molding

There are more than 85,000 commercial options for plastic materials listed in materials databases. Needless to say, narrowing down that extensive list of materials can sometimes seem like a formidable task. Protolabs comprehensive white paper provides a highly technical observation of...

White Papers : Electronics & Computers
Direct Drive Linear Motors – Overview and Selection Process

While linear motors are not a new technology, advances in the recent past have made this drive type ideal for high precision motion control solutions. Growing popularity and usage in applications requiring precision motion control have reduced the cost of technology and made linear...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Cobots can help manufacturers automate tasks both known or unknown, says engineer Israel Nunez.
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Quickly Track Moving Objects with Precision

Robots using a system of RFID tags can locate tagged objects within 7.5 milliseconds on average with an error of less than a centimeter. TurboTrack could replace computer vision for some robotic tasks.

White Papers : Automotive
Understanding Aeration

Aeration may seem friendly in a cup of coffee or soda, but it's deadly for powertrain components. All forms of aeration (air bubbles, foam and dissolved air) are harmful, especially in the context of hydraulic and lubricating systems. Aeration is not a new phenomenon, but is a growing threat. Engine downsizing, higher...

Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Answering Your Questions: When to Use Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing
Answering Your Questions: When to Use Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing
A reader asks: What types of considerations need to be made before you go in on collaborative robots?
Answering Your Questions: When to Use Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
PCB Design for Smarties

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) support the functionality of just about every working electronic device in use today. They are integral to every professional discipline from mechatronics to robotics and process automation. If you want to make something that does something, PCBs are likely a component of your product...

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Connectivity for Next-Generation Mobility

Powertrain electrification and automation will pave the way for a new generation of all-electric, fully autonomous vehicles. At the same time, cloud, big data, and analytics technologies will enable innovative mobility as a service (MaaS) business models. MaaS will create personal and economic freedom...

White Papers : Automotive
Enhancing Autonomous Vehicle Interior Design with Proven Access Solutions

As drivers begin to transition to autonomous vehicles, automotive designers must create functional interior spaces that not only provide comfort, but also build trust and alleviate passenger fear. Download our Autonomous Vehicle Interiors Industry Report to learn how...

Blog : Defense
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Your design idea could win you $20,000.
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Blog : Data Acquisition
On a Firefighter’s Jacket, a Self-Powered Tracking Sensor Takes the Heat
On a Firefighter’s Jacket, a Self-Powered Tracking Sensor Takes the Heat
The wearable is fireproof, thanks to a carbon aerogel nanocomposite material.
On a Firefighter’s Jacket, a Self-Powered Tracking Sensor Takes the Heat
On-Demand Webinars : Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robotics: Safely Connecting Man and Machine

It used to be that manufacturing robots were kept in cages, programmed by specialists, and often used only for a single task. Today collaborative robots are being used by manufacturers to automate tedious and dangerous jobs, while improving productivity. These robots, which can work alone...

White Papers : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Virtual Commissioning with a Model-Driven Digital Twin

The manufacturing and automation industry is highly-evolving and competitive. As demands on product requirements increase, the inherent design risks can pose significant problems, threatening the success and reputation of those trying to keep pace. The technique of virtual commissioning (VC)...

White Papers : Motion Control
Thinking Outside the Cabinet: What Does Motor-Integrated Automation Technology Have to Do with Your Business ROI?

Thinking cabinet-free is nothing new. We’ve always been able to eliminate some parts from the cabinet and integrate them into the machine. If you are thinking of redesigning your machine or designing a new machine, this article is...

Briefs : Motion Control
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller

Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a method for controlling precise motion of a brushless DC (BLDC) motor using relatively inexpensive components. Precision motors are usually quite expensive and inefficient when operating at slow speeds. Current motors are only capable of operating at...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New on the Market: March 2019
New on the Market: March 2019

Controller and Datalogger

Watlow, St. Louis, MO, introduced a batch processing feature for the F4T temperature and process controller and D4T datalogger. The new feature helps collect manufacturing part...

New on the Market: March 2019
Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: March 2019
Products of Tomorrow: March 2019

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Products of Tomorrow: March 2019
Briefs : Internet of Things
Computer-Controlled Exercise Equipment

While a wide variety of computer-controlled exercise machines for training and rehabilitation exist — some of which can be automatically adjusted to vary resistance or incline — such systems provide for preprogrammed changes in load or resistance. What is needed is a system that overcomes the...

Articles : Materials
The Heat Is On: A Guide to Specifying Insulation Materials
The Heat Is On: A Guide to Specifying Insulation Materials

One of the first things an electrical engineer will learn is that the number-one enemy of designing and manufacturing any electrical/electronic product is heat. It's the one...

The Heat Is On: A Guide to Specifying Insulation Materials
Articles : Electronics & Computers
Building Blocks for a Practical Wireless Sensor System
Building Blocks for a Practical Wireless Sensor System

We recently interviewed Justin Bessette, Manager, Wireless Systems and Software Engineering at LORD Corporation, Micro-Strain® Sensing Systems, about the nuts and bolts of a wireless...

Building Blocks for a Practical Wireless Sensor System
Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology
New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology

Torque Measurement System

To address the demand for a more accurate, reliable, customizable, and easy-to-use force measurement device, Interface Force Measurement Systems (Scottsdale, AZ)...

New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology