Archive for February, 2012

Whitepaper: Inexpensive Methods to Measure the Performance Characteristics of a Linear Motion Device

Once you’ve determined the requirements of your linear motion application, how can you qualify a linear motion product to ensure it meets your application’s needs? Manufacturer’s specs are often vague and/or incomplete.  The only sure way is to test the product yourself. However, simply testing a product in the final application is usually not possible at such an early stage in the design process.  This article will describe a series of tests that can be performed by the average user with little experience and without sophisticated measuring instruments to quickly determine the most important performance characteristics of linear motion systems.Zaber's A-LSQ-E Positioning System

Rob Steves, B.A.Sc., M.Eng. is an electro-mechanical design engineer and president of Zaber Technologies Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of stepper motor based precision linear actuators, linear slides, and other motion control products used for optics, industrial automation, biomedical, and many other applications.

Click on the link below to download this Whitepaper.

Inexpensive Methods to Measure the Performance Characteristics of a Linear Motion Device

For more information on the Linear Actuator and Linear Slide products from Zaber Technologies, click on the link below:

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

Save Energy with Green Automation

 ROBO Cylinder Saves Money at the Factory


Energy is not a fixed cost, but rather a variable cost and there are many ways to improve energy efficiency such as turning off or dimming the lights when not needed, setting computers to hibernate when not in use, changing to more energy efficient light bulbs and introducing energy efficient strategies in automation.

Using energy in an efficient manner will cut running costs and benefit the environment and as a result, can significantly boost the image of a business in the public eye. With this said, it is clear and essential that we see the convergence of environmental and business needs are indeed in sync.

We at IAI also see this, and are working hard to build energy efficient products so both businesses and our environment can benefit each and every day. Make Green Automation a part of your business today!


Lower Running Costs by 1/3 and up to 1/10th of Air Cylinders with IAI Electric Actuators!

greengraph With air cylinders, a compressor is operated with electricity to generate compressed air, and generated air is supplied though a line to the air cylinder where it is then converted to linear-motion force. This mechanism is subject to significant energy loss. With IAI Electric Actuators, revolutions of electric motors are mechanically converted to linear-motion force, which minimizes energy loss. The running cost (energy cost) of IAI Electric Actuators are 1/3 to 1/10th the cost of an air cylinder (based on IAI’s internal test).

robo cylinder factory automation

The Benefits of a Long Maintenance-Free Period

The AQ seal is a lubrication unit using a lubrication member made of resin-solidified lubricating oil. AQ seals supply lubricating oil as they are pressed against the surface of the guide and ball screw (steel-ball rolling surface). This, combined with the lubrication effect of grease, ensures a long maintenance-free period.


Long Maintenance-Free Period with the AQ seal

Minimize the number of cumbersome greasing operations required. (When used with grease, the actuator will remain maintenance free for 5,000 km of traveled distance or three years.

Effective in locations where greasing is difficult due to the structure of the system.

Environmentally friendly, since no extra grease is needed.

For more information on the Robo Cylinders from Intelligent Actuator Inc., click on the link below:

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

White Paper: Comparing Traditional and Integrated Rod-Style Actuators

This white paper from Tolomatic explores the advantages and disadvantages of rod-style pneumatic cylinders , electric actuators and integrated electric actuators in motion control applications.  It also compares the effectiveness of each technology in reducing purchasing, operating and installation costs, machine footprints, and number of components — all key issues in motion control and automation today.

Tolomatic's ICR and IMA Linear Actuators

Click on the link below to download the White Paper-

For more information on the Rod Style and Rodless Electric Linear Actuators from Tolomatic, click on the link below:

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


Black gold and extreme motors

Petroleum is the black gold of the earth – to get to this treasure, innovative and modern technology for recovery of petroleum and natural gas is required.  The materials used in deep drilling are subjected to extreme conditions:  Up to 200°C, vibrations and very high pressures. Motors by maxon motor are used for many tasks, such as operation of the valve controllers, as well as for triggering mechanisms and measuring devices.

