September 12, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 34

Motion Control News & Products

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World's highest force voice coil actuator

H2W Technologies has developed the world’s highest force commercially available non-commutated DC linear actuator, otherwise known as a direct drive voice coil actuator. The model NCC08-75-3000-3X is capable of generating a continuous force of 300 lb (1330 N) and a peak force of 900 lb (4000 N) at a duty cycle of 10% (i.e., 1 sec on and 9 sec off). A moving mass of just under 8 lb (3.6 kg) allows for a maximum theoretical continuous acceleration of nearly 38 Gs.
Click here to learn more.


Reduce motion control application development time

ACS Motion Control has launched a new version of its SPiiPlus Application Development Kit (ADK) Suite motion control software with new simulation and motion machine interface (MMI) tools. The SPiiPlus ADK Suite Version 2.50 provides enhanced diagnostics capabilities to minimize setup, tuning, and programming time for motion control applications. With updated ACSPL+ functions, variables, and commands, Version 2.50 enables the implementation of both highly complex motion-time-event sequences with accurate positioning and timing, and simpler tasks such as point-to-point control. The ACS simulator tool models an ideal closed-loop servo system.
Click here to learn more.


Sprague pumps, boosters, and power units now available from High Pressure Equipment

High Pressure Equipment Co. (HiP), a subsidiary of Graco Inc., has added Sprague hydraulic pumps, gas boosters, and power units to their family of products. Sprague air-driven power products have been providing high-pressure solutions to the oil and gas, process chemical, utility, aviation, and industrial markets for more than 60 years. The first Sprague air-operated pump was developed in 1947 and, other than minor modifications, is the same classic design today. HiP will manufacture all Sprague power products in their ISO 9001-certified Erie, PA, headquarters plant.
Learn about Sprague Air-Driven Hydraulic Pumps.
Learn about Sprague Air-Driven Gas Boosters.
Learn about Sprague Air-Driven Power Units.


Fast and compact direct-drive micro-positioning stages

Precision motion and nanoposi-tioning leader PI (Physik Instrumente) delivers a family of compact linear and rotary stages driven by ceramic direct-drive motors. The patented ultrasonic motors provide smooth motion with high resolution and a high dynamic range. The self-clamping motor principle locks the stage into place, devoid of creep, once a target position has been reached. This intrinsic brake-like behavior comes at no extra cost and provides advantages that are not available with classic electro-magnetic drive technologies. Two linear stages with 18-mm and 22-mm travel are available, as well as an XY stage providing 22 mm x 22 mm. Several encoder options are standard. Applications include medical devices, optical instrumentation, photonics alignment, and super-resolution microscopy.
View the specs, datasheet, and more.
Read tech article about ultrasonic motors.


Selection tips for rodless electromechanical and electric rod actuators

When you specify a linear actuator, some basic decisions come first. Do you go with electric or fluid-powered? Do you need the push/pull of an electric rod actuator or the load-carrying action of a rodless electromechanical actuator? Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic may have your answer. Dietrich has compiled some very good tips for selecting these actuator types.
Learn about selecting linear actuators.


Software: Robot control systems

Han’s Robot, a subsidiary of global Chinese manufacturer Han’s Laser, has licensed Energid’s Actin premier control software for its new line of cost-effective collaborative robots (“cobots”), called Elfins. Actin is an easy-to-use robot control and simulation framework that offers robot manufacturers faster time to market, reduced software development costs, and powerful control with real-time adaptive motion. Han’s Robot was able to leverage powerful collaborative features including collision avoidance, simplified task-based programming, interactive control, and the ability to extend, customize, and rebrand any of the components for advanced product differentiation. Energid provides robotic control systems for a wide range of global customers.
Click here to learn more.


New Catalog: Custom engineered precision motion systems

Motion and precision positioning systems expert PI (Physik Instrumente) has released a new catalog outlining its capabilities for engineered motion and automation solutions for high-tech industries such as photonics, precision optics, semiconductor, and medical engineering. Customers have saved considerable time and resources by requesting free advice from PI’s engineering teams around the world, who draw upon thousands of standard products ranging from electromagnetic to piezoceramic motors, digital and analog controllers, serial and parallel kinematic motion systems, capacitive, inductive and optical nano-precision sensors, and guiding systems that span from flexures to magnetic levitation and air bearings.
Get your catalog today.


