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Motion System

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PACHINKO TO FIRST ROBOTICS: Whatever it takes to draw students to STEM

YEARS AGO on my 10th birthday, I got a gift that instantly became a prized possession — a mid-1970s Japanese pachinko machine. In this vertical version of pinball, the goal is to slingshot engraved metal balls into lotus-shaped catchers and cups to earn payouts of (you guessed it) more little balls. Apparently, pachinko parlors in Japan give minor prizes or payouts only offsite when enough balls are collected. On a related note, Google “Lee Teschler pinball” for an teardown video detailing some of the electronics in today’s Western pinballs. Save for a few switch-actuated winindicator lights (courtesy of Omron) my pachinko game is entirely mechanical. Gravity is the main driver of both the pinstudded front playing field and the workings on the back of the machine. A Rube Goldberg maze of levers, chutes, balances, and spring-loaded latches ensure that one payout cache is given for each ball launched into a cup, and three caches are dispensed to a tray on the front of the machine if a center column of lotus catchers (the grand slam of pachinkos) is hit. All of this gives innumerable opportunity for ball jams and other malfunctions ... and that’s exactly what drove my love for and familiarity with this quirky possession. You see, anytime I had friends over as a kid, the pachinko machine eventually drew them in for play. These sessions were rigorous, which meant I became something of a quick technician on the contraption — adept at knowing by symptom or sometimes just sound which override, reset, or jam clearing the machine needed for the party to continue. Of course, young people today have more structured and probably more effective exposure to the world of mechanical devices and engineering as a whole. Out of many programs to interest and educate young people in STEM fields, FIRST Robotics is probably the premier program in the U.S. Most anyone familiar with FIRST (or the affiliate LEGO League for younger students) champions its value. 2018 competitions for high-school students will begin shortly after the Design World



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Trends issue goes to press; if you’ve never attended a First Robotics Competition (FRC) check to see if there’s one in your area. This year’s theme is Power Up — an arcade-game-inspired challenge that will require three-team alliances to (among other things) use robots they’ve built and programmed to collect power cubes and load them onto plates to earn points. Some industry folks we surveyed for this Design World Trends issue recognize the value of FIRST Robotics, so offer support to high-school teams near and far with monetary and motion-component donations. Linear-motion manufacturer Bishop-Wisecarver Corp. has supported both FRC and the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) since 2007, partially through donations of its DualVee linear guide track and Carbon Sealed MadeWell wheels. Plastic-component manufacturer igus also supports FIRST Robotics. “Plus we do presentations at universities and offer technical training to engineering majors; offer internships at our Rhode Island facility and give away free samples to students; and have a Young Engineers Support (Y.E.S. program),” said Nicole Lang, iglide product manager at igus. Kevin Gingerich at Bosch Rexroth detailed his own company’s involvement: “We sponsor FIRST Robotics, FIRST Lego League, and FIRST Tech Challenge teams in Fountain Inn, S.C., Charlotte, and Hoffman Estates, Ill. — and the Bosch Community Fund sponsors 21 FRC teams with additional grants for FLL and FTC in Bosch Communities. |

3/13/18 12:23 PM

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Our strategy is a kindergarten-to-career approach to workforce development in communities where Bosch operates … and we’re eager to see our teams compete in this year’s FIRST Power Up challenge.” The manufacturer also offers internships and apprenticeships at all its locations, and has partnerships with community colleges and high schools near its Greenville, S.C. facility. In many ways, FIRST gives students a taste of what real engineering design is like. One peripheral FRC service is, an online portal to let students order donated motion components. The site resembles some of the new online component-procurement portals we’re seeing for industrial design-engineering applications … the sudden rise of which we detail in this Design World Trends issue. Amazingly, my own pachinko game had no catastrophic failures until a few years ago — when a hard-wording lever to control the collection and release of ball caches from a windowed win hopper finally cracked into several small pieces. The elegant little part is made of plastic with a hex nut molded into the upper body. Presumably this is to balance the lever as it pivots on a pin to push a ball deflector in or out as needed. Rest assured the pachinko is in working order once again, as I put this original part back together with an indiscriminate amount of JB Weld and Gorilla Glue. But my aim is to eventually get the part remanufactured, possibly at a maker lab. That would be slightly complicated by the fact that the monolithic lever incorporates multiple materials … although we’ve covered the increase in custom overmolding and insert molding from Protolabs and others, so the job would likely be quite easy with the right manufacturer. So you see how this machine of fun continues to invite my troubleshooting and learning in the process.

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Editorial VP, Editorial Director Paul J. Heney @dw_Editor Managing Editor Leslie Langnau @dw_3Dprinting Executive Editor Leland Teschler @dw_LeeTeschler Senior Editor Miles Budimir @dw_Motion Senior Editor Mary Gannon @dw_MaryGannon Senior Editor Lisa Eitel @dw_LisaEitel Associate Editor Mike Santora @dw_MikeSantora Director, Audience Development Bruce Sprague

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2011 - 2017

3 • 2018



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Stages, Gantries & XY Tables .. .................................08


Actuators Electrical ...............................................................14 Pneumatic . . ........................................................... 21 Leadscrews .................................................................. 27 Ballscrews .................................................................... 30 Motors . . ......................................................................... 32

Pachinko to First Robotics: Whatever it takes to draw students to STEM BY:

Bearings .. ...................................................................... 37 Networking, Connectivity & Cables . . ........................41 Belts & Pulleys . . ........................................................... 46 Brakes, Clutches & Torque Limiters ........................50 Controllers .. .................................................................. 54 Conveyors .................................................................... 58 Couplings .. .................................................................... 62 Drives ............................................................................ 67 Encoders ...................................................................... 72


Gearing ......................................................................... 78 Gearmotors .................................................................. 85 Linear Guides, Slides & Ways . . ................................. 89 PT Essentials: Chain, Seals, Retaining Devices & Springs ......... 93 Shocks & Damping . . .................................................... 99 CO V E R P H O TO CO U R T E S Y O F i S TO C K



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ETEL CHARON2 stacked X-Y motion stages are pre-engineered to excel in semiconductor manufacture. They’re backwards compatible with existing modules and deliver acceleration to 1 g with speeds to 1 m/sec — even with absolute positioning accuracy to below 1 µm.


STAGES TABLES: Manufacturer involvement and software yield turnkey motion systems

THERE’S INCREASING DEMAND for stages, tables, gantries, and indexing tables with simplicity or turnkey operation — largely because of industry moves toward focused expertise and abstraction. No wonder that motion-system manufacturers are now doing more integration for plant engineers and OEMs. “As we’ve increased business with OEMs in life science, consumer electronics, and semiconductor industries, we’ve had to adapt,” said Patrick Lehr, product manager of precision mechanics at the Parker Hannifin Corp. Electromechanical & Drives Division. “There’s need for custom products unique to OEMs and end users and no one else. So many OEMs need singular form factors or precision specifications … and



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many require linear stages as small as possible without compromising on output capabilities.” It’s also the job the of stage or table manufacturer to remain cognizant of OEM cost and delivery demands when satisfying massproduced custom projects. In fact, Lehr’s company provides services that extend beyond building custom stages for customers. Its engineering team supports designers from initial application and design discussions on the prototype through the last delivery of a mass-production order. So Lehr suggests design engineers look for motion component and system suppliers that offer: |

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Aerotech Solutions for Sensor Testing Motion Designer

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Inertial Test Devices • Accelerometers • Inclinometers • Rate Gyros Modern inertial test and measurement devices, such as MEMS-based accelerometers and inclinometers, push the existing envelope of motion dynamics and accuracy. Testing and evaluating these devices require a motion platform with high acceleration as well as excellent accuracy and faithful motion profiling capabilities. Aerotech’s direct-drive stages provide an ideal solution for testing high bandwidth, ultra-sensitive devices, while our controls solutions offer precise tools for data acquisition and presentation.

• Motion Designer allows easy motion profiling so that users can quickly configure new test regimens and optimize profiles and sensor output. • Optional slip rings are available for active device signals to speed system design and integration. • Multi-axis arrangements enhance your system flexibility — one test stand accommodates many device families. • Direct-drive staging allows fast motion and zero backlash, extending the range of devices that can be evaluated. • Multi-axis rotary and R-theta structures allow compact and versatile test platforms for evaluation of unique devices. • Our controller interface for data collection and presentation is synchronized with stage motion. • 412-963-7470 AF0218B-RAD

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V-551 Series ultra-precision positioning stages from Physik Instrumente (PI) include crossed-roller bearings with anti-creep cages for guide accuracy to 1 µm of straightness and flatness per 100 mm. Design engineers can pick between absolute encoders (for resolution to 2 nm) or incremental encoders (for resolution to 0.2 nm) with an effective 0.5-nm minimum incremental motion at the stage platform. Ironless linear motors drive the stages to deliver high dynamics and smooth motion. That makes them suitable for designs needing extremely constant velocity … as in metrology, photonics, optics inspection, semiconductor test equipment, and interferometry.

Design support (to help design linear stages where needed) and system integration — to build in house if requested Diverse product offerings with no dismissal of custom ideas without an initial investigation; special designs and materials for custom products that must perform in challenging environments Testing — with engineering teams to run both standard and customer-requested tests before shipment Full motion control setup (with drives, controls, and motors all in one location) and compatibility with competitors’ motors and controllers (for design flexibility) Field support with electromechanical engineers (EMEs) available to visit during installation and service Warranty support (with a standard warranty on all products) and logistic support for delivery savings and more

Elsewhere turnkey variations come in families. “Our linear-stage product line provides complete motion solutions … and our SLP linear stages for industrial users provide 1-µm resolution and forces to 970 N,” said Brian Scott, applications engineer at Nippon Pulse America, Inc. The manufacturer also sells SCR linear stages for high-precision applications — as those in metrology, for example. The SCR stage has a resolution in the 10-nm range — and is built with cross-roller bearings for high stability. “These stages are complete mechanical systems, with integrated Linear Shaft Motors, encoders, linear guides, and bearings … and they’re stages sold in varying stroke lengths and sizes,” Scott added. Even for Cartesian assemblies, new software tools abound to simplify integration. Case in point: A digital catalog called EasyHandling (from Bosch Rexroth) details linear-motion components that come predesigned with features for quick repeatable assembly. “Saving the design engineer from Cartesian-robot assembly efforts frees them to focus on other project-design aspects,” explained Rich Hansen, senior automation engineer at Bosch Rexroth. Another software tool from ETEL Motors consists of an in-house sizing program that can simulate the most advanced duty cycles … and give detailed schematics on the thermal behavior of motors running it. The reason the tool isn’t available publicly is because it uses sensitive motor data to get results.

3 • 2018

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“This lets us size motors not just to a flat Nm value … but also to the duty cycle, environmental conditions, drives limitations, and more,” said Brian Zlotorzycki, product specialist at ETEL Motors. The software even predicts thermal behavior over time. “All of this makes for more thorough analysis, typically with a lot of communication with the customer — and lets specialists better understand the project as a whole while ensuring an optimized final design.” One aspect of value-added engineering from stage and gantry suppliers in particular is the use of well-informed simulation models, Excel spreadsheets, and even proprietary software. “Our software lets us simulate an application’s duty cycle and determine how our motors will perform in those circumstances. Ultimately the model includes heat generation, current draw, and how different ambient conditions and voltage limits affect these parameters,” explained Zlotorzycki. This gives OEMs and plant engineers a more accurate picture of how linear-motion actuators and motors (and stages) will perform in the final machine design — and how the design is affected by minor tweaks.

This is a Planar HDX Series two-axis air-bearing stage from Aerotech Inc. All critical structural moving elements of the stage are made out of silicon-carbide ceramic. Ceramic structures increase stiffness and reduce weight, according to Brian O’Connor, director of product and market development. At the heart of the stage are Aerotech BLM and BLMH linear motors, which employ an ironless forcer design for smooth motion. Both the step and scan axes use multiple motors driving near the center-of-mass to provide exceptional vertical and lateral straightness (with minimal angular error). The motors are thermally isolated and can be water cooled to minimize thermal errors where needed.

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PIglide PIglide HS, 3-motor HS, 3-motor planar planar XY air XY air bearing bearing stage stage with with yaw yaw control control PIglide HS, 3-motor planar XY air air PIglide HS, 3-motor planar XY bearing stage with yaw control bearing stage with yaw control PI designs PI designs and manufactures and manufactures precision precision motion motion systems systems at locations at locations in theinUSA, the USA, Europe, Europe, and Asia. and Asia. WithWith over over 40 years 40 years of of experience developing developing standard standard and custom andmotion custom products products based based piezoceramic on in piezoceramic and electromagnetic and electromagnetic drives drives and more andyears than PI designs and manufactures precision systems at locations the USA, Europe, andand Asia. With over 40 ofthan PIexperience designs and manufactures precision motion systems atonlocations in the USA, Europe, Asia. With over 40more years of 1,000 1,000 employees employees in 13in countries, 13 countries, can PI quickly can quickly provide provide a on solution apiezoceramic for your forand your positioning positioning and and automation automation projects projects inthanin experience developing standard andPIand custom products based electromagnetic drives andand more than experience developing standard custom products based onsolution piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives more industry industry and research. and research. 1,000 employees in 13 countries, PI can quickly provide a solution for for youryour positioning andand automation projects in in 1,000 employees in 13 countries, PI can quickly provide a solution positioning automation projects industry andand research. industry research.


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leverage modularity and connectivity

PRE-INTEGRATION is a common refrain in the motion industry — and actuators lead this trend. Some of the fastest growth is in motion designs destined for compact applications, many of which are being automated for the first time. “We’ve seen the most rapid growth in applications using NEMA 34 and 60-mm and smaller motors — including those in hybrid stepper, step servo, servo, and BLDC variations,” said John Good of PBC Linear. It’s estimated that these smaller motors reflect 60 to 70% of the market unit volume — and that aligns with our strategic partnership with Moons’ Industries, added Good. “Many of these applications are in robotic handling systems, syringe pumps, 3D printers, and comparable motion designs ... in fact, these motors are ubiquitous in an array of industries. Often, the applications for these motors need conversion of rotary to linear motion.” So end users in the past bought the motor (as well as a coupling and screw) and then did the assembly in-house. But today, OEMs in particular are looking to migrate beyond the component strategy; buy turnkey motion subsystems; and focus on their core processes. “This applies to projects needing 100 or 1,000 axes to (in some cases) larger design projects that ultimately involve 10,000 axes — for sale of some product into a consumer, lab automation, or medical market, for example. We sell into many such applications and focus on becoming a collaborative engineering partner to customers,” concluded Good. Because design engineers can choose between assembling components or getting them pre-assembled, they can dictate how much time and effort is put into design and integration tasks. What’s more, sometimes motion-component suppliers are willing to assume some of the system programming. “Besides design and mechanical assembly services, we offer controlengineering support … so engineers can elect to have systems arrive with



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One trend in motion design is pre-integration of linear systems. This is an XYZ table from PBC Linear that incorporates axes based Integral-V Technology (IVT) aluminum framing with V races. IVT components work with or without structural supports; hardened stainless raceways embedded in the Integral-V rail reduce mounting and fastening requirements. Made with the SIMO machining process, the rails maintain alignment on critical sides for accuracy in material handling, machine-tool, and other large-format applications. Speeds are to 10 m/sec and axis strokes are to 3,650 mm with longer continuous lengths possible. |

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pre-parameterized servo drives, simple motion validated, or even customized motion controls,” said Rich Hansen, senior automation engineer at Bosch Rexroth. “We also have a network of trained and skilled distributors with engineering expertise — to design, source, and install complete systems from drive, motion, and control technologies,” added Kevin Gingerich of Bosch Rexroth. Design engineers can expect at least some of that support at the distributor level from other manufacturers. Basic

Smart actuators integrate electronics in the actuator housing which lets signals from a common external source (such as a programmable logic controller or PLC) automatically manage switching, synchronization, and networking. Image courtesy Thomson Industries

services related motor and drive matching and integration for specific applications are among those provided through manufacturer-distributor partnerships. But Laura May of Thomson Industries underscores supplier-level help (and component-design concepts) to make today’s motion design easier. “Value-add services are indispensable in many of today’s actuator applications. Smart actuators integrate functionalities that used to necessitate external components — including potentiometers,



Actuators Electric Motion Control Trends 03.18 V5 FINAL.indd 16

rotary encoders, relays, network switches, and controllers,” said May. “Embedding such functionality makes for smaller design footprints and reduced costs for purchasing, installing, and maintaining such equipment.” Getting the right features integrated — without sensors or other electronics that would unduly add cost — requires forethought though. “Many if not most of the applications we serve involve some degree of customization, usually to help design

much of our business is customizing motion products and value-added services,” said Will Land, business development manager at Aerotech. The manufacturer (and its customers) tend to have difficult applications not satisfied by standard motion offerings. “In fact, our new Applied Technologies Group was founded to help engineers develop custom motion and application code — and jumpstart highperformance setups,” he added.

engineers build something new … or better integrate their systems,” explained May. Sometimes customization takes the form of something simple — as a special adapter or cable connector out of the actuator. “Other times, design engineers approach us with a clean sheet of paper, and we collaborate with them to build something new,” she added. For example, OEMs sometimes need an axis to move faster than a standard product would allow. Here, May’s company like others involves itself in the programming. “On the software side, we’ve assisted with coding to help design engineers take full advantage of built-in communications capabilities,” she added. “It might come as a surprise, but

IOT IN AUTOMATION AND MOTIONDESIGN INSTALLATIONS With so much connectivity and programming support for electric-actuator applications, IoT functionality (for IIoT or Industry 4.0 applications) is a natural next step. After all, components with electronic communications (I/O, controls, cables and connectors, HMIs, sensors, drives, and so on) are gathering and using and transmitting more data than ever. Read more about this trend in our dedicated section on motion-system IoT and connectivity. “We’re contributing to IIoT advancements with a smart-actuator initiative … integrating electronics into actuators to let users network electric actuators into systems and replace

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PBC Linear offers smart motion components to support IIoT (I4.0) functionality and cites 10 advantages for machine builders when combining enhanced mechanical components with smart motors. These include lower design costs due to reduced wiring and design simplification; more compact designs that integrate (among other things) drivers, controllers, and amplifiers; fewer sensors and I/O; less troubleshooting; streamlined commissioning; modular integration; automated adjustments to boost design flexibility and speed; the ability to leverage preventative; and increased throughput and performance.

actuators into systems and replace rigid fluid-power systems,” said May of Thomson. Cleaner electric-actuator technologies are programmable and lower maintenance — and impart an analytical perspective that leverages sensor data and load monitoring to help users track the status of the load in real time — which in turn allows continuous performance optimization, she added. By embedding intelligence and communications into actuators, we make it easier to track compliance and product reports, explained May. Embedded intelligence also simplifies factory testing of products before integration.

