Networking for motion: Update on five realtime Ethernet-based protocols

Industrial communication protocols — including traditional fieldbuses and permutations based on Industrial Ethernet — are systems of rules for messaging between automation components. Variations abound, and there’s no dominant setup with which all devices work. What is clear is that communications offering more connectivity than current-loop (4-to-20-mA) analog communications continue proliferation into even once-simple motion […]

Human-machine interfaces (HMIs): Hardware, software, and new modes of connectivity

Gone are the days of HMIs merely consolidating switches, pushbuttons, meters, and operator warning lights. Today’s HMIs now control machines and even whole production lines with functions to analyze and optimize operations. Some serve as the processor for I/O signals providing feedback on speeds, temperatures, torque, tension, and more to optimize processes. Here, HMIs provide […]

What limits wave-spring working height and axial force?

Wave springs are core to myriad gear, actuator, clutch, and consumer-grade motion assemblies. They are load bearing — included in designs to address play or compensate for dimensional variations. Wave springs apply load in axially — so are specified by working height (and other parameters). All springs are either for applying load in tension, compression, […]

What are common modes of industrial clutch and brake engagement?

Key operating parameters dictate which clutches and brakes are suitable for a given application. The first parameter is the mode of motion and whether the axis needs a brake or clutch. Clutches generally bridge moving machine sections to shape relative motion, while brakes’ main job is to stop and hold rotating elements. Several design variations […]

HEIDENHAIN’s magnetic spindle encoder now with functional safety

HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION has made improvements to its ERM 2200 and 2400 series of magnetic modular angle encoders with Functional Safety in mind. The ERM series has long been used by machine manufacturers around the world In keeping with the growing trend requiring “Functionally Safe” axes (an EU standard) on machines, HEIDENHAIN has improved its ERM […]

Four laws of electromagnetism that you should know

The operation of electric motors is governed by various laws of electricity and magnetism, including Faraday’s law of induction, Ampère’s circuital law, Lenz’ law, and the Lorentz force. The first two – Faraday’s law and Ampère’s circuital law – are included in Maxwell’s equations. Together with Lenz’ law and the Lorentz force, these principles form […]

What are integrated motor-drive combinations?

The basic idea is easy to understand. An integrated motor-drive system combines a motor and a drive (at the very least) but can also include other components such as controllers or encoders. One benefit of such integrated systems is obvious; there is no need to purchase multiple components separately and take time to combine them […]

Embedded actuator synchronization offers stability, efficiency for large loads

Thomson Industries Inc. has announced availability of new synchronization capabilities for its Electrak HD heavy duty electromechanical linear actuators. Designers of equipment in which large or awkward loads must be moved repeatedly and evenly, such as large solar panels or heavy hoods on construction equipment, can now simultaneously distribute that load using up to four […]

Ritter Technology changes name to Motion & Control Enterprises LLC

Ritter Technology, LLC, a distributor of industrial motion and control products, has changed its name to Motion & Control Enterprises LLC (MCE). The change reflects the expanded market focus that resulted from MCE’s 2017 acquisition program. In 2017, MCE bought the businesses of Primet Fluid Power (February 2017); Tri-State Hose & Fitting, (April 2017); and […]

Tolomatic news: ACSI-PROFINET integrated servo motor creates easy actuator control

The Tolomatic ACSI integrated servo/motor/controller is now available with PROFINET Industrial Ethernet protocol, allowing engineers to design easy-to-use and cost-effective electric actuator solutions for single-axis applications. The integrated package is ideal for replacing pneumatic cylinders and automating any simple axis of motion with Siemens or other PROFINET enabled PLCs. With built-in configurations for Tolomatic electric […]

Integrated servomotor and drive from Tolomatic now with PROFINET

 The ACSI integrated servo/motor/controller from Tolomatic is now available with PROFINET Industrial Ethernet protocol, allowing engineers to design easy-to-use and cost-effective electric actuator solutions for single-axis applications. The integrated package is suitable for replacing pneumatic cylinders and automating any simple axis of motion with Siemens or other PROFINET enabled PLCs. With built-in configurations for Tolomatic […]

What are gas springs? Technical primer

Gas springs, also called gas dampers, tension springs, or gas-pressure springs depending on the setup and context, are compressed-air or oil cylinders that install in motion designs to damp forces and return kinematic linkages and more complicated assemblies to default positions. Gas springs work through a piston on the end of a rod that protrudes […]

Application brief: Gearboxes in electric adventure vehicles (EAVs)

Electric adventure vehicles (EAVs) need light transmission components but lots of torque. So EAV maker Outrider USA recently sourced a Neugart planetary gearbox to solve the design problem. Outrider makes several versions of the Alpha (for everyday use on gravel and streets) and the Horizon for offroad cycling. Each model has a drive to output […]

What is a gearbox?

