Harmonic Drive Releases New CSF-ULW Ultra-Light Weight Gearhead

Introducing the new CSF-ULW ultra-light weight gearhead series from Harmonic Drive LLC.  This series features a newly engineered lightweight structure with an ultra-compact shape.

The CSF-ULW is a housed zero backlash Harmonic Drive® component gearset combined with a precision cross roller output bearing & flange.  The CSF-ULW is available in two sizes, with three reduction ratio’s per size.  The ULW series maintains the same performance standards as the popular CSF-2UH series.

Ideal for use on end of arm axes for small industrial and collaborative robots, the CSF-ULW is also well suited for general industrial machinery where weight is a critical factor.

Features include:

  • Zero Backlash
  • Accuracy <1 arc-min
  • High torsional stiffness
  • High efficiency
  • Smooth operation
  • Robust cross roller output bearing

Information on the CSF-ULW series gearhead from Harmonic Drive LLC can be viewed at:


For further information, please contact:

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


Tags:  CSF-ULW, Harmonic Drive, Strain Wave Gearing, Gearhead, Gearbox, Electromate

Industry Insights with Owen and Warren Osak, Founder and CEO of Electromate


Reprint of Drives & Control Solutions interview with Owen Hurst published at https://drivesandcontrols.ca/industry-insights/4204-industry-insights-with-owen-and-warren-osak-founder-and-ceo-of-electromate

In this issue of Industry Insights with Owen I had the opportunity to sit down with Warren Osak, founder and CEO of Electromate.

Speaking with Warren it is very clear he is a straight shooter with an abundance of knowledge, and passion for robotics, mechatronics and the general motion and motion control industry. Warren has a HBSc in biochemistry from the University of Toronto that provided him an ability to understand the complex calculations required to work with motion control. And understand it he did, authoring a text book in 1996 titled Motion Control Made Simple.

Warren first worked for several prominent motion control producers in the early 1980’s however at the time there was still some hesitancy among manufacturers about the future of motion control. However, Warren acting on suggestions put forward by some of his colleagues that recognized the value and future of the motion industry, founded Electromate in 1986 to serve the Canadian market. The goal was to ensure that these important products and growing market was advancing in Canada, and Warren has been working to ensure this ever since.

Digging deeper Warren provided some very rich and interesting information regarding integrated motion in Canada and about his company Electromate.

Electromate’s core message states that you provide ‘motion control at the speed of technology’. Do you ever feel that the technology is outpacing the industries ability to implement it?

No…certainly early adopters of the latest technology have a first mover advantage which makes their machines more competitive globally, but eventually the rising tide of the advancing technology raises the technology bar in all industries. The challenge Industry faces is finding the right talent to embrace and employ the new technology.

Once the technical people component is in place, Industry quickly embraces the latest technology, which by the way, is generally less expensive and has higher performance.

Electromate is not just a distributor but a solution provider that also offers turnkey onsite installation. Is this a trend among industry distributors and do you think we will see an increase in distributors offering full solution options?

Personally I don’t see a trend among distributors to ramp up their value-added services such as onsite installation. It’s specific to Distributors in certain technology spaces, such as Vision System Distributors who are usually required by their customers to provide a ‘proof of concept integrated solution’, and Robot Distributors who need to accessorize their product offering with safety systems and end effectors to provide a complete solution mandated by their customers.

The entry cost for a Distributor to get into the Integration Business is quite high which is a natural deterrent, plus Distributors run the risk of competing with their Integrator Customers which is never a good idea.

There has been some interesting advances among the use of roller-screw actuation devices, what advantages do these offer over more traditional methods of actuation?

Roller Screws (also called planetary roller screws) have very high force transmission capabilities since roller screw components are designed with a fine pitch thereby providing more points of contact and a larger contact radius resulting in less stress per point of contact. As a result, they can deliver very high force, operate at high speeds, are long-lasting and require little maintenance. The use of planetary roller screws allows engineers to specify electric actuators in applications that were once the sole domain of hydraulic cylinders.

The adoption of Roller Screws in high force linear motion applications has been slow to take off, but as we saw with the adoption of Electric Rod Style Actuators to displace Pneumatic solutions, it will take some time but will eventually become a universally acceptable preferred solution. Currently the total cost of ownership of a hydraulic cylinder is already higher than a Roller Screw Actuator, although the unit cost is not.