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“It’s true that only a small percentage of customers use IoT extensively ... but the ones that monitor operational data points can increase operational efficiency to positively impact profits. The ROI is there but the journey is long, and the commitment must be long term,” added Steven Feketa of LinMot USA Inc. (SAFE) MOTION FOR MOBILE AND BATTERY POWERED DESIGNS At present, mobile equipment and robotics are growth industries for motion control. In fact, the global mobilerobot market could grow from $4,5000 million to $10,600 million by 2020, according to research by MarketsandMarkets. These are for so-called professional service robots — used in logistics, inspection and maintenance, telepresence, and off-road robotics applications. According to Feketa, currently leading applications are automated guided vehicles (AGVs), all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and similar battery-powered robotics. LinMot sells tubular direct-drive linear motors and linearrotary motors into such designs. May of Thomson Industries agrees. “We sell actuator setups for a variety of AGVs, including warehouse robots and automated parking garages, as many such applications need actuators with short strokes to help adjust payload up or down as the vehicle approaches a pickup or drop-off point,” she explained. Here the supplier also sells precision shafting for AGVs that involve extensive rotary motion — where a high duty cycles increases the need for precision and hardness. The manufacturer’s actuators also go into all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility task vehicles (UTVs) with stringent reliability requirements. These include large agricultural and construction vehicles such as combines and earth movers … and smaller products such as commercial lawn grooming equipment, noted May. Both Feketa of LinMot and May view electric actuators a better choice than traditional fluid-power offerings here because of their efficiency and connectivity. Expect more from Feketa on the special case of direct-drive electric actuation (and linear motors) in coming Design World editorial. Fluid power is still indispensable to mobile equipment though — and some manufacturers that handle both electric and hydraulic power management track how technology improvements are shifting the playing field. “Coupling the power density of hydraulics with the energy density that electrics can provide creates a whole new world of combined solutions,” said Steve Zumbusch, director of technology



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Applications of small motor-driven actuators are proliferating — and in a lot of cases, the supplier integrates the rotaryto-linear device to OEM or design-engineer specification. Shown here is a PFCL25-24 from the Nippon Pulse America Inc. LINEARSTEP series — a standalone actuator that needs no external feedback or bearings. Elimination of additional mechanical power transmission makes for pump, development hexapod, medical syringe, or miniature-stage at Eaton’s actuation that costs far less than that Hydraulics of conventional stepper-motor-based business. “Along assemblies. these lines, we are seeing integrated electric-powered hydraulic actuators (EHAs) developing — and a new generation of combined power formats.” But many design engineers are on a quest for lower current draw … and continually at work building out requirements for newer products that take advantage of the tremendous advances that are being made in battery technology, explained May. Case in point: Electric actuators operate only when needed — which contrasts with always-on fluid power systems … so excel on forklifts and material handlers that are charged only overnight. “Electric actuators can also accept commands and provide status information in return — including position and |

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speed and safety-related data such as load or temperature,” added May of Suites of Thomson. harmonized motion Because of their unique self-guiding nature, some AGVs and batterytechnologies in a growing trend. powered mobility designs are spurring new modes of connected safety. Aerotech Q Series nanopositioner “Here, we see functional use of Safe Motion — as well as drives with offerings include powerful controls, drives, Ethernet interfaces and Ethernet connectivity,” said Joaquin Ocampo and software as well as piezo microscope of Bosch Rexroth. The manufacturer offers on-drive safety controls, objective focusers and open-aperture sample safety I/O, and safety — with the latter from safe-torque-off functions, positioners; single-axis, dual-axis, and lift-stage SafeMotion, and safety monitoring. There’s also the offering of multiple linear axes; and dynamic actuators. safety protocols in single drive systems — including PROFIsafe (on PROFIBUS and PROFINET), CIP Safety (on the SERCOS automation bus), Fail Safe (on EtherCAT), and now CIP Safety (on Ethernet/IP). For more information on the topic of electric-actuator trends, visit and search B2C. A companion piece to this details how industrial online purchasing dwarfs B2C — and is in many ways more innovative. Also look for a followup in May’s Power Transmission Reference Guide.

It’s becoming increasingly common to purchase Cartesian robots as finished subassemblies. “We size, select, and quote components and then offer finished Cartesian robots as kits (for onsite assembly) or fully assembled robots,” explained senior automation engineer Rich Hansen of Bosch Rexroth. More specifically, EasyHandling Cartesian robots are custom built with standard catalog components — but



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then assembled and sold as a completed value-add design by the manufacturer. Custom subassemblies come from the factory and might include any number of linear-motion components and servodrive motors … but strict product-development methods ensure overall safety and service life. |

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PNEUMATIC ACTUATORS A FEW DECADES AGO, many were predicting the coming end of fluid power, eventually to be replaced by electrical products. But in a strange twist of fate, a lot of pneumatics actuation technology has actually prospered—thanks in large part to electronic controls that have allowed the famously squishy technology to become more precise and repeatable. According to Jon Revlett, Product Specialist, ElectroPneumatic Systems and Controls, for Aventics Corp., advancements in technology have paved the way for the expansion of electro-pneumatically controlled cylinder positioning systems, allowing them to substitute for servo drives in more applications today. “For example, the Aventics AES-PID Positioning System allows for very precise positioning of an actuator, by utilizing discrete electronics and multiple closed loop feedback circuits,” he said. “Accurate and repeatable positions can now be achieved with ease, while also sending out signals for present location to an IoT gateway, such as the Aventics Smart Pneumatic Monitor (SPM). This prevents extended downtime associated with repairs and allowing for the end user to maximize the performance of their pneumatically controlled equipment. None of this would be possible without smart pneumatic cylinders, capable of being controlled by electro-pneumatic systems.” Festo Corp. is another company that is in an interesting position, as it manufactures both electric and pneumatic solutions, along with some complementary technologies. “For example, industrial robotics is one of our core competencies,” said Tim Sharkey, Head of Electric Automation for Festo. “We design and build almost every component used in an industrial robotic application—sensors, machine vision, control platforms, HMIs, servo systems, pneumatics, grippers, belt and ball screw driven actuators, I/O, motion controllers, and complete turnkey control systems. As the manufacturer of these individual automation components, we can offer OEMs and end users a value engineered, single source solution for all their automation requirements.” |

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Aventics’ Smart Pneumatic Monitor prevents extended downtime that is normally associated with repairs. This allows end users to maximize the performance of their pneumatically controlled equipment.

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MANY APPLICATION POSSIBILITIES Applications for these products are numerous. As many industrial applications require linear motion during their operating sequence, pneumatic actuators can often fit the proverbial bill. Air cylinders are often simple and cost-effective, and they can aid in blocking, clamping, or ejecting, as well as other motions that are rotational or linear in scope. Festo is working at the forefront of automated warehousing applications. “We are working closely with many of our strategic customers to develop handling systems that present the parts tote to the picker,” said Sharkey. “Our modular electric actuators are well suited for these applications.” In addition, the company is experimenting with pneumatic collaborative robots. “With the use of one of our most innovative valve manifolds, called the motion terminal, we can accurately position pneumatic linear, rotary, and gripping axes. Using pneumatic technology for these complex motion tasks, we can offer a cost-effective

solution into this rapidly growing market,” Sharkey said. Aventics has added several additional motion components to its already existing advanced pneumatic solutions portfolio, according to Revlett. “Some examples are the Advanced Pneumatic Positioning System, the Electro-Pneumatic proportional pressure regulator (EV03) and the most recently added IoT ready gateway—the Smart Pneumatic Monitor or (SPM) for short,” he said. “Together these products coupled with the features of the AV-AES fieldbus valve line, provide the customer with a customized solution; that offers predictive maintenance through onboard integrated diagnostics and keeps energy efficiency levels high through effective use of compressed air. These are a few of the requirements that help keep manufacturers competitive.”

ADVANCED PNEUMATIC VALVES FOR NEXT-GENERATION MACHINES Lightweight, energy-efficient, compact and versatile — the AVENTICS AV (Advanced Valve) series feature a unique diagonal design engineered for maximum performance. The savings speak for themselves: up to 40% lighter, 45% less space, and up to 20% less compressed air consumption due to efficient design. Use the AES (Advanced Electronic System) to add bus modules, I/O, or an electro-pneumatic pressure regulator. AVENTICS Corporation Lexington, KY

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ONLINE TOOLS PROLIFERATING Today’s design engineer is busier than ever, and s/he often turns to apps and online programs to make sizing and selection easier. Luckily, these sorts of aids are proliferating, thanks to the efforts of component manufacturers. At Aventics, online tools have been a vital part of daily business for many years for both in-house use and by customers, according to Fred Goodman, Head of Product Management – Drives. “Calculators for cylinders, valves, air prep, automation systems and air consumption remove the guess work and result in a solution that will satisfy the application and increase energy efficiency,” he said. “Online configurators are then used to select the specific products, provide an instant part number, CAD drawings, circuit diagram spare parts information, and load the product/assembly into our manufacturing system. The accuracy and speed of the processes save the design engineers time and result in reliable, optimized applications.” Festo has an intelligent and intuitive sizing software package called Positioning Drives. “Festo is one of the few suppliers that manufactures servo motors and drives as well as belt and ball screw actuators,” said Sharkey. “Festo sizing software offers a solution that optimizes the motors, drives, and actuators to provide a value engineered solution. Once the components have been selected within the Positioning Drives tool, design engineers are one click away from placing an order in the online shop or requesting a quote.”



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Above, a cartesian robot from Festo can be used in multiple applications, such as the production of solar cells. Below, one of Festo’s positioning drives features precision, reliability and low energy consumption. |

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The company also provides its OEMs and end users with a tool that will configure multi-axis solutions. This tool is called Handling Guide Online. “Using this tool, engineers can configure 2D and 3D spatial gantries,” Sharkey said. “Once in the tool, the user is guided through the process, beginning with the gripper and then on to the axis and control system. The user can select between belt and ball screw technology and even pneumatic actuators are an option for the Z axis. When users have competed a configuration, they can download a complete CAD model to use in their machine design and layout. A comprehensive quote is available in 24 hours or less. Typical lead time is six to eight weeks ... engineers are freed from the task of designing parts handling solutions and can spend more time developing core competencies and customer focused solutions.”

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A NUMBER OF TRENDS in the motion industry are impacting lead screw design and implementation. One of these is the miniaturization of components. For instance, applications in optics as well as medical devices demand high precision, and smaller miniature lead screws can meet high precision specifications and can fit where space is limited and where larger components can’t be easily accommodated. Another on-going trend in the motion industry in general has been to offer more application-specific products to end users and motion control system designers. In other words, more customization. Part of what makes this possible is the availability of new materials and new prototyping techniques that can help designers develop and quickly evaluate new component designs.

One manufacturer putting new techniques to use is Haydon Kerk. The company now offers 3DP, a premium thread insert for a 3D-printed lead-screw-nut prototype service as a way for machine builders to verify linear-motion design iterations quickly and more accurately. Engineers typically don’t have access to 3D printers to do this kind of prototyping. Instead, most of them contract with a third party to get quick turnaround on parts. With the new 3DP prototyping services, machine builders can now get help with this type of design verification. Even in instances in which design engineers do have access to 3D-printing machines, parts produced by such machines are often unsuitable for motion-axis verification. That’s because a major challenge in motion control (particularly lead-screw assemblies in which one surface slides on another) is that the materials commonly available for additive manufacturing aren’t designed with tribology that is suitable for power transmission. Those materials commonly exhibit high friction and poor wear characteristics because they are primarily formulated for mechanical or part-geometry stability. Useful prototyping of a lead-screw-driven

These 3DP lead-screw nut inserts from Haydon Kerk mate with 3D printed parts to produce accurate prototypes and thereby shorten design cycles. |

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Courtesy of Haydon Kerk

driven axis, however, relies on accurate simulation of the lead-screwnut assembly’s tribological performance, as this directly impacts power consumption and anticipated life. The lead-screw-nut inserts have a threaded interior (with a highefficiency thread form) and a hex-shaped exterior to embed into flanged nut bodies or into more-complex 3D-printed prototype assemblies. In addition to the hex shape, which radially locks the insert into the nut body or assembly, each insert also includes a ring groove that, with adhesive, axially locks it into place. The 3DP nuts support OEMs that use additive manufacturing for short lead times. These nuts are made of advanced materials that are engineered explicitly for production-part performance. That means the nuts transmit power in a way that’s more representative of how standard volume parts will operate under load, which in turn boosts designverification accuracy. Currently, the 3DP nut inserts are offered in a lubricated polyacetal or a proprietary Kerkite KN30, a self-lubricating, high-performance engineered polymer. OEMs that ultimately arrive at a successful design iteration after using 3DP inserts may then source their production leadscrew components from Haydon Kerk in bulk quantities — in forms that include nuts machined from the same composite material as the 3DP offerings or, for higher volumes, custom nut components molded as complete monolithic plastic pieces, with metal features overmolded into the design where needed.



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BALL SCREWS SLOW BUT STEADY improvements continue with ball screw technology. For instance, developments in manufacturing and materials have improved ball screw performance so that the most recent generation of ball screws have greater load densities than before, leading to high load capacities in smaller packages. A trend that continues is the adoption of ball screws into new applications. At least one reason for this is the miniaturization of ball screws. Because of more miniature ball screw designs, ball screws are being specified into applications requiring fine movements, such as in some vertical applications. In particular, medical applications are seeing more of these miniaturized ball screws. A continuing trend is interest in integrated designs. This can be seen in all-in-one packages such as ball-screw-based linear actuators, the benefits of which are reduced design time as well as simplified assembly and programming of motion systems. Customized designs are also becoming more common. For instance, ball screw manufacturer Dynatect describes how they have managed customized design for their customers. Ball screw manufacturers that offer engineering customization can modify a ball screw design to satisfy a customer’s chief design requirements. Case in point; Dynatect’s ball screw division has been replacing 2-piece ball nut designs with 1-piece ball-select method preload to reduce cost and eliminate backlash or lost motion. Older ball screw designs can be updated and simplified to make installation easier. Dynatect also offers bellows-type protectors to seal-out contaminants that diminish the ball screw’s service life. Reload and rebuild services can be further leveraged to delay or avoid a complete assembly replacement. For ball screw assemblies that are damaged beyond repair, Dynatect can manufacture a replacement in typically four to six weeks. They can be specified in English or metric dimensions, or a combination of both, from 5/8in. to 6 in. in diameter. This actual 2-piece ball-nut (that is, 2 point contact with the use of a shim preload) was redesigned by Dynatect engineers to be a 1-piece ball-nut with a 4-point contact, ball-select preload method.



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maxon precision motors EC 4 brushless dc motors (which can be fitted with GP 4 planetary gearheads) are 4 mm in diameter with an ironless winding; ISO 13485 certified; and suitable for use in laboratory robots, micropumps, and diagnostic devices. Two lengths deliver power to 0.5 and 1 W. “We also want to offer more valueadd services, as more companies than ever in the U.S. want finished motor and motion systems — so-called drop-in designs,” said McGrath of maxon. “So to that end, our expanding U.S. factory will have the capacity to supply custom assemblies and PCBs.”