When it comes to gearing components, things can get confusing quickly. There are many terms that gear manufacturers as well as engineers and designers use to talk about what sometimes is essentially the same thing. And the term “gearbox” is one of those terms, often times used interchangeably with gearhead or gear reducer, even though […]

PTDA welcomes eight new members

The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA), the leading association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel, recently welcomed eight new member companies. Distributor Members  Bearings Limited (Hauppauge, N.Y.) is a distributor of bearings, belt & chain drives, conveyors & material handling components, shaft couplings & u-joints, linear motion components, and PT accessories. “For […]

Encoder resolution and accuracy: What’s the difference?

Encoders are at the heart of any closed loop servo system, providing feedback to the controller, which uses this information to determine if the motor reached the commanded position or velocity. Thus, encoder resolution and accuracy are essential to the proper operation of a closed-loop system. Resolution is the distance over which a single encoder […]

HMIs from Pro-face — SP5000 in new screen sizes and with SP-5B41 Open Box unit

Pro-face America now offers an expanded SP5000 series modular HMI family. New options include screens with widths of 15 in. and 19-in. These two new display sizes provide more options for designers with applications that demand larger screens. Both the 15-in. screen and 19-in. screen come with an enhanced glass-top design that boosts visualization and […]

Absolute, high-resolution motor feedback sensor from SIKO

The MSAC501 absolute sensor from SIKO offers a truly absolute solution for measuring motor feedback. The exact sensor position is available immediately after a current interruption so additional reference or mechanical activity is not necessary. The MSAC501 sensor works with standardized SSI or RS485 interfaces. An optional LD output for digital signal output is also […]

New angular positioning system for metrology and micromachining from HEIDENHAIN

The new SRP 5000 angular positioning system from HEIDENHAIN incorporates its high accuracy MRP 5000 angle encoder with accomplished bearing technology along with a unique ETEL torque motor with ultra-low detent torque. This combination allows for high stiffness with low cost of ownership and can easily replace rotary air bearing systems used for metrology. Industries […]

How are encoders used for speed measurement?

The most common use for encoders is to measure angular or linear distance, but encoders can also be used to perform speed or velocity measurements. This is possible because there is a linear relationship between an encoder’s pulse frequency and its rotational velocity. In other words, as the encoder rotates faster, the pulse frequency increases […]

SkillsUSA, American School Counselor Assn. meetings attended by ICP

One of the largest gatherings of young people with the skill sets and ambition industrial distributors seek in their entry-level employees is SkillsUSA, held annually in Louisville, Ky. For the past five years, Industrial Careers Pathway (ICP) has been there to make sure participants and their influencers know about the incredibly rewarding careers awaiting them when […]

Do PC-based controllers do any condition monitoring?

The simple answer is yes. In fact, PC-based controllers have been doing condition monitoring for many years and it is only becoming more prevalent. PC-based condition monitoring took off with the advent of falling prices of electronic computing power. As a result, PC-based condition monitoring has been getting better with improved computer technology, more powerful […]

Moticont adds servo actuator to SDLM Series

The new SDLM-019-070-01-01 direct drive linear motor is the latest addition to the series of zero backlash, zero cogging, high acceleration, high speed, high resolution, long life linear servo motors from Moticont. Also known as an electric cylinder, this compact direct drive linear motor is just 0.75 in. (19.1 mm) in diameter and 2.75 in […]

PI opens new $15 million R&D center

Less than 1 year after breaking ground and laying the ceremonial cornerstone, precision motion and nanopositioning solutions leader PI (Physik Instrumente) announces the opening of its Technology Center, which included an inaugural ceremony attended by hundreds of guests. Housing additional 200 workplaces, as well as test and measurement laboratories, clean rooms and environmental chambers, and […]

What are overrunning clutches?

Overrunning clutches, sometimes called freewheel clutches, are used to freewheel in one direction while driving in another direction of rotation. When the driven shaft is rotating faster than the driveshaft, the clutch mechanically disconnects the driveshaft from the driven shaft. They are used in heavy-duty applications, such as agriculture, mining, aerospace, industrial metal processing, indexing, […]