Today, almost all cars require fuel and many heaters would not work without oil. In short: More than 85 percent of the global energy consumption is based on fossil fuel sources, i.e. oil, gas and coal.  But to get to these valuable resources of our planet, it is necessary to drill deeper and deeper – no easy enterprise.  Deep drilling technology (called “downhole drilling” in the field of oil and gas exploration) makes it possible to recover oil and gas from depths of more than 2,500 m.  By combining downhole drilling with directional drilling (dynamic position alignment of a deep drill), previously unreachable oil reserves can be opened up, with drilling depths of currently approx. 5,000 m & drill lengths of up to 11,000 m.

Oil is a limited resource, but is an integral part of our modern way of living.  Therefore, in many regions of the world, the black gold is recovered from deep inside the earth. In the USA, Russia, Canada, England, China and the Middle East, many oil and gas recovery plants, both onshore and offshore, produce several thousand barrels of petroleum or natural gas every day.  To date (February 2008), the longest drill hole for oil recovery is 11,680 m long (Source: Wikipedia).  It was drilled in 2007 in the course of opening up the Chayvo oil field offshore from the north-eastern coast of Sakhalin (Russia).  This oil field is approx. 2,500 m deep, but it is several kilometers from the coast.  These oil reserves are opened up mainly by means of directional drilling from onshore.

Power from mud flow

All drilling operations have one thing in common:  The requirements on the materials used are very high.  The drill heads, in particular, have to withstand extreme conditions.  The temperatures and pressures at these depths, combined with the strong vibrations that occur during the drilling procedure, present unique challenges to the use of electronic drives.  The conditions several kilometers below the surface of the earth are everything but technology-friendly. Robust materials that remain 100 percent reliable even at high temperatures of up to 200°C are required. 

maxon motor’s EC22 HD (Heavy Duty) motor fulfills all requirements for these extreme ambient conditions.  The electronically commutated motor, which has been designed for the exceptionally high requirements in the field of deep drilling, can withstand harsh conditions in which “normal” motors would fail.  The constant development of electronics and motors today makes it possible to better monitor and control many functions throughout the entire drilling procedure. For example, the turbine in the drilling tool is driven by mud flow.  Through the use of a magnetic coupling, motors become generators and supply the electrical energy for various drive functions.  Thanks to this self-contained system, no expensive, polluting lithium batteries are needed.  With the aid of the EC22 HD, the position of the drill head can be measured and aligned dynamically during the drilling process (MWD = measurement while drilling).  This measurement is performed by means of accelerometers, inclination sensors and other instruments that allow precise recording of the position of the drill head. But how do the measured values get to the surface?  To this end, the MWD technology converts the data to pulses that are sent to the drill platform.  This system is driven by electromagnets or HD motors.  Diverse deep drilling tools also use hydraulic valves or flaps that are operated by electromechanical drives.

A matching gearhead for the EC 22 HD is also available: the GP 22 HD (figure 3).   Many applications, especially in the field of deep drilling, require a robust gearhead that accurately fulfill the requirements.  Most underground applications require very high torques, sometimes for only very short durations (valve control, moving flaps).  A special property of the gearhead is the integrated drill holes that are necessary for an unhindered oil flow, because the gearhead, just like the motor, can be operated in oil.  The different versions of the EC 22 are optimized either for operation in air or for operation in oil (flooded in hydraulic oil).

The motors are constructed without adhesives and do not have a mechanical commutation system.  This enables the motor to withstand extreme temperatures and also ensures constant performance under ultra-high vacuum conditions.  The power rating depends on the surrounding medium and amounts to 80 W in air and, due to the much larger heat dissipation, 240 W in oil.  The motors have been designed for ambient temperatures of more than 200°C and atmospheric pressures of up to 1,700 bar.  If the motors are cooled with oil, they can even withstand temperatures up to +240°C. Other requirements on the motors, which have a diameter of 22 millimeters, are resistance against vibrations of up to 25 Grms, as well as against impacts of up to 100 times the gravitational acceleration of the earth (100 G).  In comparison, Formula 1 race cars reach 2 G and fighter jets up to 13 G.  A human can withstand approx. 10 G, in other words ten times his body weight. However, these are peak values and only astronauts and pilots can cope with such high physical stress for a certain period.

