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Motion Control Guide News

PHD, Inc. Developing new pneumatic gripper

Posted: February 28, 2014

Series GRH parallel pneumatic grippers provide long jaw travel while accommodating long tooling lengths. Available in four sizes, the grippers have an extended support guide system with wide slot jaws to minimize tooling deflection, support large moment capacities, and provide side-load stability. A dual bore provides higher total grip force, and low breakaway pressure allows for gripping of a wide variety of part sizes, including delicate parts.

Jaw travels up to 125 mm (4.921 in.) for gripping larger and multiple-sized parts.

ABB Builds Fifth Factory in Brazil

Posted: Februrary 27, 2014

ABB opened its fifth factory in Brazil in the presence of the Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Mauro Borges, and the Governor of São Paulo Geraldo Alckmin. The new plant is part of a $200-million investment to expand ABB’s technology development and production capacity to serve increasing domestic demand from industries such as petrochemicals, pulp and paper, oil and gas, and mining, as well as energy.

The new greenfield plant, located in the city of Sorocaba in the state of São Paulo, began operating in the second half of 2013 and by 2015 is expected to have generated 1000 jobs directly and indirectly, in the region. ABB will for the first time assemble in one location compact power substations ( “e-houses”) as well as manufacture motors, generators, drive systems, measurement equipment and low-voltage products.

Brazil is boosting its industrial production, power capacity and enhancing its transmission and distribution infrastructure to meet the needs of its expanding economy as well as for the 2014 FIFA football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

“ABB is extremely proud of this new state-of-the-art facility, which demonstrates once again our long-term commitment to Brazil,” ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said. “As one of the world’s leading economies, Brazil is a key market for ABB. We are very pleased to continue to support Brazil’s economic growth through infrastructure and industrialization projects.”

Typically, customers in Brazil have tended to procure their electrical equipment from multiple suppliers. With its new factory, ABB can act as a single vendor capable of engineering, designing, assembling, packaging, testing and delivering equipment, including switchgear, drives, periphery distribution equipment and automation systems, as well as managing the assembly of compact substations.

The factory also has service workshops to help customers with maintenance and repair of motors as well as a repair and test workshop for analyzers and instruments. The plant complies with international standards and sustainable development requirements: it is highly energy efficient, makes optimum use of natural light and recycles waste and water.

ABB has a long history in Brazil, which started more than a century ago with the supply of electrical equipment for the first Sugar Loaf cable car in Rio de Janeiro in 1912. ABB Brazil employs around 4,500 staff and has had factories in the country since the 1950s. It has been a key supplier to most of Brazil’s main infrastructure and industrialization projects including the Itaipu hydro plant and transmission line, which provides 20% of Brazil’s electrical power.

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.

Siemens Announces Simatic S7-1518F Failsafe Controller

Posted: February 24, 2014

The Siemens Industry Automation Division is expanding its new Simatic S7-1500 generation of controllers with the most powerful failsafe CPU so far - the Simatic S7-1518F. The new failsafe CPU is suitable for high-end standard and safety-related applications in machine and plant automation. The Simatic S7-1516F CPU also supplements the range of failsafe CPUs. In the Step 7 Safety Advanced V13 engineering tool, users create their programs by using the same engineering and operating concept for both standard and safety-related tasks. Data consistency functions automatically synchronize standard and safety-related program sections.

Simatic S7-1518F for high-end applications features a 10 MB (megabyte) user memory and has four communication interfaces: a Profinet interface with a 2-port switch for communication with the field level, two Profinet interfaces and one Profibus interface. The high performance and large memory allow connection of up to 128 drive axes and their isochronous operation in the range of 250 microseconds. The CPU 1518F has a bit performance of 1 nanosecond.

The new S7-151xF failsafe controllers are certified to EN 61508 (2010) for functional safety and are suitable for use in safety-relevant applications up to SIL 3 according to IEC 62061 and PL e according to ISO 13849. For IT security an additional password protection has been set up for F-configuration and F-program.

Migration tools are available for the conversion of existing failsafe automation based on Simatic S7300F/400F to the latest controller technology with Simatic S7-151xF: from the Distributed Safety V5.4 engineering tool, for example, to the TIA Portal with Step 7 Safety Advanced V13.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the world's leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly automation and drive technology, industrial software and technology-based services. The Sector's comprehensive portfolio covers the entire industrial value chain, from product design, engineering and production to services. Siemens enhances its customers' productivity, efficiency, and flexibility in a wide variety of different industries. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Divisions Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services as well as the Business Unit Metals Technologies.
Siemens New Failsafe Controller

What do Manufacturers Expect From 2014

Posted: February 21, 2014

The economic uncertainty of the past few years has clearly had a stifling affect on some businesses, but one of the bright spots in the economy was the modest growth seen in the manufacturing industry. Given the New Year, many are curious to see what will come in the next twelve months and how the industry will evolve. Manufacturers are heading into 2014 with increased confidence in the economy as a whole and an optimistic outlook for growth in production and hiring.
ball screw
Overall, things are looking up for the manufacturing industry in the coming year with an anticipated increase in orders, production and exports. According to the second annual Sage Manufacturing Survey, small and midsized businesses are conservatively optimistic about business growth in the next year. More than one third of surveyed manufacturing firms in the small and midsized business (SMB) sector expect the economy to strengthen in the next six months, while half expect it to remain the same.
baldor electric
These numbers are up from Sage’s 2012’s manufacturing survey – only 27 percent anticipated an improvement in the economy last year compared to 36 percent this year. Almost half (48 percent) of respondents expect the economy to remain relatively the same over the next six months.

