January 09, 2018 Volume 14 Issue 01

Motion Control News & Products

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Complete guided motion solutions from A to X-Y-Z

Bishop-Wisecarver invented and patented DualVee Motion Technology® more than 40 years ago to provide a solution for harsh environment applications where existing technologies were ineffective. DualVee® also proved excellent for long length, smooth motion, and low noise requirements. Today, Bishop-Wisecarver remains the recognized expert and the most trusted name in guide wheel technology, with the widest range of guide wheel-based linear motion products in the world.
Discover the benefits of Bishop-Wisecarver Guide Wheel Technology.


New rodless pneumatic cylinder supports compact machine design

Aventics now offers a new product for applications where the basic variants just won’t do the trick, but high-performance cylinders are too powerful. The new RTC-SB slide bearing version rounds off the pneumatics specialist’s RTC range of rodless cylinders. At the heart of the RTC-SB (slide bearing) is its oval piston shape. In relation to its size, it offers a very high load capacity. As a result, engineers can draft even more compact machine designs. Equipped with a lubrication-free slide bearing, the cylinder is maintenance-free and resistant to water, chemicals, and dirt. The slide play is optimally adjusted at the factory. Max speed is 6.5 m/sec (21.3 ft/sec). Maximum stroke is around 6,000 mm (21.6 ft).
Learn more.


Revolutionary new high-pressure electric pump system

High Pressure Equipment Co. (HiP), a subsidiary of Graco, introduces the eTensifer pump, the first-of-its-kind high-pressure electric pump system. The plug-and-play pump simply plugs into a wall outlet -- no need for an air compressor like other high-pressure pumps on the market. The portable, lightweight (only 46 lb) eTensifier will deliver hydraulic/liquid pressures to 36,500 psi with a smoother flow rate from zero to full pressure and a quiet electric motor. SmartControl™ technology allows for two operational modes: a traditional pressure knob for standard jobs and an industry-first pressure test mode. Another first is the ProConnect™ quick-connect system that allows users to switch out the Sprague pump lower.
Learn more.


World's smallest stepper motor is a big win

MICROMO presents the FAULHABER FDM 0620 series stepper motor. Measuring just 6 mm in diameter and 9.7 mm in length, including all components and connections, and with a 0.25-mNm holding torque rating, the FDM 0620 stepper motor series is small enough to fit in the most compact spaces for limitless applications. This micro stepper motor is also now available for purchase online with and without leadscrew options.
Click here to learn more.


Small brush DC motors drive handheld biopsy system

When developing an automated, handheld system capable of harvesting multiple samples with a single insertion to reduce patient tissue trauma and sampling time, this medical device manufacturer turned to MICROMO for compact and high-efficiency FAULHABER® brush DC motors.
Read the full article.


Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications

See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available.
View the video.


Zero-backlash servo rotary indexing table

The Sankyo Automation RollerDrive Reducer is a precision gear reducer that uses a zero-backlash roller gear mechanism. The unit is constructed from an input shaft and a turret (output shaft) that is assembled with roller followers. The roller followers are preloaded against a screw-like input shaft to eliminate backlash. Sankyo servo indexing tables offer a constant lead cam with a servo motor drive for programmable motion and provide fast, highly accurate motion, with the added capability to move medium to heavy loads. The RU Series servo indexing table is available in 11 different sizes and varying ratios.
Click here to learn more.


Plug-in motor controller for fast integration

Nanotec has introduced a new controller specifically for integration into devices: the NP5 plug-in motor controller, which is suitable for both brushless DC motors and stepper motors. A PCI Express connector allows for fast and easy integration into a customer-specific board, offering a compact and affordable solution that reduces wiring effort, particularly for multi-axis applications. The NP5 controller can control motors with a rated current up to 6 A via FOC, Hall sensors, or sensorless control. In addition to position, speed, and torque control, operating modes with cyclical set value specification are also available for interpolated multi-axis operation. Nanotec offers the free Plug & Drive Studio software for parameterization and programming.
Click here to learn more.