High efficiency at great depths

In addition to its very high resistance to the extreme ambient conditions at great depths, the maxon HD motors also have a very high efficiency.  An efficiency of up to 88 percent is reached in air and more than 70 percent in oil. With these properties, the EC22 can be of benefit in countless other areas of application – for example under the extreme conditions in outer space.  With their detent-free running properties, the motors have excellent control characteristics and are therefore optimally suited for high-precision positioning tasks in outer space, even at low rotational speeds. In the future, the motors will also be used on Venus – NASA is planning a space flight with this destination.  However, there the motor will have to withstand temperatures of up to 480°C. The further development of precision motors for extreme conditions will therefore continue.


For more information on the EC22HD Downhole Drilling Motors from Maxon, click on the link below:

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

Introducing Our Latest Video: ST Stepper Drives with Ethernet

Learn more about our latest product release through this informative video which offers a detailed introduction to the drive and walks you through wiring and setting one up. We’ve made it easy to work with our latest Ethernet technology and we’re very excited to add one more informative video to our growing collection.

Find the current videos offered at any time by visiting the Videos page under the Support tab on our website. Or jump on out to it right here.

For more information on the ST Series Stepper Drives with Ethernet from Applied Motion products, click on the link below:

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


IMA actuators with food-grade white epoxy coating designed for high-force food and beverage applications

Tolomatic Food-Grade IMA Actuator

Available in four sizes, the IMA line of integrated motor rod actuators features stroke lengths from three to 18 inches (76.2 to 457.2 mm) and peak thrusts from 200 to 6,875 pounds force (890 to 30,594 N) at speeds up to 24 inches per second (610 mm/sec).

For more information on the Tolomatic IMA Food-Grade Actuator, click on the link below:

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

New Products Roundup from MicroE Systems

The last 12 months saw an exceptional number of innovative new position encoders from MicroE Systems, enabling OEM’s to achieve new levels of performance, compact size, more efficient manufacturing and even portability. New optical encoders are giving OEM’s these capabilities:

• Nanometer-level resolution in the smallest possible sensor
• Excellent short-range accuracy
• Nanometer-level resolution in high vacuum
• Tape scale that installs in one step, including index and limits
• Very cost-effective 0.5µm resolution optical encoders
• High speed with sub-micron / nanometer-level resolution
• Traceability per ISO 13485 for medical applications

New encoders introduced by MicroE Systems in 2011 and 2012 have all of these capabilities.

  Mercury II™ 6000
• Resolution up to 1.2nm
• Sensor only 8.2mm tall – the smallest encoder in the world with nanometer-level resolution
• Tape or high-accuracy glass scales
• Linear or rotary
  Mercury II™ Series
• Resolutions from 5µm to 1.2nm
• Cyclical error (short-range accuracy)
low as ± 20nm
• Tape or high-accuracy glass scales
• Linear or rotary

  Mercury II™ 6000V
• Resolution up to 1.2nm
• Sensor only 8.2mm tall
• Vacuum up to 10-8 torr
• Linear or rotary
  PurePrecision™ Marker Tape
• Laser-written index and limits are built-in for one-step tape scale installation
• Option for periodic index marks
• Up to 30m long
  Mercury™ 1500P
• Resolutions from 5µm to 0.5µm
• PC board mount, cost-effective
• Linear or rotary
  Mercury II™ 5800Si and Mercury II™ 6800Si
• Up to 10m/s at 1.2 nanometers of resolution
• High speed serial word interface
• Linear or rotary
  MicroE Systems’ traceable manufacturing per ISO 13485
• For medical applications requiring traceability
• Available serialized and traceable encoder systems

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


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