Archive for the 'Technical Support Information' Category

Application Story: Laser Inscribing Diamonds Using Motion Controllers

PhotoScribe Technologies, TeoSys Engineering, and Galil Motion Control have combined to create a user-friendly and safe laser system capable of engraving a diamond. This system, the Excimer laser, combines custom software with a Galil DMC-1822 motion controller to allow for the precise inscription of a diamond.

Applications of Diamond Engraving

Diamond inscription can be used in a variety of ways, such as to commemorate a wedding or special life event. However, it can also be used to inscribe logos, brand names, or photographs. The most important application of engraving may be the ability to engrave a serial number. Serial numbers correlate to certifications that can be used for security, identification, and traceability of the diamond.

Galil DMC-1822 Motion Controller Features

Galil’s flexibility has allowed the motion control code to interface with graphics and live video. The user can now type the desired name or serial number into a text box. From there, the PhotoScribe/TeoSys software will take the text and convert it to a DXF CAD file to allow the image to be placed on top of the live video showing the diamond. The CAD file is then converted to Galil’s proprietary motion control language and sent to the motion controller to be executed.

The laser marks achieved by this machine are inscribed on the girdle of the diamond and the machine can engrave on all shapes and sizes of diamonds, mounted or loose. The marks are anywhere from 7 to 15 microns in diameter and may be engraved 10 to 30 microns/second.

Galil’s DMC-1822 PCI bus motion controller supplies coordinated motion in two axes through the use of stepper motors. The X-axis moves the diamond forward and back, while the Y-axis moves it up and down. Throughout this process, the laser stays fixed as it makes the series of points. The result is an engraving that is less than the width of a human hair.

Advantages of the Excimer Laser

Through the combination of accurate software and precise motion controllers, we have been able to create a laser engraving system with a number of benefits. This machine provides precise, coordinated motion that is accurate enough to be repeatable. With the DMC-1822 and the custom-designed stages, the accuracy is repeatable to 1.5 microns. Furthermore, the Galil motion controller has allowed for the reduction in price of the system by more than one third, while only a small reduction in throughput.

For more information, you can view the full article here or contact us today!

Application Story: Underwater Pipeline Inspection Vehicle

Inspecting flooded pipes of power plants requires skilled, high-precision handling.  Any robotic vehicle traversing underwater pipelines needs to be optimized accordingly.

underwater pipe inspection vehicleThe seawater manipulator in the picture above is able to maneuver through underwater pipes performing inspections.  RE Motors by maxon motor are responsible for the dynamic drive of the robot.

What are Manipulators?

Manipulators are devices that allow for physical interaction with their surroundings. As such, the robotic vehicles have tools, such as gripper systems or measuring devices.  The seawater manipulator’s main differentiator is its high-performance camera systems used to inspect the underwater pipes.  A company in Germany called Ibass develops, manufactures, and distributes manipulators for a number of in-pipe applications:

  • Inspection
  • Grinding
  • Welding
  • Retrieval
  • Suction

These manipulators are made up of a driving unit, work module, and a camera. Additionally, they are operated electrically and pneumatically, dragging long lines behind them.  These manipulators were made with operators of power plants and refineries, manufacturers and assembly fitters of pipeline systems in mind.

What are the Applications for Manipulators?

There are a number of different possible applications for manipulators, but the main focus is the inspection of power plant coolant pipes that cannot be emptied.  This type of manipulator can also be used to apply coatings to the interior of pipes, as sealed wheel units are required for this application.  The seawater manipulator that Ibass has developed can maneuver and inspect pipelines with inner diameters between 550 to 780 mm.  They are able to do this as a result of the axial stroke of the pneumatic cylinder.

The scissor drive works with twelve wheels, two for each scissor side and drive motor, which allows the vehicle to obtain a firm hold in coated pipes due to a variable contact force.  For the drive, there are six RE motors used in combination with planetary gearheads.  The DC motors have an efficiency of more than 90%, yielding low energy consumption coupled with very high torque; an important prerequisite for this application.  The motors are also equipped with ironless windings and neodymium magnets, allowing maximum performance coupled with compact size.  Ibass ultimately chose the maxon motors due to their robustness and long service life.

