Motion Control Resource Center
Controls engineers need a variety of information on motion control elements that include drives, motors, servos and steppers, motion software, motion controllers, hydraulics, pneumatics, electromechanical, linear actuators, power supplies, valves and cylinders.
Motion control systems are some of the most rapidly evolving elements in modern machine automation. The more traditional motion control solutions that involve a mostly mechanical array of components now makes way for sophistciated combinations of electronic hardware and software that provide levels of performance unheard of a decade ago.
Electronic drives provide the means for enhanced speed, position, and torque control compared with mechanical options.
Both AC motors and DC motors are applicable for motion control, depending on factors such as available power or the specific motion function requirements.
Servo motors and stepper motors and their requisite controllers are responsible for some of the more dramatic changes in motion control capability, most often used for precise rotary positioning applications. Integrated servo motor and drive units combine simplicity and space-savings for small footprint motion control needs.
Linear motion and its control are carried out through the use of electromechanical components such as ballscrews and leadscrews, belt-driven linear slides and guides, pneumatic cylinders, and direct-drive linear motors.
Hydraulic-based power and control are used for many motion control applications with high-power requirements not easily matched by electric motors.
Timely news, back-to-basics primers, feature articles, technical white papers and descriptions of the latest products all provide valuable insights that can be used in designing and building modern motion control systems.
Controllers: More of Everything
The List of User Requirements Continues to Grow Longer
Feedback Critical to Machining Precision
Vertical Turning/Grinding Machine Uses Optical and Magnetic Encoders to Aid High-Accuracy Production of Wind Turbine Bearings
Buckle Up With Built in Safety
Machine Builders Include Preventive Safety Early in the Design — And Get Paid Back Sooner
MTM Shows 'Anything Is Possible' With Siemens CNC Platform
How Machine Builder Is Retrofitting Its Mill/Turn Machine Tool Centers
White Papers: In Depth Research
Robotic technology has improved dramatically in the past decade, and applications are getting more exciting as well. Robots are cool again, and for engineers, designing the new generation of robots is one of the most exciting types of projects. While the prior generations stunned the world by sending men to the moon in the 1960s, this generation will soon make a robot dance better than Michael Jackson.
Popularity of youth competitions have grown in the past few years, including the high-school FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) contest and the FIRST Lego League for younger children.
Nowadays, every toy store in the industrialized world is crammed with computer-controlled toys that would have been labelled as state-of-the-art robots only 20 years ago. The quirky Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaner was launched as the world's first robotic household cleaning device. Although its capabilities as an effective vacuum cleaner are debated, its introduction has resulted in the development of derivative products that provide accessible platforms for learning and exploring real robotics techniques.
Beneath all of this is a whole new generation of engineering and scientific techniques that empower and fuel the rapid pace of innovation within the modern robotics community. In the end, what was once the stuff of science fiction seems to be within reach for the engineering community.
Motion Control System Options Using EtherCAT Technology
Author: Karl Meier, business development for Advanced Motion Controls
This document describes the evolution of motion and control system architectures and what new benefits are realized today when using EtherCAT, whether for a large number of axes or simple systems using just a few. OEMs have many choices available and naturally gravitate to a given architecture in order to speed development and reduce cost. Machine systems, and mainly motion control, are normalized to meet the requirements of the application.
Highlighted too, is not only the rise and acceptance for network connected motion control applications, but also why they are here to stay. In fact, the continued demand for servo solutions like those provided by EtherCAT-based systems will grow faster than most others and come at lower costs to implement.
Feedback Sensors Keep Servo Motors on Target
Author: Gene Matthews, product manager for Kollmorgen
Fundamentally a servo system can perform no more accurately than the accuracy of the feedback device controlling it. In addition, errors in speed or position can be introduced into the system by the less than perfect mechanisms that transfer the motor power to the load. Environmental factors like electrical noise or temperature may also introduce positioning errors. Sometimes the errors are acceptable. More frequently, however, they are not. After all, servo motors can be expensive, and the expectation is that they will be the most reliable and accurate of all positioning devices.
When it comes to high-performance servo applications, feedback devices fall into several different categories. In this white paper, learn how each offers unique advantages and disadvantages, both electrical and mechanical, which make one better suited for a particular application than another.
Motion, Drives and Motors: Usage and Application Trends
An electronic survey of our readers was conducted in February 2013 in order to identify usage and application trends of motion, drives and motors among the industrial machine builders that comprise our readership. In this Market Intelligence Report, you will find detailed survey results with key findings summarized. The survey consisted of the following questions:
1. What types of motors do you primarily use?
2. If you use servo motors are they mostly for digital or analog?
3. If you use steppers are they closed loop or open loop?
4. Rate the importance of these performance characteristics for your drive requirements
5. If you use a digital bus for motion control, which ones do you use?
6. What update rate is required?
7. What is the biggest motion control challenge for you?
- Gear reducers have a concentric shaft design with a maximum 5 arc-min backlash rating, Additional features include helical-cut planetary gears and uncaged needle roller bearings.
- Motors include two-stage, worm-geared motors and gearboxes with special input units for synchronous and asynchronous IEC standard motors and IE3-efficiency-class motors.
- Screw linear rail uses size 17, single-stack or double-stack stepper motor linear actuator and precision rolled 303 stainless steel lead screws.
- Dodge Maxum XTR concentric reducer with precision, carburized, ground gearing meets AGMA Q11 standards and AGMA 2301 cleanliness specifications.
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