Automated measurement inspection cobot system
New Scale Robotics has introduced its Q-Span Automated Small-Part Measurement Systems for quality control (QC) teams in high-mix, small-batch manufacturing environments. Q-Span Systems combine robotic pick-and-place with automated measurement of small parts, automating the tedious manual process of measuring parts with digital calipers. A Q-Span Workstation Solution includes up to three gripper/caliper tools on one collaborative robot. The system picks up small parts, measures multiple dimensions, makes in-process decisions based on measurements (pass/fail or sort by range), and places each part in the appropriate tray or bin. All data can be recorded to a PC for later analysis and statistical process control (SPC).
How to avoid premature linear screw actuator failure
At their core, electric linear screw actuators deploy mechanical technology such as ball bearings, ball screws, and roller screws that have a finite life. These components do not last forever -- even though that is the expectation of some customers. But how long will an actuator really last? Tolomatic engineers provide a way to calculate, estimate, and size the electric linear screw actuator to achieve the desired life for your applications.
Read this informative Tolomatic blog.
SmartMotor with IP65 protection
Moog Animatics has just released their fully featured and integrated Class 5 S-Style SmartMotor with IP65 protection in the frame sizes NEMA 23 and 34. These SmartMotor products come equipped with industry-standard M connectors, as well as an optional brake. The S-Style SmartMotor servos share many of the same components as the Class 5 D-style motors, which don't have IP protection. This significantly reduces production costs and sales prices, resulting in an excellent price-performance ratio.
Hägglunds motors extensive resource kit
Manufactured with leading-edge technology, Hägglunds drive systems from Bosch Rexroth are designed to provide an unmatched combination of speed, power, and torque. There are more than 60,000 of these motors running across the world in a wide range of industries -- from sugar refinement and mining to recycling systems and plastics production. Rexroth has compiled 50 years of proven expertise on these workhorse motors into one easy-to-access resource kit. Get white papers, technical articles, videos, and more.
More than 1 million MDrive integrated motors sold
Since its initial launch almost 20 years ago, the MDrive integrated motor family from Schneider Electric has moved stepper motion control tech to a new level, increasing accuracy while providing additional benefits in a compact package. What began with reducing the electronics package size to fit onto a stepper motor using surface-mount technology and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) has expanded to include features previously unavailable on stepper motors. The latest MDrive products offer closed-loop performance, velocity control, energy savings, and a range of standardized communication choices including Ethernet TCP/IP and CANopen. Numerous options and accessories are also available, including absolute encoder, captive shaft electric cylinder, gearboxes, and more.
Gearless speed reducers with traction drive tech
Stock Drive Products/ Sterling Instrument (SDP/SI) has introduced new speed reducers with traction drive technology. Featuring a gearless drive, these speed reducers are highly efficient and feature only six moving parts. They use engineered traction fluid to cool and lubricate. As the driving and driven elements interface in the drive, the traction fluid regularly changes from liquid to solid and back to liquid, generating less heat than conventional drives. Years of development and testing have been invested in this new technology, resulting in a product featuring infinite ratios up to a ratio of 5:1, dramatic reduction of motor torque ripple, low vibration and noise level, and significantly less maintenance than a conventional gearbox.
What's best: Integrated linear actuators or traditional?
When you're faced with designing a new piece of automation equipment, you have a lot on your mind. If you need a linear motion system, electric actuators have inherent flexibility and long-term cost efficiency. Once you choose electric linear motion, you can select either an integrated linear actuator or a traditional design. But what are the benefits and drawbacks of each?
Read this informative Tolomatic blog.
World's smallest multi-turn absolute kit encoders
Encoder manufacturer POSITAL has unveiled a fully functional prototype of their new miniature multi-turn kit encoder for integrated motor feedback. With a diameter of only 22 mm and a height of 23 mm, the new device is the world's smallest multi-turn kit. It features a self-powered rotation counter that does away with the need for back-up batteries or complex gear systems. These kit encoders are designed for builders of servomotors, feedback-controlled stepper motors, microdrives, miniature robots, and other machines where high-precision position feedback is required and space is at a premium. The new 22-mm kits are reliable, accurate, and simple to install. Available from Electromate.
Electromechanical kit for easy joining applications
Bosch Rexroth's new, innovative Smart Press Kit is designed to meet future industrial requirements and provides a complete mechatronics package immediately ready for use across an extremely wide range of standardized pressing and joining applications -- particularly 2 to 30 kN. The modular kit, consisting of mechanical components, electrical components, and software, simplifies product selection and configuration as well as commissioning. The Smart Press Kit can be connected via open interfaces and conveniently monitored on a tablet during operations. This maximizes transparency, reduces downtime, and increases productivity. Applications include press-fitting bearings into housings, crimping cables and hoses, and inserting (for example, integration of magnets in lamination stacks).
Flat external high-speed rotor motor
With the DF20, Nanotec now offers a flat external rotor motor with a diameter of just 20 mm. It is available with two different windings for 12 and 24 V and is equipped with digital Hall sensors for simple control. The DF20 features a rated power of 5 W and a rated speed of 5,200 rpm. The open design without rotor housing ensures optimal heat dissipation -- even at high speeds. Thanks to its compact construction with flat ribbon cable, this brushless DC motor is ideal for applications with limited space, such as robot grippers, medical pumps, or prosthetics. An adapter board is available for test purposes as an accessory.
