Archive Page 2

New Gearhead Selector Tool from Harmonic Drive®

Gearhead Selector Tool Snippet

New website features Harmonic Planetary® and Harmonic Drive® Quick Connect® gearheads (HPN, HPG, HPGP, CSF-GH, CSG-GH, HPF and HPG-U1).  Developed with the design engineer in mind, the new website features a robust product selector tool, PDF and DXF CAD drawings, as well as download-able 3-D solid models.  The Product Selector Tool enables the design engineer to quickly filter through Harmonic Drive product specifications to find the right gearhead to connect to their servomotor.


For more information, please contact:

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

Tags:  Harmonic Drive, Harmonic Drive Gears, Actuators, Gearhead, Harmonic Drive Actuator, Harmonic Drive Gearing, Electromate, Strain Wave Gearing, Flex Spine, Circular Spine, Wave Generator, Planetary Gearbox, Harmonic Gearbox, Harmonic Gearhead

Servo Drive Broadens Range of Power and Industrial Fieldbus Options

Kollmorgen’s new 32kW drive is one of the most power dense on the market, consuming only 576cm2 of panel space; the smallest drive in the AKD family, at 1kW, consumes only 99cm2. The AKD platform is one of the highest performing on the market, with a 0.67µs current loop: Approximately 100x the industry-standard speeds of 62.5µs.

Kollmorgen AKD Servo Drive Family

Kollmorgen AKD Servo Drive Family

In addition to high-servo-performance motors, drives, gearing and actuation, Kollmorgen is known for broad connectivity and ease-of-use: The AKD platform supports Ethernet /IP, Profinet, EtherCAT, Modbus TCP, CANopen, SERCOS III, SynQnet, and TCP/IP. Recent enhancements to HTTP and UDP support in the intelligent “PDMM” version of AKD—Kollmorgen’s drive-resident multi-axis motion controller—satisfies growing demand to interface with PC networks for back office analytics and PC-based SCADA control.

“Whether you specify a complete Kollmorgen system or use one of our elements in an existing architecture, more options means less compromise.” said Scott Evans, Director of Product Planning at Kollmorgen. “Partnering with Kollmorgen enables machine builders to maximize performance while reducing implementation time.”

CLICK HERE to view Kollmorgen’s family of AKD AC Servo Drive + Motor Systems.

For more information, please contact:


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


Tags:  Ethernet /IP, Profinet, EtherCAT, Modbus TCP, CANopen, SERCOS III, SynQnet, TCP/IP, Kollmorgen, Electromate

Actuator Life- How to Estimate for Ball and Roller Screw Actuators

Estimating how long a piece of equipment will last in an application is critical information in the specification process. This step-by-step guide examines how to estimate the life of an electric actuator, utilizing ball or roller screw technology, in applications that require constant or varying (changing) loads. In addition, you will learn how to calculate life in units of time (days, years, etc.) and how to compare the expected life of two different solutions.

CLICK HERE to download this White Paper from Tolomatic.

For more information, please contact:

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


What kind of motor is best for your application?  This 6min video helps you to decide whether a brushed motor or a brushless motor would work better for your needs.  Start your e-learning now with Dr. Urs Kafader from the maxon academy.


CLICK HERE to watch this 6minute video.

For more information, please contact:

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

Tags:  Brush motor, brush servo motor, brushless motor, BLDC motor, motor selection, Maxon, Electromate

Live Webinar April 7 -Control Schemes for Dealing with Nonlinear Mechanics

There are many challenges when designing a motion control system. One challenge that can overwhelm many engineers is nonlinear mechanics. These mechanics can make tuning a motion control system difficult. At Galil, we pride ourselves in being able to provide intuitive solutions for these nonlinear or unorthodox mechanics. This webinar will discuss six examples of applications with nonlinear mechanics, their inherent challenges, and the tools/solutions to address these challenges.

Below are the six examples of applications with nonlinear mechanics:

  1. High-friction axis
  2. Mechanics with backlash
  3. Servo axis involving a spring
  4. Axis exposed to large and unpredictable outside forces
  5. Mechanics where inertia varies with position
  6. Hydraulic axis
 Robin    Robin Riley
   Sr. Applications Engineer
   Galil Motion Control

Robin Riley joined Galil in 1999 as an Applications Engineer. Before coming to Galil, he worked at companies such as Raychem, Tyco, and EPE Industries where his technical contribution focused on mechanical design. Robin began his career at Galil assisting customers with the design of new hardware, software, and firmware for their motion control applications as well as troubleshooting existing OEM applications. In the past 16 years Robin has become the senior application engineer focusing mostly on international OEMs. Robin holds a BSME from the University of Maine at Orono.

CLICK HERE to register for this Live Webinar.



Tags:  Nonlinear Mechanics, Control, Motion Control, Automation, Machine Control, Motor Control, Galil, Electromate

Clutches- What you need to know

A clutch is a mechanical device that engages and disengages a power transmission, especially from a driving shaft to a driven shaft.  Clutches are used whenever the transmission of power or motion must be controlled over a time element (ie. electric screwdrivers limit how much torque is transmitted through use of a clutch).

In the simplest application, Power-on Clutches connect and disconnect two rotating shafts (drive shafts or line shafts).  In these applications, one shaft is typically attached to an engine or other power unit (the driving member) while the other shaft (the driven member) provides output power for work.  Although the typical motions involved are rotary, linear clutches are also possible.

