MOTION CONTROL: The most critical part of any metal-cutting machine is the spindle that drives the cutting tool. With its broad product line, featuring motorized or separately driven spindles, spindle motors and built-in high torque or high-speed applications, Siemens Energy & Automation offers standard or custom solutions to machine tool OEMs and end users. Today’s machine tools are equipped with single or multiple spindles in two basic designs. The first are motorized, direct drive spindles, where the motor is integral with the spindle and the entire assembly, including bearings, motor, drawbar and tool retention, are all in one cartridge. The second are separately driven spindles where the spindle itself is driven by a separate motor. The drive mechanism can be belt, gear box or coupling for direct drive. The spindle houses the drawbar, tool retention system and, sometimes, tool coolant. In the case of directly coupled spindles, the motors can have hollow shafts with the coolant rotary union mounted to the back of the motor. Motorized spindles are becoming the norm in advanced machine tool design, as their compact configuration, high-speed machining performance, superior accuracy and long service life are outstripping the conventional belt driven spindles. Because all functions are built into one compact cartridge or block, these spindles offer the machine designer more flexibility, less space and a higher degree of performance. Using synchronous motor technology, these spindles are more efficient, cover a broader speed, power and torque range and can be used for more precise applications. Weiss spindles can be built to speeds as high as 80,000 rpm
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.