Low-profile rotary air bearing stages achieve superior accuracy with virtually unlimited life

The new A-635/A-637 PIglide low-profile rotary air bearing stages from PI (Physik Instrumente) have no rolling or sliding elements and deliver frictionless, non-contact motion, resulting in negligible reversal error and better wobble eccentricity and velocity stability -- ideal prerequisites for high-end industrial applications such as inspection, metrology, calibration, and scanning, including cleanroom environments. Featuring 3-phase, low-cogging slotless torque motors with velocity to 500 rpm and optical encoders, these stages provide outstanding resolution, repeatability, and absolute accuracy.
Click here to learn more.
Watch PI’s Air Bearing Design & Manufacturing Operation Video.


Where would I get an exoskeleton joint actuator?

maxon motor is now offering a complete joint actuation unit consisting of a pancake brushless DC motor (EC90 flat) with inertia optimized rotor, internal high-resolution 4096 MILE Encoder, planetary gearhead with absolute encoder, and EPOS4 position controller with CAN and RS232 interface. Fitting the 17-bit SSI absolute encoder directly at the joint rotation to a degree will negate the effect of gearhead backlash, giving designers increased positioning accuracy. The unit will deliver 54 Nm of continuous torque and 120 Nm on a 20% duty cycle. The system can be operated on supplies between 10 VDC and 50 VDC, and the actuation speed is up to 22 rpm.
Learn more.


Programmable electric moving coil servo actuator

Introducing the 35-mm diameter CBL35C electric cylinder from SMAC. With its built-in controller, the CBL35C controls force, position, and velocity and features simple installation. Ideal for applications with limited space but requiring accurate control, the CBL35C provides significantly longer life, programmability, high speed, accuracy, and energy efficiency while remaining price-competitive. It also enables the direct replacement of existing pneumatic cylinders and retrofits without any machine modifications required.
Click here to learn more.


Zero downtime available for FANUC robots

The Robot LINKi Zero Down Time (ZDT) service is now available to all automotive and non-automotive manufacturers who purchase FANUC robots. Launched in 2015 in collaboration with Cisco, ZDT is a predictive analytic service that automatically monitors robot health status and upcoming maintenance requirements. It eliminates the need for manual analysis and tracking, avoiding unexpected breakdowns during production. Today, over 16,000 robots in the automotive industry are operating with ZDT, which is available for all FANUC R-30iB Plus robots as well as R-30iA and R-30iB robots with the latest software version.
Click here to learn more.


Selecting pneumatic or electric actuators

For some automation applications, it can be difficult to decide if a pneumatic or electric motor-driven actuator is best. Obviously, cost can be a big factor when choosing between the two, with pneumatic actuators typically costing less. So why should you pay more for an electric rodless actuator? Rollon says the answer boils down to higher levels of stiffness, as well as dynamic speed and motor control.
Read the full article.


Top 5 challenges of motion control design

As motion control solutions -- from angle encoders to direct drive motors -- become even more ubiquitous in industrial situations, engineers face evolving demands and opportunities. From lowering the cost of advanced technologies to improving functional safety in automated environments, here are the top five challenges and opportunities in today’s motion control design industry as seen by engineers from HEIDENHAIN.
Read the full article.


XY stage gives high resolution and repeatability

The XYR-03-01 Motorized Alignment Stage from Optimal Engineering Systems (OES) is a high-resolution, high-repeatability XY-Theta (3-axis) stage for applications such as angular glass cutting and grinding, wafer alignment, semiconductor handling, and laser cutting and drilling. The linear resolution of the X and Y axis is 5µ (non-micro-step) or 0.125µ (20 micro-steps per step motor driver in use), the repeatability is 1.5µ, and positional accuracy is 5µ. The 1-mm per-turn lead screws and preloaded V-groove and crossed roller bearings add to the high precision and stiffness of the XYR-03-01 alignment stage.
Click here to learn more.


