At the Pack Expo West show in Las Vegas next month, Danaher Corp. will be making its first major product announcement since it went on a buying spree a few years back, acquiring well-known companies in the motion arena like Pacific Scientific, Kollmorgen, and Warner Electric. These former competitors got together, and using their collective engineering acumen, developed a new brushless servo motor, known as the AKM line, which will be marketed under the Kollmorgen label. What's notable about the new motor? For one thing, it's leveraging technology that Pacific Scientific originally developed for the Segway—one of the most challenging apps for motors around, say company engineers. But that's only part of the story. "One goal was to try and get as much torque as possible in the smallest possible package," says John Stroup, Group Executive, Danaher Motion. Stroup says that in tests against competitive motors, the new AKM exhibited about 30% higher torque density. He wouldn't reveal exactly how engineers did it, but it's likely they played games with windings, magnets, and slot fill. Another goal was to develop a cell-based manufacturing strategy to make up to 12,000 different versions from a standard motor platform. The strategy reduces the likelihood that an engineer will need to order a custom product, avoiding any additional charges, says Stroup. He also expects lead times to drop significantly.
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.