New planetary PMDC gearmotors from Bodine

Bodine Electric Company introduces the new type 24A4-60P planetary gearmotor. This integral gearmotor combines Bodine's high-performance type 24A PMDC motor with the all-new 60P (60-mm) planetary gearhead. It is ideal for applications that require higher torque than conventional helical/spur gearheads of a similar size can provide, and where a very low-backlash gearhead is not required. Typical applications include conveyors, pumps, packaging, industrial automation, and a wide range of solar- or battery-powered equipment.
Click here to learn more.


Extreme force electric linear actuator controls lumber drying

The lumber processing industry demands rugged, strong, reliable, and accurate equipment in all its operations. Conditions can be harsh. Hydraulic cylinders have been the go-to, but they have limitations, such as inconsistent control, leaks, temperature sensitivity, maintenance requirements, and lack of feedback. Now there are electric rod actuators powered by roller screws that can meet the requirements of these high-force applications.
Read the Tolomatic blog.


Medium-load hexapod 6-axis motion platform

With the usability of 6-axis hexapods increasing in research and industry applications, PI introduces a new medium-load 6-axis precision motion platform, the H-825 hexapod. The H-825 provides a self-locking load capacity up to 30 kg (66 lb). The motion range is up to 55 mm (linear) and up to 38 degrees (rotation). High system precision is guaranteed by absolute encoders and an actuator resolution of 8 nanometers -- with excellent position repeatability of +/-0.1 µm and +/-2 µrad, respectively. The parallel-kinematic design of the hexapod makes it smaller and stiffer than traditional 6-axis positioning systems while providing a higher dynamic range. Features long-lifetime brushless servo motors.
>Read technical articles and applications of PI hexapods
>Watch Hexapod System Videos
>Specifications, Datasheet, More Information


Wheel drive assemblies for electric vehicles

WheelMax Steering Drives from Allied Motion Technologies are fully integrated, electrically powered traction wheels with on-board steering systems for electric vehicles. Each WheelMax Steering Drive combines a traction wheel with tire, epicyclic gearbox, robust steering gear and bearing system, and two rugged PMDC brush motors, one for traction and one for steering power. The complete assembly is compact, easy to mount, and requires little to no maintenance. WheelMax Steering Drives handle loads up to 227 kg (500 lb) and provide 14 Nm (120 lb-in.) continuous torque at speeds up to 5 km/hr (3 mph). Applications include AGVs, autonomous robotic material handlers, pushers and tuggers, powered utility carts, and hospital patient handlers, among many others.
Click here to learn more.


Micro Solutions: Myoelectric robotic prosthesis hand

The Bebionic myoelectric hand prosthesis was recently developed to help with daily life challenges. Powerful and compact FAULHABER dc motors ensure that the prosthesis can grip without any problems, quickly and firmly, and maintain a constant gripping force. Two electrodes integrated into the prosthesis shaft detect the myoelectric signals and forward them to the control electronics. These signals are amplified and used to activate the 5 small electric motors.
Read the full article.


New frameless brushless servo motor kits

The new frameless motor kits from Maxon consist of only a rotor and stator -- no bearings or motor shaft. With outer diameters of only 43 mm to 90 mm, these pancake servo motor kits are extremely compact. Available in size ranges from 30 W to 260 W, these EC (electronically commutated) frameless slotted motors feature low-voltage windings, high pole pair count, and are shipped as BLDC motor kits with the rotor and stator delivered separately without bearings and motor shaft. The flat design, high torque output, and hollow-shaft construction provide plenty of space for cable glands, allowing for a high level of integration into OEM applications such as collaborative and mobile robots, AGVs, exoskeletons, and embedded robotic applications.
Click here to learn more.


New DENSO robot product catalog

DENSO Robotics -- the world's largest manufacturer and user of small assembly robots -- has announced its new product catalog featuring a wide range of compact, high-speed industrial robots that have reaches of 350 mm to 1,300 mm, payload capacities as high as 20 kg, and repeatability to within +/-0.015 mm. The 52-page publication, which is offered in an interactive online version or as a download, features detailed descriptions, specifications, and schematics of DENSO’s entire lineup of four-axis SCARA and five- and six-axis articulated robots, robot controllers, and programming software.
Click here to learn more.