Generating the Clutch Torque

Power-on Clutches and Brakes are designed to start and stop inertial loads when the voltage is turned on. When DC voltage is applied to the coil, the magnetic force caused by the magnetic flux pulls the armature across the air gap against the force of the zero-backlash spring attached to the armature.  The mating of the armature and rotor face produce torque.

When DC voltage is interrupted, the magnetic field collapses, and the zero-backlash spring retracts the armature from the rotor face.  Thus there is no residual torque produced.

Common Types of Clutches

Electromagnetic clutches are typically engaged by an electromagnet that is an integral part of the clutch assembly.

Magnetic particle clutches contain magnetically influenced particles in a chamber between the driving and driven members and application of direct current makes the particles clump together and adhere to the operating surfaces.  Engagement and slippage are notably smooth.

Wrap-spring clutches have a helical spring typically wound with square-cross-section wire.  The spring is fastened at one end to the driven member; its other end is unattached.  The spring fits closely around a cylindrical driving member.  If the driving member rotates in the direction that would unwind the spring, the spring expands minutely and slips although with some drag.  Because of this, spring clutches must typically be lubricated with light oil.  Rotating the driving member the opposite way makes the spring wrap itself tightly around the driving surface and the clutch locks up very quickly.

Clutches/Power-On Brake packages are used to couple two parallel or in-line shafts. The clutch armature hub can accommodate a pulley, gear, sprocket, etc., to transmit torque to the second shaft.  The brake is used to stop or hold the load.

How to Size & Select Electromagnetic Clutches

CLICK HERE to download a White Paper on Selecting a Power-On Clutch.

Typical Applications of Clutches

  • Copiers/Printers
  • Packaging Machinery
  • Microfilm Readers
  • Medical Equipment
  • Conveyors
  • Postal Sorters/Readers
  • Document Feeders
  • Textile Equipment
  • Mobile Power Equipment

CLICK HERE to view Electromate’s Clutch product family.

For more information, please contact:

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


Tags:  Clutch, Electromagnetic clutch, wrap-spring clutch, clutch/power-on brake, Electromate, Inertia Dynamics, magnetic particle clutch, Power-on Clutch

A Primer on Stepper Motors

A Step Motor is a motor with windings in the stator and permanent magnets attached to the rotor. It provides fixed mechanical increments of motion; these increments are referred to as steps and are generally specified in degrees. A step motor, in conjunction with a stepper drive, rotates in predefined angles proportional to the digital input command (stepper) pulses. A typical full-step system achieves 200 steps per revolution, this equates to 1.8º per full step.


Steps per revolution equals 360° divided by step angle (0.9°, 1.8°, 3.75°, 7.5° and 15°) when the motors are driven in full-step excitation mode.

0.9° = 400 steps/rev
1.8° = 200 steps/rev
7.5° = 48 steps/rev
15° = 24 steps/rev


There are several advantages of using stepper motors.  Step motors provide acceleration torque equal to running torque and require no maintenance.  Speed can easily be determined and controlled by remembering speed equals steps per revolution divided by pulse rate.  Stepper motors can also make fine incremental moves and do not require a feedback encoder (open loop). Stepper motors also have fast acceleration capability and have non-cumulative positioning error. Along with excellent low speed/high torque characteristics without gear reduction, stepper motors can also be used to hold loads in a stationary position without creating overheating.

Disadvantages of step motors include: loss of synchronization resulting position error, resonance affecting motor smoothness, limited operation at high speeds, running hot, and can stall with excessive loads.


Variable Reluctance:  Has teeth on the rotor and stator but no rotor permanent magnet.

Permanent Magnet:  Has a permanent magnet for a rotor but no soft iron rotor teeth.  Permanent magnet step motors can be subdivided into ‘tin-can or can-stack’ and ‘hybrid’, tin-can (can-stack) being an inexpensive version, and hybrid versions constructed with higher quality bearings, smaller step angle and higher power density.

Hybrid Synchronous:  Combines the magnet from the permanent magnet motor and the rotor and stator teeth from the variable reluctance motor.


Step motors can be linear or rotary.  Electromate® offers a full line of low-cost short-delivery hybrid rotary step motors from sizes NEMA 8 to NEMA 42, including IP65 rated step motors and stepper gearmotors.  Electromate®‘s step motors are available in 4, 6 & 8 lead configurations for bipolar or unipolar operation, and can be wired in series or parallel.  All our step motors have optional rear shaft extensions, encoders and gearboxes.

Linear Step Motors are also known as Step Motor Linear Actuators, and have a threaded rod/acme screw in place of a smooth shaft.  Linear step motors provide a simple motion system at a fraction of the cost of conventional rotary stepper motors and traditional linear motion systems.  Linear step motors offers a wide range of customizable options, including various screw pitches, screw lengths, bipolar or unipolar windings, and several operating voltages.

CLICK HERE to view Electromate’s full family of Stepper Motors.

For more information, please contact:

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


Tags:  Step Motor, Stepper Motor, Rotary Step Motor, Linear Step Motor, Step Motor Linear Actuator, Variable Reluctance Motor, Hybrid Synchronous Motor,  Permanent Magnet Motor, Electromate


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