September 20, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 35

Motion Control News & Products

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Servo motor for medium- to heavy-washdown applications

Kollmorgen has launched its IP69k-rated AKMA servo motor built specifically for durability, cleanability, and versatility. It employs a hardened anodized aluminum surface to offer machine designers a cost-effective, hygienic option to stainless steel in medium- to heavy-washdown applications. The lightweight design of the AKMA motor makes it easy to install and maintain, and its high torque density offers machine builders more performance in a smaller footprint. It is ideally suited for precision motion applications in food and beverage processing, and in pharmaceutical and medical packaging operations.
Learn more.

Designing electric actuators into food processing equipment

Stay one step ahead of regulators and food manufacturers -- who are requiring cleaner, safer machine designs from their OEM machine builders -- by using these five tips from Tolomatic for designing electric actuators into food processing equipment. Machine designers can meet manufacturer expectations and comply with food-safety standards by applying these key best practices.
Read the full Tolomatic article.

Universal Robots debuts world's first cobot spot welder

Universal Robots -- the maker of the most widely used collaborative robot arm in the manufacturing industry -- and its development partners will show off a host of exciting new cobot-related technologies at the Automate show in Detroit May 22-25, including the world's first cobot spot welder, designed and manufactured by Pro Spot International. Palletizers, case packers, process automation cells, and more will also be demonstrated. Lots of neat new tech here.
Read the full article.

New Elite Robots cobot handles 20-kg payload

Elite Robots will unveil the CS620, its new 20-kg payload model, at the EASTEC trade show, May 16-18 in West Springfield, MA. This unit is part of the company's next-gen CS series and stands out for its remarkable ease of use, safety, and expandability. The CS series is based on an advanced software infrastructure, with an intuitive and modular graphical user interface that supports the Python scripting language and self-developed plug-ins, offering a high level of customization for programmers. See what else sets Elite Robots cobots apart with over 10,000 units deployed worldwide.
Learn more.

New ROEQ cart system for automated mobile robot supports up to 287 lb

For customers looking to automate tasks such as quickly moving smaller, lighter cargo between work stations or shelves -- even in narrow spaces where larger carts are challenged -- ROEQ's new TMC130 top module and cart system for the OMRON LD-90x is an ideal solution. The new system will make its debut at Automate 2023. This type of cart tech is popular in automotive manufacturing but is gaining traction quickly in many other industries.
Read the full article.

Part finishing: New smart cobot solution sands, grinds, and more

Kane Robotics has launched its first collaborative robot (cobot) solution, the GRITâ„¢ cobot. Developed by aeronautics and composite experts, GRIT dramatically improves productivity, reduces health risks, and solves labor shortages for aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) companies and other types of manufacturers. This reconfigurable cobot comes in three sizes and works alongside humans to perform labor-intensive sanding, grinding, and polishing for materials removal within any size and type of manufacturer. Average ROI is 6 months.
Learn more.
Watch a video of how it works.

Food-grade, long-reach stainless steel delta robot

FANUC America's DR-3iB/6 STAINLESS delta robot sets a new benchmark for robotic food handling. Designed for picking and packing primary food products, it has a 1,200-mm reach and a powerful four-axis design that allows it to handle 6-kg payloads at high speeds. Rated IP69K, the robot meets USDA and FDA food safety standards. It is also very fast.
Learn more.

What motor torque constant to use for drive type: Theory and application

Calculating motor torque from available drive current can be confusing due to many different drive types and the multiple ways current is specified. This informative online paper from Celera Motion provides the key formulas for torque constant and motor current from the fundamental principles of three-phase motor theory. It also walks through the many ways torque can be calculated. This information applies to a brushless motor (BLAC or permanent magnet synchronous machines) configuration.
Read the full article.

OnRobot Palletizer: Complete, configurable, and easy-to-use modular solution

OnRobot has launched OnRobot Palletizer, a complete collaborative palletizing solution designed to take the physical and financial pain out of palletizing processes. It includes four new hardware and software products to make affordable collaborative automation available to companies of all sizes and technology skill levels.
Read the full article.

Great Applications: 50 ways to use a hexapod

Hexapods, six-legged parallel-kinematic machines, can solve many complex positioning and alignment tasks in fields including Optics, Photonics, Precision Automation, Automotive, and Medical Engineering. Features include a programmable pivot point, sub-micron precision, and load capacities from 2 to 2,000 kg.
Learn more from PI.

Ultra-small pancake-style gimbal motors

Orbex Group has introduced a line of ultra-compact, high-performance gimbal motors. Featuring a pancake-style form factor, these lightweight motors are wound to operate at low speeds typical for gimbals while exhibiting a high torque constant for fast response when needed. The new gimbal motors are available in two sizes (16 x 10 mm and 26 x 12 mm) and are engineered to minimize cogging torque, ensuring smooth rotation for stable imaging or pointing. Because these brushless motors are electronically commutated, they can change speeds quickly and offer exceptional reliability.
Learn more.