There has always been and will likely always be some level industry discussion surrounding product miniaturization and standardization, what benefits do you feel these offer?

We don’t hear much discussion surrounding miniaturization in the automation space primarily because the trend is an unstoppable force of nature. Moore’s Law has held true for over 50years. Simply put, companies that don’t miniaturize their products (or at least increase their power density in the same footprint) will see their market share dwindle quickly. Companies who generate 40% or more of their revenue from products that are over 6years old are at the greatest risk.

Standardization is another matter altogether. Here there is considerable industry discussion, and rightly so. New universally accepted Safety Standards, Open Source Communication and standardized Distributed Fieldbus Protocols have homogenized a once fragmented industry. Interoperability is a huge benefit to customers in all industries and is the primary driver of the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Without industry standardization, Industry 4.0 doesn’t exist.

What is the most revolutionary trend you are currently witnessing in the motion control industry?

Two revolutionary trends stand out. Innovative changes in Motors & Feedback Device construction and design.

There have been big advancements in the construction of servomotors. The physics of optimizing the magnetic flux generated from rare-earth magnet assemblies (and new production techniques) have leveraged improvements in motor designs. So, we’re seeing continued improvement in the torque density of servomotors well beyond what I once believed achievable.

In layman’s terms, the torque output one could get out of a NEMA-34-frame servomotor from eight or 10 years ago is now achievable with a NEMA-23-frame servomotor. In the same way, torque output of a NEMA 23 frame servomotor from eight to 10 years ago is now what today’s NEMA-17-frame motors can produce. So, motors are definitively more power dense than in the past — and in fact for a given package size, there’s 50 to 100% increase in torque output versus motors produced a decade years ago.

Sensor technologies seem to be advancing about twice as fast as other components used in motion-control systems. New developments for feedback devices also outnumber those for servo drives, rotary actuators, linear actuators, and motors — and I don’t know why that is. There’s certainly a lot of cutting-edge R&D in the world of feedback devices … so the pace of advancement in Encoder (especially inductive and capacitive types), Resolver, and Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) designs has just been astounding.

Further to the questions asked above Warren was happy to chat about other developments he sees that will alter or act as a disrupter to the industry. The primary point he noted is the rise in 3D printing. 3D printing is so far beyond making simple objects now, to the point where we are now seeing components being printed for motors and motion technology. As this continues to grow it is likely that we will see disruption in the primary production methods. 3D printing is something to keep a very close eye on over the next few years.

Connect with Warren on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/warrenosak/ 

Harmonic Drive Releases New HPN-RA Harmonic Planetary Right Angle Value Series Gearhead

The popular HPN Harmonic Planetary® value series from Harmonic Drive LLC is now available in a right angle configuration.  The HPN-RA provides a low cost solution without the need to compromise on quality or performance.

The HPN-RA Series features helical gears for High –Torque, quiet performance and long life. Backlash of <6 arc minutes (for single stage) is maintained for the life of the gear.  Large radial ball bearings support the output shaft for high load capacity.  HPN-RA Harmonic Planetary® gears are available with a smooth output shaft or a shaft with a key and tapped center hole.

The HPN-RA gearheads are available with short lead times and are designed to couple to any servo or stepper motor with our Quick Connect® mounting system.

Features include:

  • Spiral bevel right angle gear set with planetary output
  • Helical Gearing
  • Available in 5 Frame Sizes
  • Peak torque: 9Nm to 752Nm
  • Ratios, 3:1 to 50:1
  • High Efficiency
  • Backlash <6 arc-min (single stage) ,<9 arc-min (two stage)
  • Grease lubricated for life
  • Competitive price levels with short lead times
  • Shaft output available with key and center tapped hole or with center tapped hole

Information on the HPN-RA Harmonic Planetary Right Angle Gearhead from Harmonic Drive LLC can be viewed at:


For further information, please contact:

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


Tags:  HPN-RA, Harmonic Planetary, Right Angle Gearhead, Harmonic Drive, Electromate

Brushless DC Servo Motors are successful in Respiration Therapy

What are Respiration Therapy Devices?

