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XSEL Software Training For IAI TTA Table Top Robot

5 minute YouTube Video

Published on Jun 11, 2014

Easy to learn XSEL Programming Software.  This short video focuses on Program and Position (Data Table) training.
1: Program
Input to the program data sheet in the PC software all necessary commands in the “SEL language” (IAI’s original language) that instruct the details and sequence of operations.
2: Position (Data Table)
Determine the positions to move the robot to, and input them to the position data sheet in the PC software as coordinates.

The IAI TTA Multi-Axis Table Top Robot features…
Improved Tabletop Robot for Cell Production Applications, Featuring Significantly Higher Payload, Maximum Speed and Rigidity!
1: Significantly Higher Payload and Maximum Speed
2: Stores More Programs and Positions
The additional of a data recovery function makes sure your original data can be restored should writing to a FLASH drive fail due to a power failure.
3: Three Times As Many I/O Points As Conventional Models
When the standard I/O slot isn’t enough, up to two additional expansion I/O slots can be installed.
4: Variations
Four operating ranges are available to choose from.
The 3-axis specification is available in two types of Z-axis strokes: 100mm and 150mm.  You can select a model ideal for the size of your work part.  Additional options let you change the Y-axis height and position.
5: Greater Bending Rigidity is Achieved by Integrating the Structure of the Y-axis Base with the Mounting Bracket.
6: Labyrinth Structure to Suppress Intrusion of Foreign Matter into X-axis
The X-axis opening is structured as a labyrinth in order to make it difficult for foreign matter dropping onto the actuator (such as screws, molten metal, dust, etc.) and entering the X-axis.  This expands the types of work environment supported.

More information on the TTA Tabletop Robot from Intelligent Actuator can be viewed at-

For more information, please contact:


Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699

Tags:  IAI, Intelligent Actuator, Electromate, TT Robot, TTA Robot, Tabletop Robot


Harmonic Drive Introduces New Lightweight Versions of Select Gearhead Products

Harmonic Drive LLC, a leader in high precision motion control introduces new lightweight versions of select gearhead products.  The new gearheads are ideal for designs where weight is a critical factor.  Building on the success of Harmonic Drive LLCs current gear units, new lightweight versions were the next logical evolution of the CS/ SH product lines.

With weight reductions of 20-30% without any reduction in torque ratings, the Lightweight (LW) gear units provide exceptional torque density.  A wide variety of sizes and reduction ratios are available with maximum peak torques ranging from 450 in-lb. to 60,500 in-lb.

Key features include:

  • Zero Backlash
  • High torque capacity
  • Accuracy <1 arc-min
  • High torsional stiffness
  • High efficiency
  • Smooth operation
  • Robust cross roller output bearing
  • Output flange for direct mounting of load

These models are ideally suited for the following applications-

  • Industrial Robots  -allowing operation with higher acceleration rates and payload capacity
  • Mobile Robots  -allowing lower weight designs which improves battery life with sacrificing performance

Information on the CSG-LW and CSF-LW Harmonic Drive™ gearheads can be viewed at the link below-

For more information, please contact:


Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699

Tags:  Harmonic Drive®, Electromate, CSG-LW, CSF-LW, SHD-LW, SHG-LW, Gearhead, Harmonic Gear, Harmonic Drive™ gearheads


From Air to Electromechanical

It’s not a big news story that the world’s population is getting exponentially bigger.  With this growth there is a greater demand for modern packaged foods.  A great example is India. It is projected that sales of package foods will almost double from $24.6B last year to $43.7B in 2016.  Many of the world’s largest food packaging conglomerates are ramping up for the worldwide push, and Lintech is there for them every step of the way, providing them parts that make their machines run 24-7, 365 days a year.

Lintech Product FamilyRecently the biggest trend to come out of the food processing is the switch from air-actuated cylinders to electromechanical cylinders.  There are a few reasons for this, but most importantly, going electromechanical is infinitely more reliable than using an air system.  Air systems need to be maintained constantly; if you don’t have clean air to run the system, your machines will not run at peak performance.

