Beyond Flat Cable: Internal cable
harnesses are less prone to damage. Along with "flatter" cross section
conductor wires, enforcement at bend point using rubbing and support
strips contributes to long life.
Problems occur with motion control positioning stages when drive and signal cables chafe or are bent too tightly, or when location of cable connectors makes servicing difficult. External cables are prone to damage by moving equipment or personnel and internal cables can take up useful volume.
To alleviate these concerns, engineers at Primatics have developed the PrimaFlex™ internal cable management system that relies on a proprietary wire harness cable design for long life—while at the same time taking up minimal internal volume to make room for other systems such as I/O cables or vacuum lines for component-handling effectors.
Mechanical Engineering Manager Phil Williams notes in looking at high-flex round conductor ribbon cables based on the technology in printers and plotters, the design team could only come up with a lifetime 20 percent of the 100 million flex cycles needed. Part of the solution was to use a laminated polyester cable where the conductor strands have a flat, high aspect ratio of 0.003 inches in height and 0.026 inch in width. The engineers also noted that with longer cable lengths and high velocity motion, the cables are not stiff enough to "push" themselves—hence the use of high-performance thermoplastic strips molded onto the cable to help support it where needed. In addition, strips of thermoplastic are placed on covers and other areas to act as low friction bearing surfaces where the cable (with a similar protective layer) might rub against.
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.