Having a motor with high robustness is crucial in the manipulator withstanding on-site conditions.  This manipulator, for example, can handle a pressure of up to 2 bar, this means that it can dive up to 20 m deep.  It provides a tractive force of approximately 250 kg (2.5 kN) and the robot can drive a distance of up to 200 m into the pipe.  The manipulators are equipped with lights at the front and rear of the vehicle.  Also on-board is a high-quality camera with a pan-tilt head and 10x zoom; the rear, on the other hand, has a single-head camera.  The seawater manipulator can be fitted with all Ibass work modules and can navigate up to five pipe bends.

maxon motors and gearheads are not only used to drive the seawater manipulator.  The work modules are also equipped with RE motors. Underwater pipe inspection vehicles are vital tools for today’s industries and can ensure more safety and reliability.

For more information you can view the PDF here.

Brush Servo Motor vs. Brushless Servo Motor: which is better for my application?

By Warren Osak, CEO of Electromate

A common misconception is that a brushless servo motor is always going to be a superior solution to a brush servo motor.  In many industrial automation applications, this assumption can be furthest from the truth.  A comparison of the benefits and drawbacks of brush and brushless servo motors is described in this White Paper. Read More

What are PCB Mount Servo Drives? Top 6 Benefits

Imagine being able to achieve the same amount of power output and performance from your servo powered device, at a fraction of the cost. Just as PC manufacturers have created smaller computer chips each year with faster speeds, so too has the printed circuit board (PCB) mounted servo drive been able to offer the same performance as panel mount servo drives at a fraction of the cost and size.

printed circuit board (PCB) mounted servo driveTraditionally, panel mount servo drives were housed in metal cases and installed into electrical panels which took up lots of space in the machine. Embedded servo drives greatly reduce the space required to operate by plugging directly into your PCB and eliminating the need for metal housing and connectors. PCB mounted servo drives can either be constructed using detachable connections or soldering.

More often than not, PCB mount servo drives are connected using plug-in style connectors, however soldering the connectors can be beneficial for extreme conditions to increase the reliability of the electrical connections. You’ll often find PCB mount servo drives used in 3D printing, CNC machining, robotics and other tightly integrated applications.

The space saving capabilities of PCB mount drives allows room for additional components in the machine to make it more functional and capable, or to make the machine smaller and lighter if desired. For this reason, PCB mounted servo drives have become huge in the automation and robotics industries.

PCB mount servo drives offer the same features as panel mount servo drives, including output current, servo performance, network IO capabilities, feature set and more. Here’s a list of the benefits that you can expect from PCB mount servo drives.

Benefits of PCB Mount Servo Drives

1.   More Cost-Effective

pcb mount servo drives benefitsWith reduced wiring and system complexity, PCB mount drives are less expensive yet offer the same performance as their panel mount equivalents. Commissioning and servicing costs are also reduced due to their ease of installation.

2.   Reduced Footprint

pcb servo drives small size big performanceOwed to their simple and space-saving design, PCB mount drives take up a fraction of the volume of panel mount servo drives. A smaller footprint gives designers increased flexibility when they laying out components as well as reduces the overall machine size and weight. PCB mount drives can be mounted closer to the motors in places where a panel mount drive would never fit, such as directly into a robot arm. The lightweight and compact design of PCB mount servos make them perfectly suitable for almost any application that requires tight integration.

3.   Same Performance as Bigger Drives

Even though they’re smaller and less expensive than panel mount drives, PCB mount drives don’t sacrifice on power output and performance. PCB mount drives can output 60A peak and 30A continuous while taking up less than 39 cm^2 of board space! Furthermore, with newer designs the power density can be doubled.

PCB mount drives also have the same current loop bandwidth, current output resolution and servo update rates as their bigger counterparts as well as the same tuning capabilities, feedback resolution capability and positional accuracy.

4.   Easier Integration

multi-axis system pcb servo drives

Many designers choose open designs that allow for quick plug-and-play mounting. For multi-axis systems, PCBs can be designed to accept multiple single-axis drives. PCBs can also be designed to accept mating connectors that are compatible with your motor manufacturer’s standard cables, thus reducing cabling costs and increasing reliability. With a well thought out PCB design it can make it easier to install your PCB mounted drives and connect the controller, feedback, and motors.

5.   Greater Flexibility

pcb servo drive vs typical servo drivesOur large selection of PCB mount servo drives gives customers the flexibility to find the model that matches their needs and avoid paying for features that they won’t use. Customers who design their own PCBs can place the drives and mating connectors in the locations that work best for them.

