July 28, 2020 Volume 16 Issue 28

Motion Control News & Products

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Efficient, powerful, compact: Hypoid PMDC gearmotors

More efficient than comparable worm-gear models, Bodine's new hypoid gearmotors can deliver up to 1,535 lb-in. (173 Nm) torque while using 40% to 60% less energy than a same-size worm gearmotor. Side-by-side tests have shown that hypoid gearmotors can run as much as 15% cooler than worm-gear gearboxes, resulting in lower power consumption and longer lubricant life. The hollow-shaft design eliminates expensive shaft couplings and mounting hardware. Hardened steel gears ensure long life and maximum performance. The initial product launch includes 60 standard models with gear ratios from 5:1 to 240:1.
Learn more.


New flexible, food-grade soft gripper handles tricky pick-and-place jobs

Automation just got easier for food and beverage and other "clean" applications. The flexible, electric OnRobot Soft Gripper uses three interchangeable silicon-molded cups in star and four-finger configurations to pick up almost any small object under 2.2 kg with a delicate, precise touch. One great feature is that no external air supply is needed.
Read the full article and see how it works.


Ideal for boost mode: Disc Magnet stepper motor + encoder

High resolution meets impressive speed when a FAULHABER Disc Magnet stepper motor is combined with a high-quality IE3 magnetic encoder. With an extended length of about 13 mm, this new combination offers high positioning resolution up to 1,024 lines per revolution together with extremely fast acceleration capabilities in a short and light package. It is ideal for boost-mode operation. Typical applications are found in the textile, semiconductor, and medical industries.
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Smarter retail logistics with self-driving robot retrieval

Small motors and motion controllers from FAULHABER are what make the TORU picker robot so versatile. With an eye on the relentlessly growing sector of online retail, logistics and material-handling companies are eager for ways to increase efficiency, particularly through automation and digitalization. For the handling operations inside the self-driving logistics robot, TORU relies on FAULHABER motion systems with integrated motion control.
Read the full article.


Explosion-proof DC brush motors

The Kollmorgen EP series of explosion-proof, SCR-rated, permanent magnet direct current (PMDC) brush motors meets the requirements of Division 1 and 2, Class I (Group C, D), Class II (Groups E, F), and Class III environments. The EP motors are equipped with standard NEMA 56C face mounting with removable base and Class H insulation. They are UL recognized and meet CSA standards. Available in several voltages (12, 24, 90, 180 VDC) and power ranges (1/4 to 3/4 HP) operating at 1,750 rpm.
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Budget-friendly SmartMotor servos

Moog Animatics recently introduced the Class 5 S-Style SmartMotor servos in frame sizes NEMA 23 and 34 (the SM23165S and SM34165S, respectively). This fully featured and integrated motor line is built around an IP65-sealed, value-added, budget-friendly design that combines some of the best features from the Class 5 D-style and M-style motors, including: field-proven, D-style components; robust, industry-standard M connectors; a compact D-style footprint; and DE power as standard. This line is easily programmed and available with optional brake (ideal for vertical applications) and high-torque versions. These motors have full Class 5 controls, which means they can handle the full complement of complex Class 5 operations such as gearing and camming, stand-alone, multi-axis coordinated motion, and more.
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Introducing the long-reach C12XL 6-axis robot

Packed with next-gen technology, the C12XL 6-Axis robot with SlimLine design is the newest addition to Epson's popular C-Series. Featuring a 1,400-mm reach and up to 12-kg payload, the C12XL is ideal for a variety of applications including packaging, load/unload, material handling, and more. Powered by proprietary Epson gyro sensors, the powerful servo system allows for low residual vibration and minimizes overshoot with smooth end-of-arm motion.
Learn more.