ELECTRIC MOTORS: Trends in stepper and battery-powered motion designs FROM INDUCTION MOTORS in electric vehicles to tiny coreless dc motors in drug-delivery equipment, electric motors continue to proliferate. Last year we saw consumer products, implantable medical devices, and automation of previously manual tasks spur the most innovation in motor design and use. This year those trends continue — and now we see increased use of servo and stepper motors in robotics. In fact, whether it’s basic tin-can motors for low-cost custom actuation or integrated motors that output servo-like performance, overall use of stepper motors is growing. On the latter, a study by P&S Market Research projects a CAGR of 6.3% through 2023 for the global closed-loop stepper motor market. P&S cites the well-known benefits of controlfeedback signals and power-adjusted current control as key reasons for the technology’s steady adoption. Warren Osak, CEO of Toronto-based distributor Electromate Inc., sees this trend for integrated stepper motors, even while the middle of the stepper-motor



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market (actuated by standalone 1.8° hybrid stepper motors) recedes. Technology is either migrating upward (and taking the form of integrated motors or smart motors) or migrating downward — to lower-cost motors with less sophisticated structures, according to Osak. “The use of traditional hybrid stepper motors has been yielding to integrated products … while in lower-end applications, we see more use of less-sophisticated motors with customer-provided integrated chips (ICs) to drive them,” he added. Note that you’ll find the full interview with Osak in Design World’s upcoming Reference Guide in May and on Some closed-loop stepper manufacturers we surveyed for the Design World Trends issue include Schneider Electric Motion USA, Applied Motion Products Inc., Lin Engineering, MICROMO of Faulhaber, Oriental Motor Co., and Nippon Pulse America Inc. — with commentary from the latter in our actuator trends coverage. All detail pre-integrated or application-specific motor offerings. Case in point: Automation in the oil and gas industry has created numerous opportunities for motion control products, but stringent requirements |

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for hazardous location ratings rule out most standard motor and drive solutions. “To serve engineers in this industry, we’ve released the world’s only ATEX-rated stepper drive for hazardous locations … and this year we’ll introduce our first explosion-proof step motor to pair with it,” said Eric Rice of Applied Motion Products. “The drive is already being used on rigs in the oil field for applications where accurate braking and speed control of drill strings are required.” MOTORS IN (PROLIFERATING) BATTERY-POWERED DESIGNS Battery-powered designs such as ATVs, mobile robotics (including AGVs), scooters, ebikes, and drones present unique motionsystem challenges. Motors that integrate into these designs might need to accept 48, 24, or 12-V input, and nearly all of them must meet tough efficiency requirements. “Battery-powered equipment is spurring more demand for high-efficiency dc motors,” said Paul McGrath, national sales manager at maxon precision motors. “Here, we supply motors for robots that navigate retail stores to check inventory and verify that items are placed on shelves in the proper locations — often during an end-of-the-day surveillance sweeps. Some of our motors get efficiencies to 90% — far better than the 60% for comparable motor offerings.” Ironless-core motors in particular eliminate the losses of iron components; coreless motors from the motor maker also avoid the stray losses of laminate cores. Permanent magnets in both brush and brushless offerings further support maximal efficiency. In some cases, software can predict motor-system efficiencies. One such application lets engineers check the performance of different motor technologies based on key parameters. “So an engineer may have different voltage options available for a battery-operated device and need to know the

efficiency of a motion solution at those different voltages,” said Dave Beckstoffer of Portescap. “Using MotionCompass software here, design engineers can quickly test different voltages to see changes in the design’s efficiency The DRS2 Series compact linear actuator (and power) — and from Oriental Motor is a precision get information that ballscrew actuator fitted with an AZ normally would’ve Series stepper motor and absolute required testing in a mechanical encoder. This is one example lab.” This shortens the of the industry trend towards increasingly engineering time and integrated stepper-motor designs. reduces iterations to get to a final design. Where mobile designs such as AGVs and utility-task vehicles use electric motors for embedded robotics, it’s often a frameless permanent-magnet motor that directly integrates into the wheel drive and runs off low voltage, according to Osak of Electromate. “In our marketplace, size requirements are increasingly challenging — with torque-density requirements also increasing … and that’s especially true for motion designs that run off lowvoltage battery-operated systems,” he added. Others agree. “Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and other battery-powered equipment certainly require compactness. We see a trend towards higher-torque-density motors with integrated drive electronics as opposed to traditional BLDC motors with separate drives,” said Rice of Applied Motion Products. Rapid adoption of AGVs means a larger array of application requirements and a demand for faster design cycles. Here,

Portescap Ultra EC brushless dc motors have U-shaped coils to maximize power density — and let design engineers pick from multiple options to satisfy applications needing high speed, high torque, or both.



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MOTION SYSTEM TRENDS Here’s another example of the trend integrated motors provide modularity towards integrated stepper that lets designers iterate designs systems: LinFinity actuators quickly, and high-torque-density motor from Lin Engineering include designs let smaller motors deliver the a nut, polished leadscrew, and necessary torque, Rice added. stepper motor. A reservoir in the Still others cite the importance nut distributes a consistent of motor power density in these kinds layer of grease during of mobile applications — and how one operation. design never fits all. “With this in mind, we developed Ultra EC brushless dc motors with a patented U-shaped coil that maximizes power density,” said Beckstoffer. The coil lets design engineers pick from multiple options depending on whether an application requires high speed, high torque, or a combination of the two. “Having more power available from the motor lets engineers reduce the overall size of end product … and flexibility in motor lengths and base options ultimately let design engineers develop smaller products while boosting value to end users,” added Beckstoffer of Portescap. Of course, mobile motion designs such as AGVs are only one of many technologies that make automated warehouses work. “What we see in logistics and distribution centers is a continuing trend of making systems smarter. This means replacing older less-intelligent actuators such as pneumatic actuators with higher precision and programmable electromechanical actuators that can hold spread over a large physical area … and eliminating control cabinets to multiple positions over the full stroke,” said Rice. house drive electronics can significantly lower the cost of upgrading to According to Rice, integrated motors (such as integrated motors,” he noted. integrated step and servo motors) play a key role in this Look for a followup column on motor miniaturization in May’s trend. “That’s because logistics systems are typically Power Transmission Reference Guide.



Basic stepper motors have yielded to highly integrated designs, including those for linear motion … such as linear actuators from Schneider Electric Motion in NEMA sizes 14, 17, and 23. Based on single-stack 1.8° stepper motors with leadscrews, sometimes the manufacturer also integrates the actuators with programmable motion controllers, drive electronics, and optional encoders to form MDrive Plus actuators.



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Changes in specification and purchasing lead


THE ONGOING INTEREST in Industry 4.0 and overall connectivity has bearing industry experts predicting continued development in these areas for their R&D departments. We asked some of these bearing experts to give us an update on what they see coming down the line for bearings in the next few years. SUPPLY (CHAIN) AND DEMAND SHIFTS One of SKF's digital strategies is something the company bills Supply Chain 4.0, which aligns customer bearing repair needs directly to the manufacturing floor. Customers and SKF commit to a service partnership in a rotating equipment performance (REP) program. SKF designed this program to enable a customer’s equipment to reach the technical end of life with trouble-free operation. A valuable |

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This is an exploded view of an SKF rolling element bearing.

deliverable to these customers is knowledge regarding equipment health and impending repairs. “End users or design engineers can then order repair parts and bearings and prepare and plan equipment repairs accordingly — minimizing the impact on operational goals,” said Dave Staples, Strategic Sales and Services, SKF USA Inc. “SKF uses this information to drive production schedules so the bearing is manufactured and delivered in time for the planned repair.” Under some situations (and when timing is optimized) these bearings should rarely be placed in inventory. This process of interpreting data, taking appropriate actions, and flowing information from the customer to SKF is simplified within the digital ecosystem of the Industrial Internet of Things IIoT. This the entire process can become automated by deploying sensorized bearings with appropriate edge computing and sophisticated data analytics.

3 • 2018



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In fact, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) creates a foundation to let bearing manufacturers accomplish goals through rotating equipment performance (REP) programs. These are loyalty programs designed to allow the customer’s equipment to reach technical end of life with trouble-free operation. REP programs use sensors and edge technology to monitor equipment health. “It is the digital ecosystem along with connectivity within the IIoT that provides easy access to this data so that technology and subject matter experts can recommend corrective actions and assist in managing their implementation with minimal impact on manufacturing's operational goals,” said Staples. “These programs deliver value to the customers by improving equipment availability, reducing unplanned downtime, avoiding equipment failures, and eliminating repeat failures.” The programs also reduce overall maintenance costs by improving bearing and seal service life, enabling the use of re-manufactured (REMAN) bearings, improving lubrication and precision maintenance practices, and ultimately, reducing the number of repairs of rotating equipment. In one such REP program called Rotations for Life (RFL), customers and the manufacturer commit to a service partnership. In it, the manufacturer analyzes and interprets equipment data, identifying the root causes of equipment performance issues. In this model, SKF shares the risk with the customer to reach performance expectations. The RFL program is intended to disrupt the typical bearing MRO (maintenance, repair, and operating supplies) business model by allowing methods to implement reliability improvements by leveraging the monthly service fee structure and thus avoiding challenges of capital expense processes. BEARINGS DRIVE LOW-MAINTENANCE AND LOW-WEIGHT DESIGNS Consider battery and gas fueled AGVs, ATVs and UTVs into which millions of plastic and hybrid-material bearings from igus are installed. Such designs are seeing efforts to improve efficiency (to boost fuel economy or battery life) through lightweighting. "Plastic bearings can reduce weight five or six-fold when replacing metal equivalents, and that's huge in these mobile applications," said Nicole Lang, iglide product manager at igus.



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3 • 2018

"Currently the largest trend in motion design is reducing weight … and for this, plastic bearings offer significant advantages," underscored Lang. She cited the reduction in maintenance on equipment (with the use of self-lubricating and maintenance-free bearings such as iglide bearings) as another benefit. "As we're globally becoming more automated, maintenance-free setups are increasingly important." The latter design objective — that of reduced maintenance — is important to automated warehousing as well. On this, Lang of igus cites the maintenancefree aspect of plastic motion components (and precise calculation of expected life) as a driving benefit. The bearing manufacturer offers lifetime-calculation tools that output expected bearing life for a given application — along with product finders to help engineers pick components of the correct material … and free downloadable CAD models in a variety of formats. "We've always offered these services, making us a bit ahead of the curve … and we're working on more configurators to improve on the amount of data we provide design engineers.” BEARINGS GO ELECTRIC (IN VEHICLES) NKE’s order intake in 2017 was 50% up on the previous year. They expect both their turnover and the overall market to continue its growth at a similar rate in 2018 and 2019. “The bearings market is facing a radical change in the next five to ten years. The automotive market especially will come under pressure from the growing trend towards electric mobility and the reduced demand for conventional bearings this entails,” said Thomas Witzler, General Manager of NKE. “We expect capacities freed through this development to shift from automotive to the industrial sector, which will spur additional cost pressure.” A larger trend is that conventional automotive suppliers are increasingly transforming into system suppliers, as conventional mechanical components are now being replaced by intelligent specialized systems. “NKE is investing heavily in the technologies of tomorrow. Because conventional bearing technology is mostly at its limits, profitable growth will in the long term be possible only in niche markets. So we’re focusing on the development of intelligent products such as sensor bearings,” said Witzler. |

3/13/18 4:17 PM

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MOTION SYSTEM TRENDS Narrow igubal spherical balls from igus are developed directly from the injection-molding process. Users can insert the balls into existing metallic pillow block and flange bearing housings within seconds. Absence of external lubricants means dirt and dust can’t adhere to the bearings — which further minimizes wear.

The CB-14 bearing design from Kilian Mfg. combines two features that pair to reduce the metal-to-metal contact that commonly causes noise throughout conveyor systems. A nylon retainer separates and guides the balls, while a pressed-in nylon adapter eliminates any direct contact of bearing ring with conveyor shaft. An adapter flange also acts as a bearing shield to exclude contaminants.

This is an Austrianmade taper roller bearing from NKE and two cylindrical roller bearings from Fersa.



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3 • 2018 |

3/15/18 11:10 AM


Innovations in connectivity


for motion design

EASY CONNECTIONS to sensors, field devices, and other automation solutions are becoming the norm in motion control — that’s according to Brian O’Connor, director of product and market development at Aerotech. In fact, increasing affordability of electronics (and subsequent rise of IIoT) have spurred all branches of industrial automation to more networking. But even basic machine designs have benefitted from new cable and connector options that impart simplicity. Our recent survey of connectivity experts yielded details on these and other cable and connectors for power and networking components. This cable panel included Rich Buchicchio and Howard Lind of Cicoil Corp. and Eric Rice of Applied Motion Products; Horst Messerer, data, network, and bus technology sales manager at HELUKABEL; and Mark Kojak, V.P. of product management and business development in the Americas at Harting Inc. Read on for what they had to say — and be sure to visit for additional insight from other sources on IIoT trends and where Ethernet-based networking protocols are overtaking traditional fieldbuses. |

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3 • 2018

Buchicchio • Cicoil: Components with electronic functionality are clearly gathering and using more data than ever. We support this market segment with lightweight designs that exhibit reliability without signal degradation. More specifically, we’ve seen significant demand for data cable — including twisted shielded-pair data cables; Cat 5e, Cat 6A, and 50 & 75 Ω Coax cable; and HDMI, FireWire, Camera Link, and IDC ribbon cable. Messerer • HELUKABEL: We’re seeing a trend towards more use hybrid cables (those that combine power with control and data) for onecable setups. More design engineers than ever are requesting these cables for use in drag-chain and torsion applications.



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In traditional Buchicchio • Cicoil: We stock and servo designs, the servo sell a wide variety of standard motor and controller connect flat cable for motion control, by two cables — one for power to data and video, and powerthe motor and one for the transmisplus-signal applications … But sion of sensor or encoder data. Now engineering custom cable and HELUKABEL TOPSERV single-cable assemblies is at the heart of solutions include conductor for our company. We manufacture the transmission of signals sophisticated assemblies and and power. cable harnesses for demanding applications — including those for military and aerospace, medical devices and diagnostics, and semiconductor-equipment manufacturers. Plus we offer value-added overmolding, box builds, plug-and-play designs, and other engineering design services … and custom assemblies are fully tested before delivery. But others are taking a different tack to separate connections on relatively small motion components — to let engineers choose proprietary connectors only if they work for the application at hand. Rice • Applied Motion Products: We now offer a daisychain board connector for NEMA-11-frame StepSERVO Integrated Motors that separates communication terminals into two standalone power and I/O connectors — making it easier to establish daisy-chain connections on RS-485 and Modbus RTU networks. In contrast, standard configurations of Applied Motion's TSM11 (NEMA11-frame) motors incorporate a single 12-pin header that provides a power supply, input, output, and RS-485 communication terminals in a small integrated space … without sacrificing input and output connectivity to other devices, controllers, or HMIs on the machine. Of course, the materials from which cable and connectors are made continue to have significant impact on overall design. Buchicchio • Cicoil: Our products are suited to an array of emerging applications. All of our flat cables feature flexibility and durability; the rugged outer jackets withstand environments that are hot, cold, indoors, outdoors, on land or sea or in the air … or even space. Our cable is also compatible with sensitive environments (that are cleanroom rated) and where designs require kink-free cable. Messerer • HELUKABEL: We sell molded M12 connectors in D and X-coded versions (male and female) for use with Category 5 and 6A cables (which cover higher data transmission rates to 10 GBit/sec). But materials are important here; the metal casing of both the connector and socket makes the assembly robust and resistant to dirt and moisture — even to IP67.



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Lind • Cicoil: Thinner-jacketed (more flexible) versions of our data cables maintain EMI/RFI protection … and we’ve recently developed round Cat5e cable, HDMI cable, and Micro IDC cable with a 0.25-in. pitch. These feature ultra-fine wire stranding and Flexx-Sil jacketing for unsurpassed flexibility, durability, and usability in extremely harsh environments. Messerer • HELUKABEL: PVC insulation in standard and hybrid cables is being reduced and replaced with PE or PP-based compounds. The latter compounds make cables low smoke and halogen-free (LSZH) … plus necessitate a smaller cable diameter (and lighter weight) because of reduced wall thickness. This in turn is due to the fact that PE and PP have higher insulation resistance than PVC compounds. PVC is cheaper, but isn’t low smoke or halogen-free … and has limited insulation resistance. That’s why cables with PVC jackets necessitate thicker walls to get adequate voltage-resistance levels. |

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Buchicchio • Cicoil: We’ve formulated a silicone rubber polymer called Flexx-Sil that works as a flat-cable outer jacketing … Plus we use ultra-fine wire stranding in conductors. The combination of this conductor wire and supple Flexx-Sil jacketing (made with our extrusion process) produces a cable unsurpassed in flexibility — one that weighs less and consumes less physical space than conventional round cable with comparable electrical and signal performance. In addition, Flexx-Sil cable jacketing is translucent and waterproof; UV and chemical resistant; and can withstand temperature extremes (operating from -65° to +260° C and remaining flexible even at -100° C); has the natural flexibility of silicone rubber (which is more than twice as flexible as PVC and PTFE insulation); and exhibits high material stability and low outgassing (with zero halogen). The cable jacketing

Machine monitoring is an option with igus intelligent robot cable that warns users of impending failure. If certain parameters are exceeded during dynamic cable operation, a warning is triggered, indicating that the cable must be replaced. The cable concept is based on igus’ Chainflex cables — stranded and shielded to maximize life with an array of jacket materials.

