How a Seventh Axis adaptation aims to move cobot technology into more factories
Advances in technology and software are expanding the scope of potential cobot work environments to include small and mid-size operations. That's why Rollon Corporation has created a Seventh Axis system for collaborative industrial robots from Universal Robots (UR). This shuttle system is designed to extend the operating area of UR's cobots to enhance their performance in automated processes for various industries without sacrificing their simplicity.
Read the Rollon article.
New 200-W high-torque brushless servo motor
The new EC-i 52XL 200W Brushless Servo Motor from maxon is a powerhouse. When space is limited but high torque and dynamics are required, the maxon EC-i 52XL motor is the ideal motor choice. With its extended length (80 mm to 110 mm), this motor with flux collector rotor provides outstanding torque performance compared to the existing EC-i 52 180W High Torque that is often needed, especially on the industrial automation front. Its extra power can be even more significant at relatively low speed, which makes it a solid fit for a variety of industrial applications including material handling and transport systems.
ABB launches IEC food-safe motors
ABB has launched a full range of IEC Food Safe motors designed for applications in the food and beverage industry that need frequent sanitation. The new IEC Food Safe motors are part of ABB's Food Safe family that includes stainless steel NEMA motors, mounted ball bearings, and gearing. Motors are available in the power range 0.18 to 7.5 kW, in 2- to 6-pole versions for 230- to 690-V at 50 or 60 hertz. They feature IE3 premium efficiency to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Flexible mounting arrangements ensure they will fit almost any application. Frame sizes are 71 to 132.
New Sinamics G120X drive series specializes in infrastructure pump, fan, and compressor applications
Siemens has introduced the new Sinamics G120X drive, a simple, seamless, and easy-to-use drive designed for use in pump, fan, and compressor applications in industries such as water/wastewater, HVAC/R, irrigation/agriculture, and in industrial environments. Sinamics G120X has a power range of 1 to 700 hp (0.75 to 630 kW) and can operate in temps from -4 to 140 F (-20 to 60 C) with any standard motor, including synchronous reluctance motors (SRM). It has an integral DC choke that improves harmonics and EMC performance. Sinamics G120X meets all the latest and upcoming UL, NEMA, and EN/IEC standards for 2019 and beyond and offers up to 100-kA short-circuit current rating (SCCR), ensuring enhanced product safety and energy efficiency.
High-speed, high-precision mechanical gantry system
PI has added to its family of precision automation sub-systems with the A-351 MGS, a compact mechanical gantry system engineered to deliver maximum throughput for applications that require controlled precise overhead motion. The gantry is driven by linear motors, and each axis is equipped with preloaded linear bearings. Applications include high-precision 3D printers, assembly, pick-and-place, alignment, inspection, and other industrial automation applications. The A-351 MGS gantry system is designed for high load capacity of 20 kg, twice the amount of its A-341 air-bearing-based sibling. Absolute-measuring linear encoders with nanometer resolution are optional.
See PI automation platforms in action.
New inductive-technology position sensors
Novotechnik's TF1 Series touchless linear position sensors overcome issues with legacy magnetostrictive technology. They are unaffected by strong magnetic fields and metal flakes or filings present in a user's environment. The TF1 Series consists of an inductively coupled position marker attached to a moving rod/piece of the user's application that requires a position measurement and the sensor with operational and programming status LEDs. While operating, LEDs indicate whether the sensor is operating and the marker within measuring range or out of range, as well as indicating results of internal diagnostics for valid output from the sensor. Can also measure speed and temperature.
High-traction robot goes underground
Recent developments in motion control and engineering make it possible to inspect and perform maintenance in compact sewers from the inside. The underground sewer robot is equipped with a swiveling camera and an air-powered milling machine driven by FAULHABER miniature DC motors from MICROMO.
Read the full article.
How to convert from hydraulic to electric high-force linear actuators
Machine designers are converting existing linear motion systems from hydraulic to electric due to the technology's many benefits, but the process involves considering the actual force output of the cylinder, the duty cycle, and the motion profile. Specialists at Tolomatic tackle these points. Includes a very informative video.