World's smallest servo drives introduced by Celera Motion

Celera Motion claims its newly launched Denali Series features the world's smallest servo drives. The compact and ultra-fast servo drives are perfect for a variety of service robots, surgical robots, industrial grippers, and lab automation applications.
Read the full article.

UR cobots control CNC machining cells at Go Fast Campers

Learn how Go Fast Campers (GFC) has integrated a line of four UR5 cobots from Universal Robots with their Haas CNC machines. GFC manufactures 174 unique parts -- from bolts to connectors to hinges -- for its customized pop-up truck campers. All parts start as raw pieces of aerospace-grade aluminum billet material. The company can run 20 to 25 jobs across the four machining centers each day, with changeovers taking only 10 to 15 minutes. Watch how the cobots' built-in I/Os allow GFC to control all auxiliary systems through the robot program, including part loading, flipping, and unloading with a special extra retractor arm.
View the video.

New Twin profile Rail Stage actuator improves accuracy in XYZ motion systems

The new Twin profile Rail Stage (TRS) actuator from Tolomatic improves accuracy and increases production uptime on XYZ linear motion systems with two- or three-axis configurations. Applications include machining centers, collaborative robot movement, drilling, cutting, pick-and-place, material handling, and more.
Read the full article.

Super cool and versatile palletizing gripper: OnRobot 2FGP20

Palletizing just got easier and more affordable with the 2FGP20 from OnRobot, an off-the-shelf electric gripper with a payload of up to 20kg and endless customization possibilities to fit any automation needs. The 2FGP20 is an ideal solution that can be deployed and redeployed for multiple processes and handling different parts.
Learn more about the 2FGP20.
Learn more about palletizing.

GE is first in world to test high-power, high-voltage hybrid electric components in altitude conditions

GE recently announced it completed the world's first test of a megawatt (MW)-class and multi-kilovolt (kV) hybrid electric propulsion system in altitude conditions that simulate single-aisle commercial flight. The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Airshow just south of London at the end of July.

The test of the high-power, high-voltage system -- including electric motor/generators, power converters, power transmission, and power control systems -- successfully demonstrated performance and operation of the components in a replicated flight environment. This helps validate the architecture of the hybrid electric propulsion systems GE is developing. It's also an important, necessary step in GE's technology programs with NASA to develop a hybrid electric propulsion system for flight tests later this decade and for entry into service in the mid-2030s.

The altitude integration test of the system began in June 2021 and was completed earlier this year at NASA's Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) facility in Sandusky, OH. To represent the right and left engine sides of an aircraft, two sets of a hybrid electric system were operated in conditions up to 45,000 ft, simulating the electrical loads required to help optimize the engines and propel and power an aircraft.

"We're making aviation history by developing the technology to help make hybrid electric flight possible for everyday commercial air travel," said Mohamed Ali, vice president and general manager of engineering for GE Aerospace. "This is one of many milestones in our journey with NASA towards demonstrating a hybrid electric aircraft engine system for a more sustainable future of flight."

The NEAT facility where testing took place is a NASA reconfigurable testbed used to design, develop, assemble, and test electric aircraft power systems.

"NASA's unique NEAT facility is the only testing location capable of simultaneously providing both high-electric-power and high-altitude conditions in an area large enough to fit an entire electric powertrain, and we are proud to see this test with GE come to a successful conclusion. This facility has become highly sought after by GE and others across the aviation community, and it is critical to supporting the agency's goal of developing technologies that will enable and support future climate change adaptation initiatives," said Bob Pearce, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Mission Research Directorate.

"At NEAT, we are able to test a high-voltage powertrain system in flight altitude conditions without leaving the ground, thereby reducing major safety risks in a timely manner. With the ground testing completed, we are now well positioned to move to the next phase of our agreement with GE, an actual electric aircraft flight demonstration," Pearce added.

About the altitude integration test
Components were tested independently and as an integrated system. Additionally, multiple operational modes were evaluated, including power transfer from side to side, power assist to a simulated engine, and aircraft power generation. The implementation of energy storage was also simulated.

MWs measure electrical power and kVs measure the difference in electrical potential between two points, equivalent to the pressure used to drive fluid through a pipe. A kV-class system enables high efficiency and specific power. Successfully testing a kV system in altitude conditions is significant because the interaction of voltage and the environment is different at higher altitudes than on the ground. kV-class systems are significantly more difficult to manage at altitude.

What's next for hybrid electric flight
Future tests will continue as part of the Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project that was announced by NASA in September 2021, including testing of the hybrid electric system connected to GE's CT7 turboprop engines. Eventually, this will lead to a flight test later this decade of the hybrid electric system on a CT7-powered Saab 340B plane.

Boeing is partnering with GE to support the flight tests for EPFD. Boeing (and its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences) is providing the aircraft, aircraft modification, aircraft integration, and flight-testing services. That work includes nacelle manufacturing, flight deck interface design and software, aircraft-level performance analysis, and systems integration.

Source: GE

Published September 2022

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