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Image courtesy HELUKABEL

is also durable with a durometer rating of 65 (Shore A) or a durometer rating of 85 (Shore A) in a SuperTuff version. When asked about cable and connector options to impart simplicity or turnkey operation, our sources cited modular and universal systems. Messerer • HELUKABEL: Our UL/CSAapproved pre-assembled data cables for Industrial Ethernet can include molded M12 and RJ45 industrial connectors, so engineers can modularly assemble any possible combination of cables and connectors — to design product built exactly for their needs. Plus with highspeed data cables (with transmission rates to 10 GBit/sec) the molded M12 and RJ45 connectors guarantee a faster and more reliable connection within control cabinets, machinery, and in-the-field operations.



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Kojak • HARTING: Connectivity components must be compact, so we’ve expanded the Han-Modular product line with Smart Han modules that allow connection of active components. Using the same footprint as other Han-Modular modules, these let engineers create custom connectors using off-the-shelf modules that join in any combination to integrate power, control signals, and data into a single connection. This connector series revolutionized the industry when released in 1994 and remains our fastestgrowing product line. Messerer • HELUKABEL: We offer one RJ45 connector that has bandwidth to 500 MHz and supports data rates up to 10 GBit/sec … so it’s suitable for demanding industrial applications. The connector comes in a linear or angled version so works in industrial areas with limited space.

3 • 2018

Lind • Cicoil: EZ-Flexx Flat Cable features a new external profile and inner jacket that makes it just as easy to strip and terminate with connectors as conventional round cable — even allowing use of automated stripping equipment. This lets OEMs and other commercial users to capitalize on the advantages and benefits of flat cable attributes and performance, without the labor overhead experienced with other types of flat cable. Rice • Applied Motion Products: Designing very small integrated motors — motors with a NEMA 11 frame size, for example — means fitting as much functionality as possible into a tiny footprint. Because many users of our NEMA-11 motors had space for a slightly larger |

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WHEEL OF FORTUNE We love to see YOU win!

Some Applied Motion Products NEMA-11-frame StepSERVO integrated motors (left) separate terminals. In contrast, standard configurations integrate them.

connector arrangement, we configured a new three-connector arrangement as an optional add-on component to three lengths the TSM11. (These integrated motors include TSM11Q1RM-H01, TSM11Q-2RM-H01, and TSM11Q-3RM-H01.) Owners of existing single-connector modules also can upgrade their TSM11 integrated motors in the field by purchasing the daisy-chain connector board separately. In some cases, sizing software simplifies the specification process. Lind • Cicoil: Our online Flat Cable Configurator provides fast and easy custom cable design on desktop and mobile devices. Point and click to add any of a wide variety of conductors (including pre-configured modules) for many standardized functions — such as USB 3.0, Cat 6a, and Camera Link. A click-and-drag function lets users position their selected conductors anywhere they choose on the cable. Then engineering drawings, custom part numbers, and cost per foot are delivered immediately to the engineer’s email inbox. More cable and connectivity offerings are designed with miniaturization or compactness in mind. Buchicchio • Cicoil: Micro IDC ribbon cable with 0.025in. pitch is compact — and it’s more flexible (and can tolerate higher voltages) than standard designs ... so is especially suitable for use in confined areas.

3 • 2018


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offer practical option for cutting-edge motion designs BELT DRIVES include belts and pulleys (as well as clutches and mechanisms for ratio variation) for power transmission between shafts. In cases where these drives function as a conveyor, the load rides on the belt. Elsewhere (as in actuators or machineaxis coupling) belt drives function as the device to convert rotary motion of an electric motor to linear strokes. Key benefits include vibration and shock damping.

Global Industry Analysts Inc. USA (GIA) projects that the global market for belt drives will reach $6.9 billion by 2022 — due in large part to demand for heavy industrial, conveyor, and construction equipment. The U.S. is the largest market for belt drives, followed by Asia-Pacific (according to GIA, growing at a CAGR of 4.8%) thanks to rapid industrialization and the modernization of manufacturing plants and facilities. In contrast with chain drives (more common in precision timing and high-torque applications) belt drives are relatively quiet and don’t require lubrication. According to GIA, demand for higher belt-drive efficiency is spurring increased use of metal belts — particularly for medical-device manufacture, conveyors, robotics, and solar-panel manufacturing. Other trends include more use of aramid, polyamide, or polyester belts with rugged NBR elastomer covers (to maintain reliable belt-pulley friction). High-efficiency belt drives are also seeing continued adoption. Yet another trend in motion design (including machines driven by belts and pulleys) is the rise of pre-integrated solutions — so that end users and even OEMs are now getting completely

Belts can break if misused, overloaded, jammed, subject to shock or crashes, or degraded by contamination. In vertical belt-driven applications, this is particularly dangerous — because loads can fall if the belt breaks. Now a cam-lock arresting wedge system (CLAWS) Mechanism from Macron Dynamics slows and stops the load before it falls. In short, a retractable pawl hovers over a T slot in the actuator. A carbonfiber-filled polymer belt dedicated to work with the CLAWS sits captured in this slot. Should the belt fail or break losing tension, a spring load drives the pawl teeth into this dedicated belt. Because the mechanism uses gravity to operate, it’s meant for vertical to 45° downward-sloping actuators. Macron Dynamics’ president Tony Cirone was spurred to develop the CLAWS by a local custmer that handles exotic materials and needed the material to get transported safely during all steps of production. A brake on the motor or a rail brake would’ve been insufficient, as this end user wanted to address what would happen if there was belt breakage.



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Manufacturers of Power Transmission and Motion Control Components

mechanically integrated units that go beyond just the one part or actuator to satisfy projects. “Much of our competition sells light subsystems or components,” said Michael G. Giunta, national sales manager for Macron Dynamics Inc., headquartered in Croydon, Pa. “We too understand there’s a shortage of engineers in the market, and engineers are busier than ever. So there’s high demand from end users to get systems or products quickly. Some of what Macron Dynamics sells is predesigned multi-axis mechanical actuators and motion systems — fully assembled with connecting kits, hardware, cable tracks, and gearboxes … so the customer can simply add their own motors or end effectors,” explained Giunta. An engineer trying to develop such a system on his own might need a week or maybe even two weeks of research and work. Pulleys and sprockets As a lot of manufacturers that supply need tight dimensional and linear-motion components and Cartesian geometrical tolerances to deliver top assemblies, the manufacturer does a lot performance. Even narrow pulleys for tight of the engineering and the design work enclosures can use shaft locks (such as the in advance using a Lego or erectorShaftloc shown here) as it has engineered dimensions set mentality, as Giunta puts it — to transmit more torque than clamp or setscrew essentially taking a modular approach connections. In short, SDP/SI Shaftloc components to component design. connect pulleys to shafts without marring — for easy “We have a detailed conversation repositioning and synchronizing rotating components. with the engineer on the design The manufacturer aims to make this and other requirements, and then quickly engineer product robust — especially for miniature pulleys and assemble subsystems. Part of this and sprockets, according to Cris Ioanitescu,

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is understanding the weight and other characteristics of transported objects — and how fast they need to move. We start formulating a mechanical design that will work … and share some basic concept drawings … and then we go from there,” he added. The company roots are in extrusions but then expanded into linear actuation — beginning with single-axis linear actuation and then the supply of multi-axis solutions ... even to four axes. Many of the manufacturer’s Cartesian arrangements directly compete with robots such as SCARAs (in the case of the H-bot and the T-bot) or delta robots (in the case of the Macron Tri-bot, due out next year). Key advantages of Cartesian robotics over other options are price, higher payloads, and longer strokes. When asked about the extrusions business, Giunta underscored that while Macron Dynamics still owns and uses

Use of Cartesian robots with belt-driven axes has risen with automation. Macron Dynamics sells linear-motion systems based on traditional belt and screw actuation and is now working to offer these multi-axis machines as well.










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Accelerated belt-aging stands from SAKOR Technologies Inc. help belt manufacturers and large OEMs predict belt life and noise — helping to support the enduring trend towards ever-more reliable and quiet motion designs. The stands subject belts to dynamic loads, temperatures, and stresses to impart physical degradation — and meet standards that give instructions on test configurations (and their pulley diameters and power loads) as well as guidance for interpreting test data.

its own (locally made) dies, it mostly produces extrusions for its own linear-product offerings — and to make them a bit more robust than other gantries on the market. This extends to even very large linear guideways and actuators, as in some of the 7th-axis robot tracks that the company makes. “Macron Dynamics aims for innovation — so we don't go off of a catalog or what's commercially available, but aim to integrate materials and technologies to solve tricky enduser problems — with complete mechanical solutions that go beyond standalone components.” One such application-specific mechanism improves belt drive reliability and safety. “A lot of people don't trust belt technology in vertical arrangements … so we've developed a proprietary timing-belt design and CLAWS Mechanism — which is short for cam-lock arresting wedge system. Basically, the latter is a fully mechanical design that grasps the belt if it were to catastrophically fail,” added Giunta. That way, the payload on the carriage can’t fall — so imparts safety to protect personnel as well as the payload or product being transported. Otherwise, in applications in which tooling is very expensive, the CLAWS can prevent it from crashing into the ground or tabletop should it be holding an object should (in a rare occurrence) the belt fail. Essentially a charged system that uses springs, the CLAWS has a shuttle that can slide forward up an incline ... and that incline can set itself into any part of the travel of the vertically oriented actuator and lock itself. The belt must actually break cleanly to trigger the mechanism to release itself with the slide and shuttle — to go up the incline and lock itself into another belt that also runs the length of the actuator.


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& BRAKES CLUTCHES Top trends in IoT — and uses on ac-motor conveyors and servodesigns

CLUTCHES AND BRAKES work in motion systems to stop or hold or index axes — but must do so to application specifications. No wonder then that the trend in this technology is away strictly stock parts. According to Lesli Riehemann, president at Mach III Clutch Inc., customized brakes and clutches are now 75 to 80% of her company’s annual production. What’s more, an increasing number of clutch and brake manufacturers are now looking to supply non-catalog products — and so customization has become normalized. In fact, industrial brakes and clutches could become a $1.7 billion market by 2024, mostly due to investment in industrial automation and the rise of smart factories. That’s according to Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA). The quickest-growing industries include those related to material handling, food and beverage, machine tools, and textiles. As with other technologies, the fastest rate of adoption is in the Asia-Pacific region — with a CAGR of 8.4% for the clutch and brake market over the next six years. Whether stock or specific to an application, clutch and brake specification and integration must be simple. For more on this — and what else design engineers require from designs today, we spoke with Gary Haasch, senior product and engineering manager at the Electric Clutches and Brakes Group of Altra Industrial Motion. Here’s what he had to say. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and other battery-powered mobile equipment are increasingly common. Here, we sell an ERS Brake specifically designs for AGV systems to provide static holding with limited emergencystop dynamic braking. As with AGVs, the trend for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility task vehicles (UTVs) today is for the brake or clutch manufacturer to provide features that necessitate less effort for the end user — including more mechanical control with less physical effort. On a related note — that of automated warehousing — we’re selling more C-Face-mounted clutch brakes than in the past. These are for controlling ac-motor-powered conveyors.



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Warner Electric ERS Series brakes are springset and electrically released to provide holding as well as occasional dynamic stopping functions in emergency situations. |

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Some designs have backup drives that engage if there’s an emergency and the main drive becomes inoperable. Traditional designs require something to manually or electrically decouple the main drive and connect the backup — for example, on military vehicles or platforms to let operators use manual auxiliary mechanisms when needed. Because brakes usually hold drive position, they must be manually disengaged for the manual system to begin driving. Now, Mechanical Torque Lock (MTL) products from Carlyle Johnson are a new option that automatically transfer motion to secondary drive systems. They include a spring-engaged electromagnetically released clutch for automatic braking when the motor drive is de-energized or if vehicle power is lost.

In contrast, Cartesian robots require servomotor brakes — with the ability to engage in static holding … and with functional e-stop dynamic braking of servomotors for each axis of a robot. On the topic of IoT — the fact is that the IoT is here … it’s no longer the future. So the sky’s the limit on what remote actuation (and dashboard monitoring) can work on the many devices in our everyday lives. We see IoT influencing the brake and clutch industry so we’re starting to investigate where IoT might be helpful as a value-added feature. Direct consumer products have the most appeal, but the market isn’t financially ready to support IoT functionality. That said, as the cost for technologies to support IoT functionality comes down, we think we’ll see more controllability and feedback through smartphone technology. For now, our focus is to educate end users on the value of real-time access to system information — including functional alerts (to prompt adjustments) or predictive maintenance of clutches and brakes. On the topic of industrial IoT (IIoT), increasingly networked manufacturing has spurred us to begin

several programs for operators wanting remote access and monitoring. For example, one potential IIoT clutch application is for the activation (and performance and condition monitoring) of a clutch assembly in an oil-well pump jack. Right now a manufacturer uses our clutch in this application to let an engine restart without load after maintenance. Our clutch also disengages the engine if the oil level of a well falls below a suction tube (to let the oil level recover). More specifically, this is a Warner Electric Mag Stop clutch (which is bearing mounted and has steel friction plates); a pulley accommodates twin V-belts that drive the pump shaft. The modified clutch is a variation of standard CMS clutches (which come rated to 200 or 250 ft-lb). Before the clutch was added to this design, the engine kept running (which accelerated wear) or shut down (necessitating restart). Besides IoT, we see other trends in the design and use of brake and clutch technology … In applications where safety and e-stopping is networked, power-off brakes are increasingly common, as these brakes engage immediately when the power source is disabled. On the topic of software to improve designs — we use electromechanical simulation software on clutch and brake designs to get maximum torque performance. The software simulates lines of flux from a wound coil to predict the attractive force that yields the torque capacity of Matrix the clutch or brake. This in turn lets us validate spring-applied, designs much faster than what’s possible with electromagnetically-released traditional design approaches — which are 1EB Series servo motor brakes usually through a build-test-redesign product are widely used on industrial robot development cycle. applications. The brakes maintain In terms of new brake offerings over the torque during static/holding operations and occasional E-stop last year, we’ve introduced more power-off (dynamic stopping) engagement brakes for both static holding and dynamic in the case of power e-stop braking of servomotor-driven applications failure. … and similar brakes for electric vehicles.



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Power Transmission and Motion Control Solutions for Industrial Applications

Heavy Duty Clutches and Brakes

Electric Clutches and Brakes

Gear Motors

Overrunning Clutches

Gear Drives

Engineered Couplings & Universal Joints

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Altra -- Motion System Casebook 11.17.indd 53

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Integration, software tools top

CONTROLLER AS MACHINES become more complex, designers are looking for more integrated solutions to simplify overall machine design. So engineers are becoming more savvy about their automation choices, and are seeking solutions that offer better precision and performance all in one package. And controls manufacturers have heard the message. For instance, Lenze just recently introduced a new safety controller, the c250–S, which brings the whole safety solution into the machine. In combination with the Lenze controller family, the safety controller completes the total solution by adding required safety functions like the safe bus coupler and safe I/O. The controller follows Lenze’s easy toolchain approach where the safety controller is part of the engineering toolchain for the whole Lenze system. The safety controller is integrated in


the PLC Designer, the Lenze engineering tool for PLC programming, and requires no additional software. This makes it easy for machine builders to program the safety functions together with the whole machine application. Other manufacturers are integrating components and functions while also shrinking their product footprints, another ongoing trend. AMK has developed MultiServo, four axes of motor control and an integrated motion control in the space (and cost) of two drives. With MultiServo, machine builders can make the control of servo axes even more multifunctional, precise, and cost-effective and up to 60% more compact. The single module is only 130 mm wide, 320 mm high and 230 mm deep. The MultiServo module also has application in robotics. Specifically, it’s an IP20-based drive bank that has a robotic/motion controller integrated inside. It can control four servo axes configured to match the mechanical system being controlled. The compact design allows a cascade of robots to fit into a single small cabinet. The integrated controller means the robots can be standardized quickly regardless of the mechanical system, providing robust control from any supervising system. As the AMK Multi Servo example shows, robots and other automated

Omron’s NJ5 controller features OPC UA compatibility, the industrial communication protocol that enables data exchange between machines and from machine to IT systems, especially useful for IoT or Industry 4.0 applications. It also offers data security through encryption and authentication.



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A Total Motion Control Solution Seamless integration for motion control applications By combining IDEC MicroSmart FC6A PLCs and AMCI stepper motion controllers, you get a stepper control solution that saves integration time, wiring time and cost. Plus, built-in macro instructions allow you to easily integrate your motion control profile. Utilizing advanced features, IDEC MicroSmart FC6A is able to manage everything from simple machines to large systems. Programming software can be configured with drag and drop commands to control up to 12 axes of motion, offering better value and reliability than other stepper solutions. AMCI

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Key Features • Seamless integration for control applications

• Embedded SD Port

• 3-in-1 units (Controller+Drive+Motor)

• Modbus TCP and RTU

• Built-in macro instructions

• Data Logging

• WindEDIT App available for smartphone

• Web Server Functions

• Bluetooth Communication 800.262.IDEC

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AMK’s MultiServo line combines four axes of servo motion control into the space of two drives, integrating industrial production and the latest communication technology for IoT/Industry 4.0

vehicles are a growing area for controllers. These automated vehicles are at the front lines of full-automated operation, and many come in the form of mobile robots. “Omron offers a variety of mobile robots – or Autonomous Intelligent Vehicles (AIV), that are able to carry different functions to help customers in manufacturing as well as warehousing and distribution,” says Greg Dieck, Motion

Product Manager at Omron. “For example, in hospitality, they are used to deliver incidentals to guests’ rooms; in food and beverage packaging, they are used to carry raw material inputs to various lines for integration into the final product; and in manufacturing, they are often used to carry sub components to the production line for final assembly. We’ve even seen them used to deliver mail to different departments in large companies.” Dieck adds that these AIVs are also used in many different facets of warehousing and distribution. The AIVs can be easily called from different locations to pick up and transport products to different locations within a warehouse.