Read the Tolomatic blog.
Gain more torque with a cooler-running motor
The slim-design G3718V whisper torque motor from Lin Engineering incorporates a heat-sink design within the stator laminations to allow for passive cooling. When your motor operates cooler, you can increase power to gain more torque without overheating, or you can save energy and still perform at optimal performance. At only 22.8 mm long, this motor produces 25 oz-in. of torque.
Click here to learn more.
Quiet 3-to-1 speed reducers use traction drive technology for 98% efficiency
Rolling Motion Industries (RMI) has released two new traction drive speed reducers. With only six moving parts, they typically outlast conventional gearboxes and speed reducers by a factor of three. The MAR17-1-3.1 Speed Reducer is designed for input speeds up to 3,600 rpm with 10 to 20 in.-lb of torque, and the MAR-23-1-3.1 Speed Reducer is rated for the same speeds but with an input of 20 to 30 in.-lb of torque. As the output speed is reduced by a factor of three, the output torque increases by a factor of three. These high-efficiency speed reducers generate up to 72 percent less heat because they use a special engineered fluid that cools and lubricates the traction drive.
Smart Sensor checks condition of bearings
ABB has launched the ABB Ability Smart Sensor for Dodge mounted bearings, part of the ABB Ability Digital Powertrain, that enables "health checks" for bearings. The smart sensor technology provides an early indicator of any potential problems by assessing the condition of bearings from vibration and temperature information. Eighty percent of bearing failures are lubrication related, and a bearing "running hot" can indicate that proper lubrication procedures are not in place. Monitoring a bearing's vibration can also indicate potential system problems. Prevent downtime on applications such as bulk material-handling conveyors as well as applications in the food-and-beverage and air-handling sectors.
New industrial-grade optical encoder from Quantum Devices
The Model QDH20 encoder provides an improved feedback solution in applications typically using a standard size 20 package. It features superb mechanical and environmental protection. Outputs consist of a quadrature A & B with reference pulse Z as a standard feature. The output can be configured with either the industrial standard 5- to 26-V OL7272 line driver or open collector outputs. Two heavy-duty bearing sets hold the output shaft, and two more bearings (along with an integral flexible spring mount) isolate the working pieces of the encoder from mechanical stresses. Features include 500-kHz fundamental frequency response, high operating temp option (100 C), and resolutions up to 5,000 lines per revolution direct read. Available through Servo2Go.
Single-cylinder engines for combustion research
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has designed and manufactured two advanced single-cylinder engines for combustion research and friction analysis, as well as alternative fuel, wear, optical, crank offset, and bore-to-stroke relationship studies. The engines, one for light- and medium-duty applications and one for heavy-duty applications, can accommodate either multi-cylinder or single-cylinder heads through a custom cylinder barrel and head support shelf. They include several unique patent-pending innovations, including mechanisms that adjust compression ratios and crankshaft offsets without the need for disassembling the engine. Optical access, dynamic cam phasing, secondary balancers, and floating liner devices can be added to the standard configurations. Specs available in online "Single-Cylinder Research Engine" flyer.
Click here to learn more.
Hybrid gantry stage provides precision XY/XYZ motion with linear motors, air bearings, and ball bearings
PI's new A-341 hybrid gantry XY/XYZ positioning stage provides the framework for controlled precise overhead motion that is often sought after for 3D printing, assembly, pick-and-place, alignment, inspection, and industrial automation applications. The A-341 HGS hybrid gantry is designed to combine maximum throughput with smooth and highly accurate motion in a compact envelope. It features a unique hybrid bearing design. The cross axis utilizes a frictionless air bearing guiding system, which allows for excellent velocity control, repeatability, straightness, and cleanliness. The lower dual-motor axis uses precision mechanical linear bearings for rigidity and reduced size. This combo offers an overhead gantry motion platform optimized for step and scan applications in the smallest possible form factor.
