Product Roundup: Manufacturing in motion

A Product Roundup of new devices and solutions by the editors of Control Design shows that safety, simplicity, and versatility are in great demand in the general motion control marketplace today.

By Rick Pedraza, Digital Managing Editor and Joe Feeley, Editor

AFTER DECLINING IN 2001 and 2002, the total North American general motion control (GMC) market began to recover in 2003, and has continued on that path through to the present day. According to analysts at ARC Advisory, the market will experience healthy growth during the next five-year period due to an improved economy and increased capital investments in many industries.

The manufacturing realities of virtually every industrial machine builder’s customers have become far more challenging as customers demand more-rapid startup capabilities, more product flexibility, faster throughput and increased quality requirements at every stage of the production process.

ARC reports that the manufacturing shift to lower-cost Asian countries has pushed North American suppliers to balance investment and resources in order to pursue opportunities in those countries. “The GMC market is becoming vibrant with new battles brewing on networks, increased standard programming language options and varied architectures,” says the ARC report.

Automation suppliers to motion control specifiers and users have to try to differentiate themselves in unique ways and offer increasingly higher value propositions to users and machine builders. To this end, the study recommends various strategies that you’ll begin to see in the products and solutions they tout. Those strategies, according to ARC, include integrating an advanced safe-motion technology to preserve productivity; offering direct drive torque motors to reduce lifecycle cost; offering mechatronic solutions to penetrate users across many industries; including integrated motor drive package in a portfolio to increase value; and more inclusion of PLCopen Function Blocks.

As you’ll see in products that follow, the move to these strategies is well underway.
Motion Control Products and Solutions


Packaged Control
CDS-3310 controller and drive system provides control of a single brush or brushless servo motor. It combines a programmable motion controller and 500-W drive in a single package that eliminates external wiring. The system includes PID compensation with notch filter and velocity/acceleration feedforward, non-volatile program memory with multitasking, uncommitted digital and analog I/O, and advanced modes of motion. Galil Motion Control; 916/626-0101;

Compact Versatility
C6340 and C6350 compact control cabinets have three free PCI slots for additional applications. The industrial PCs are designed for applications where PC control in a compact cabinet is required. The two models feature a slot motherboard for Intel Celeron or Pentium III processors. Three PCI slots on the five-slot passive backplane can be used for extra fieldbus cards where several fieldbus systems are needed in parallel. Beckhoff Automation; 952/890-0000;

Closed-Loop Tuning Is a Wiz
RMC100 multiaxis motion controller for closed-loop motion includes software that guides a step-by-step process to import axis data. The tuner uses this information to build mathematical system models and determines which model best fits the real system. The user can determine optimal machine performance by comparing the axis motion resulting from various slider bar settings with software graphics tools. Delta Computer Systems; 360/254-8688;

Servo Drive Needs Less Space
Mini servo drive operates from 450-700 W. Connection with identical software functions is compatible and provides the same technological capabilities. Integration in a CNC environment also is possible, from simple point-to-point positioning to coordinated movements. Braking resistor, line filter, restart inhibit and motor holding brake control are integrated. B&R Industrial Automation; 770/772-0400;

Different Strokes
BLMA120 material handling actuator integrates linear motor technology into an industrially hardened actuator with strokes up to 6.3 m for feed to length, pick-place, press feed and other applications that require high accelerations, high speeds, instant settling, and precise positioning over long travels. The modular design also allows multiaxis mounting compatibility HPLA belt-driven actuators. Parker Hannifin; 800/245-6903;

Expand the Base
C-Series sensor’s modular architecture is built on a base core sensor to which additional application-specific features can be added. When more robust environmental protection is required, the modular design allows addition of standardized IP67-rated sensor housing. The sensor has a 0-5 VDC or PWM output available and can be powered with a standard 5-V power supply. MTS Sensors; 919/677-0100;

Linear Catalog Has a Ball
The 220-page catalog offers a selection of ball screws and belt-driven linear actuators. Belt-driven actuators have stroke lengths to 5,000 mm, with a maximum speed of 10 m/sec. Ball screw-driven linear actuators have stroke lengths to 2,0000 mm with a maximum speed of 1.2 m/sec. Multiaxis system components and accessories include x-y axis tables, cantilever-type handling gantries, linear gantries, and planar surface gantries. Festo; 800/99-FESTO;

Encoders Provide High Resolution
Rotary encoders provide incremental measurement outputs to 10,000 ppr. IP65-rated with 58-mm diameter aluminum housing, the encoders come standard with a shielded cable or round connector and feature quadrature and index outputs, or quadrature and index plus complementary outputs. Features include a servo or clamping flange, 6-mm or 10-mm diameter shaft, alarm output and 10-30 VDC or 5 VDC power. Pepperl+Fuchs; 330/486-0001;

