mechatronic-design

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- Leonardo da Vinci

As the coil turns 

The inductive rotary encoder sits between resolvers and optical rotary encoders. It is an absolute position device. By virtue of integrated electronics, it can generate an electronic ID label and handle diagnostic functions as well. Inductive rotary encoders are also good for applications where accuracy requirements are relatively low, generally in the range of 10 arc minutes or higher...

Pneumatics in high-speed applications 

When motion applications require high speed and linear movement, you may want to consider using pneumatic actuators. Pneumatic actuators use air pressure and flow to create high force and velocity. They are used in a variety of industries, such as packaging, food processing, and medical design....

Appliance motors turn green 

Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners, and other appliances sell more on their "green" credentials, like a high-energy-efficiency rating, than other factors. ...

Adding intelligence to material handling systems 

A new type of air balancer combines proven mechanicalbalancing technology with the "intelligence" of precise, reliable electronic controls for the lifting and placement of components and equipment...

Precision and accuracy 

Precision and accuracy are the exactness with which something is done in the context of a specified requirement. The requirements are different for every industry. Semiconductors have moved from submicron to nanotechnology and lead the way in positional accuracy and cost....

Proximity sensing 

How close is it? That's the golden question proximity sensors were born to answer. Today, however, another question is when is a proximity sensor a better choice than a machine vision system a line that continues to blur as sensors get smarter. In this forum, Motion System Design editors speak with industry experts about this as well as other proximity sensing trends....

Reducing the effects of shock loads 

The most uncomfortable periods during a normal car ride occur during sudden accelerations, when passengers are thrown into the seat or belt. The same is true on machinery, where interrupted motion is generated by necessarily rapid sequences on automated, high-throughput packaging, printing, food processing, and assembly lines. This indexing motion isn't complicated and does not usually require sophisticated motion control; not too long ago it was generated exclusively by simple mechanical cams. ...

Robots invade Georgia Dome 

More than 300 robots entered the ring April 12 to 14 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to compete in the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship. Robots in the Varsity Challenge were built and driven by high school students from every state in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. ...

Accounting for lost motion 

Mechanical control cables provide a simple, lightweight, economical, and reliable way to activate throttles, latches, gas springs, electromechanical devices, and many other mechanisms...

Securing a Starting Lineup 

Cable and hose carriers prevent the lifelines of automated machinery from tangling and fatiguing prematurely by limiting flexion to a specified radius, and imparting a gentle rolling to feed lines in and out as machinery moves. But there's a lot more to applying cable and hose carriers than just stringing cables through and picking a carrier out of a catalog is not likely to provide the best possible solution....

Sensors in high-speed applications 

Closed-loop motion systems can only run as fast as their sensors let them. And there are many factors that go into sensor speed. We asked the experts to explain what makes sensors fast, and slow, and how sensors can help or hurt motion system response. Here are the answers that will speed you on your way to a faster, more productive machine....

Service & support  

Define service and support. What's considered leading edge today?...

Simulation  

At its fullest potential, simulation-based design promises the capability to make better products in a faster and cheaper way, with all the mistakes and tweaking done in a virtual environment. In this forum, Motion System Design editors ask industry experts for advice on how to make the most of current modeling and simulation tools, and what we might expect to see in the future. Following are the responses we think you'll find most valuable....

Smooth operators 

Friction is present in all motion systems even in bearings and linear motors that have layers or air to separate moving parts. However, friction becomes a cause for consideration in systems with contacting solid surfaces. The difference between the historically idealized perpetual motion machine and real-world machines is friction. Says Frederick E. Bryson, a consultant in Bryson City, N.C., "Until nature repeals the Second Law of Thermodynamics, any system that moves generates friction, with resulting energy losses." ...

Steady as she blows 

Pneumatic linear slides combine air power with mechanical guides to move workloads with precision. They're useful on everything from simple pressing operations to demanding multi-axis robotics. Packaged pneumatic actuators are particularly cost-effective: Free CAD files of the units can be inserted directly into larger design files, and build time and related costs are reduced....

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