New precision linear motor stage family with magnetic direct drive and absolute encoders

Motion and nanoposi-tioning industry leader PI further expands its PIMag series of high-dynamics linear motor stages with a family of 18, the V-508 -- a new series of compact linear positioning stages with high-force 3-phase linear motors and crossed roller guides. This line features high velocity, high duty cycle, and three travel ranges. A variety of incremental and absolute measuring linear encoders are available. PI’s ultra-precise linear motor stages are well-suited for industry and research. Applications include metrology, testing, positioning, scanning, precision automation, micro-assembly, biotechnology, delay-lines, laser beam control, optics, lens testing, and photonics alignment.
Specifications, datasheet, more information >
Read tech article, "Performance of Direct-Drive Linear Motor Stages in Precision Positioning Applications" >


Wanted: A new way to find pilots for U.S. Navy drones

Volunteers try out the Selection for UAS Personnel, or SUPer. Developed with support from the Office of Naval Research, SUPer is a series of specialized tests assessing cognitive abilities and personality traits to identify potential Navy and Marine Corps unmanned aviation systems (UAS) operators. [Photo: Naval Aerospace Medical Institute]

 

 

 

 

By Warren Duffie Jr., Office of Naval Research

Before acceptance to flight school, aspiring naval pilots must pass the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB) -- a rigorous intellectual exercise that evaluates things like aviation and nautical knowledge, math and engineering skills, and personality traits.

Since training a single pilot costs the U.S. Navy over $1 million, the ASTB is a critical tool for finding the right candidates to fly manned aircraft, such as fighter jets. But the Navy doesn't have ASTB-style tests to qualify the pilots of today's latest aircraft: remotely operated, unmanned aviation systems (UAS), popularly called drones.

Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, UAS have played ever-larger roles in intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance, and other missions. Consequently, there's an increasing need for well-trained UAS pilots.

Georgia Tech and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute -- sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) -- are developing a series of new specialized tests to assess cognitive abilities and personality traits, and identify potential Navy and Marine Corps UAS operators. It's called the Selection for UAS Personnel, or SUPer.

"The temperament and personality of F-18 pilots won't necessarily be the same as those flying surveillance aircraft," said Cmdr. Brent Olde, a program officer in ONR's Warfighter Performance Department. "Neither will the required skill set be identical, so it's important that we create a standardized way to assess the abilities of future UAS operators."

In recent years, the Air Force established its own formal screening process for UAS operators, and the Marine Corps designated a UAS career path for its ranks. The Navy, however, doesn't have an official selection and training pipeline specifically for UAS operators. Historically, the service took aviators who already earned their wings, gave them on-the-job, UAS-specific training, and placed them in temporary positions.

SUPer comprises both written and computerized tests covering skills like math knowledge, spatial orientation, reading cockpit dials, and critical thinking. SUPer participants also study computer maps featuring prominent natural or manmade landmarks -- and then remember object locations on larger, less defined maps.

Tests are followed by training exercises on a flight simulator designed to mirror common UAS missions. Participants also complete psychological and personality tests to ascertain if they would excel as UAS pilots -- which often involves 12-hr shifts sitting in front of a control station, inside of an isolated command center.

"SUPer will be a valuable tool in helping the Navy pick the best people to become UAS operators and determine who will be an optimal fit and find satisfaction in the role," said Dr. Phillip Ackerman, a Georgia Tech psychology professor overseeing SUPer's development.

Approximately 350 civilian and military volunteers are participating as SUPer research subjects at Ackerman's Georgia Tech laboratory and various Navy and Air Force training centers. The current version of the SUPer test battery takes approximately four hours to complete.

At September's end, Ackerman and his research team will review the results; design a standardized exam for validation by prospective Navy and Air Force UAS pilots; and, hopefully, have a product ready for fleet implementation in 2018.

"Training pilots for manned and unmanned systems is time intensive and expensive," said Lt. Cmdr. Tatana Olson, deputy director of the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at the Naval Medical Research Unit, Dayton, and who serves as SUPer's government lead. "SUPer will define and assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be a successful UAS operator, and, ultimately, optimize naval use of human resources for unmanned aviation."

Published September 2017

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