Synchronous Motors for Hazardous Locations
Hazardous-duty synchronous motors satisfy ATEX standards for potentially explosive atmospheres as defined by CE directive 94/9/EC. Motors are available in UL-listed versions for use in Class 1, Group D locations. High pole count motors turn at slower speeds (72 rpm at 60Hz, or 60 rpm at 50Hz). Danaher Motion; 866/993-2624;

Gantry Has Mythical Power
The Hercules gantry line has modular design, with iron core or ironless linear servo motors. For high-speed, point-to-point motion, both x and y axes come with 200-mm or 300-mm coil lengths. Standard x and y axis travels are 250-1,000 mm, and high resolution optical encoder options of 0.1-5.0 <micro>m per count are standard. Rockwell Automation/Anorad; 631/344-6600;

Control in a Flash
FlashCNC machine control combines high-speed open architecture software, compact hardware, and digital machine interface. The 4.5-in. deep package includes an energy-efficient processor, 15-in. TFT XGA flat-panel touchscreen, machine interface components, a single power cable and preinstalled OpenCNC or WinMotion machine control software—all configured and pre-tested. It can support up to 256 I/O and can manage up to 10 axes of machine motion. MDSI; 734/769-9000

Modular and Versatile
Sinamics S120 modular drive can operate in vector or servo control modes, suitable for printing, packaging, converting, plastics and paper industries. The drive features a multiaxis 460-V drive system in a bookshelf format up to 125 hp. Faster engineering and commissioning is possible via Sizer and Starter tools as well as simplified cabling with Drive-CLiQ. Siemens E&A; 800/964-4114;

The Worm Turns
Three-phase worm-geared motors with standard two-stage design have installation options including foot or flange with single or double-output shaft, shaft mounting with hollow shaft in keyed, or shrink-disk version with torque arm. The series is available with a power range from 0.05-7.5 hp, output speeds of 0.2-300 rpm and torque of 220-8,850 lb-in. The gearbox housing is sealed for operation in harsh conditions. Danfoss Bauer; 732/469-8770;

Multitasking Controller
Servo controller combines a power supply, amplifier, and position controller in a single package. The system can control four tasks simultaneously, handle variables and manage I/O. It has high-speed position latch inputs and advanced data-logging capabilities. A Windows-based interface provides diagnostic, development, and analysis tools for OEMs. Aerotech; 412/963-7470;

High Rigidity
Models SNR/SNS 85 are the most rigid of the LM Guide series. Curvature is nearly identical to the ball radius, so ball contact area under load is increased as is load capacity. In rapid traversing, no differential slip occurs for accurate positioning. In low-speed heavy cutting, favorable differential slip occurs due to increased frictional resistance, increasing the damping capacity. THK America; 847/310-1111;

Self-Tuning Motor and Drive
Servo motor and drive has an autotune function, prefabricated cables to connect to position control modules, and single-phase power input. Pulse command input allows upgrades from existing stepper systems. It features constant torque through its entire speed range, and available momentary torque is three times continuous torque, which prevents slipping from high, instantaneous loading. Omron; 866/88-OMRON;

Hollow-Shaft Gearmotors
Hollow-shaft right-angle AC, DC, and BLDC gearmotors connect directly to the driven load, eliminating shaft couplings and mounting hardware that can be unsafe, bulky and present alignment issues. Gearmotor solutions include left or right-hand face or flange mounts, continuous output torques from 5.2-575 lb-in. and gear ratios of 5:1-3600:1. Bodine Electric; 773/478-3515;

Linear Motor for Positioning Apps
ServoTube linear motor has a patented magnetic design that enables a position sensor to replace the optical encoder. Motor meets IP67 environmental specifications and permits regular washdowns. Motors have two independently controlled forcers on a single thrust rod. Specifications for four versions with 25-mm diameter thrust rods include 11.5-23 lbs. continuous force and 70-175 lbs. peak force. Copley Controls; 781/828-8090;

Rail Guides Linear Positioning
Profile rail guides provide precise positioning, smooth operation, high load-carrying capacity, high stiffness, and unlimited stroke. The guides feature four precision-ground raceways and a slide unit with four ball circulation paths. The miniature guides incorporate a two-point contact of rolling elements with the raceways promoting high-speed operation, quiet running, and low friction. SKF Motion Technologies; 800/541-3624;