Software developments also play a big role in controller developments. For instance, Omron has been adding software-based capabilities to its controllers that mean an array of applications can be serviced easily. Specifically, this affects the IIoT and the increasingly networked world of manufacturing. “Omron launched IO-Link to help monitor and maintain the highest level of production integrity and accuracy,” adds Dieck. “Combined with Omron InduSoft, the company offers a predictive maintenance solution to prevent downtime or costly production stops before they occur.” They’re also expanding into safe motion over EtherCAT, which will allow control and safety over one wire. Using the latest technologies, Omron offers advanced motion at a high safety level (SIL3), which helps designers with faster set-up time as well as better throughput, all while running in a safe mode. Other software capabilities include the ability to use the company’s programming software to auto-tune and set up servos. The software can also simulate the program performance and timing which allows users to calculate throughput on their machine while still in the designing stages and ensure that they are getting the best performance possible. The company has also created their own sizing software, which lets them account for complex mechanical systems. Customers can export a file from the sizing software and use it to create hardware configurations in the company’s programming software.

The LD robot from Omron is a self-mapping and self-navigating autonomous intelligent vehicle. The mobile robots are fully safety compliant and use an onboard laser and other sensors to detect obstacles in their path and, based on speed of travel, trigger an E-stop to prevent vehicle collision.



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Top five

CONVEYOR BY KATE NADEAU | MK NORTH AMERICA WITH ALL OF THE RECENT TALK about automation and the factory of the future, it’s easy to forget the workhorse of nearly every processing or manufacturing plant — the conveyor. As technologies develop and factories get leaner and smarter, so does the conveyor. Big, bulky conveyors with oversized drive rolls and large industrial motors and rubberized belts are relics of a bygone era. Today’s conveyors are sleek, efficient, and flexible machines that fit in small locations and handle a variety of tasks well beyond moving product from point to point. As conveyor technology develops, there are a number of trends to watch in 2018. NUMBER 5 – ADVANCED MATERIALS In our ever-changing world, advanced materials are commonplace. The same can certainly be said

ta ble -w idt Th is is an ad jus



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trends of 2018

about advanced materials in today’s manufacturing and processing environments. Developments in advanced materials are evident everywhere, and in particular can be seen foremost on conveyors. DET food-grade metal-detectable belts from Chiorino are an excellent example of advanced conveyors. These belts are FDA, HACCP, and EU food regulation compliant, and are bacterial resistant and have excellent cleaning procedures. Additionally, these belts can detect parts up to three times smaller than other metal-detectable belts, ultimately making the food processed on lines using this belt safer for manufacturers and everyday consumers. According to Rick Noble (representative partner for Chiorino America) Chiorino's in-house chemists work consistently to improve the performance, longevity, and function of materials used in making conveyor belts. NUMBER 4 – SMARTER MOTORS AND CONTROLLERS All around, it’s evident that motors and controllers are becoming smarter. This fast-paced technology sector can be seen in everything from cars to modern washing machines to high school science fairs

nv ey or. h tim ing be lt co

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WE HAVE AN ANSWER FOR THAT. CONTI® SYNCHROCHAIN CARBON never needs oiling, retensioning and greatly increases performance for applications with extremely high torque. Let’s talk soon if you need a better drive combination. Visit to learn more. INDUSTRIAL AND HYDRAULIC HOSE • POWER TRANSMISSION PRODUCTS • CONVEYOR BELT

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better products. better solutions.

Regardless of what makes your material handling application unique mk can provide a standard or custom solution — that meets your needs and keeps your business moving. h Aluminum framed conveyors h Featuring plastic modular belt, roller, chain and belt conveyors h Pallet-handling conveyor systems h Stainless steel conveyors h Extruded aluminum t-slot framing

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to the modern factory. But motors and controllers aren’t merely becoming smarter. They are also becoming smaller and more streamlined, while their capacity and functionality increases. So it’s no wonder that conveyors benefit from these developments as well. Conveyor manufacturing companies can offer conveyors that have a motor and controller built into a single module. They can also offer control communications that work with specific factory communication systems. Servo stepper motors are used in a variety of indexing and positioning applications. The potential uses for today’s smart motors and controllers with conveyor systems are nearly limitless … though it’s important to ensure that the conveyor’s mechanical capabilities can match those of the electrical system employed with it. NUMBER 3 – COMPACT FOOTPRINTS Space has always been a premium in many manufacturing and processing environments, and compact footprints are still on the trends list in 2018. Over recent years there have been many developments in conveyor design that allow conveyors to take up less space, and these developments will continue. Conveyors with drum motors (which contain the motor internal to the conveyor’s drive pulley) are becoming more prevalent in today’s factorie ... and conveyor design is no longer limited to those with large-diameter drive drums. Today it is possible to drive a belt conveyor with a dc-powered drive drum motor that is less than two inches in diameter. Drive drum motors and conveyors are not limited to belt conveyor styles; they are also available for plastic modular belt conveyors. These drive drums are outfitted on the external diameter with sprockets that engage the underside of the plastic modular belt. This is an expansion of the technology



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This SPU recirculating pallet conveyor from mk North America is suitable for accumulating applications. This version shown here is a single-wide variation that excels in buffering areas that compensate for different cycle times — both upstream and downstream. used for decades in the design and build of motorized roller conveyors. As this technology expands, additional conveyor types, like timing belt or chain conveyors, could benefit from the use of internal drive drum motors. These not only reduce the overall height and footprint of a conveyor, but according to drum-motor manufacturer Van der Graaf, drive drum motors also improve electrical and mechanical efficiencies. Conveyor systems that carry product on uniform pallets and pallethandling conveyor systems are also becoming more compact. Transfers between conveyors are streamlined, utilizing direction-changing modules and pallets with mating features. Additionally, pallet positioning devices, including stops, locates, and rotates are also being combined into all-in-one modules. This reduces the number of separate devices down the length of the conveyor, which means less floor space is required. Design innovations have also made asynchronous pallet conveyors; that recirculate the pallet possible. Previously separate conveyors as well as vertical transfer units were needed to recirculate an empty pallet back to the start of the line. But now, this can all be done in one conveyor such as the SPU 2040, which employs Vukollan pressure pads at the pulleys. NUMBER 2 – DEFINED YET FLEXIBLE PURPOSES Conveyors have always been versatile machines, able to fill the gap between processes. After all, they are the workhorse of the factory. And in that sense, they’ve had defined purposes for a while. For example, a conveyor used in a commercial bakery is not the same as one used to weld automotive parts. So why have conveyors with a defined purpose become a trend in 2018? Specific-function conveyors are necessary because they’re unique in their defined purposes. Going forward, it will be more common to find conveyors outfitted with light panels for vision applications, scales and meters for weighing and measuring applications, or vacuums for precise or complex transporting applications. Adjustable-width conveyors will also gain in use because a single conveyor for carrying parts of different lengths and widths is more desirable over multiple conveyors or conveyors that require complex changeovers. “We are seeing more and more requests for conveyors designed for a specific task, yet at the same time the conveyor also needs to be able to handle multiple products of different sizes,” said Tom Schaffner, sales and business development manager for mk North America. “Take for example a recent job where we were tasked with designing a conveyor that would act as a storage device and recirculate the product which was glass vials. The glass vials came in a wide variety of sizes and with various bottom surfaces. |

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Requests like this are common and mk's conveyors and engineers are up for the challenge.” NUMBER 1 – GETTING SMARTER With all of recent the innovations in automation and robotics, it’s no wonder that conveyors are also getting smarter. In addition to the increased functionality of motors and controllers as described above, conveyors are also being outfitted with additional technologies. The world still has a place for “dumb” conveyors that simply move product from A to B, but there is increased demand for conveyors that can talk to the other machines and robots on the line. Developments in software, hardware, and advancements in computerization make it all possible. However, the technology isn’t limited to items “added” to conveyors. Conveyors themselves benefit from smarter designs. Take for instance Intralox’s AIM belt and conveyor technology. Designed specifically for use in the primary packaging areas of food processing plants, AIM takes all of the features and benefits of Intralox’s ARB belting and adapts it for use in washdown areas. AIM belting and conveyors allow for merging, switching, and single- and multi-zone sorting via a single conveyor. Gone are the designs of yesteryear that required slow, aggressive, and dangerous equipment to achieve automation. “The benefits of AIM include reducing non-valueadded labor, increasing throughput (by allowing higher line speeds and eliminating product damage) and enhancing process flexibility with a simple, cleanable, and reliable solution,” said Max Correa, product manager at Intralox. These are just five of the many conveying trends we’ll see in 2018. These trends are likely to grow further in the coming years, as conveying technology adapts along with the growing automation trend. Working with conveyor manufacturers and conveyor part suppliers who have an eye on the future will help ensure your line employs the most cutting-edge innovations.

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COUPLING TRENDS 2018: Customization and materials IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE of coupling innovation, it’s design engineers leading the drive towards higher overall performance. Users have been vocal about specific coupling needs … and coupling manufacturers have listened. So how are their engineering teams completing design engineers’ motion systems? They’re streamlining communications for custom coupling designs and adding new materials to their product lines. Here are just a few examples of how the couplingspecification process is evolving. QUICKER COUPLING CUSTOMIZATION Zero-Max has responded to market demands for durable customized couplings with a customized quoting system. The company’s staff will interview the design engineer and discuss the application and expectations of the product. After this interview, they fill out a detailed application and design document and send it to their coupling design engineering team. Often, there are conversations to convey the exact requirement and needs. Zero-Max recently helped a design engineer who needed large floating shaft couplings to operate at very high speeds. The engineer was concerned about the coupling’s axial natural frequency band and what speed range it would be present. First the design- team simulated and designed the coupling … and submitted the initial product drawing to an internal process of estimation for the cost of manufacture. Next, a production team estimated the materials, machining, and assembly time needed for the customized product — and then sent the package to a Zero-Max sales engineer.



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This is a three-piece rigid coupling from Ruland that eliminates risk of a cross-cut failure associated with traditional clamp-type rigid couplings.

This specifying customer reviewed the quotation and placed the order. Upon the receipt, the manufacturer’s service team filled out an order in ZeroMax’s ERP software. That system initiated an order for engineering to create a new part number and approval drawing for the specifying engineer. This approval drawing was sent to the customer for their signature approval — who then inspected the detailed drawing and approved it via email. The order was processed, and the couplings were made within the quoted lead time and shipped to the specifying engineer a day early. These included an |

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Rexnord Omega close-coupled elastomeric couplings have a split-in-half flex elements and reversible hubs. The couplings come in 16 sizes with interchangeable element types — and they handle torque to 340,200 lb-in. and shaft diameters up to 9-in.

80-in. floating shaft coupling with an engineered axial natural frequency band; a blind-fit coupling allowing the assembly of two fixed shafts without disassembly; and large-scale floating shaft coupling for high-power wind turbines. “Virtually anything is possible — only limited by the application equipment being used,” said Bob Mainz, V.P. at Zero-Max.


STEERING COLUMNS GET A LIFT In contrast, Huco of Altra Industrial Motion Corp. focuses on Oldham couplings suitable for forklift steering columns. Repetitive maneuvers, space limitations, and long hours make for a demanding coupling application. The challenge of reliability issues means that forklift steering systems are now receiving increased attention from manufacturers. For some OEMs, that search has brought them to the proven Oldham couplings. The modern Huco Oldham coupling is precision engineered throughout — having two hubs with inward-facing tenons. These engage with matching slots spaced at 90° in a central lightweight torque disc. As the coupling rotates, the disc compensates for any parallel shaft offset by sliding the commensurate distance along each tenon in turn. A


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PRECISE. ROBUST. AVAILABLE. These new generation CD® Couplings feature zero backlash precision and high torsional stiffness. They answer today’s demanding needs in servo motor applications with high reverse loads and positioning requirements. New clamp style hubs handle increased torque on shafts without using keyways. Manufactured of RoHS compliant materials. Now size, select and see the right CD® Coupling solution for your coupling application with Zero-Max 3D CAD files. Check our FAST deliveries. 800.533.1731

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hard, low-friction face on the working surface guarantees long, trouble-free operation. Over the years, Huco has continued to refine and improve the design of its Oldham couplings. One recent innovation is the development of a specially designed larger diameter disc that allows coupling models to handle 25% higher torque loads than their predecessors. Oldham couplings don’t just offer high levels of inherent reliability. They can also help to improve the overall maintainability of the mechanical system in which they operate. Because Huco manufactures the disc at the center of the coupling from high-grade engineering polymer, it can become a sacrificial element. In the event of very high loads, the disc will break … acting as a mechanical fuse to protect other components. Should this occur, replacement of a broken disc is a quick and inexpensive operation. What’s more, for forklift steering applications, a common configuration uses aluminum alloy hubs and acetal torque discs. OTHER NEW MATERIALS FOR COUPLINGS With Massachusetts-based Ruland Mfg., new materials are used … though not on the beam of the coupling itself. Robert Watkins, V.P. of sales and applications at Ruland Mfg. explains how a new coating helps clamp-type couplings. “Ruland manufactures straight-bore rigid couplings. Precision honing of the bores ensures collinearity and reduces the likelihood of the coupling introducing misalignment into the system. Ruland supplies all clamp type hardware with proprietary Nypatch anti-vibration coating. Nypatch is a 360° nylon-based coating applied around several threads of the screw. It provides for even seating of the screw, prevents galling, and allows for repeated screw installations. Nypatch saves end users considerable time in assembly as no additional screw treatment is necessary.”

This Zero-Max CD custom coupling has high power capacity but is compact — making it a suitable highpower density coupling.



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Timken Quick-Flex couplings

When equipment operates in harsh environments, reliability is crucial. Timken Quick-Flex elastomeric couplings can withstand harsh conditions yet need minimal maintenance. There’s no metal-to-metal contact — so there’s less need to periodically replace the hubs and other metal components.

R+W now sells two new smaller STN series safety couplings with conical clamping hubs to bring heavy-duty industrial-style overload protection into midsize applications. Sizes 2 and 5 STN couplings cover disengagement torques ranging from 200 to 5,000 Nm and shaft diameters from 45 to 80 mm.

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DRIVE TRENDS: more connectivity, integration SOME OF THE LEADING drive manufacturers tell us what trends they’re seeing in the industries they serve and what is new and coming down the road. What new design trends are you seeing in areas such as robotics, battery powered designs, automated vehicles, and safety in motion control designs? Tom Jensen • SVP/General Manager • AMK Automation: AMK has worked on two aspects of mobile applications; higher power density servo motor modules and remote connectivity for control of devices. Power density is important because mobile applications commonly run on batteries, so we have to make the most of a small power source. AMK has for years made low voltage (24/48 Vdc) servo motors and has introduced a better magnet design and high-density motor windings to get even more power from the same input energy. Because these are servos, we add value to the needed motion controller, offering web-based GUI (reachable through WiFi or Bluetooth), making the diagnostics and control of mobile vehicles and peripherals secure and safe from wireless devices. For logistics centers, AMK has developed a turnkey conveyor cell control “MAKeCC” that can be quickly deployed across an entire facility. The core of the technology is the AMK iX decentralized

amplifier/IO module that is used 1-for-1 on the physical conveyor modules that comprise a manufacturing/conveyor cell. The iX daisy-chained conveyors can be dynamically discovered and parameterized by an AMK iSA controller to work in conjunction with dozens of other conveyor modules, and other like conveyor cells. This structure provides product flow control, OEE for all plant equipment and expandability, and eliminates the need for integration of nonstandard / non-control-based equipment. ABM Drives: ABM’s continuous developments of integrated steer feedback sensor systems in traction units for AGV applications combine mechanical and electrical reliability with closed-loop steer feedback to meet any upcoming regulations. Electric on-road applications, all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, agricultural vehicles, and mobile construction vehicles require a well-thought-out low-voltage and high-current drive technology for the best performance. In addition to optimum gearmotor technology and good aerodynamics in order to travel long distances, energy-efficient motor components are required. Battery powered vehicles require lightweight construction for all components. The dynamic response and quiet operation of the drive unit system must be designed to ensure the optimal driving comfort. Rough environmental conditions and a long operating life require robust and reliable solutions. The industry-wide proven asynchronous motor was further developed by ABM Drives for use in mobile traction drive units to considerably increase the energy efficiency of the motor. It's a very economical alternative to the often specified permanently excited synchronous motor.

