PI intros compact 6-axis motion controller for high-precision positioning

PI (Physik Instrumente) has released a new 6-axis servo motor controller, the C-884 DC. Most modern precision motion systems are driven by servo motors, because they provide high torque, fast acceleration, smooth motion with a wide dynamic speed range, and fast start stop performance.  PI’s compact C-884 DC motion controller can run brushless servo motors […]

Pulley balancing for belt drive systems: Is it always necessary?

As a pulley rotates, centrifugal forces act on the pulley, and if its mass is not evenly distributed around the axis of rotation – that is, if it is unbalanced – these centrifugal forces will also be unbalanced and cause the pulley to vibrate. (Uneven mass distribution can be due to imperfections in machining or […]

Gen 2 linear slide actuators from AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect has added second generation (Gen 2) linear motion slide actuators to its SureMotion line of motion control products. The SureMotion lineup includes both motor-ready actuator assemblies and an assortment of sliding components and accessories to provide a wide variety of motion control solutions for X-Y and X-Y-Z positioning systems. The new Gen 2 Compact […]

Linear motion FDA wash-down compliant components selection guide from LM76

A helpful component selection guide from LM76, “Linear Bearings, 6 Simple Steps – FDA Compliance, Wash Down Compliance,” details the linear motion components available from LM76 that are FDA/UDSA/3A-Dairy compliant. Included are: Foodstream electrodeless nickel plated pillow blocks, PTFE lined stainless steel bearings, ceramic coated linear bearings, self-aligning corrosion resistant linear ball bearings, and Thomson® […]

New catalog of custom engineered precision motion systems from PI

PI (Physik Instrumente) offers a new catalog on capabilities regarding engineered motion and automation solutions for high-tech industries such as photonics, precision optics, semiconductor and medical engineering.  What sets PI’s engineered motion systems division apart is their in-house access to the broadest and deepest portfolio of precision motion technologies. Creative-thinking engineers with vast experience selecting […]

High speed linear actuators: What qualifies them as high speed?

Like many terms used in the linear motion industry – “heavy duty,” “miniature,” and “corrosion-resistant,” to name a few – there is no industry standard that specifies what constitutes a “high speed” linear actuator. Nevertheless, there are some general guidelines that manufacturers follow when classifying and marketing their actuators as high speed. These guidelines are […]

Open aperture voice coil stage features 1 micron positioning resolution

The compact HCDS-025-038-02-B1-01 Voice Coil Stage from Moticont has a footprint of just 2.000 in. (54.0 mm) wide by 5.000 in. (127.0 mm) long and features a positioning resolution of 1 micron and a 0.125 in. (3.175 mm) open aperture. This precision cross roller stage has a 0.97 in. (24.6 mm) range of motion with […]

ITT Compact Automation expands motion offerings to include electric actuators

ITT Inc. and its Compact Automation brand now sell electric actuators, screw jacks, bevel gearboxes, rodless cylinders and more in addition to the manufacturer’s traditional hydraulic and pneumatic product lineup. These new product lines are available exclusively in North America through Compact’s new partnership with NIASA. Compact Automation has an extensive engineering capability with more than 50 product lines, composed […]

New mid-size, compact linear actuator from LINAK U.S.

LINAK has launched a powerful new actuator, the LA33. The electric linear actuator is a mid-range powerhouse built upon 35 years of specialized knowledge accumulated at LINAK. The LA33 shares the same advantageous features of all the actuators in the LINAK family including the LINAK Integrated Controller, Hall sensors for relative and absolute feedback, proportional […]

Force-controlled actuator from ETEL for semiconductor applications

ETEL’s new ZAO Force-Controlled Actuator adds to its broad range of advanced motion systems. Among other applications, ZAO is suited for semiconductor pick and place, die bonding and probing machines. Coupled with ETEL’s AccurET controller, the ZAO Force-Controlled Actuator is a state-of-the-art solution that reduces machine cost of ownership while taking up the next force […]

Common applications for linear rails

Linear rails are the backbone of many industrial applications, providing low-friction guidance and high stiffness for loads that can range from just a few grams to thousands of kilograms. Their range of sizes, accuracy classes, and preloads make linear rails suitable for virtually any performance requirement. The reasons for using linear rails are numerous, but […]

Pegasus Series 1 corrosion-resistant linear bearings from LM76

LM76 has developed the most corrosion resistant linear bearing available. The Pegasus Series 1 Linear Bearings feature Silicon Nitride (SiNi) Ceramic Balls in a shell with retainer and end caps all made from 440 Stainless Steel and then ArmorloyTM coated. In space, deep under the sea, or in the harshest environments when there can be […]

What are monolithic XY tables?

