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
Brake

SEPAC (Elmira, NY) announced the Thin Spring Engaged Brake, a thin-body, spring-engaged, power-off brake. The brake offers reversible mounting with the shaft extending past the brake or within the brake body. The friction disc/rotor and hub are manufactured from lightweight metal, allowing for lower inertia. A splined hub for shaft...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Variable-Speed Systems

Nidec Motor Corp. (St. Louis, MO) launched NMC’s ACCU-Series™ family of variable-speed products. Users can match a U.S. MOTORS® brand inverter duty motor with an NMC drive or panel, or purchase integrated motors and controls. The products are designed to be used together as a system. The family includes variable...

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
Motion Controller

The Lexium Motion Module (LMM) from Schneider Electric Motion USA (Marlborough, CT) is a compact, programmable motion controller for motion applications measured in millimeters. The controller is programmed via MCode, and can validate motion with a turning motor shaft. MCode programs are transferrable to LMM and longer-lead...

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
Pneumatic Grippers

Fabco-Air (Gainesville, FL) announced the FKHS Series 3 Jaw Parallel Motion Pneumatic Gripper line for handling small parts in tight spaces. The design is available in six different bore sizes: 25, 32, 40, 50, 63, and 80 mm. A magnetic piston is a standard feature on all grippers. Other features include polarity protection and...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Positioning Tables and Stages

Positioning tables and nano-precision stages from Primatics (Vaughan, ON, Canada) are used in applications where high accuracy and repeatability and/or smoothness are critical. The PCL50 and PCL65 linear stages offer micron-level repeatability and integrate a precision ball-screw drive with recirculating ball linear...

Products : Motion Control
Stages

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the PRO series industrial linear motor and ball-screw positioning stages, including two new sizes of the PRO-LM (linear motor) series stage line: the PRO115LM and PRO190LM. New features include a linear encoder option on PRO-SLE ball-screw stages, absolute encoder options on both the linear motor and...

Products : Motion Control
Slides

NB Corporation of America (Hanover Park, IL) released TOPBALL® slide products that self-align. The floating wiper seal makes unrestricted self-alignment possible. A floating load plate adjusts clearance, and tolerances are achieved by grinding the raceways and load plates. Applications include automation equipment, machinery, and optical...

Products : Motion Control
Clutch-Brake

Nexen Group (Vadnais Heights, MN) introduced the Flange Mounted Clutch-Brake Enclosed (FMCBE) for any environment where cleanliness is a primary concern. A single, double-acting piston prevents simultaneous clutch and brake engagement. It features a nickel-plated finish to resist corrosion, and stainless steel, hex-head bolts with...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Linear Actuator

Midwest Motion Products (Howard Lake, MN) offers the Model MMP LA3-12V-5-A-SP- 100 linear actuator that utilizes an all-steel drive pinion while maintaining a 5:1 reduction ratio that allows the unit to maintain a 2"- per-second stroke speed. The stroke length for the design is 4" overall, but the same design is available with 2,...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Press Brake

The GOFORM portable electric press brake from Cincinnati Incorporated (Harrison, OH), is designed for parts up to 1/4" thick and less than 50 pounds. It features a large touchscreen control, PC-based 3D graphics, and bend simulation. The unit guides the operator though setup and part handling sequences. Additional features include...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Encoder Modules

Heidenhain (Schaumburg, IL) launched MRP 2000, 5000, and 8000 encoder modules that contain bearing sets not conventionally available that can be integrated with various encoder types. These angle encoder modules merge requirements for precision rotary axes used in metrology, calibration devices, automation technology, micro...

Products : Motion Control
Couplings

R+W America, Coupling Technology (Bensenville, IL) offers maintenance- free disc pack couplings in seven new sizes from 350 Nm to 24,000 Nm. Additional connection methods allow for easier installation and maintenance. The spacers are customizable, and can be designed for any length.

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Block Spindle

Suhner Industrial Products Corp., Automation Division (Rome, GA) introduced the BEX8 high-speed machining block spindle for extremely high-speed operations up to 25,000 rpm. The spindle weighs 33 pounds and mounts directly onto robotic arms for fully automated machining operations in high-speed, high-production departments in...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automated Measurement Cell

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (North Kingstown, RI) announced the 360 Flexible Measurement Cell, an automated measurement work cell suited for automotive and aerospace structure applications including powertrain and closure panel fabrication. The cell is built on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) work cell systems...

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 : Motion Control
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

Products : Motion Control
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Robotics, Automation & 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 commoditized, and can be sourced easily. In addition, the growing “maker movement” has simultaneously made...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & 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 : Robotics, Automation & 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 : Medical
Disposable Cartridge Components

Plastikos, Erie, PA, offers disposable cartridge components made of cyclic olefin polymer (COC) for wearable drug delivery devices holding medications such as insulin and pain medicines. The disposable cartridges are manufactured under strict tolerance levels and multi-cavity tooling. Every cavity on each mold was...