Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

Linear Actuators

Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) offers Roh’lix® linear actuators made from stainless steel for use where cleanliness is a priority. Used to convert rotary motion to linear travel, the actuators carry loads at speeds up to 70 inches per second, depending on size. Stainless steel components make the actuators suitable for food, drug, packaging, and similar applications where cleanliness and frequent system wash-downs are required.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
Read More >>

Linear Motor Stages

The PlanarDL-series stages from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) are available in nine different travel and performance configuration applications ranging from high-accuracy surface profilometry to high-speed semiconductor and LED wafer scribing. The PlanarDL XY design allows for use in applications where straightness and flatness of motion are critical. Capable of achieving 1 m/s velocities and 1.5 g accelerations, the stages enable high-throughput and the company’s proprietary directdrive technology.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
Read More >>

Real-Time Software Enables Multi-Core PCs for Industrial Automation

As early as 25 years ago, industrial system integrators saw the great potential that the Windows operating system brought to PCs. They saw the possibility of using the advanced graphic capabilities that Windows offered versus the relatively primitive human interfaces of DOS-based applications and those of other proprietary OSes. Windows enabled the development of controllers with advanced human-ma chine interfaces (HMIs) that provide a whole new level of functionality, and make machines easier to use and maintain.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Automation, Industrial vehicles and equipment
Read More >>

Couplings Synchronize Motion in Pipe Bending System

Pines Technology’s (Westlake, OH) Model 250 Heavy Duty CNC bender is a powerful automatic precision system for fast, repeatable bending of tube and pipe up to 10" in diameter. Providing fast setup and changeover advantages, this giant bender has an advanced level of programming to deliver automated high performance and flexibility in tube and pipe bending operations.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Automation, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Parts
Read More >>

Using Source Measure Units to Characterize High-Power Semiconductors (Part 1)

The proliferation of electronic control and electronic power conversion into a variety of industries (e.g., energy generation, industrial motor drives and control, transportation, and IT) has made efficient power semiconductor device design and test more critical than ever. To demonstrate technology improvements, new device capabilities must be compared with those of existing devices. The use of semiconductor materials other than silicon demands the use of new processes. To be sustainable, these new processes must be tuned to deliver consistent results and high production yield. As new device designs are developed, reliability measurements must be performed on many devices over long periods. Therefore, test engineers must identify test equipment that is not only accurate, but scalable and cost-effective.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Semiconductor devices, Semiconductor devices, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
Read More >>

Motors Power NASA’s Interactive Humanoid Tour Guide

RoboThespian is a programmable, interactive humanoid robot designed to communicate, interact, and entertain. First developed in 2006 by Cornish company Engineered Arts, RoboThespian stands 5'9", with a full range of upper-body movement and human-like eyes. NASA will employ the robot’s third generation as a figurehead — meeting and greeting over 1.5 million visitors per year at its futuristic Cape Canaveral base.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motors & Drives, Human machine interface (HMI), Air transportation facilities, Robotics, Biomechanics
Read More >>

Instrumentation Valves

Brennan Industries (Cleveland, OH) offers a line of compression-end instrumentation valves available with single or double ferrule-style tube fittings. The NVB Series ball valves range in size from 1/8" to 3⁄4 " and are available in either 316 stainless steel or brass construction. These valves can have two- or three-way configurations and are rated to 3,000 psi. NVN-2200 and NVN-2300 Series screwed bonnet needle valves range in size from 1/8" to 1" and are available with either metal-to-metal or soft-seat stem types. The 316 stainless steel valves are rated to 6,000 psi, and the brass valves are rated to 3,000 psi.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
Read More >>

Linear Actuators

Exlar, a business group of Curtiss-Wright Controls (Chanhassen, MN), offers the K Series™ linear actuators with a 75-mm frame size. They combine roller screw technology in varying performance levels, and allow the use of third-party motors. Along with 60-mm and 90-mm frame sizes, the actuators feature dimensions and form-factor consistent with ISO Metric pneumatic cylinder specifications for pneumatic and hydraulic replacement. They are compatible with any type and style of motor such as DC, stepper, and servo, and offer universal mounting configurations. They offer standard stroke lengths up to 48 inches. The standard body design provides an IP54S sealed housing with options available for IP65S sealing. A variety of materials and coatings is also offered, such as Type III hard coat anodizing, electroless nickel plating, and epoxy coating.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
Read More >>

Motor Controller

Fairchild Semiconductor (San Jose, CA) has released the FCM8531 analog and digital integrated motor controller. The 3-phase, hybrid BLDC/PMSM controller offers two parallel processors — an advanced motor controller (AMC) and an embedded microcontroller (MCU) — that provide a one-chip solution for complex motor control applications. The two core processors exchange data through an internal communications interface.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
Read More >>

Drive Module

ACS Motion Con - trol (Eden Prairie, MN) offers SPiiPlusUDMlc compact EtherCAT dual/quad-axis drive for equipment utilizing small motors such as pick/place machines, tabletop motion platforms, and wide-format inspection/ assembly equipment. The universal drives can run servo, stepper, and voice coil motors with a power range of 10W to 200W. The type of motor is selected by the user, and can be set differently for each drive axis. It is available in three current levels (cont./peak per axis): 1.25/2.5A, 2.5/5A, or 5/10A (dual-axis version only); supports motor bus voltages from 15-48Vdc; and has inputs for four digital incremental and up to two absolute encoders.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.