World's most powerful jet engine is being turned into 65-MW power plant

The GE90 is the most powerful jet engine in the world. This engine, attached to a GE Aviation's Boeing 747 flying test bed, makes the rocks beyond the runway fly as the plane is revving up to take off from GE's Flight Test Operations Center in Victorville, CA, located in the Mojave Desert. [GIF credit: GE Aviation].

 

 

 

 

By Tomas Kellner, GE Reports

GE is taking the world's largest jet engine and turning it into a power plant. The machine's beating heart comes from the GE90-115B, which is the largest and most powerful jet engine, capable of producing 127,900 lb of thrust, according to Guinness World Records. The electricity generator, which GE calls LM9000, will be able to generate a whopping 65 megawatts (MW) -- enough to supply 6,500 homes -- and reach full power in 10 minutes. "We picked the best technology across GE and built the biggest and most powerful aeroderivative engine ever made," says GE Oil & Gas' Maurizio Ciofini, the engineering director of the project.

The LM9000 shares the GE90-115B engine's core technology, but also includes 3D-printed parts. [Image credit: GE Oil & Gas]

 

 

The idea of using jet engines to produce electricity has been around for a while. The word "aeroderivative" is a nod to the machine's heritage, meaning that the designers borrowed technology originally developed by their aerospace colleagues at GE Aviation.

The technology is also a good example of what GE calls the GE Store -- the system of sharing technology, research, and expertise among its many businesses. Today, aeroderivatives power towns and factories but also oil platforms and ships.

Engineers built the first generation of GE aeroderivatives, called LM100, from a helicopter engine in the late 1950s. The next machine, the LM1500, had inside components from GE's first supersonic engine -- the J79 -- and generated more than 10,000 kilowatts. GE Power kept improving on the design, building aeroderivatives from the CF6 engine, which powers Air Force One and many other Boeing 747s, as well the F404 engine used by F/A-18 Hornet and F-117 Nighthawk military jets. Aeroderivatives based on these engines generate electricity in remote corners of the world and also power the world's fastest passenger ferry.

But the LM9000 takes the technology to a new level. GE's Oil & Gas business developed the machine for powering massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants. "An LNG plant is like a giant refrigerator, but instead of making ice and keeping your food cool, it turns natural gas into liquid by bringing the temperature down to minus 160 degrees Celsius," says Tayo Montgomery, customer applications engineer at GE Oil & Gas.

He says the LM9000 is so powerful it enables LNG plant operators to restart production without first draining the refrigerant from the entire plant. "It has enough power and starting torque than you can just get up and go," Montgomery says.

The LM9000 can generate 65 MW. [Image credit: GE Oil & Gas]

 

 

The GE90 engines have clocked 41 million flight hours since they first entered service in the mid-1990s and have departure reliability of 99.98 percent, according to GE. They are also very light and relatively easy to maintain. "It can take as long as 24 days to do a major maintenance of gas turbines typically installed in older LNG plants," Montgomery says. "But we can replace the entire LM9000 turbine in 24 hours."

The team made other adaptations to optimize the LM9000 for industrial applications. They switched the machine's combustion system from jet fuel to natural gas. The machine also will have a 3D-printed combustor. Its innovative design will enable the machine to meet low-emission requirements around the world.

Under the hood, engineering geeks will search in vain for a gear box. That's because the design utilizes a "free power" turbine architecture that enables the machine to operate efficiently over a wide range of power and speed conditions.

As a result, "the LM9000 will provide the highest availability with the lowest cost of ownership for LNG applications," says Preetham Balasubramanyam, the product manager for the new machine at GE Oil & Gas. He says the LM9000 generates 20 percent more power, can go 50 percent longer without service, and emits 40 percent less NOx emissions than existing models in the class. He says that the combination could help LNG plants lower production costs by 20 percent.

The first turbine is slated to enter service in the first half of 2019.

Read more GE Reports at www.gereports.com.

Published February 2017

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