Direct drive linear motor with integrated encoder and temperature sensor

The new, patented SDLM-019-070-01-01 direct drive linear motor with integrated position and temperature sensors is the latest addition to the series of zero-backlash, zero-cogging, high-acceleration, high-speed, high-resolution, long-life motors from Moticont. Also known as an electric cylinder, this compact direct drive linear motor is just 0.75 in. (19.1 mm) in diameter and 2.75 in. (69.9 mm) long. Protected inside the motor housing, the linear optical quadrature encoder is directly connected to the shaft for the greatest possible accuracy. Highest throughputs are achieved by this motor when operating at peak efficiency, monitoring the data from the internal temperature sensor.
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50,000 lb of force: Tolomatic expands hydraulic-class electric actuator range

Tolomatic's expanded extreme-force electric actuator family now includes the RSX128 actuator, rated up to 50,000 lb of force (222.4 kN). Ideal for replacing hydraulic cylinders and designed for 100 percent duty cycle, the RSX actuator features Tolomatic's precision-ground planetary roller screws for long, consistent operating life in challenging environments. Applications include assembly, metal fabrication (pressing, punching, clamping), automotive manufacturing, timber processing, motion simulators, and more.
Learn more.


Depend on FAULHABER drives for critical medical applications

Surgical robotics systems offer an overwhelming advantage over traditional methods: improved precision and speed, faster patient healing, and a reduced margin of error. For minimally invasive procedures requiring this level of precision, performance and quality, the engineers of surgical robotics systems rely on FAULHABER brushless dc motors.
Learn more.


Brakes for automated guided vehicles

Today's latest automated guided vehicles (AGVs) require highly responsive braking and holding power while minimizing battery usage. The Miki Pulley BXR-LE brake is a power-off engaged brake that will hold the AGV in place when not in use. When the AGV must navigate the production floor, the brake is energized, which disengages the rotor disc and allows free rotation of the AGV drive wheels. The BXR-LE brake uses 24 VDC for a split second to overcome compression spring inertia to open the brake, then consumes only 7 VDC by utilizing the BEM power control module. This saves battery power and minimizes the number of battery recharging operations needed to keep the AGV in continuous operation.
Learn more.


Tolomatic develops open-source, low-cost ventilator actuation prototypes for COVID-19 patients

Tolomatic has applied its linear motion expertise to develop prototypes of a new type of ventilator that uses an electric linear actuator to automate a non-invasive, positive-pressure resuscitator known as an Ambu bag. The company is looking for partners to develop this equipment to help fight COVID-19.
Learn more and see how the Tolomatic designs work.


New motion platform offers four degrees of freedom

The new Z3TM from ETEL is a compact motion platform that provides a surface with four degrees of freedom into a stacked architecture and is an alternative to piezoelectric solutions. It was designed in response to the needs of advanced wafer positioning in the semiconductor industry, but can also be used in a variety of industries such as medical, pharmaceutical, and general inspection. The Z3TM platform uses a combination of three flexures and a rotary module to provide rotary, Z-axis, and two oblique axis motions to a plate that can be anchored to a supporting table for multiaxial motion solutions.
Learn more.


High-force linear actuator makes muscle car simulation possible

Tolomatic linear actuators are used worldwide in a myriad of industries for automation tasks like conveying, sorting, and filling, but they are also used in demanding, non-industrial applications such as simulators for flight, driving, testing, and entertainment. Learn how electric high-force linear actuators helped simulate the experience of popping a wheelie in a true muscle car.
Read this informative Tolomatic blog post.


New low-cost high-speed robot from DENSO

DENSO Robotics developed the entry-level LPH to meet the demand for precision robots needed for light-duty manufacturing applications. Equipment manufacturers who are new to automation, companies reinventing their product lines, and entrepreneurs launching new devices are among those who make up the growing market for high-quality robots that don't break the bank. Compact and lightweight, the LPH is a 4-axis selective compliance assembly robot arm (SCARA) built to handle a maximum payload of no more than 6.6 lb (3 kg) with a maximum arm reach of 1.3 ft (400 mm). When operated routinely at the highest rated payload, the LPH has a life cycle of up to five years. For lighter loads, the LPH has a longer life cycle.
Learn more.


