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
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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