Respiration therapy deals with disorders and diseases of the lungs and vocal tract and can be performed both in hospitals or medical facilities, as well as at-home. Home respiration is a form of intensive care in which patients are mechanically ventilated to treat temporary or permanent nervous system or respiratory muscle failure. There is both invasive and non-invasive ventilation and methods of ventilation can be either pressure- or volume-controlled.

Respiration therapy devices can also be used to treat patients with sleep-related respiratory disorders, such as sleep apnea. They do so by creating a positive airway pressure that keeps the airways open while the patient sleeps. The basis of most respiration therapies are mono-level therapies (CPAP) and self-regulating modes (auto CPAP), in which the pressure varies within previously set pressure limitations depending on occurring events. These particular devices are able to adapt the specific patient and are most commonly used to treat sleep apnea. Brushless DC motors for Respiration Therapy Devices are vital in giving patients a positive therapy experience.

Maxon Motors for Portable Respiratory Therapy Devices

For over 20 years, HOFFRICHTER GmbH has manufactured respiration therapy devices that are quiet and offer high pressure stability. In order to achieve this, a brushless EC 22 motor by maxon is used. This maxon motor is responsible for driving the core component of the respiration therapy device: the turbine. Together, the turbine and motor provide the respective treatment pressure required.

Motor Requirements

Because respiration devices are quite sensitive and life-sustaining devices, there were a number of key requirements the motors had to meet to be used. First, the motors had to be high quality and provide a long service life. Additionally, the motors had to provide top performance while maintaining very dynamic properties. Depending on the patient’s breathing, speed must be adjusted constantly to provide optimal treatment for restorative sleep. Size was also a factor; the space within which the motor could fit is limited, so the device had to be small but mighty. Maxon also noted that noise level had to be considered, as the majority of these devices are used at night. Maxon motors were able to meet all of these requirements, powering a device that allows patients to get healthy, restorative sleep.

For more information regarding the maxon brushless EC 22 motor and its applications, read the full article here and contact Electromate today.


Tags:  servo motor, BLDC motor, EC22, maxon, Electromate

SMAC expands their electric actuator family to include the New LBR40 Series Linear Rotary Servo Actuator

The LBR40 is a slim, stackable linear rotary actuator with a SMAC HT35 direct drive brushless motor. Encoder resolutions are available from 5 micron to 1um for application flexibility to optimize on position control. Priced competitively with the added benefit of real time feedback of data required to assure quality. IP67 protection is available as well as a built-in controller with popular communication protocols.

The LBR provides a long life cycle, high linear force and rotary torque, and is specifically designed for Capping, Thread Inspection, and Smart Screw Driving applications.

Information on the LBR40 series linear rotary actuator from SMAC can be viewed at:

For further information, please contact:

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

Tags: Rotary Actuator, LBR40, Linear Actuator, Electric Actuator, SMAC, Electromate

Application Story: Motion Controllers for Autonomous Vehicles

Robotic, unmanned vehicles and the associated technology, although advanced, remain limited by their need for a controlling, human source. The US Department of Defense sponsors the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Grand Challenge – one that encourages the development of autonomous ground-based vehicles. The purpose of this challenge is to ultimately find vehicles that can be used in place of manned vehicles for dangerous missions. The team whose vehicle can travel the fastest in less than 10 hours across 175 miles of treacherous roads and trails will win a $2 million prize.

Team Mojavaton

Jim Crittenden, founder of Team Mojavaton, designed and converted a Nissan Xterra to meet this challenge. The team consists of individuals experienced in custom machine building, design, vision systems, control systems, electronics, programming, and project management. Understanding the nature of the tough terrain, Jim knew he needed a reliable and rugged vehicle.

Galil Motion Controller

Steering and throttle functions are critical when designing and operating an autonomous vehicle. This is why the team turned to Galil’s DMC-1414 single axis controller and drive combination. This controller connects to an Ethernet network and is designed to respond accordingly to the approximately 2,500 GPS way-points loaded into the program of the vehicles computer system. The GPS waypoints dictate the route for the vehicle to follow.