It may not seem like a big deal, but trust us, the costs to keep air systems running can be monumental, especially for companies just starting out.  It is only a matter of time before all food packagers around the world make the change.  Right now it is a big deal in places like India, because the growth has been so sudden and dramatic, there is no room for antiquated technology.

As always, we are ahead of the innovation curve.  Lintech has the round-rail shaftings, ball screw assemblies, and linear slides necessary to help the food processing industry move boldly into the 21st century.

Detailed product information on the shaft and carriage assembly products from Lintech can be found at the link below-

For more information, please contact:


Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699

Tags:  Electromate, Lintech, Shaft Assembly, Carriage Assembly, Linear Bearing, Linear Recirculating Bearing, Positioning Stage, Rotary Stage, Gantry System, Ball Screw Assembly, Linear Slides, Round Rail Shafting

Linear Actuator Selection Tips: Rod or rodless

When you need to specify a linear actuator, you want to do it right.  Some basic decisions come first.  Like electric or pneumatic.  See Tolomatic’s recent blogpost for an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of pneumatic versus electric linear actuators.

If electric is selected, you’ll next need to decide if a rod or rodless linear actuator is the best choice.  Tolomatic offers both types of electric linear actuator, so you can count on us for motion control advice and application expertise.

Selection tips

Here are our tips for specifying the right electric linear actuator for the task.

1.    Calculate size for electric, rather than fluid power  When using an electric linear linear actuator sizing softwareactuator don’t fall into the common fluid power practice of oversizing the cylinder. Pneumatic linear actuators are usually lower cost so a bigger cylinder won’t blow the budget.  However, oversizing can be costly when specifying an electric linear actuator since the purchase price may be higher.  Take advantage of sizing software offered by manufacturers to get the right size linear actuator for your application.

2.    Calculate loads precisely  If you know the weight and size of the load, how far it needs to travel and how fast it needs to move, you can accurately specify actuator components, like screws, bearings and motors.  This is critical because if these components can’t handle the stresses of the application, the system may not operate properly.  Accurately specified components mean longer service life for the linear actuator. 

3.    Factor in the duty cycle  Duty cycle for a linear actuator is the ratio of operating time to resting time.  It’s expressed as a percentage.  Accuracy in calculating duty cycle means you can spec the right actuator – one that lasts. 

4.    Set critical speed limits  High speed may be desirable but in screw-driven linear actuators lead screws have critical speed limits.  If the screw is required to operate at or beyond the limit, it will oscillate, causing noise and vibration.  Long-term effects could be premature wear and even catastrophic failure. 

5.    Factor in the environment  Extreme heat and cold will affect linear actuator linear actuator washdowncomponents. Moisture, dust or corrosive agents can cause problems.  If a linear actuator is in a washdown environment there are special material and design issues to consider. 

6.    When it comes to the drive system, consider more than footprint Reverse parallel motor mounting has the appeal of saving space, but power transmission through belts or gears may make these configurations less powerful and efficient.  Often only an inline motor configuration can deliver the speed and thrust required. 

7.    Match life expectations with actuator capabilities  An electric linear actuator will fail if its drive or carrier bearing system is over-stressed by the load and the speed at which it operates.  Simply put, if the application requirements exceed the actuator’s capabilities, it will die an early death.  Specify a linear actuator that’s suited to the task or be prepared to replace the actuator early and often. 

Special tips for rod actuators

Because an electric rod actuator pushes or pulls a load, there are two special considerations to keep in mind when specifying his type of actuator for an application.

1.    Avoid side loading  Electric rod actuators are prone to damage and wear when they Rod and rodless electric linear actuatorhave to deal with even moderate side loads.  They do not provide much support to a load especially as the rod extends.  The weight of the load can actually deflect the rod, causing wear and tear on seals and bearings.  This deflection can cause accuracy problems as well. (Just look at the worried fish in the cartoon.)