Sensorless Vector AC Drives
Durapulse sensorless vector AC drives are available 1-100 hp with vector and closed-loop control, autotuning, 175% starting torque, 150% rated current for one minute, automatic torque and slip compensation, an internal dynamic-braking circuit for models under 20 hp and programmable jog speed. The drives have 0-10 V, +/-10 VDC or 4-20 mA analog inputs, 16 preset speeds, 11 programmable digital inputs, four programmable outputs, and one analog output. AutomationDirect; 770/889-2858;

H2 Oh, It’s New
The H2 family of drives has undergone in-circuit testing, functional testing of each assembly, and full-load testing of the final product. Extensive diagnostic information is available with error logging and help text features. Point and click operation is available from a desktop PC using the supplied H2 Workbench application program or from any desktop with connection to its Ethernet Server expansion board. Horsepower ranges 1-60 hp. Baldor Electric; 479/646-4711;

Actuator Economy
EMY2 electric-guided slide table actuator uses just two PLC outputs--one for move left, another for move right, and both for move to center. It also provides four status outputs and five LEDs for at-a-glance visual indication. The actuator can handle payloads to 70 lbs, with stroke lengths of 50-1,000 mm. The motor and control box can be positioned on the left or right side of the actuator, facing up or down. SMC; 714/669-0941;

CNC for Entry-Level Machine Tools
CNC controls four-axis machining centers, milling machines, lathes, and grinders. The system features conversational part programming, manual guide, fill-in-the-blank programming, rapid part program development, and single screen machine operation. Simulation of the machining process in 3D helps to reduce the time for part program verification and virtually eliminates errors. GE Fanuc Automation; 800/GEFANUC;

Linear Servomotors
Linear positioning slides have peak force ranges from 86-1,200 N and stroke ranges of 100 mm to 2 m, and provide accelerations to 5 G and velocities to 5 m/sec. Digital servo amplifiers use serial encoder feedback to automatically recognize which linear servomotor is connected on power-up. Yaskawa; 800/YASKAWA;

Ball Screw Drive Unit
Ball screw unit in a rigid aluminum housing drives motion at speeds to 96 m/min., even in extreme environments. Specially designed screw supports and optimized bearing configurations reduce screw whip, allowing speed improvements up to five times traditional technologies when used in extended length applications. Bosch Rexroth; 800/REXROTH;

Two-Phase Stepping Motors
Miniature stepping motors are available in 2.03 in. and 3.19 in. lengths and produce torques of 119 oz.-in. and 220 oz.-in. in bipolar excitation mode. The motors develop running torques of 80 oz.-in. at 600 pps with 48 VDC and 1.4 A per phase input. The longer motor achieves 155 oz.-in. torque at 300 pps with 48 VDC and 1.4 A per phase input. Oriental Motor USA; 800/406-7484;

Motion Prototyping Software
Motion Assistant Version 1.2 interactively prototypes motion control applications and converts projects into ready-to-run code in C or LabView. The software features a graphical, point-and-click interface with 3D visualization capabilities for creating motion control applications using stepper, servo and piezo actuators. Machine builders and OEMs can redesign a user-defined trajectory based on desired move constraints while preserving geometry. National Instruments; 800/258-7022;

High Resolution Servo Motor
SKS 36 motor feedback system features include mini-disc (MiDi) technology with a radius of 2 mm that permits integral (full) scanning of the entire code disc. The 128-code disk lines are integrally scanned using a specially developed Opto-ASIC, resulting in sinusoidal signals with a high linearity and interpolation capability. The encoder features 12-bit self-monitoring absolute position capabilities. Stegman; 937/454-1956;

Graduate to 600 V Class
ACS550 drives have been extended beyond the 208/240 V and 380/480 V class. The power-to-volume ratio in the sensorless vector design is combined with two internal slots for options such as encoder feedback, 115/230 V digital interface card, I/O expansion, or fieldbus adapters. The 600 V drive units are available from stock. ABB; 262/785-8339;

Gearhead Takes the Right Angle
Right-angle gearhead allows machine designers to solve inefficiencies associated with right-angle applications. Single-stage gearhead design includes low inertia, high speeds, low noise, and low heat. The shift to one-stage gearing compares favorably with servo worm gears and with larger, more complicated, two and three stage gearheads with bevel stages. Available in five sizes, it mounts to all servomotors using a universal mounting system. Alpha Gear Drives; 847/952-7301;

Off-the-Shelf Rod Cylinder Slide
Rod cylinder slides include a choice of linear ball and composite bearing models in five bore sizes 20-50 mm. Stroke lengths for each size are available in 1-12-in. increments. On composite bearing models, oversized guide shafts are standard. Guide rods on the slides are made of precision ground, hardened steel and share the industry ratings for load capacity. Tol-O-Matic; 800/328-2174;

