Motion simulation applications can range from fun to sophisticated; a race car for NASCAR fans, a helicopter where recruits practice their skills or a cabin emergency evacuation trainer for airline personnel.
The Phenix Design group is a Florida general contractor for simulation projects. Says owner and president Ron Handy, "We provide the entire scope, from requirement analysis, to conceptual design, program and technical management, installation, training and product 'reality' checks."
How do you control the motion in a motion simulator? Very, very carefully! According to Handy, you need to incorporate the right inverter (or variable frequency drive) into the design of electrically actuated motion. The challenge? "AC drives can feel mushy and not realistic to the application, particularly at low speeds, while some servo drives can feel a bit 'stiff' and may be simply cost-prohibitive," explains Handy.
Phenix's requirements also included off-the-shelf availability, small size, simplicity of installation, ease of programming, best-in-class product support, and yes, competitive price. "With the TCF inverters from AC Technology, we got what we were asking for," states Handy. Besides meeting Phenix's demands, the TCFs provide another crucial advantage, bi-directional control using a bi-polar reference.
By using the TCF, when the signal is positive (from 0 to +10 VDC), the drive will operate in the forward direction. When the signal is negative (from 0 to -10 VDC), the drive will operate in the reverse direction. In both cases the motor speed will be proportional to the signal level (0 VDC is center of scale, -5 VDC is half speed reverse, +10 VDC is full speed forward, etc). Being able to control direction and speed with one -10 to +10 VDC signal simplifies the control system.
Reach PHENIX Design Group, Inc. via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AC Technology, Inc.