Providing up to 8A of continuous current, Performance Motion Devices', ION Microstepping Digital Drive targets semiconductor as well as medical, scientific, automation, industrial and robotic applications. In addition to high performance motion control, the unit provides network connectivity and amplification in a fully-enclosed module for dc brush, brushless dc, or step motors. The drive supports two-phase bipolar motors and can automatically switch between user-defined current modes. Communications are handled by either asynchronous serial (RS485) or CANbus network. The unit handles 8A continuous and 15A peak current, but an optional heatsink increases the current capability. To complement the selectable profiling modes that include S-curve, trapezoidal, velocity contouring and electronic gearing, the unit operates at 40 kHz PWM frequency with 102 µsec servo loop rate and has an advanced PID filter with velocity and acceleration feedforward. For more information on PMD's ION Digital Drive, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4925-509.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.