2.    Keep total envelope size in mind.  There’s a difference between the overall length of an electric actuator and its working stroke length.  You’ll have fit problems if you don’t keep both in mind.

Special tips for rodless actuators

A rodless electromechanical linear actuator cariesy loads and is subject to different stresses than its rod-style counterparts. Here are two tips for specifying rodless actuators.

 1.    Calculate moments (torques)  There are three axes to think about.  Since rodless electro-mechanical linear actuators carry loads, stresses will be placed on the bearing system for the actuator’s load-carrying platform.  You can only specify the right actuator for an application if you’ve calculated roll, yaw and pitch.

2.    Mounting makes a difference  Mounting is always critical but especially if you need a long-stroke rodless linear actuator. If this is the case, make sure you factor in enough support points to ensure rigidity. Also, make sure the mounting surface is straight and flat and there is room for the actuator and motor combination.

electric linear actuatorTolomatic solutions

Tolomatic offers a broad selection of both electric rod linear actuators and rodless electro-mechanical actuators.  Click on the link below for additional information on Tolomatic’s line of linear actuators.

For more information, please contact:


Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699


Tags:  Electromate, Tolomatic, Linear Actuator, Electric Linear Actuator, Rodless Cylinder, Rod Style Cylinder


maxon motor takes part in chase to catch up with a comet

After more than ten years of travel through space, the European space probe Rosetta has reached the comet Chury.  Three months from now, for the first time in the history of space travel, a lander will touch down on the surface of the four-kilometer-wide comet.  DC motors manufactured by maxon are part of this pioneering feat.

On August 6th, the big day finally arrived: After a journey of more than ten years, the Rosetta space probe reached the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, known as “Chury”.  The mission team at the European Space Agency (ESA) jumped for joy. F or the first time in the history of space travel, a probe has rendezvoused with a comet.  It will now orbit and map the comet and gather various types of data.  Already, the first images received have yielded astonishing new insights:  The comet Chury, which is four kilometers wide, is not round or oval, but instead looks like two rocks loosely stuck together.  At minus 70°C, the surface is much warmer than expected and the first information indicates that it is covered with a black layer of dust.

First choice for space missions

maxon motor takes part in chase to catch up with a comet – Rosetta Mission

maxon motor takes part in chase to catch up with a comet – Rosetta Mission

Rosetta will now gradually approach the comet, until a distance of only 10 kilometers separates them.  The most difficult part of the mission will take place in mid-November 2014, when the Philae lander is scheduled to touch down on Chury.  It will be the first controlled landing on a comet.  A real pioneering feat – and maxon motor is part of it, with a DC motor on board. This is not the first time that the micro drives from Switzerland have been the first choice for space missions.  SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which transports cargo to the ISS station, also contains maxon motors.  The same holds true for the Mars rovers, which have been diligently traveling across the surface of the red planet for many years.

What is next?

On our Twitter channel @maxonmotor, we will keep you up-to-date with news from the Rosetta mission.

Click on the link below to view the Maxon Motor Product Family.

Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699


Tags:  maxon, maxon motor, maxon DC motor, Electromate, EC-i40, servo motor, BLDC motor, brushless motor, flat motor, pancake motor, automation, electric motor, motion control

Groschopp Tech Tips: How Brushless DC Motors Commutate

3 minute YouTube Video from Groschopp

This Tech Tip video offers engineers a quick guide to Brushless DC (BLDC) Motor Commutation.  Understanding BLDC Commutation and how to read a BLDC Timing Diagram for Hall Switches allows engineers to properly control their BLDC motor.