XY tables are constructed from two linear axes – typically driven by linear motors, ball screws, or lead screws – that are mounted perpendicular to each other in either a stacked or a monolithic design. Stacked XY tables consist of two complete, separate axes mounted together, much the same way they are configured in a […]

Defining the compliance of electromechanical linear actuators

Modern motion controllers with built-in frequency analyzers allow direct identification of electromechanical actuators … under load … subject to real-word conditions. That in turn may help designers improve stiffness and actuator performance — even to the point of getting higher servo bandwidth. By Leonid Gannel, Ph.D.  •  Servo engineer  •  Jabil Shemer Motion Frequency analyzers […]

Linear motion for robotic handling in automated warehouses

When designing and configuring an automated warehouse, one design goal is to keep the system as light and compact as possible. Depending on the size of the load being moved, there are two common types of automated warehouses. In lighter applications, aluminum structures can handle loads up to 100 kilograms, while steel structures are good […]

Motion and control objectives for automated storage and retrieval systems

Automated storage and retrieval systems are a key enabler of the next-day delivery we’ve come to expect from online retailers. But like other types of automation, AS/RS equipment must meet the customer’s objectives for safety, footprint, and energy efficiency. It used to be that as you drove through industrial suburbs, just beyond cities such as […]

New single-rail X-Y stage (H gantry) for positioning from H2W Technologies

H2W Technologies’ new single-rail positioning stage H-gantry design is an open-frame X-Y stage. The positioning system has two bottom parallel axes with one cross axis connecting the two (to form an H gantry). Each linear axis uses H2W’s brushless linear motors (BLDM-B04) and: Each has a total stroke to 25.67 in. (652 mm) Each can […]

XY tables: How do they differ from Cartesian and gantry systems?

There are many ways to build linear systems for motion in the X, Y, and/or Z directions – also known as Cartesian coordinates. The terms we generally use to refer to these systems depend on how the axes are assembled, where the load is positioned, and to some extent, what type of use the system […]

Synchronous belt and V belt: How to pick between them?

Power transmission in linear motion designs is often through rotary-to-linear devices, chain, or belt drives. The earliest belt iteration — and one that’s still economical today — is the friction-based V-belt design. These pair a belt with a pulley (often on an electric motor’s geared output shaft) to provide reliable operation in myriad end-user and […]

What is a chopper drive for a stepper motor?

There are two primary types of drivers for stepper motors, constant voltage drives (also referred to as L/R drives), and constant current drives (also referred to as chopper drives). One difficulty with stepper motor operation is that the time constant (L/R) of the motor windings prevents current from increasing rapidly during pulses. This means that […]

What makes miniature ball screws unique?

Ball screws are used in a wide variety of applications, but some of the most challenging are those on the extreme ends of the performance spectrum – from large diameter, large lead screws for machine tools, to screws with small diameters and very fine leads for optical and medical applications. For very small, high-precision movements, […]

Helix Linear Technologies website — new at helixlinear.com

Helix Linear Technologies now has a new and refreshed website at helixlinear.com. The updated site includes several new lead screw and linear actuator products that deliver smooth, clean and quite linear motion solutions. The manufacturer’s goal with this new website is to provide visitors an easier way to learn about Helix Linear’s products. The new […]

IKO MX series of linear roller bearings — now more standard variations

IKO Intl. now offers more variations in its standard MX series of linear roller bearings to include special features for environments that are sensitive to metal chips, dust, and other contaminants. High load capacity. The MX models utilize rows of cylindrical rollers to provide a greater contact area than slides that use steel balls. They […]

Roller screw actuators: Design and applications

Electromechanical actuators come in many varieties, with common drive mechanisms being lead screws, ball screws, and roller screws. When a designer or user wants to transition from hydraulics or pneumatics to electromechanical motion, roller screw actuators are usually the best choice. They provide comparable performance characteristics to hydraulics (high force) and pneumatics (high speed), in […]

Can-stack linear actuators: How the motor and screw components work

Can-stack linear actuators are one type of stepper-motor design that converts rotary to linear motion with a built-in leadscrew. The linear actuators incorporate can-stack motors — sometimes called claw-tooth step motors, tin-can stepper motors, or claw-pole motors — leverage low-cost construction with punched sheet-metal parts that form toothed (or clawed) cups surrounding bobbin coils. Common […]