Vision Systems

In addition to being able to follow a course, the vehicle must also be able to see the terrain ahead and identify potential obstacles. To do so, the vehicle utilizes two machine vision camera systems and two laser range finders.

Why Galil

Team Mojavaton chose to work with Galil based on their well-established record for controllers that deliver flawless precision, accuracy, and unending repeatability. The controller was cost-effective, easy to program, and offered position tracking mode, a crucial component as it has to make nearly 10 decisions per second regarding course and steering.

Electromate supplies Galil controllers like those utilized in autonomous vehicle applications. For more information, please contact us.

Electromate Powered Solutions
 service a wide range of manufacturing sectors that utilize automation technology to significantly enhance productivity and flexibility of various automation processes.


Tags:  Motion Controller, Galil Motion Control, Electromate, DARPA

Tolomatic expands extreme-force electric actuator family to include the RSX128 actuator rated up to 50,000 pounds of force (222.4 kN)

Tolomatic’s expanded extreme-force electric actuator family now includes the RSX128 actuator, rated up to 50,000 pounds of force (222.4 kN). Designed for replacing hydraulic cylinders and designed for 100 percent duty cycle, the RSX actuator features Tolomatic’s precision-ground planetary roller screws for operating life in challenging environments. Applications include assembly, metal fabrication (pressing, punching, clamping), automotive manufacturing, timber processing, motion simulators and more.

The RSX128 actuator represents a 60-percent increase in the bi-directional maximum force provided by Tolomatic’s extreme-force RSX electric actuator family. Additional frame sizes include the RSX080 which provides 18,000 lbf/80kN and the RSX096P press-model which is optimized to provide extend force up to (40,000 lbf/178 kN).

For all models, IP65 is standard for protection against dust and water spray. IP67 is optional for improved resistance of water ingress. A modified food-grade version, designed for volumetric filling and other high-force food-and-beverage applications, is available as a custom design with food-grade white epoxy coating and stainless-steel components to meet the requirements of washdown applications.

The entire RSX actuator family’s construction includes tie-rods and Type III hard-coat anodized aluminum housings. A standard internal anti-rotate feature prevents the rod from rotating without external guidance.

Information on the RSX128 actuator from Tolomatic can be viewed at:


For further information, please contact:

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


Tags:  RSX128, Linear Actuator, Electric Actuator, Tolomatic, Electromate

maxon Heavy Duty Motors are ideal for Downhole Drilling

maxon motor is a worldwide manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, modular systems, and control electronics. They are a leading provider of high-precision drives and systems used in a variety of industries, such as aerospace, oil & gas, and energy.

Measurement While Drilling

Measurement While Drilling (MWD) uses measurement modules behind a drill head. The control system measures angle, vibration, and drilling speed. The “pulser” unit sends the collected information back to the surface, across thousands of meters, through pulses in the drill mud (MPT – Mud Pulse Telemetry). These pulses are generated by an actuator system driven by maxon’s Heavy Duty assembly. Having reliable information is crucial for drilling technicians for them to respond quickly and make corrections where needed.

maxon Heavy Duty Drives

maxon Heavy Duty Drives are perfect for these extreme applications for a number of reasons. They can withstand operating temperatures ranging from -55 to 200°C and can withstand high shock loads and vibrations (1000 g / 25 grms). Their robust design with laser welded connections adds to their high reliability. They also have a high performance/volume ratio with a compact, low mass design. Other features include:

  • Low Energy Consumption
    • High Efficiency
  • Excellent Control Properties
    • Linear Motor Characteristics
  • Operation in Air or in Hydraulic Oil
  • Low Magnetic Interference

maxon motor Heavy Duty Drives go through a number of rigorous tests prior to being used in the field. These tests include:

  • Internal Full Load: the motors are tested in hydraulic oil, at extreme temperatures, under full load during continuous operation
  • Vibration and Thermal Stress Test: drives are put into a climate-controlled cabinet and subjected to simulated high vibration
  • Shock Test: drives undergo simulated shock loads of more than 1000 g and must remain fully functional following the test.

For more information regarding maxon heavy duty drives, read the full article here or contact Electromate today!

Electromate Powered Solutions
 service a wide range of manufacturing sectors that utilize automation technology to significantly enhance productivity and flexibility of various automation processes.


