To design motion systems with improved performance, engineers have the traditional option to go with bigger motors to get more power or torque. Alternatively, they can seek out an innovative motor design that seems to break the rules and offer more for less — or in less space. In these innovative motors, the improvement over existing capabilities can come from using advanced materials, or simple attention to detail to meet a more demanding specification. Depending on the application, the improvements in the motor can provide remarkable advantages to the end product. Extended travel and more torque characterize the performance advantages offered by three motor manufacturers.
SUPER TORQUE NEMA 17 STEPPER
With a body length of 2.34 inches (59.9-mm), the 4118C extends Lin Engineering's NEMA 17 Super Torque series motors to a holding torque capability of 125 oz-inch (0.89 Nm). The design provides approximately two to three times more torque than a standard motor of similar design. The unit produces 2.0 A/phase. Depending on the application torque and speed requirements, the 1.8-degree stepper motor is available with unipolar or bipolar windings. The motor targets applications with limited space, where load capacities are critical to precision system operation. For more information on the Lin Engineering Super Torque 4118C
CAPTIVE LINEAR STEPPER
Nippon Pulse America's Captive LINEARSTEP Series provides linear motion with 30 mm stroke in a rotary size package. With outside dimensions of 25 and 35 mm, and custom stroke lengths available, the shaft travels in resolutions from 0.010 to 0.05 mm per step and can yield up to 5 Kg of force. The linear-type stepper motor series has a one-piece captive shaft and produces linear motion without an external guide mechanism for the cap actuation. This reduces costs and space requirements and allows designers a simple linear stepper system while offering durability with a one-piece ball bearing shaft support and welded motor casing. Target applications for the motor include automated devices that require precisely controlled linear motion in a small package size, such as laboratory instrumentation, medical pump and syringe devices, small machinery and more. For more information on Nippon Pulse America's Captive LINEARSTEP Series.
CAPTIVE LINEAR ACTUATORS
With metric strokes of 18, 25 and 31 mm, Haydon Switch & Instrument's newest Z26000 captive linear actuators have almost three times the previously allowed stroke. Available in a wide variety of resolutions ranging from 0.0127 to 0.1016-mm per step, the new units offer up to 4.5 Kg of force. The rare earth magnets used in the Z-series linear actuators have improved efficiency and provide a higher output force to volume ratio. With the increased stroke, the linear actuators provide a greater potential to replace rotary motors and belts and pulleys or rack and pinions in linear motion applications. The direct drive alternative often takes less space and sometimes reduces system costs. The linear actuators target applications requiring precise linear motion such as medical devices, small machinery, and instrumentation. For more information on Haydon Switch & Instrument's captive linear actuators.
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.