Linear Actuator Goes Direct
Direct-drive linear and rotary actuators used in electronic assembly, semiconductor manufacturing, life sciences and general motion automation applications feature smooth motion, high dynamic response, force and position control, and packaged, ready to mount. IntelliDrives; 215/728-6804;

SmartMotor Gets a D
Smart motor has been redesigned to use industry-standard Double D-sub connectors available with other smart motors. The Double D-sub connector, with a 15-pin D-sub I/O and a 7-pin combo D-sub power and I/O, provides better resistance to harsh environments, and better compatibility with existing systems. The smart motor includes a compact size and fully-integrated motion control capability for motion control requirements. Animatics; 408/748-8721;

Digital Motion Controller
The MMC mounts in and controls a smart drive servo amplifier, and up to 15 additional MMC smart drive servo amplifiers. The amplifiers are daisy-chained together with a simple RJ-45 connection. The field-installable MMC is available in one, two, four and 16-axis versions. The digital MMC includes eight DC inputs and eight DC outputs on-board. The I/O (eight DC inputs, four DC outputs and one analog input per drive) is accessible to the application program over the digital network. G&L Motion Control; 920/921-7100;

Rotary Actuator Handles Axial Thrust 
RCC rotary actuator is available in eight, 12, and 16-mm bore sizes with two standard rotations. All units feature standard angle adjustment of +/-5 degrees in each direction. All units are pre-threaded with standard through-mounting holes and operate with zero backlash. Actuators are available with an optional hollow pinion, port flow control kits, additional threaded mounting holes, and rear ports. PHD Inc.; 260/747-6151;

Control Eight Axes
Pre-programmed servo system allows conversion to servo drive, allowing true plug-and-play application. A multiaxis option enables up to eight drives to be controlled by one interface. Features include a pre-programmed touchscreen interface that allows machine setup, tuning and troubleshooting through menus without complex servo programming, writing code or running proprietary software on a PC or notebook computer. A standard system combines an industrial-strength 450 V servomotor and digital amplifier/controller with a pre-programmed interface. Force Control; 513/868-0900;

FRF Spy Analyzer
SPiiPlus frequency-response function analyzer is a servo analysis GUI for motion controllers. Users can obtain mechanical signatures of a dynamic machine, identify and compensate for mechanical resonances, expand machine bandwidth and performance, and compare performance between different machines and machine performance over time. ACS-Tech80; 800/545-2980;

Waterproof AC Induction Motors
WD Series stainless steel enclosed AC induction motors are available in eight standard frame sizes. For washdown applications where the motor is not normally submerged, the units are supplied with cooling fans. For marine or nuclear applications where submerged motors are cooled by the surrounding water, fans are not supplied. Pressure compensated motors operate in ocean depths to 2500ft. Custom versions for use in reactor pools have also been produced. Empire Magnetics; 707/584-2801;

Linear Slides and Table Assemblies
Self-lubricating, linear slides and table assemblies integrate into new and existing applications requiring smooth motion, low noise, and/or washdown capabilities. Slide rails and carriages are available in 0.5625, 0.75, and 0.875 in. heights and 7, 13, 19, 25 and 31 in. lengths. The Teflon composite bearing material withstands loads to 1,000 psi and has a maximum velocity of 80 in./sec.  Load bearing surfaces are at 45º angles to the mounting surface and force of the load. LM76; 413/525-4166;

Three-Phase Linear Amplifier
TA320 linear three-phase servo amplifier integrates sinusoidal motor control into high-resolution inspection systems or metrology instruments applications. Low electrical noise makes it ideal for integration in or near systems that have noise-sensitive circuitry such as transducers and sensors, and medical applications. The 700 W continuous (1400 W peak) linear amplifier can be configured to accept two sinusoidal commutations. Trust Automation; 805/544-0761;

Precision Lead Screw Assemblies
Lead screw assemblies feature a self-adjusting, preloaded nut that reduces the effects of misalignment and suppresses backlash. Select from a wide range of assemblies in ¼-in., ½-in., and ¾-in. diameter screws. The ¾-in. lead screw assembly features travel to 31 in. All lead screws install into single or multiaxis positioning tables, instruments, or precision mechanisms. Universal Thread Grinding Co.; 203/336-1849;

System Controls Nip Force
RCS-microPOS digital servo force and positioning control reeling system is used to adjust the primary arms’ relief cylinders to the correct linear nip force on the winder of paper machines. The system measures and controls the actual nip forces using specially designed load cells, rather than inferred forces from cylinder pressures, and control is true closed-loop. Control during operation is carried out via the digital inputs on the RCS from a PLC or directly from the operator’s console. Vishay; +44(0)29 2055 5093;