Click on the image below to view this 3 minute video

Tags:  Groschopp, Electromate, PMDC, PMDC Motor, AC Motor, DC Motor, AC Gearmotor, DC Gearmotor, Right Angle Gearmotor, Fractional HP Motor, Fractional HP Gearmotor

5 Tips for a Successful Servo Crossover

Reprint of March 27, 2014, article  by Josh Bellefeuille Sales Application Engineer at Kollmorgen

Kollmorgen Servo Motor FamilyThere are a number of situations that call for crossing over and replacing an existing motor with a newer servo.  These can include: product obsolescence, cost savings, lead time issues, or upgrading to newer technology.  The specifics of each application could lead to an endless number of important factors to consider.  In this post I will try to (briefly) identify those that are most common and their correct order of concern.

1. Healthy Motivations

Whatever the reason for a replacement situation, it is important to understand (and never forget!) the most important aspect of the task.  Mitigating risk.  A good replacement is one that minimizes the potential number of issues that may be experienced amidst the upgrade.  If great care is not taken to manage the potential risk of a replacement, a higher potential for system failure will be introduced.

This means cost should not be the controlling factor for replacements! A good replacement is one that minimizes risk AND reduces the cost of a system, versus reducing cost and accepting a higher potential for risk.

2. Axis Stability

Inertia matching is very important and often overlooked.  A servo replacement should have the same rotor inertia as the existing motor, or be as similar as possible.  The goal is to keep the stability of a system consistent when the new servo is introduced.  This of course assumes the existing system already has the desired stability.

If replacing a lower resolution system (i.e. tachometer, commcoder, or older resolver based system) it is often worthwhile to consider a high resolution sine-encoder feedback device, with resolution ≥ 220 counts per revolution (CPR). Doing so will give more flexibility when matching rotor inertias.  As a general rule, when improving feedback resolution with a high resolution device, the servo replacement should have at least one third of the inertia of the existing motor, though it’s preferred to have one half.  This method has been successfully applied in many applications.

3. Speed and Torque

Speed and torque matching is equally as important.  The performance of the replacement motor should meet or exceed the performance of the existing motor.  It is important to review the catalog values of each (i.e. continuous torque, rated speed) to ensure there are no shortcomings.

It is also critical to compare torque values over the entire speed range of each motor.  Comparing graphically may be a helpful exercise.  This can be done by comparing motor speed/torque curves and manually plotting like-values in a spreadsheet.  For example, at 1000 RPM the continuous torque for motor A = X Nm and motor B = Y Nm, and so on for the entire speed range.

4. Motor Dimensions

Though not critical to the performance of the motor, a retrofit situation becomes streamlined if the mounting dimensions of the replacement servo are identical to the existing motor.  The outline drawings of both motors should be reviewed to ensure consistency.  This is good practice even when replacing motors with industry standard mounts, like NEMA or IEC.  Standards typically have consistent pilot and bolt circle dimensions, but often do not maintain the same shaft dimensions.  Though you are replacing a NEMA 34 motor, one manufacturer’s definition may be drastically different than another’s!

5. Other Considerations

Is the motor the only part of the machine being replaced?  Typically a servo replacement will mean replacing the drives, cables, and in rare instances even the controller.  In this case the difference in motor windings can become a secondary consideration assuming manufacturer recommendations are followed.

However careful review is in order if the replacement motor is intended to be used with an existing drive.  Winding data (including motor constants: Kt and Ke), feedback device type and resolution, and cable pin-outs are just a few of the pieces that must be closely examined and matched.  Furthermore, different servo motor manufacturers often utilize different units and commutation methods for these critical parameters.  This can leave a lack of clear distinction between definitions and units of the motors being compared. As a supplementary resource, this helpful article further details some of the common specification inconsistencies that should be considered during a servo replacement.

Other aspects worthy of comparison may include overall envelope size, environmental ratings, holding brakes, bearing and load life, and specials. As hinted at earlier, this short article is in no way meant to serve as a comprehensive “checklist” of crossover guidelines.  Instead, I hope it serves as a high-level starting point for effective servo crossovers, in which risk is carefully considered and managed.


Tags:  Servo Motor, BLDC Motor, Electric Motor, Kollmorgen, Electromate, Servo, Automation

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