6.   Greater Power Density

Power Density is defined as how much power the servo drive can output divided by how much volume the servo drive occupies (Power Density = P/V). PCB mount servo drives have some of the highest power densities available and they are getting even smaller and more powerful. The limiting factors for power density are heat dissipation and connectorization. Improved power devices can operate more efficiently which allows them to produce less heat while the plug-in style connectors greatly reduce the amount of area that traditional connectors would take up.

Why Select PCB Mount Servo Drives For Your Next Project?

digital pcb servo drives costs and benefitsPCB mounted servos offer much of the same characteristics as panel mount servos at nearly half of the price and size. Don’t think that this limits their ability to work as well as panel mount products. Whether you’re working with a brushed or brushless motor, we have standard PCB servo models that will operate with your motor.

Choose from analog PCB mount servo drives with simple configuration or digital PCB mounts with the same performance as a panel mount servo. With a cost effective price and comparable performance, making the switch to a digital PCB mount servo drive seems well worth the investment. Contact us today if you’re looking for a new PCB Mount servo drive and need help determining the best form factor for your servo.

For more information, please contact:

Electromate Inc.
Toll Free Phone (877)SERVO98
Toll Free Fax (877)SERVO99
sales@electromate.com
www.electromate.com/servo-drives.html

 

Tags:  PCB, Servo Amplifier, Servo Drive, BLDC Drive, Electromate, Advanced Motion Controls

Knowledge is power. Learn all about electric linear actuators with Tolomatic’s e-book

Download the
Tolomatic e-book:
A Resource on Electric Linear Actuators: What a machine designer needs to know

Discover…

Why electric actuators?
How to select the right actuator
Electric actuator applications that improve efficiency
How to define a true total cost of ownership in an installation

…and much more!

 

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

Application Note: Advantages of coupling of linear motors

Does your machine need a power upgrade or do you want to expand an existing design?  Coupling two linear motors is an easy and effective way of increasing the available force.  Herewith you are not just limited to using identical motors.  Various combinations can be made, as long as the motor force constant is the same.  This Application Note discusses some details of a ‘coupled application’.

Advantages of technical solutions like a coupling of motors are usually highly case-specific.  Are you thinking about a solution with either one large motor or a couple of smaller ones?  We have listed some common benefits.

Cost effective

Besides the clear advantages of ‘more force’ in a coupled motors application, there are important cost and logistics advantages. Keeping inventory of a similar coil assembly in stock for multiple machines and applications reduces cost and filed support issues. Existing designs can have multiple force capabilities standardizing on existing parts. As linear motor cost is a function of magnet size using dual coils of a smaller motor significantly adds value. This advantage becomes more apparent for longer magnet tracks.

Possible Couplings

Though the motors always have to be connected to a drive in parallel, mechanically it is possible to align them in series or parallel. Motors can move on different magnet tracks to provide even force to a larger gantry or move on the same magnet track to improve the force in one line. In both cases the total force of all motors equals the sum of individual forces.

Coupling possibilities

Coupling possibilities

CLICK HERE to view more information on the Linear Motors from Tecnotion.

For more information, please contact:

EDITORIAL CONTACT:

Warren Osak
sales@electromate.com
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699
www.electromate.com

 

Tags:  Linear Motor, Iron Core Linear Motor, Ironless Linear Motor, Tecnotion, Electromate

New Electric Linear Actuator ebook: A valuable resource

Tolomatic-Electric-Linear-Motion-eBook

Tolomatic-Electric-Linear-Motion-eBook

New Tolomatic e-book:
A Resource on Electric Linear Actuators:  
What a machine designer needs to know

Industrial automation counts on the reliable motion control that linear actuators provide.  Lately, electric linear actuators have gotten more popular because they offer better control of variables like speed, acceleration, position and force than pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders.  Electric actuators also offer superior accuracy and repeatability, as well as programmable control that can handle even complex motion profiles.  In many applications they can do all this at a lower cost of ownership than pneumatic or hydraulic actuators.

Now there’s a resource from Tolomatic that lays out all the issues a designer needs to understand in order to select the best electric linear actuator for an application.  You can download a copy of our ebook resource HERE.

Download Tolomatic’s New e-book HERE and learn:

  • Why electric actuators?
  • Critical concepts of accuracy and repeatabiltiy
  • How to select the right actuator
  • Motor selection and system installation considerations
  • Electric actuator applications that improve efficiency
  • How to define a true total cost of ownership in an installation

 

Tags:  Tolomatic, electric linear actuator, actuator, Electromate, e-book, Rodless Cylinder, Rod Style Cylinder


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