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
Accelerometers

The Model 356A43, 356A44, and 356A45A miniature triaxial ICP® accelerometers were introduced by PCB Piezotronics (Depew, NY). They measure 0.4 × 0.4 × 0.75", weigh 4.2 grams, and are TEDS IEEE 1451.4 enabled. The TEDS feature self-identifies the accelerometer and describes type, operation, and attributes. Data contained in the...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Weldable Couplings and Collars

A line of weldable shaft collars, couplings, and mounts is available from Stafford Manufacturing Corp. (North Reading, MA). The components are made from ANSI 1018 steel and stainless steel to allow users to modify parts and create assemblies without fasteners. Typical modifications include brackets, cams, lever...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Guide Kit

To simplify product selection of self-lubricating linear guides, igus (East Providence, RI) has developed a modular construction kit for belt-driven DryLin ZLW linear axes. The ZLW toolkit enables users to customize their solutions, including rail widths, system length, etc., even for small installation spaces. Cross beams,...

Products : Motion Control
Actuators

Curtiss-Wright Sensors & Controls Division (Gilbert, AZ) announced Exlar® brand FTX Series actuators. The high-force electric rod style actuators replace hydraulics in highforce, high-duty-cycle applications in harsh environments. Based on planetary roller screw technology, the actuators offer a compact form factor. With...

Products : Motion Control
Automation Cables

Molex, LLC (Lisle, IL) offers Flamar industrial automation cables for signal and control equipment and servomotors. The cables are available in multiple jacket materials (PVC, WSOR, PUR, TPE). The standard cables range from 26 AWG to 10 AWG for applications in food and beverage, material handling, automotive lines, and other...

Products : Motion Control
Precision Ball Screws

Thomson Industries (Radford, VA) has introduced miniature metric precision ball screws in three interface styles: flanged, threaded, and rounded. The FSI metric ball screws are flanged, and the RSI style is rounded. Both feature a multi-liner ball return system that provides smooth operation and increased load capacity. The...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motor Controller Provides Custom Electronic Control Solution

A Fortune 200 company needed a turnkey, DC voltage, agency-compliant electronic control solution capable of providing motion control with memory position capabilities and auto run/sense features for a multi-motor application involving four motors. Particularly important to the design...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Servo Drives

Advanced Motion Controls® (Camarillo, CA) announced AxCent™ servo drives for centralized motion control schemes. The Models AB15A100, AB25A100, and AB20A200 are panel-mount servo drives that operate with brushless permanent magnet motors as well as brushed motors and inductive loads. The drives are controlled with ±10V analog...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Brush DC Mini Motors

Portescap (West Chester, PA) introduced the 16DCP Athlonix™ high-power-density brush DC mini motors. Available in a 16-mm diameter, the 16DCP motors feature a coreless design with an optimized self-supporting coil and magnetic circuit. The motors are available in two variations — precious metal commutation and graphite...

Products : Motion Control
Modular Drives

Control Techniques, a business of Emerson Industrial Automation USA LLC (Eden Prairie, MN), offers Unidrive M and Powerdrive F300 variable-speed, high-power modular drives. Both are available in frame size 11, providing a flexible method of building compact, high-power solutions. Paralleled together, Unidrive M can control...

Products : Motion Control
Permanent Magnet Motors

NovaTorque (Fremont, CA) introduced 600 RPM versions of its PremiumPlus+® Electronically Commutated Permanent Magnet (ECPM) motors. The new versions are available from 0.75 HP to 3 HP, and are suited for directly driving larger-diameter fans at low speeds. The motors offer lower current requirements (FLA) than AC...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Variable Frequency Drive

American Control Electronics (South Beloit, IL) introduced the ACF Series of open chassis microprocessor-based variable frequency drives that offers the simplicity of a DC drive. ACF700 drives are designed for setup without any programming. The drives are equipped with user-adjustable trim pots to set Max/Min Speeds,...

Products : Motion Control
Servomotors

Siemens Industry (Elk Grove Village, IL) offers Simotics 1FK7 Generation II servomotors with seven shaft heights, quick-connect power connectors, and 20- and 24-bit field-replaceable encoders. The series offers three inertia versions — standard, high-dynamic for rapid acceleration jobs, and high-inertia for maximum smooth running....

Products : Motion Control
Servo Drives

The MR-J4-TM multi-network servo drives from Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) are available with Ether Net/IP™ and EtherCAT® interfaces. The drives feature dual 100BASE-TX Ethernet ports in line, tree, and star topologies; One-Touch Auto-Tuning; 2.5 kHz speed frequency response for short settling time;...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flywheel Technology Could Save Power for Light Rail Transit

University of Alberta mechanical engineering professors are making an old technology new again by using flywheel technology to assist light rail transit (LRT) in Edmonton. They examined the possibility of using flywheel technology to store energy generated when the city’s LRT trains...