Weird science: Robot that grips without touching being developed in Switzerland

ETH Pioneer Fellow Marcel Schuck is developing a robotic gripper that can manipulate small and fragile objects without touching them. The technology is based on sound waves.

The small installation that Marcel Schuck has assembled on his workbench at ETH university in Zurich, Switzerland, is reminiscent of a school physics lesson: an arrangement, comprising two semi-spheres and resembling a pair of headphones, is connected to a circuit board carrying microchips. He is using the assembly to demonstrate a physical effect. A small sphere hovers between the two semi-spheres, held up by ultrasound waves. "This phenomenon is known as acoustic levitation," the scientist explains.

[Photo credit: ETH Zurich/Stefan Weiss]

 

 

As part of his ETH Pioneer Fellowship, the former ETH doctoral student is currently developing a method that makes it possible to lift and manipulate small objects entirely without touching them. This could be particularly relevant in situations where damage to small components costs money, such as in the watchmaking or semiconductor industries.

Conventional robotic grippers sometimes damage fragile objects. To counter this, soft, rubber-like grippers can be used. Although these cause no damage, they are easily contaminated, like a well-used rubber eraser. Additionally, these soft robotic grippers only offer limited positioning accuracy.

"Gripping without touching" is the principle behind Schuck's project called "No-Touch Robotics." The technology is based on an effect that has been exploited for more than 80 years and was first used in space exploration. Ultrasound waves generate a pressure field that humans cannot see or hear. Pressure points are created as the acoustic waves overlay each other, and small objects can be trapped within these points. As a result, they seem to float freely in the air in an acoustic trap.

Marcel Schuck and his "no-grip" gripper. [Photo credit: ETH Zurich/Stefan Weiss]

 

 

The installation in his laboratory is the prototype for the product that Schuck wants to develop: an electronically controlled robot gripper using ultrasound. The 31-year-old scientist has fitted numerous small loudspeakers into the two semi-spheres, created using a 3D printer. The associated software allows Schuck to control the loudspeakers such that the pressure points can be moved around. The goal is to change their position in real time without the suspended object falling to the ground. This particular aspect is being researched by ETH doctoral student Marc Rothlisberger, who shares a lab at the Technopark Zurich with Schuck and Christian Burkard, a master's student.

Just using the existing technology, the scientists are able to move various small objects through space. The software adjusts the gripper to the shape of the object to be lifted, and a robot arm then transports the object to the target destination.

The principle of gripping without touching also has an economic benefit: When working with a conventional robot, a different gripper is required for almost every new shape. The acoustic gripper eliminates the need for an extensive set of expensive high-precision grippers.

It is not even necessary for the robot arm itself to be extremely precise. "The exact positioning is determined by the acoustic waves controlled by the software," Schuck says.

[Photo credit: ETH Zurich/Stefan Weiss]

 

 

Initially, Schuck wants to use the funding from his ETH Pioneer Fellowship to determine how robot grippers are deployed in practice. "The main aim is to explore the potential fields of application and open doors within industry," Schuck says.

The innovation is likely to be of interest to the watchmaking industry, where highly precise micromechanics is essential for handling expensive, minute components. Toothed gearwheels, for example, are first coated with lubricant, and then the thickness of this lubricant layer is measured. Even the faintest touch could damage the thin film of lubricant. Microchip production might be another attractive market for Schuck's technology.

Schuck is using some of the 150,000 Swiss francs ($157,000) from the fellowship to create a type of development kit for potential clients. This contains a robot gripper, control software, and instructions. Schuck stresses that he still does not know how the end product will look.

"That depends on the feedback I get from industry," he says. He hopes he will find a few interested parties who will collaborate with him on the further development of the acoustic gripper.

On the one hand, this should help to satisfy existing market needs. On the other hand, Schuck is keen for the technology to work not just in the laboratory, but in the real world. If he can manage this by the spring of 2021, Schuck figures he should be able to establish a start-up based on his innovative business idea.

Source: ETH (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich)

Published June 2020

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