The iSA decentralized controller from AMK is suitable for modular machine construction. Subsystems only have to be connected to three-phase power and incorporated in the control system via the real-time Ethernet interface. |

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A U TO M AT E D WA R E H O U S I N G , LOGISTICS AND DISTRIBUTION CENTERS In warehouses, drive units must be installed in confined spaces. Our modular component system offers a decentralized controller design, which reduces the engineering and installation costs considerably. SINOCHRON motors from ABM Drives operate reliably under harsh environmental conditions such as cold storage warehouses and do not require a mechanical speed sensor. Daniel Repp • Lenze: One of Lenze’s focus industries is consumer packaged goods. Consumers want and expect highly customized products, and companies that can corner the market expect to turn a neat profit. Whether it's individualized sports shoes, a personalized soda bottle, or the latest luxury car with custom features, unique products require an exceptionally responsive production floor with control technology that can quickly and easily adapt to changing requirements. In a manufacturing environment like this, the machine builder needs to be focused on minimizing engineering requirements and expediting machine development by breaking down complex sequences into functional machine modules —and then seamlessly linking mechanics, electronics and software. Don Nasca • Business Development Manager for IEV products • Delta Products Corporation: In the material handling industry it’s important that all electric vehicles be readily available and fully functional twentyfour hours a day, seven days a week. However, the uptime of an electric vehicle depends largely on the proper sizing of its battery, and the rate at which it can be safely charged with minimal human intervention for handling or maintenance. Most industrial electric vehicles have been charged using low-efficiency chargers that can waste more than 50 percent of the power consumed from the AC line. Recently, vehicle makers have begun to increase their use of lithium-ion batteries, as the benefits for high uptime far outweigh those of lead acid. This change in battery technology



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within the marketplace has created an opportunity for Delta to leverage its industry-leading expertise in datacenter and telecom power electronics to bring to market battery charging systems that offer higher efficiency and higher power density than any other systems within the industrial marketplace. Bill Faber • Director, IABG Product Marketing & Business Development • Industrial Automation Business Group • Delta Products IIOT AND INCREASINGLY NETWORKED MANUFACTURING Regarding networked manufacturing, integration of connectivity for information and control is key to merging machine automation within factory automation environments. It brings the real-time control world in touch with production lines and enterprise systems, and defines the basis for smart manufacturing. The AH10EMC is an example of the latest control CPU module for the AH500 series that includes two Ethernet-based network platforms built-in to accomplish this integration – EtherNet/IP for critical information sharing, and EtherCAT for real-time control. The AH10EMC includes PLC and Motion Control in one to further enhance programming and setup efficiencies in the design and development stage. In terms of IIoT, all the above points tie into corporate IIoT initiatives to fulfill smart manufacturing. Technology enables this on the factory floor when they are IIoT ready. Simply connecting to the web or cloud is not always enough, the devices need to be smarter to provide key information; not just data. For example, in a VFD, it’s possible to collect data on current, voltage, or I/O status – but if the VFD has local computing capability to determine kWh, then energy usage can be directly interpreted. This is similar to how an edge-controller or data concentrator would collect or calculate data and translate it into key information that is easily consumed at the enterprise or cloud level.

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Once the enabling technologies are in place, it is then just a matter of transporting the data and information to a place that is available and securely accessible. The DX-2300 Series Cloud Router from Delta allows for connectivity to the cloud and has strength in availability and security. With more than 15 cloud servers worldwide, Delta ensures that data is more robustly available and quicker to access than one server that might be a long distance away. Delta’s DIACloud has multiple patent designs for authentication, authorization, and data encryption to ensure that the device side of security mitigation is covered. DIACloud is also able to address many security concerns for its users, including insecure communication, authentication issues, weak cryptography and privacy issues. SPINDLE AND L I N E A R - S L I D E I N S T A L L AT I O N S Delta’s new MS300 and MH300 series High Performance Compact drives come with an enhanced feature to run up to 1,500 Hz and 2,000 Hz respectively. These drives provide a highly competitive power electronics technology that makes highspeed spindle control a possibility in an incredibly small form factor. The MH300/ MS300 Series boasts the smallest form factor in the industry for 480 Vac input models, and are equivalent or smaller for 240 Vac input models. The built-in PLC sequences local operations to make it an easier dropin solution, and reduces the need for reprogramming the existing main controller. This allows the VFD to singlehandedly handle motor bearing warm-up and pneumatic control of air which might be used to keep the motor bearings cool in high speed operation. Additionally, the drive comes with a new feature to enhance braking capability, defined as Energy Control Mode, which allows for shorter motor braking time by dynamically adjusting the motor speed and current. In one installation, it reduced the braking time from 21 seconds to 7.8 seconds and eliminated a bulky braking resistor. |

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Tell us about any sizing software you have and how such tools are changing how design engineering is done.

These SINOCHRON permanently excited synchronous motors from ABM demonstrate the move toward integration by combining control components such as motors, encoders, and drives into one unit.

Tom Jensen • AMK Automation: AMK has gone way out of its way to not make proprietary sizing software. We instead work with customers to promote the use of COTS tools (like Servo Soft) to promote the understanding of electromechanical systems. It’s a trend we are hearing from customers; proprietary sizing software sizes the user into a vendor’s solution, and out of the freedom of choice. Daniel Repp • Lenze: Lenze has a complete engineering tool chain in place that is consistent throughout the entire machine life cycle, offering a common view on the machine to everyone involved. We can distinguish typical applications in which people with different professional backgrounds and various vocational trainings have to master their tasks within different stages of the machine life cycle. Throughout our tool chain, we continuously accompany the customer from one phase of the machine life cycle to the next one, precisely tailored to the application and to the user's needs. After the machine basics are defined and available, Lenze offers the DSD. DSD (Drive Solution Designer) is a program for dimensioning drives and configuring Lenze drive components to a drive system. It’s developed to help the customer find the best possible solution for their application. This includes not only the optimal drive, motor and gearing selection, but also takes into account getting the best energy savings. In order to draft and safeguard a machine concept, user-oriented drive sizing is of great importance. The DSD helps to create, optimize, and document drive solutions. Furthermore, the energy efficiency for the application can be taken into consideration and can be made transparent. How do you see IIoT influencing your products and what you supply to industry? In what ways is your company helping end users increase use of application data? Tom Jensen • AMK Automation: Since the IIoT has really existed for years before being identified, we have focused on the communication passed by our products over the existing infrastructure. By making our products communicate from the “things phonebook”, they can communicate more quickly and use more features of the internet regardless of medium. For example, the AMK MultiServo uses cloud technology to retrieve kinematic models for use in the unit based on the input of the engineer configuring the unit. The communication can be Bluetooth or Ethernet connection – the controller knows where to go and how to talk. Daniel Repp • Lenze: One of the most important drivers of IIoT is the customization of products in every facet of our lives. Only highly-flexible, intelligent and connected machines are able



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to manufacture customized products with the highest degree of productivity, quality and resource efficiency in large-series production. The factory of the future will only have temporary production lines and will continuously reconfigure itself – ideally fully automatically. But IIoT also significantly increases technical complexity in mechanical engineering. OEMs are undergoing the most fundamental change since the introduction of digital control – we are entering an era of unprecedented machine intelligence. What are some newer products your company sells with features to impart simplicity or turnkey operation? Tom Jensen • AMK Automation: Our AMK MultiServo uses canned kinematic profiles to allow the quick control of standard machines. More and more we are finding that we can add value to our product by making solutions based on application needs. The first developed by AMK Automation in the U.S. is “MAKeCC”. Among the goals of this turnkey solution was to make the focus of integration for a warehouse full of conveyors an exercise in configuration, not integration. This idea makes the installation quick, provides excellent OEE on all machine modules in the space, and most of all provides plant personnel with the ownership needed for years of productivity. Bill Faber • Delta Products: In response to the industry’s move to lithium batteries, Delta has focused on three key charging product segments and brings a variety of unique benefits to each that simplify operation and increase efficiency for end users. Delta’s modular charging stations for forklift applications offer standard, opportunity and fast changing capabilities all in one charging cabinet. They are modular in design, fully programmable, and capable of charging any battery chemistry. Delta’s on-board chargers, which are mounted inside the vehicle, require less space, and provide more power at higher temperatures. These systems also include IP65 protection, CANbus and RS232 communication, and easy-to-use applications that allow operators to upload charge profiles and download charging history. Delta is addressing the emerging wireless charging segment with its 1kW, 24V/40A wireless charging system. Comprised of a base-pad that is connected to a wall-box and a low-weight onboard unit that is integrated into the vehicle, this solution eliminates the need for connectors or cables that frequently disconnect or fray, providing convenient, automatic charging without manual intervention. |

3/14/18 11:22 AM

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the #1 value in automation

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Robotics, IoT among top trends impacting

ENCODER DESIGN WE ASKED encoder manufacturers to weigh in on the trends they’re seeing in their industries. Here’s what they told us. What new design trends are you seeing in areas such as robotics, battery powered designs, automated vehicles, and safety in motion control designs? Jonathan Dougherty • Product Specialist • HEIDENHAIN AG V S A N D O T H E R B AT T E RY - P OW E R E D D E S I G N S ; A U TO M AT E D WA R E H O U S I N G : HEIDENHAIN rotary encoders are critical components found in Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) used in distribution warehouses, manufacturing plants, and medical facilities globally. These encoders typically provide motion and speed feedback in motors operating a multitude of the axes found in these applications, with the most common axis being the motors used on the drive wheels of these AGVs. Our encoders also offer a slim, lightweight design allowing designers more flexibility, especially in applications where space and weight are critical. The encoders combine brushless motor commutation pulses and incremental position feedback, which reduces the cost while improving the performance and reliability of the brushless motor/encoder package. R O B O T S : One key driver in robotics has been the aerospace industry because it must perform highly accurate machining operations on large components. A robot, however, can easily reach any position on a large component, such as the fuselage of an aircraft, and can perform tasks on it such as drilling and milling. However, accuracy is impaired by many factors for these kinds of applications and the tool center point (i.e., the tool at the end of the robot’s arm) must be positioned and guided with sufficient accuracy. This is where the classic industrial robot runs up against its limits. Yet robot manufacturers have been responding to this problem with highly dynamic motor control, use of secondary encoders for highly accurate position measurement, and implementing accurate position measurement for movable robots. In this industry, classic rotary encoders continue to provide the servo motor feedback at the robot’s axes. Because servomotors require high control dynamics, encoders that deliver high control quality and system accuracy that are resistant to strong vibrations are ideal. HEIDENHAIN provides a line of inductive rotary encoders, which support these features along with offering safety levels up to SIL 3, or category 4 PL e. Additionally, robotics manufacturers have found they can significantly improve the absolute position accuracy of their robots by using additional, high accuracy angle encoders or rotary encoders at every robot axis. These so-called secondary encoders, which are mounted after each gear train, capture the actual position of every robot joint.



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HEIDENHAIN’s Leine and Linde brand encoders feature Advanced Diagnostic System (ADS) Online that monitors encoder parameters. Operators can set alarm levels on any of these parameters, as well as set logging intervals for trend evaluation with the ADS software. |

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Reliability Quantified

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Most complete line of rotary and drive encoders on the market Enabling automation technology in your most challenging motion control applications. Encoder solutions providing absolute speed and position accuracy along with condition monitoring, functional safety and lightning fast cycle times. HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION, 333 East State Parkway, Schaumburg IL, 60173



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Now with Open-Source Single-Cable Technology POSITAL’s magnetic kit encoders are a versatile alternative to optical encoders or magnetic resolvers Up to 17-bit resolution Compact form factor is easily adaptable to new or existing motor designs Self-calibration function speeds assembly Single-cable connectivity for simplified wiring, lower costs Multi-turn capabilities with Wiegand energy harvesting technology - no backup batteries required

This allows the encoders to account for zero position error and backlash, which results in a 70 to 80 percent improvement of the absolute position accuracy at the tool center point. For the highly accurate positioning of robots with a linear drive, enclosed linear encoders from HEIDENHAIN are used in lengths of up to 30 m. Position measurement from a linear encoder compensates for thermal errors and other factors that influence the feed mechanisms. These factors cannot be captured by means of conventional position detection methods based on the pitch of the recirculating ball screw and the angular position of the rotary encoder on the motor. S A F E T Y A N D ( M O T I O N ) CO N T R O L O N CO M M O N N E T W O R K S : Functional safety is playing an increasingly important role in machine-tool manufacturing and now the automation world. In fact, countries in the European Union already require it in many applications, and regulations are being considered in the United States and Asia as well. For encoders, that doesn’t only mean correctly and accurately measuring position data and transferring it to the machine control. Functional safety also includes encoder diagnostics and mechanical fault exclusion. For a machine designer, the Functional Safety certification process can be arduous and confusing; assessing an entire system component by component to ensure redundancy and mechanical fault exclusion is inefficient and costly. HEIDENHAIN offers a range of pre-approved, safety-related position measuring systems which can achieve safety levels up to SIL 3, PL e, category 4, to remove some of the burden on the machine designer. Christian Fell • VP, Technology and Custom Solutions • POSITAL-FRABA Inc. R O B O T I C S : We’re excited about the emergence of collaborative robots or “Cobots.” These are smaller and less powerful than traditional industrial robots and designed to operate beside people in a shared work environment. To operate safely, they need sophisticated sensor systems that include


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encoders for position control, along with presence sensors and force transducers to help avoid collisions with people or equipment. These sensors need to be compact and adaptable, accurate and cost effective. POSITAL encoders have already made an appearance in this market and we expect that our kit encoders and capacitive encoders are well positioned to fit into Cobot designs. Our kit encoders are, in effect, the sensing elements of our popular magnetic encoders sold as separate modules that can be easily built into servomotors, stepper motors or other rotating mechanisms to provide position feedback and commutation signals. Capacitive encoders, currently under development, will be available in throughshaft (ring-shaped) configurations that can be readily incorporated into robot arm joints or other applications where the sensor must fit around a central shaft. S A F E T Y A N D M O T I O N CO N T R O L O N CO M M O N N E T W O R K S : We have recently introduced a line of rotary encoders with redundant, diverse, sensing elements. These devices have two separate rotary sensors mounted on a common shaft, in a shared housing. One is an optical sensor that measures rotation angle with a code disk and array of photocells, while the other is based on our magnetic rotation measurement technology, featuring Hall-effect sensors and signal processing software. These independent measuring mechanisms allow machine builders or system integrators to improve the functional safety and reliability of their systems by reducing the possibility of undetected sensor malfunction. Readings from the two rotation sensors can be compared by the control system to ascertain that everything is working correctly, or to signal that a safety shut-down is needed. How do you see IIoT influencing your products and what you supply to industry? In what ways is your company helping end users increase use of application data? Jonathan Dougherty • HEIDENHAIN: One of the biggest benefits of modern encoders is their ability to act as multimodal sensors. Increasingly, encoders are being fitted with additional sensors such as temperature |

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transducers, voltage meters, and humidistats. These sensors allow for greater condition monitoring of the encoder along with the overall machine. Our first step was through adding an additional external temperature sensor, which could be used to monitor the temperature of the motor windings to avoid overheating. One big step forward was through our Leine and Linde brand encoders where we introduced the Advanced Diagnostic System (ADS) Online. The ADS Online system monitors a number of parameters and characteristics in the encoder that are fundamental to its functioning. The operator can set alarm levels on any of these parameters, as well as set logging intervals for trend evaluation with the ADS software and, by monitoring trends in performance, it is possible to predict end-of-life conditions and plan maintenance activities before a failure occurs. The addition of online access to the current capabilities also brings enhanced functionality like vibration and temperature monitoring. With ADS Online, the encoder may be connected to an Ethernet network to provide access to diagnostics and analysis regardless of location.

Jeff Smoot • VP of Application Engineering & Motion Control • CUI: The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the ability to harness sensor data, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and automation technologies are revolutionizing the way machines capture and communicate data. These advances are driving what have historically been analog devices to evolve and join the transition or become obsolete. CUI’s line of digital ASIC-based AMT encoders bridges this gap and incorporates valuable diagnostic and programming tools that can speed the time to market and reduce machine downtime in the field. The diagnostic data can be used to quickly determine if the encoder is operating properly, has failed or become misaligned. This data can be used to make smarter and more reliable systems as well as monitored over time to provide performance trends that can be analyzed and used to predict failures. What are some newer products your company sells with features to impart simplicity or turnkey operation? Jonathan Dougherty • HEIDENHAIN: HEIDENHAIN has launched a new product family that is a merger of HEIDENHAIN bearing and angle encoder technologies. Resulting in the MRP 2000, 5000 and 8000, these unique modules contain bearing sets not conventionally available and are able to be integrated with various encoder types to yield

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highly stiff modules that are easy to install. The angle encoder modules represent a successful merging of the key requirements for precision rotary axes used in metrology, calibration devices, automation technology, micro machining, and the semiconductor industry. Key features of the MRP series bearing include high guideway accuracy combined with high rigidity, a low starting torque and a constant continuous torque. At the same time, value was placed on compact dimensions due to the fact that the bearing raceways are machined directly onto the shaft. Bearing loads up to 300 N are possible while still maintaining the system accuracy. Jeff Smoot • CUI: CUI’s AMT encoders were designed with simplicity and ease of installation and operation in mind. Features such as “One Touch” zeroing allows for simple, repeatable,

and straightforward alignment of the encoder’s index signal and commutation outputs, reducing the time and headaches normally associated with this process during manufacturing. Furthermore, the programmability of the AMT encoders via our AMT Viewpoint GUI offers maximum flexibility to the designer allowing for optimization of the motion control system with a click of the mouse. Finally, the integrated diagnostics available within the AMT family allow for assessment of the motor and motion system to ease troubleshooting, both during the design and prototyping process as well as once the product is in the field. Christian Fell • POSITAL-FRABA Inc.: Our kit encoders for servomotors or stepper motors are available with single-cable connectivity, based on the open-source BiSS Line communication protocols. Single-cable connectivity combines power and data communications onto one cable with a single connector. This simplified approach to wiring makes position-controlled motors less expensive to manufacture and easier to install.

