Compact but mighty is the theme for this issue's hot products. Take the MDrive14 from Intelligent Motion Systems, for example. The combined NEMA size 14 high torque stepping motor and on-board half/full step drive weighs only 5 oz and measures 1.7 inches long x 1.8 inches high x 1.4 inches wide. Yet the motor and driver combination offer the system designer features including optically isolated logic inputs that will accept +5 to +24V dc signals, sourcing or sinking. This combo offers other benefits as well. Because the motor and electronics are coupled, the need for overall wiring is cut. As a result, the Mdrive14 reduced package size takes up less space in control panels. "This is particularly important in semiconductor and medical industries where space is limited," says David Coutu, president of Intelligent Motion Systems. In addition, the motor leads are local to the drive instead of running through the machine, which lowers EMI. "Installation is also a breeze. Thanks to a simple design and electronic configuration, the product is practically plug-and-play," Coutu says. Setup parameters include Motor Resolution, Motor Direction with respect to the direction input, and Run/Hold currents. These settings may be changed on-the-fly or downloaded and stored in non-volatile memory with the use of a simple GUI provided, eliminating the need for external switches or resistors. Intelligent Motion Systems: Enter 659
Three for the price of two
Kerk Motion Products updated ScrewRail™ combines drive and support/guidance components in a single, compact, coaxial design, saving as much as 80% of the space used by a two-rail system. The ScrewRail comprises a precision rolled lead screw, supported by sealed bearings and contained within a concentric steel guide rail, that drives an integrated nut/bushing. "One of the big advantages of the ScrewRail is that the drive and guidance components are combined," says Tom Solon, Kerk Motion applications engineer. This saves space and cost and simplifies design, freeing up many of the design variables. For example, instead of a machined framework, one can get away with sheet metal at a lower cost, says Solon. Also, positioning is much less critical than with traditional slide assemblies. TFE coating and self-lubricating nut/bushing materials ensure long life without maintenance. The ScrewRail has recently been upgraded with a metal-reinforced bushing, providing increased strength and stability. A single coaxial system enables three-dimensional motion. When mounted vertically, the ScrewRail can be used to simultaneously lift and rotate (Z-theta motion). "One of our more common applications is in the CD duplicating industry," says Solon. "They will use this single component to pick up a disc and place it on a drive or stack." The ScrewRail is available in outside diameters of 0.5, 0.75, and 1.0 inch, with leads ranging from 0.050 to 1.5 inches, and can be manufactured in lengths up to 10 ft. Other applications for the patented ScrewRail include medical, semiconductor, industrial machinery, printing/plotting, and general automation. Kerk Motion Products Inc.: Enter 670
Small actuators hold large loads
The new Compac 300 and 1000 Series Acme screw actuators from Burr Engineering & Development Corp. are now smaller, but just as powerful. Burr's 12-inch stroke Compac 300 Torque Limiter model is less than 20 inches long. Yet Compac 300 models can withstand a 1,000 lb static load, and dynamic loads up to 300 lbs. The Compac 1000 models withstand a 5,000 lb static load, and 1,000 lb dynamic load. This product lineup includes 72 models with stroke lengths ranging from 4 to 24 inches. Custom designs up to 48 inches are available. All sizes can be specified with 12, 24, or 36V dc and 110 or 220V ac motors. Available gear ratios are 17:1, 25:1, and 55:1. Optional torque limiter or limit-switch end-of-stroke operation are offered. Burr actuators feature diecast aluminum power heads and zinc plated inner and outer tubes. Burr Engineering & Development Corp.: Enter 671
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.