OnRobot's One System Solution grippers receive UR+ certification
With the One System Solution launched this fall, OnRobot disrupted the end-of-arm-tooling (EoAT) industry, presenting a full line of intelligent grippers and sensors with a unified mechanical and communications interface. The innovative approach allows for quick plug-and-play tool changes and fast and easy programming across multiple production lines and applications. The One System Solution grippers are now also part of the UR+ program that tests and certifies EoAT products for seamless use with cobots from Universal Robots. Additionally, the URCap software automatically identifies the OnRobot tool that is mounted on a UR robot, so a variety of OnRobot products can be used effortlessly.
New integrated DC motor and controller package
Haydon Kerk Pittman has just announced the latest addition to its popular line of brushless DC motors. The EC042B IDEA Motor Series is now available with CANopen communication-enhancing motion control capabilities. Save money and space by utilizing the IDEA Motor's integrated package of motor, drive, and feedback connections in a compact and programmable unit. A single motor/drive unit reduces motion system components by up to 75 percent per axis and simplifies machine troubleshooting. Save time using a pre-engineered, factory-configured and tested servo system. Immediately generate complex precise motion sequences by using the available Graphical User Interface that provides an intuitive programming environment to quickly develop, save, and debug complex motion sequences.
Smart actuators deliver on the promise of Industry 4.0
As Industry 4.0 initiatives bring more and more industrial axes of motion into the realm of automation, the need for cost-effective control across them grows as well. Consider, for example, industrial tasks such as raising or lowering a conveyor to handle cartons of various sizes. If such adjustments are needed only a few times a day, automation with conventional technology would be difficult to justify. Automating such intermittent operations with pneumatic cylinders, for instance, would require costly infrastructure and elevated maintenance costs while providing only limited control capability. Today's smart electromechanical actuators, however, enable designers to automate intermittent operations affordably by embedding functionality that has previously required an external infrastructure.
Read the Thomson article.
New hygienic integrated electric actuators provide modular clean-in-place solutions
The Tolomatic IMA-S stainless-steel integrated servo actuator is designed for the most demanding food and beverage processing applications, eliminating harborage points and preventing bacterial growth. The 316 stainless-steel construction provides excellent corrosion resistance and withstands high pressure, high temperature, and caustic washdown. It meets clean-in-place requirements, allowing machine designers to achieve open machine designs and eliminate shrouding required to house standard actuators. This series offers forces up to 11.1 kN (2,500 lbf), stroke lengths up to 450 mm (18 in.), and options for planetary roller screws or ball screws. A proprietary lubrication feature helps extend service life.
Engineer's Toolbox: Three steps to mount a step motor
Jeff Kordik, chief technical officer, Applied Motion Products, runs through the basic steps to mount a step motor and also covers key mounting dimensions. He provides his pro tips along the way and also gives tips for determining proper step motor torque as a sidebar. Lots of good info here.
Read the full article.
NASA begins work to build quieter supersonic passenger jet
This is an artist's concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step toward the possible return of supersonic passenger travel -- but this time quieter and more affordable. [Credits: Lockheed Martin]
The return of supersonic passenger air travel is one step closer to reality with NASA's award of a contract for the preliminary design of a "low boom" flight demonstration aircraft. This is the first in a series of 'X-planes' in NASA's New Aviation Horizons initiative, introduced in the agency's Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the award at an event Feb. 29 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, VA.
"NASA is working hard to make flight greener, safer, and quieter -- all while developing aircraft that travel faster, and building an aviation system that operates more efficiently," said Bolden. "To that end, it's worth noting that it's been almost 70 years since Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 as part of our predecessor agency's high-speed research. Now we're continuing that supersonic X-plane legacy with this preliminary design award for a quieter supersonic jet with an aim toward passenger flight."
NASA selected a team led by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, CA, to complete a preliminary design for Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST). The work will be conducted under a task order against the Basic and Applied Aerospace Research and Technology (BAART) contract at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.
After conducting feasibility studies and working to better understand acceptable sound levels across the country, NASA's Commercial Supersonic Technology Project asked industry teams to submit design concepts for a piloted test aircraft that can fly at supersonic speeds, creating a supersonic "heartbeat" -- a soft thump rather than the disruptive boom currently associated with supersonic flight.
"Developing, building, and flight testing a quiet supersonic X-plane is the next logical step in our path to enabling the industry's decision to open supersonic travel for the flying public," said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission.
Lockheed Martin will receive about $20 million over 17 months for QueSST preliminary design work. The Lockheed Martin team includes subcontractors GE Aviation of Cincinnati and Tri Models Inc. of Huntington Beach, CA.
The company will develop baseline aircraft requirements and a preliminary aircraft design with specifications, and provide supporting documentation for concept formulation and planning. This documentation would be used to prepare for the detailed design, building, and testing of the QueSST jet. Performance of this preliminary design also must undergo analytical and wind tunnel validation.
In addition to design and building, this Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) phase of the project also will include validation of community response to the new, quieter supersonic design. The detailed design and building of the QueSST aircraft, conducted under the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's Integrated Aviation Systems Program, will fall under a future contract competition.
NASA's 10-year New Aviation Horizons initiative has the ambitious goals of reducing fuel use, emissions, and noise through innovations in aircraft design that departs from the conventional tube-and-wing aircraft shape.
The New Aviation Horizons X-planes will typically be about half-scale of a production aircraft and likely are to be piloted. Design-and-build will take several years, with aircraft starting their flight campaign around 2020, depending on funding.
Published March 2016
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