VIONiC™ digital encoder series Designed for the designer

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Renishaw — VIONIC 1216_USA.indd 1 FINAL.indd 76 Encoders Motionadvert Control Trends 03.18 V4

20/12/2016 16:01:46 3/14/18 11:37 AM


New robotic applications include closer interaction between robots and human workers in manufacturing and packaging applications, which require enhancements to encoders including implementing safety protocols.

What kinds of customization have you done on your products to satisfy specific customer and application requirements? What design problems are you eliminating with this customization? Jeff Smoot • CUI: CUI’s digitally based AMT capacitive encoders are suited for providing the customization required by more and more of today’s demanding applications. All standard AMT encoders are programmable with up to 20 different output resolutions, allowing the designer the utmost flexibility in their design, with the ability to change the encoder resolution with a few simple keystrokes using the AMT Viewpoint GUI. In addition to this standard programmability, the digital nature of the AMT encoders allow for additional customization in a greatly compressed timeframe when compared to a traditional encoder technology. In recent months, we have provided customized resolutions, sampling rates, and communication protocols to customers, allowing for greater optimization of their motion system and improved performance of their end product. Christian Fell • POSITAL-FRABA Inc.: “Mass customization” is central to POSITAL’s business plan. Our position and motion sensors are designed to be highly modular, with largely interchangeable components and sub-assemblies. As a result, we can offer encoders and inclinometers with a range of performance specifications, communications interfaces and mechanical configurations – over a million choices in all. We are continually updating our catalogue to meet local and emerging requirements. Customers can order just what they need, whether for a new design or as a drop-in replacement for older equipment where the original encoders are no longer available, or where new capabilities are needed. |


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Describe a newer component offering that your team designed with miniaturization in mind. Jonathan Dougherty • HEIDENHAIN: HEIDENHAIN is actually working on a next generation of our Renco brand encoders with miniaturization in mind. The key advantage is its compact design combined with an easy, self-centering mounting method. The new generation encoders will have increased functionality along with feedback signals to assist in the mounting process. We are also looking to eliminate cumbersome commutation alignment procedures with an easy programmable shift. This is all done in a package that will be only 8.7 mm in height, our lowest mounting profile yet. How do you see battery-powered designs (for mobile equipment and consumer products) prompting design changes? Jeff Smoot • CUI: With more and more applications relying on battery power, careful management of the limited power budget of the system is essential. Every milliampere-hour of battery energy becomes increasingly precious and the need for maximum efficiency extends to all aspects of the design. Within an electric-actuator this extends to the method for commutating the motor as well as for measuring the travel. Encoders with dramatically lower current consumption than traditional magnetic solutions are coming to the forefront as part of the solution to reduce the overall power budget and maximize battery life. Among available encoder technologies, capacitive encoders are growing in favor for battery-powered designs thanks to a typical power draw much lower than traditional optical encoders.

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of new materials and in custom variations —

with emerging helical, planetary, and other gearing uses POWER TRANSMISSION through gearsets is a mainstay of motion control, as gears allow full use of electric-motor capabilities. Recent years have brought innovations with new materials; custom gear variations; and all-new applications for helical, planetary, and strain-wave gearing. We asked several industry experts to share their thoughts these trends and the proliferation of OEM and end-user designs; here’s what they said. What new uses for gears do you see in battery-powered designs and automated guided vehicles (AGVs), utility task vehicles (UTVs), and off-highway equipment? Craig Van den Avont, president of GAM Enterprises: We’ve supported several applications for the drivetrain of AGVs. Because the size, shape, and application of AGVs are so varied, the drivetrain design has been unique for each application. We’ve worked with each company to offer a solution tailored to meet specific requirements for both performance and cost. This has ranged from reinforcing the load-carrying capability of a design to engineering a gearbox that fits directly in the wheel hub. The wheelhub design is interesting because it allowed for an extremely high load carrying capability to support the weight of the AGV.



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One drop-in design built as a standard offering is maxon’s new Exoskeleton joint drive, which integrates a planetary gearhead with an EC90 brushless dc pancake motor (featuring an inertia-optimized rotor), absolute encoder, and EPOS4 position controller. The drive accepts input of 10 to 50 Vdc; its 4,096 MILE 17-bit SSI encoder tracks joint rotation enough to allow controller compensation of gearhead backlash. It delivers speeds to 22 rpm and continuous torque to 54 Nm. |

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We also have experience designing for robots that navigate rough outdoor terrain. This application presents special challenges because the loads on the ATV wheels going over large rocks, curbs, and mud introduces shocks to the system that need to be taken into account. One particular application initially seemed simple … but was actually quite demanding because of high-hit-rate shock loads. Collaboration between the engineering teams of GAM and the customer resulted in a robust system suitable to the environment and tailored to the application’s requirements.

AGV wheelhub designs are challenging because they must support the vehicle weight. GAM Enterprises has engineered gearboxes to fit directly into these wheel hubs.

What about the move towards mass customization — and the demand for value-added engineering services? Brandon Steinberg of Portescap: We frequently integrate gearheads, shaft attachments, and custom connectors in motorized assemblies to eliminate components (and assembly tasks) for OEMs. That way, labor costs are lower and there’s less material overhead. Plus when motor experts control more of the assembly, it eliminates redundant steps … and allows retesting of motors after operations that sometimes introduce quality issues — pressing-fitting shaft attachments and recrimping wires, for example.



Benefits • Industry-leading lead times •

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Shown here are miniature gear offerings from GAM Enterprises. “We recently introduced a line of miniature-spiral bevel gearboxes that go down to 27 mm,” said Van den Avont. “This is a true precision spiral bevel designed for automation — and one of the first in the marketplace.”

Van den Avont: Engineers are in short supply and are stretched thin with workload. We let engineers offload some of this work by giving them the option to collaborate with our application engineers — so they can design and configure the best solution for their needs. We also offer design manufacturing services for other components related to products we sell. On a related note, the idea behind mass customization is to use an array of standard components and configure or combine them in various ways to yield unique solutions. We’ve used mass customization principles throughout our expansive standard gearbox range … with myriad available configurations in our gearboxes all based off of a standard set of core components. This lets us keep costs down while providing design engineers lots of options. Dave Beckstoffer of Portescap: We engage with design engineers early in the product-development process to discuss design partnerships. H A Rreviews MON I Cconcept S O Lphase U T give I O engineers NS Technology at the better understanding of the impact design decisions have on the motion solution. Collaboration accelerates the motion subassembly timeframe to let engineers spend more time on the core value drivers of the new product … and customization can entail more than just the motor, gearbox,CBG and encoder — even extending to additional mechanical components and subsystems that we as the manufacturer can fully assemble. Van den Avont: Here’s a specific design example … Cartesian robots are very similar to gantry systems, which have been around for decades. Well, we see HBC OEMs building their own Cartesian systems or buying them ... so we offer a complete line of gearboxes and couplings products designed specifically for Cartesian robots. The idea is to make the system look sleek, get highperformance, and reduce costs for the manufacturer. CBC


What are some materials used in today’s gear designs?


Eric Rice of Applied Motion Products: For applications demanding greater Benefits torque, users can equip our TSM11 StepSERVO integrated motors with • Industry-leading times • Standard andratios custom planetary gearheads. lead PH planetary gearheads offer from 4:1 to 22:1, solutions with additional ratios available upon request. These planetary gearboxes • Direct dimensional replacement • High efficiency, high ratio, featureagainst an all-steel geartrain for long life. industry standards low-to-zero backlash

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Miniature motor designs include increasingly sophisticated gear assemblies. Image courtesy Portescap

Paul McGrath, national sales manager at maxon precision motors: Materials continue to drive gearmotor innovation. Case in point: maxon precision motors includes ceramic components in some of its precision gear assemblies so that either the gears themselves are ceramic or (more often) the shaft upon which the gears mount is ceramic. Metal shaft wear is often a problem, but advanced ceramic variations help gearboxes deliver higher speeds, higher torques, and longer life.

What customization to housings, ratios, resonant frequencies, outputs and inputs, and flanges is possible on gear products to satisfy application requirements?

Warren Osak, CEO of Electromate: We see a few gearbox manufacturers replacing case-hardened and steel and alloy gears with ceramic gears … and ceramic shafts in gearboxes. Ceramic components exhibit little expansion so hold tighter backlash and runout tolerances than comparable internals made of metal. Ceramic components are also quiet, so gearboxes with ceramic internals are far less noisy than traditional gearheads.

Rice: Gears as value-add components are available for stepper motors as well. Our customers have always looked to us for components such as planetary gearboxes and encoders. In the last year, we’ve enhanced these offerings with the release of value-add components. PE and PH planetary gearheads cover nearly our entire range of motor sizes, from small NEMA 11 motors to larger NEMA 34 and 80mm motors, and at competitive pricing.

Brian Dengel, general manager of KHK USA: Our carbon-fiber gears are another example of new uses for advanced material science in power transmission. We’ve made prototypes of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), a material increasingly common in performance equipment and marine applications. While costly, CFRP gears are very light and usually much stronger than steel. KHK gears are of are of PA6/ CF20% thermoplastic … and may soon offer a suitable option for gear applications in aerospace, drone, and automotive industries.



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McGrath: We now have laser-welding capabilities, so can weld custom gears — often third-party pinion gears — onto motor output shafts as a way to provide more complete solutions that easily integrate with gearboxes or other drive elements. Otherwise, OEMs must outsource this work or bond such gears to purchased stock motors.

Van den Avont: OEMs want solutions that meet their requirements and impart competitive advantage. Oftentimes, getting the best mechanical system performance means a unique design solution … But because price and delivery are paramount, OEMs don’t go with that technically ideal solution, opting instead to go with standard product. So we’ve taken the concept of mass customization further. Based off our broad range of standard products (plus lean practices, flexible machinery, and AI in the workplace) we sell true custom solutions … even in small batches and at nearly the same price and delivery times as standard product. This lets engineers and end users get top system performance (and potentially trim design costs) without real sacrifice in service. |

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Describe the effect that online motion-component specification and purchasing has had on industry.

Van den Avont: Online product specification and configuration has become fairly common. An OEM should seek out suppliers who have configurators, because they save time (in large part by eliminating and "Gear precision grade" the need for 3D model creation). We give prospective le of Gear precision grade customers the ability to size and select the proper product dard Gear precision Grade ... and then configure it to match exactly what they’ll This is a 0 1 2 3 5 -1976 get4 — including all custom adapters and hardware. The miniature gear N4 N5 N6 N7 N8 N9 -1,2:1998 customer then downloads the exact model and puts it pre-assembled onto a 4 5 6 7 8 9 into their machine design. We also have a mobile app motor output shaft. Im0.03(1973) that nce 13 12 10 9 8 lets7 users custom configure product and then get age courtesy MICROMO model … along with pricing, specification pages, ance 14 12 11 10 a 3D 9 8 of Faulhaber rance 13 12 11 10 catalog 9 8pages, and installation instructions.








material table : ding corresponding materials of SCr415) is defined as aterial of SCM415. burizing (case hardening), SCM415 is normally used. uirements for harder material, SNCM220 and/or SNCM420 ed. dness is determined by producti ed hardness value is inf

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Customized solutions drive


development This 3D-CAD model of a Bodine Electric’s new PMDC planetary gearmotor shows the two stages of planetary gearing along with the O-rings on all the mating surfaces giving it an IP-66 rating.

THE DRIVING FORCE in gearmotor design and development in large part is the desire for customized solutions, which mostly consists of simplifying integration into mechanical designs. These trends are driving gearmotor manufacturers to offer their customers more simplicity. Along these lines, suppliers are offering their customers more in-house engineering resources to help them with their designs, which translates into more custom solutions. Also as new applications arise, they call for design changes, such as in newer battery-powered designs. Case in point; engineers at Bodine Electric have been developing and testing gearmotors with optimized windings and motors for efficient operation at low voltages in outdoor and battery powered systems. Design enhancements include new winding configurations optimized for low resistance, and new magnetic configurations to optimize performance with the lower voltages available in battery powered designs. Battery powered gearmotors and motors for mobile equipment and AGV applications are usually required to be as small and as efficient as possible. Also, designers of mobile robots aim for the smallest possible motor |

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footprint. Integrating sensors and actuator mechanisms with the gearmotor is a practical way of improving the use of available space. The trend toward more custom designs also continues to impact gearmotor designs. “Many of our customers require custom electrical designs and mechanical features,” notes Mark Marhoefer, Director of Technical Research and Controls for Bodine Electric. “Typical customization of our gearmotors ranges from minor details like special tapped holes in the housings to custom magnetics, special castings, shafts, sensors, customized controllers and motor and control testing. We also conduct ongoing outdoors and environmental testing of these products to further validate IP ratings.” Other examples include adding custom castings to a gearmotor assembly that allowed an OEM to integrate their drive wheel mechanisms with the gearmotor, making the assembly and installation of the drive unit much easier and more compact. Bodine regularly incorporates custom feedback solutions within the motor design to allow the

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customer to easily interface the gearmotor with their electronics. These solutions include many types of temperature sensors, various shaft feedback devices for speed and position sensing and custom feedback designs for actuator arms with limited range of motion. Especially with the rising interest in the industrial IoT, companies are seeing an increasing demand for sensor technologies at the motor. This typically includes increased demand for motor temperature sensors and sensors for velocity or position feedback. Customization also includes more integration up front; for instance, motors with actuators designed for defined purposes such as lift actuators, rotating actuators and wheel drives. Also, gearmotors with integrated controllers allow the envelope to be more compact and eliminates the wiring typically required between the controller and the motor.

Some examples of custom designed motors from Bodine Electric with integrated gearheads, wheel drive mechanisms and integrated sensors for automated warehousing applications.

precision servo gearheads

Did you mean: DieQua Corporation?

The search is over! The Sesame® precision planetary servo gearhead provides unmatched performance, durability, and design flexibility. Look no further than DieQua. • 7 sizes, torque capacities up to 1,670 Nm • 3 levels of backlash • Ratios from 3:1 - 100:1 • 8 single stage ratios, and up to 13 two stage ratios • Square Servo and Step Motor Input To find what you’re looking for, check us out on the web, or give us a call. 800-310-9569

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Less is more. Are you under pressure to reduce inventory and production costs? We can help! The MOVIGEAR® Mechatronic Drive System from SEW-EURODRIVE substantially reduces your inventory with its ability to cover a broad range of gear ratios with a single unit. In addition, independent research has proven that MOVIGEAR® reduces start-up and operating costs in material handling by 20-30%. So, relax... we got this! / 864-439-7537

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“Instead of selling a motor and letting the customer do the integration of actuator components for the application, we work with them to design a product that directly interfaces to the drive mechanisms,” explains Marhoefer. “This might involve integrating a pinion gear or actuator arm on our drive shaft with provisions to locate and mount the gearmotor. This will provide the correct fits and tolerances to allow the customer to bolt the gearmotor into their equipment and use it with minimal effort at the time of assembly.” More integration also means gearmotor designs that are smaller and more compact. For instance, Bodine recently introduced an integrated planetary gearbox design that allows the gearmotor to produce twice the torque from a smaller diameter gearbox than comparable parallel shaft gearboxes. “Our customers benefit from the higher torque density and smaller overall gearmotor size, and the integral gearhead design eliminates the need for mounting flanges, couplings, and all related alignment challenges that come with separable gearhead assemblies,” adds Marhoefer.

economy servo gearheads

Did you mean: DieQua Corporation?

Photos courtesy Bodine Electric

The search is over! The Sesame® economy planetary servo gearhead provides unmatched performance, durability, and design flexibility. Look no further than DieQua. • 3 sizes: 50mm, 70mm, and 90mm • Torque capacity 5-58 Nm • Backlash starting at <9 arc min • Single, double, and triple stage ratios available up to 1000:1 • Square Servo and Step Motor Input To find what you’re looking for, check us out on the web, or give us a call. 800-310-9569

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HIWIN CG Series guideways can be preloaded to three standard classes — and the highest preloading effectively doubles rigidity for applications that need it.

2018 innovation in


designs and applications

GROWTH OF consumer health-monitoring devices is prompting new uses of linear-motion designs. Just consider two prototypes shown at the recent CES 2018 by THK America Inc. (with THK Co. Ltd.) that demonstrate new uses for linear slides and guides. One is a humanoid robot called the ATMOS Sensoroid that monitors its environment (to replicate what a human might experience) through an array of sensor modules between sheets of acrylic. THK FBL27D slide rails work inside the design’s chest (with THK RF77F cross-roller rings in the waist) to let sandwiched sensor modules do their work. The other prototype is a chair called the ARGUS MOVA: It includes linear slides (to let the seat extend out for easier sitting) as well as high-sensitivity piezo sensors that track minute movements to monitor user heartbeat and respiration rate. No matter the application, specification of complete linear systems is another trend in industry. According to Nicole Lang, iglide product manager at igus, more mechanical-component |

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manufacturers are selling linear actuators complete with motors — as well as robotic joints complete with motors. “Another new offering of ours is smart plastics — sensor systems that design engineers can order with drylin linear guides, PRT slewing rings, and cable carriers to track wear and notify end users of impending failure.” Consider how logistics and distribution centers — especially those with lots of vertical storage racks — have difficult-to-service subsystems. Here, smart plastic components — ones with sensors to measure wear — giver operators an opportunity to address possible issues before they become real problems. In addition, life-calculation tools let design engineers know that products will work. “Engineers designing motion systems destined for logistics and distribution centers benefit from maintenance-free linear slides and bearings … as such components help avoid the need for routine lubrication or downtime,” said Lang of igus.