Micro-brakes for precise motion control applications
The ultra-compact 112 Model Electromag-netic Micro-Brakes from Miki Pulley ensure fast response in high-torque, demanding applications. The simple design features a stator with integrated mounting flange, proprietary composite friction liner, and armature complete with ring plate spring and hub. These brakes halt rotation mechanically by utilizing an electromagnetic field to create mechanical friction. With fast response, the brake's armature engages the stator when the coil is energized. A constant-force plate spring transfers torque to the rotating brake body, halting all motion.
In aircraft design, opening communication lines between propulsion and airflow poses new questions
On the runway to more fuel-efficient aircraft, one alternative propulsion scheme being explored is an array of electrically powered ducted fans. The fans are distributed across the wing span or integrated into the wing. Researchers at the University of Illinois gained new understanding in how the fans -- and especially their precise placement on the aircraft -- can affect the cross-conversation between propulsion and the airflow around the wing.
In most commercial aircraft, the engines are isolated from the rest of the wing system. Instead of being embedded in the wing or mounted more closely to that surface, they hang out from underneath the wings. This is done, in part, to try to reduce the influence in cross coupling -- the cross-communication between the engine's RPM and the airflow characteristics about the airplane wing.
"If we allow those two systems to talk to each other, there is a lot of increased complexity in the flow field over the wing and into the propulsor -- which also substantially alters the performance," said Phillip Ansell, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. "We've taken two subsystems -- propulsion and aerodynamics -- and we've said that these are not isolated subsystems. These are now one thing."
Doctoral student Aaron Perry, Assistant Professor Philip Ansell, and former master's student Je Won Hong discuss the construction of the airfoil model with overwing ducted fans. [Credit: University of Illinois Department of Aerospace Engineering]
Ansell, along with his graduate student Aaron Perry at U of I and Michael Kerho from the Rolling Hills Research Corporation conducted the study to understand on a basic level what those interactions are and how that coupling between ducted fan systems and wing sections will modify the aerodynamic behavior and the overall lift, drag, and pitching moment characteristics.
"If we integrate the propulsors, which in this case are fans, into the wing, we can improve the aircraft's propulsive efficiency by ingesting the low-speed air across the wing surface into the propulsor. But it's challenging to figure out how to do it in a smart way."
This research project was conducted experimentally using a 3D-printed model of an airfoil, which is a cross-section of a wing, mounted inside a subsonic wind tunnel. "We had a model with ducted fans mounted over the trailing edge of the airfoil. The flow goes across the upper surface and then into the fan," Ansell said.
He said that the manipulation of the throttle of the ducted fan mounted on top of the wing provided large changes in the aerodynamic behavior of the airfoil.
"We can adjust the throttle to make the fan spin faster or slower, so that I now have a high-speed jet that's coming out the back end and acts to substantially lift the aircraft through a phenomenon known as supercirculation. It also changes the flow across the surface," he said. "I have little regions of the flow on the surface called boundary layers. Whenever I ramp up the throttle and start pulling air into that propulsor, it thins out the boundary layer. It modifies the distribution of the pressure across the airfoil itself. There are some complex things happening. That fan RPM talking to the aerodynamics of the larger airfoil is substantial."
Ansell said the study provides a new way to understand the dialogue between a full aircraft system and a propulsion system. It's not just about increasing the throttle to create a larger thrust and produce a force that goes through the axis of the orientation of the fan.
"It's not that simple because it also changes the air flow over the wing," Ansell said. "The different orientations of the end of the fan changes the performance of the wing section as well as the pressure distribution because it changes the local flow quality characteristics. We have now quantified that and can understand some aspects of what that looks like.
"We were able to take measurements to better understand what those variations in coupling characteristics are. Previously, we knew that if we ramp up the throttle on this fan, the result is a thrust vector pointed in a certain direction. Now we know that it will also modify my local wing aerodynamics."
The paper, "Aero-Propulsive and Propulsor Cross-Coupling Effects on a Distributed Propulsion System," was written by Aaron Perry and Phillip Ansell. It appears in the Journal of Aircraft.
Source: University of Illinois College of Engineering
Published November 2018
Rate this article