Tags:  Maxon, downhole motor, electric motor, BLDC motor, MWD, pulser, Electromate

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators succeed in Biomedical Applications

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators manufactures precision electric actuators using Moving Coil Technology. These actuators allow force, position, and speed to be completely programmable. With precise force control, soft-land capability, repeatable positioning, and data feedback, they have a variety of applications within industries such as Medical, Bioscience, and Pharmaceutical. To learn more about SMAC actuators for biomedicine, contact Electromate today.


Automated Screwing Caps on a Syringe

The automated screwing of caps onto a syringe requires precise torque control, lending SMAC’s actuators with fully programmable force and data feedback capability a perfect choice.

Simplifies Suture Assembly Process

The process of suture assembly can be complex and tedious when done with a pneumatic system. Additionally, the load cell can be oversensitive to noise introduced by the environment, required periodic calibration. This leads to an increase in downtime and a decrease in productivity. With SMAC, there is no need for downtime due to calibration, no load cell, less maintenance, fewer components, and more cost effectiveness.

Diabetes Dosing Assembly and Testing

With SMAC, diabetes dosing assembly and testing can be done in one complete package with a linear and rotary axis; there is no need for a load cell, LVDT, and ball screw. These tests monitor the torque and the amount of dosing desired, then pressing the end button inward and monitoring the effort and position. This is all done to ensure the internal components are functioning properly.

Medical Catheter Assembly

When assembling a medical catheter, the LAR95 series linear rotary actuator assembles the needle to housing within 3 seconds from the time of pick up to when it is fully tightened. With precise force control and fast, accurate handling, you can be sure no parts will be damaged.


Measure Cell Height

In both dry and saturated conditions, SMAC actuators measure cell height with smoothness of motion and accuracy. Their compact size and pricing also make SMAC the perfect choice.


Soft Contact Lens Molding

With SMAC, pharmaceutical companies have been able to automate their molding stations. When the monomer is still fluid, a smooth velocity profile and good force control is essential. This prevents any bubbles or imperfections from forming within the lens.

For more information regarding SMAC actuators, contact Electromate today and read the full brochure here.

Electromate Powered Solutions
 service a wide range of manufacturing sectors that utilize automation technology to significantly enhance productivity and flexibility of various automation processes.

Tags:  actuators, moving coil actuators, biomedical, SMAC, Electromate

Application Story: Getting a second grip on life

Losing a hand or a limb, no matter the cause, can turn everyday tasks into trials. The Michelangelo Hand prosthesis returns quality of life to those who have lost a hand. maxon DC brushless motors play a crucial role in the functioning of this prosthesis.

The Michelangelo Hand was developed by Ottobock in Vienna with the goal of replicating a human hand as much as possible and returning quality of life to amputees. Through years of experiments, the Michelangelo was developed. It can perform seven gripping movements, all triggered by contraction of the user’s muscles in the stump. The development was not easy, as all electronic and mechanical components had to be miniaturized and the prosthesis had to be lightweight. At completion, the Michelangelo weighs 520g and is comfortable for the user to wear.

The Role of maxon servo motors

The gripping functions of the hand are driven by a brushless maxon motor (EC10) and an adapted EC45. The first motor oversees driving the thumb and has ironless winding with a worm shaft, customized by maxon motor. The second controls the main drive for the index and middle fingers, with the ring and little fingers moving passively.

The drive system ultimately had to have high power density, run smoothly, and be resistant to high axial shift loads. maxon’s brushless DC motors meet these requirements.

Human Interface

In order to interface the prosthesis with the human body, electrodes are used to measure electrical pulses in the muscles at the stump. These signals are then sent to a processor. The Axon-Bus data transfer system is incredibly fast and reliable, making handling the prosthesis easier and intuitive. The harder a user tenses their muscles, the faster and stronger the hand grips. Simultaneously, the thumb measures the closing force, allowing for accurate control of gripping force when an object is at risk of falling.

To learn more about the Michelangelo Hand and its maxon drives, read the full article here or contact Electromate now.

Electromate Powered Solutions
 service a wide range of manufacturing sectors that utilize automation technology to significantly enhance productivity and flexibility of various automation processes.


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