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But as always, there’s innovation in the actual design of linear components as well. Case in point: New high-strength linear guideways from HIWIN include ball guides in what the manufacturer calls an O-arrangement: Four rows of balls that engage rounded channels in the tracks. “The ball arrangement and track geometry of our new CG Series imparts high guideway rigidity, so the slides bear more moment loading in all directions — but especially in the Mx direction,” explained Shawn Lawrence of HIWIN. “In addition, an optional cover strip can clip to the top of the rail to close off installation holes and prevent collection of shavings or other debris that can ultimately cause jamming,” Lawrence added. One last trend of note is increased component interchangeability to help design engineers simplify linear systems. “OEMs can build linear-motion systems of any size with our technology … and precise machining of the linear guides means any runner block of a given size works on rail of the same — to let users retrofit with higher precision without needing to replace rail,” explained Rich Hansen, senior automation engineer at Bosch Rexroth. Other linear-slide and guide manufacturers offer comparable subcomponent interchangeability — or the option to replace partial rail sections should the latter get damaged during use, for example.



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Rounded channels and balls installed in an O arrangement give HIWIN CG Series guideways the ability to bear more moment loading in all directions.


One new health-monitoring chair called the ARGUS MOVA uses linear slides from THK. Growth of consumer healthmonitoring devices is prompting proliferation of linear-motion applications. |

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Linear Mount Products PMK Parallel mounting kit

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Bellows style distance coupling

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Klübersynth LEG 4 75 90 W is specifically for gearboxes in railway applications and works in oil-sump temperatures from -50° to 100° C with no change in effectiveness performance. Soon, Klüber will supply lubricants to meet specific OEM and operator requirements through a digital procurement platform.



for mechanical components SEALS, CHAINS, cable carriers, springs, retaining rings, and general power-transmission (PT) components continue to see new materials at critical surfaces; proliferation of applicationspecific versions (especially for compression and wave springs); and increasingly practical online purchasing for both off-the-shelf components and customized orders. Here we explore some of these trends as well as a specific example of how a fast-growing motion application — that of robottransfer units (RTUs) — is leveraging the benefits of traditional cable carriers. |

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ONLINE ORDERING OF VERY SPECIFIC COMPONENTS — INCREASINGLY COMMON Forrester Research projects that by 2021, about 13% of all B2B sales in the U.S. will take place through ecommerce. Rather staggering is that (according to other research from Statista Inc.) last year B2B ecommerce activity generated $7.7 trillion in sales globally — triple that of B2C sales. Even very specific engineered components are coming to be sold this way. Case in point: Now the fastener, spring, and shim manufacturer SPIROL offers engineers a new ecommerce platform at for purchasing coiled spring pins — and plans to eventually offer all its engineered components at the site. Engineers can purchase pins in several materials and finishes (in light, standard, and heavy duties) from 0.8 to 20 mm in diameter — and get certifications or search by specification at the site. Designers can also get 2D and 3D models there.

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Online procurement and purchasing portals — such as this one from SPIROL — are increasingly common for an array of power-transmission components.

In a similar move, Klüber Lubrication (a Freudenberg Group company) will soon supply its specialty lubricants and tribological formulations to OEMs and end users through an Cloud-based portal as well. Management company JAGGAER will build the digital-procurement platform to serve engineers. The tool will be implemented in modules for digital-complaint processing based on QDX standards; integration of SAP contracts; and electronic RFXs. All will integrate into existing IT and ERP systems for automatic documents and information exchange (to manual data entry). Connection of ERP systems will create a platform to give purchasers a uniform lubricant database. Other industrial-lubricant suppliers have taken a different tack to solve mechanical challenges with tribological product design. Over the last several years, Nye Lubricants has cultivated technical competency for better integration of R&D and product development. “We focus on … understanding fundamentals of applied tribology and combining this with simulations of customer applications,” said Jason Galary, engineering development and applications manager at Nye Lubricants.



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Usually, a lubricant supplier develops formulations and then ships samples of it out to the OEM or end user for testing (in turn based on quantitative data and sales engineers’ experience. But this arrangement burdening users with testing — which is why Nye established its applications development and validation testing (ADVT) team. So today, this ADVT executes applied mechanics as well as component testing and simulation. Bearings continue to inspire material science for oils and greases capable of extreme pressure survival, sound damping, seal-life extension, and more exotic ends. “Materials used for bearing lubrication in particular have advanced considerably — even allowing safe operation in food applications with highperformance characteristics,” said Steven Feketa of LinMot USA. “In the past one got one or the other characteristic … but not both.” MATERIALS FOR PT PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS Motion-component manufacturers are leveraging advanced materials to improve designs — in lubricant formulations (as just mentioned) as well as forgiving linear-rail materials; composite disc-packs for couplings; alternative rareearth magnet formulations in motors; engineered sleevebearing formulations; new plating and coating options; and performance-grade 3D printed parts for PT components. Engineered plastics excel in an array of warehousing and logistics applications. Shown here are examples of engineered plastic motion components and power-transmission systems from igus — including cable carriers, cables and energy chain, linear slides, rotary bearings and robot joints, and compete conveyor installations. |

3/15/18 11:57 AM


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Image courtesy igus

One example of the latter from Haydon Kerk (of AMETEK Advanced Motion Solutions) is a 3D-printed leadscrew-nut insert prototype service called 3DP. Read more about this in our leadscrew trends coverage; the 3DP service gives machine builders a way to verify linearmotion design iterations quickly and more accurately. Others also see the value in boosting the performance of parts generated through additive manufacturing. “We currently offer a variety of tribo-filament materials for 3D printing,” said Nicole Lang, iglide product manager at igus. “These materials are tested and offer excellent wear rates … and service life exceeding those materials commonly used in 3D printing.” In fact, the manufacturer also offers high-temperature materials and materials that offer high chemical resistance to work in challenging applications. Aerotech Inc. also uses additive-



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manufactured components in certain designs to increase design freedom, reduce weight, and boost dynamic stiffness. “Because we service the high-performance automation space, new materials and methods are often needed to meet exacting design parameters,” said Brian O’Connor, director of product and market development at Aerotech. Emphasis (for now at least) is on the use of 3D printing for preliminary design builds. “Most of the new materials we’ve been using are for prototyping,” said Laura May of Thomson Industries. “Thanks to advances in 3D printing and laser forming, we produce prototypes much faster and less expensively than before.” May also points out that besides freeing time for product innovation, having more (and better-performing) prototypes facilitates the productdevelopment process. Of course, traditional power-transmission (and electric motor) components leverage the most advanced materials. Consider NORD Drivesystems’ relatively recent alternative offering to stainless steel for gearmotor resistance to harsh washdown environments. Called NSD TupH, the coating is a molecular conversion of aluminum-alloy housing bodies to resist blistering (to ASTM D714) and corrosion (to ASTM D610-08). Prevention of corrosion is also essential to exposed motion components. Manufacturer U.S. Tsubaki Power |

3/15/18 11:58 AM



Crafted to excel in the toughest environments, including high-speed, wash down, vacuum sealing, high-temperature, food grade and many more. From standard chains to highly customized solutions, Tsubaki has the right chain for your packaging industry application. We understand the importance of your line’s uptime so save time and money by trusting in Tsubaki. And don’t forget Tsubaki’s full line-up of complementary products. Bundling options provide the flexibility to ensure optimum quality along your entire production line. At Tsubaki, we’ve got you covered. ROLLER CHAINS • ENGINEERING CLASS CHAINS • BACKSTOPS • SPROCKETS • CABLE & HOSE CARRIERS • POWER TRANSMISSION PRODUCTS ROLLER CHAINS • ENGINEERING CLASS CHAINS • CAM CLUTCHES • SPROCKETS • CABLE & HOSE CARRIERS • PT COMPONENTS


©2015 U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC All Rights Reserved.

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Transmission sells several variations of chain, including power-transmission chain with its proprietary NEPTUNE surface treatment (to resist corrosion when outdoors or subject to seawater) and nickel-plated chain (for moderately corrosive environments). In contrast, its AS Series chain made of 304 and hardened 600 stainless steel delivers high load capacity and adherence to FDA regulation. Still other chain for situations requiring nonmagnetic power transmission and conveying components use other materials — including polyacetal stainless steel. Elsewhere, ceramics are an advanced material used in gearing, motor shafts, linear components, and stage bases. Aerotech makes use of silicon carbide in some of its planar air-bearing stages. “We’re always looking at ways to employ newer materials, coatings, and construction methods in our designs to improve performance and reduce cost,” said O’Connor of Aerotech. “Various composites and ceramic structures in our designs increase stiffness and reduce weight, which means higher accuracy and throughput of the motion system. We also employ engineered coatings to reduce wear and friction in mechanisms for standard and customized products,” added O’Connor.



RollBeam Telescopic push-pull

LinearBeam guided push-pull Press-mounted dual push-pulls

SERAPID Inc. | 34100 Mound Rd. | Sterling Heights, MI | Tel +1 586-274-0774 | |

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Environmental influences on



With the new micro-hydraulic cylinders by Bansbach Easylift, high forces can be realized in a compact construction. With the standard piston diameters from 13-24mm and a maximum pressure of 200 bar, forces up to 9,000N can be achieved.

MACHINE BUILDERS are now dealing with outside influences in their designs more and more as manufacturers must meet size, environmental and pricing needs. SIZING DOWN With tighter tolerances and smaller machine footprints, miniaturization becomes crucial to the components that go inside of them. This is especially true in machine automation and robotics, where motions must be controlled smoothly and safely. For example, in rapidly growing markets, such as those that use industrial robots and drones, motion stabilization requires the use of hydraulic dampers, particularly micro-hydraulic designs. Robotics continue to become smaller so Bansbach EasyLift has developed micro-hydraulics and smaller components to meet these market demands, said David Vickery, VP Product Development, Bansbach EasyLift of North America. |

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“We recently designed and introduced a new “Power Pack” line of micro-hydraulic cylinders that offer high forces in a small form factor. These micro-hydraulic cylinders provide design engineers with new options in robotics and automated systems where size and weight constraints are prevalent,” Vickery said. “With the standard piston diameters from 13 – 24 mm and a maximum pressure of 200 bar, forces up to 9,000 N can be achieved. The stroke can be customized according to the customer’s requirements.” Gregory Herman, ITT Enidine’s Director of Sales and Product Management agreed. He added, “The design intent of many of our products is based on maximizing utilization of the space and design so that customers can use smaller products than they would have five or 10 years ago. This maximizes space constraints and supports customers budget needs.”

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Sizing software, apps simplify selection Whether they are using desktop CAD sizing options or apps designed for smartphones, engineers are regularly turning to online options to help with their designs before jumping in with sales or application engineers. When it comes to sizing shock absorbers, dampers, gas springs, wire rope isolators, etc., online calculations help make the engineer’s job easier. Bansbach EasyLift—“Our website hosts multiple design tools to make an engineer’s job easier,” said Vickery. “We have an Online CAD configuration tool as well as CAD files and datasheets that can be downloaded for our products. This allows our customers’ engineering staff to quickly load our parts into their software for modeling.” ITT Enidine—The company offers a web-based sizing software called ENISIZE at “This tool enables the user to size the appropriate product for their application, but also allows the customer to compare other possible solutions to evaluate performance and efficiency differences as well as enabling the user to review how changes in their design may change the selection of the product,” said Herman. ACE Controls—The company’s VibroChecker PRO native iOS app turns iPhones and iPads into professional vibration and impact measuring devices. The mobile app uses the acceleration sensors, gyroscopes and microphones integrated in the iPhone and iPad to measure vibrations on machines and components within a frequency range of up to 50 Hz. The app measures and records accelerations over time and calculates the spectral range using a FFT. The integrated 3-channel acceleration sensor has a sensitivity level of around 0.02 g and a range of ± 2g. This sensitivity, with an adjustable scanning rate of 10 to 100 Hz for the internal sensor and 1 to 16 kHz for the external Digiducer, means that the acceleration sensors are capable of measuring vibrations, defective


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Find a solution fast.

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Sizing software, apps simplify sizing — continued bearings, excitation frequencies of machines, and accelerations during material transport in a simple and accurate way. Once the measurement has been completed, results can be saved or simply sent to a desktop or to a specialist using the email function. Sorbothane—Its Engineering Design Guide includes the material properties of both Sorbothane and Water-Resistant Sorbothane. The guide highlights shape factor, static deflection, system natural frequencies and transmissibility. The Engineering Guide covers calculating both its vibration response and shock response. This design guide has been developed to assist engineers in a practical, hands-on approach to designing with Sorbothane. Sorbothane is a polyetherbased polyurethane isolation material for absorbing shock and vibration. In many applications it has absorbed up to 94.7% of the impact force. A windows-based program “Design Guide,” which parallels the calculation method, can also be downloaded from the Sorbothane website.

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The VibroChecker app from Ace Controls uses the acceleration sensors, gyroscopes and microphones integrated in the iPhone and iPad to measure vibrations on machines and components within a frequency range of up to 50 Hz.

3/14/18 2:16 PM


OPTIMIZING SAFE DESIGNS Creating designs that are safe—both for the operator, the machine itself and the surrounding environment—is par for the course with shock absorbing and vibration technologies, said ITT Enidine’s Herman. He added that product customization is generally due to environmental considerations in the application and not related to other motion issues. Additionally, Herman said, “With a greater emphasis on safety, there are increasing application needs for products that mitigate the effects of energy in a system, making products and machinery safer to the user.” Herman concluded noting that its important to consider the hydraulic fluids used in Enidine’s shock absorbers, so the company is always looking to use environmentally safe fluids in its products.

ITT Enidine released the first environmentally friendly shock absorber that stands up to the harsh environments provided by today's most critical applications. The ECO Series was designed using materials and fluids that are safe for the environment.



Miniature shock absorbers from ACE Controls are compact, maintenance-free, hydraulic machine elements that can be easily and quickly integrated in any design. Certain models can be directly integrated in pneumatic cylinders. They reduce the load and increase the efficiency for handling devices, rotary and pivoting actuators, linear cylinders and many other industrial applications. ACE ensures a long service life with innovative sealing techniques, shock absorber and inner pressure chambers fully machined from solid high tensile alloy steel. Pictured here are ACE’s Magnum safety shock absorber designs.


Visit for Design Guide and Technical Data



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ABB Motors & Mechanical ...................................................... 7 ACE Controls Inc. .................................................................. 101 Aerotech ....................................................................................9 All Motion ..................................................................................4 Altech Corporation ....................................................... COVER Altra Industrial Motion Corp. ................................................53 Applied Motion Products .........................................................1 AutomationDirect ....................................................................71 AVENTICS ................................................................................22 Bansbach Easylift .................................................................100 Beckhoff Automation ............................................................57 Bishop Wisecarver ................................................................. 91 Bison Gear & Engineering Corp. ........................................ IBC Chieftek Precision ................................................................... 11 Cicoil ........................................................................................ BC CMT ..........................................................................................47 Cone Drive .............................................................................. 80 ContiTech ................................................................................59 Del-tron Precision, Inc. ...........................................................13 DIEQUA Corporation ...................................................... 86, 88 Dunkermotoren ......................................................................35 Encoder Products Company ................................................75 Fabco-Air, Inc. ........................................................................25 Festo.........................................................................................23 GAM ..........................................................................................92 Harmonic Drive .......................................................................79 HEIDENHAIN Corporation .....................................................73 IDEC Corporation ...................................................................55 igus ...........................................................................................39 Intech ....................................................................................... 81

ITT Enidine .. ........................................................................... 102 KHK USA ..................................................................................84 Lee Spring Company .............................................................95 Lin Engineering . . ......................................................................15 Mach III Clutch Inc. ..................................................................51 maxon precision motors .......................................................33 Micromo ..................................................................................... 3 Mitsubishi Electric ................................................................. 69 mk North America, Inc. ........................................................ 60 Neugart . . ..................................................................................83 NSK Americas ..........................................................................31 PBC Linear ...............................................................................29 Pepprl+Fuchs ..........................................................................43 PHD Inc. ...................................................................................26 Physik Instrumente .................................................................12 POSITAL-FRABA Inc. .............................................................74 Pyramid Inc ............................................................................ 49 R+W America ......................................................................... 64 Renishaw .................................................................................76 Rutronik ...................................................................................45 Schneider Electric Motion . . ................................................... 19 Serapid Inc. .............................................................................98 Servometer .............................................................................63 SEW Eurodrive .. ......................................................................87 Smalley Steel Ring ................................................................. 10 Sorbothane ........................................................................... 103 THK America, Inc. . . ............................................................... IFC Tolomatic, Inc. .........................................................................17 US Tsubaki ..............................................................................97 Zero-Max, Inc. .........................................................................65


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