An email message pointed me to the application note, “Electrical measurements on adjustable speed drives,” published by Fluke Corporation, a company that manufactures test-and-measurement instruments. The note’s introduction states, “…modern electronically controlled motors, more commonly referred to as adjustable speed drives, present a unique set of problems that can vex the most seasoned pro. This application note describes the electrical measurements you need to make during the installation and commissioning of a drive, as well as when diagnosing bad components and other conditions that may lead to premature motor failure in adjustable speed drives (ASDs).”
Although the writers at Fluke aimed the paper at motor technicians, it provides a lot of useful information about drives that engineers and equipment designers will value. The ten measurement descriptions include schematic diagrams and oscilloscope waveforms, which reinforce the points made for many tests.
If you work with adjustable-speed drives, this application note belongs in your library or in your browser’s favorites list. Feel free to suggest other useful mechatronics app notes that could help your colleagues. –Jon Titus
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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.