Articles : Motion Control
Advantages of Servo Motor and Direct Drive Technology

For many years, stepper motors have been the most popular type of electric motor designed into instrumentation for a wide variety of reasons. Stepper motors have become increasingly...

Articles : Motion Control
An Inside Look at Electromechanical Power-Off Braking Options

Power-off brakes are designed to hold or stop motion in the absence of power. Adding an electrical current releases the brake, freeing the load for motion. Given the safety ramifications of keeping a system locked in place until it is powered up, motion control system designers tend...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Multiphysics CAE of a Shock Absorber

Shock absorbers are important parts of vehicles. The shock absorber is used to observe the vibrations from shock loads due to irregularities of the road surface, and operates without affecting the stability, steering, or handling of the vehicle. Generally, for light vehicles, cylindrical coil springs are used...

Products : Motion Control
Rotary Valve

RotaVal Ltd. (Wiltshire, UK) introduced a heavy-duty rotary valve for use where solids handled and operating conditions combine to cause abrasive erosion within the valve. It has on-site component replacement. The valves are used in discharging materials such as cement, PFA, granite dust, silica sand, and mineral powders under...

Products : Motion Control
Voice Coil Actuator

The LAH15-19-000A linear voice coil actuator from BEI Kimco (Vista, CA) provides low hysteresis/ low friction with bi-directional position control. It is suited for applications where low friction and high force accuracy are needed. The low-friction design features a patent-pending symmetrical flex circuit that prevents...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Compact Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRB 1660ID compact robot for arc welding and machine tending applications. It features a DressPack design that allows users to program and simulate predictable cable movements, a rigid upper arm with a reach of 1.55 m, and a payload of 6 kg. It is able to accommodate heavier weld...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Block Spindle

Suhner Industrial Products Corp. Automation Division (Rome, GA) introduced the BEX8 high-speed machining block spindle capable of maintaining rigidity and precision at operations up to 25,000 rpm. The spindle weighs 33 lbs. and can be mounted directly onto robotic arms for fully automated machining operations in automotive,...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rotary Tables

Koma Precision (East Windsor, CT) offers Tsudakoma RDS Series direct drive rotary tables that use a proprietary direct drive motor system that enables the tables to achieve high speed and acceleration with no backlash. The compact, single-axis, 150-rpm tables feature indexing accuracy of ±10 arc seconds and a pneumatic braking...

Products : Motion Control
Undermount Slide

Accuride (Santa Fe Springs, CA) announced the 3135EC Eclipse Undermount Easy- Close slide. The slide offers improved full extension movement with a 100-pound load rating and 4.8 pounds of pull force. The Easy-Close action brings drawers to a smooth close while reducing the total envelope of the product. Fluid dampeners resist...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Pneumatic Gripper

Fabco-Air (Gainesville, FL) announced the FKHS Series 3 Jaw parallel motion pneumatic gripper for handling small parts in tight spaces. They are available in bore sizes of 25, 32, 40, 50, 63, and 80 mm. A magnetic piston is standard on all grippers. Mounting is via direct body (top and bottom) mounting holes.

Products : Motion Control
Positioning System

Piezoconcept (Lyon, France) offers the Hybrid System, an integrated positioning system for use with any standard inverted optical microscope. It combines a manual micrometer-driven, two-axis, linear motion stage with high-resolution, ultra-low-profile nanopositioners providing up to 300 μm in every direction. A stable...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Method for Accurate Load/Position Control of Rigidly Coupled Electromechanical Actuators

NASA has developed a technique designed to prevent cross-coupling in systems where two or more linear electro-mechanical actuators (EMA) are rigidly connected and are in danger of becoming cross-coupled. In such systems where the linked EMAs are commanded...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Residual Mode Filters

NASA has developed a unique control algorithm and synthesis method that uses a system’s output to modify control inputs to cause the system to track a reference model or a fixed value in the presence of unmodeled system dynamics, varying operating environments, and unpredictable disturbances. The unique feature of this...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Probabilistic Surface Characterization for Safe Landing Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA)

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a probabilistic algorithm for hazard detection and avoidance (HDA) that robustly handles sensor noise. Conventional surface characterization methods use fixed hazard thresholds to determine hazardous...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot for Controlled Deposition of Multilayer Thin Film Structures

During deposition of thin film layers using shadow masking techniques, thin film layer structure morphology changes with respect to the position of the thin film layer and the shadow of the mask. Morphology changes in the thin film result in refractive index and density changes...

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