During the same period of time, 49 percent of surveyed manufacturers expect orders to increase, 42 percent believe that production will rise and 25 percent anticipate more exports.

The reasons for all the anticipated growth? There were three main areas that manufacturers believed would positively impact their business in the next six months:

Stronger domestic demand (68 percent)
The global economic recovery (36 percent)
The “re-shoring” of manufacturing (26 percent)
“Re-shoring” stands in contrast to offshoring, a practice which has had significant impact on the manufacturing industry as a whole. Many manufacturers surveyed are gaining new business by offering customers greater flexibility to make product adjustments based on market response and the ability to produce smaller lots. 5 percent of those surveyed plan on bringing some production back to the U.S. in the next six months, and none planned on offshoring any manufacturing to other countries.

In this new climate, manufacturers are making plans to refocus their efforts on specific areas that will have the biggest impact on their bottom line.

Forty-six percent of respondents are looking to invest to support their top priorities in the next six months, including:

53 percent are looking to invest in increasing sales.
36 percent are looking to invest in developing new markets
36 percent are looking to invest in increasing productivity
The Sage Manufacturing Survey focused primarily on small and midsized manufacturers and distributors in the U.S. (defined as smaller than 100 employees for the purposes of this survey). About nine out of ten of the businesses responding have been in business longer than ten years. The survey included 139 small and midsized manufacturers and distributors.

The results from the Sage Manufacturing Survey were echoed in other industry reports as well. The December jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also showed that the manufacturing industry continues to add jobs and is expected to contribute to job growth in 2014.

The outlook was not entirely rose-colored, however. In the survey, manufacturers revealed some areas that still hold uncertainty for them in the future.

When asked about influencers that could provide a downside for their businesses in 2014, respondents in the Sage Manufacturing Survey pointed out three areas that could have a negative impact on their businesses. They included:

A domestic economic slowdown (53 percent)
Additional environmental or financial regulations (35 percent)
A global economic slowdown (29 percent).
Barring these challenges, there’s an overall increased confidence in the economy and positive outlook for growth in production and hiring. The growth of re-shoring, the desire to provide flexibility and the investment in productivity will underscore the importance of technologies like ERP in the coming months and years. Manufacturers will need to turn to technology tools in order to help them run leaner, more cost-effective businesses.

If this year’s survey serves as indication of things to come, then the modest growth seen in the manufacturing industry in the past few years is likely to continue.

Harting Receives AS9100C Certification

Posted: February 20, 2014

Harting's manufacturing plant in Elgin, IL has been AS9100C accredited by UL/DQS for the manufacture of both backplanes and cable assemblies. The AS9100C quality management standard is designed to meet the stringent, complex and unique demands encountered in the aerospace and defence industries. Major aerospace manufacturers and their Tier 1 and 2 suppliers worldwide require AS9100 certification or compliance as a condition of doing business with them. The AS9100C standard incorporates all requirements of ISO 9001:2008 and goes further, with 100 additional requirements to satisfy aerospace and defence customers. It provides for a comprehensive quality management system focused on areas directly impacting product safety and reliability including configuration management, purchasing controls, product realization, monitoring and measurement.

The Elgin facility, whose backplane manufacturing is part of the global HARTING Integrated Solutions business unit, also is ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) registered with the US Department of Defense for both backplane and cable assembly manufacturing. ITAR regulates the use of defence-related technical information to safeguard US national interests.

Posital Announces IXARC Incremental Rotary Encoders

Posted: February 20, 2014

Posital announces IXARC incremental rotary encoders, available in thousands of configurations with HTL (Push-Pull) or TTL (RS422) interfaces, different types of electrical connectors and a wide range of shaft and flange diameters. Heavy-duty models with IP69K-rated housings and seals can stand up to wet and dirty environments – even repeated exposure to water jets from pressure washers.
ixarc rotary encoders
Incremental encoders generate output signals each time the shaft rotates a certain amount. They are often used in motor controls and other applications where speed measurement is critical. To do this well, incremental encoders need to have excellent dynamic response. While, traditionally, magnetic encoders did not provide adequate performance for these tasks, POSITAL has overcome this shortcoming. The company’s new generation of magnetic encoders feature advanced signal processing software running on powerful 32-bit microprocessors. This results in incremental encoders matching the performance of larger, more complex optical encoders – all in a sturdy, compact, cost effective package.
Posital's new incremental rotary encoders

Global Motion Control Shipments Down

Posted: February 17, 2014

Global shipments for motion control products fell by 5% in 2013, according to new statistics released by the Motion Control Association (MCA), the industry’s trade group.

“Despite the contraction in global motion control shipments last year, we are optimistic moving into 2014,” said Dana Whalls, Vice President of MCA. “The North American economy, which is a strong driver of MCA statistics, is forecasted to be strong to start the year, and we’re anticipating motion control shipments to follow.”

“Despite the overall contraction, the motion controllers motion controllerscategory had a very strong year in 2013,” said Alex Shikany, MCA Director of Market Analysis. “We saw shipments of motion controllers soar 22% in 2013 while all other categories declined.”

MCA summarizes market results in quarterly tracking reports and trend analysis reports. These reports examine orders and shipments by major product category with tables and graphics. Growth rates and book to bill ratios are provided as well for each product category.

MCA also provides an economic indicator report, which enables report users to interpret quarterly statistics from the standpoint of macro-economic indicators by individual manufacturing industry, as identified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

All reports are available free of charge to all MCA members. Members providing data for the reports receive “full” versions of the reports, which are highly detailed examinations of order and shipment results. Non-participating members receive “abridged” reports, which contain shipment results. Members find the reports valuable as gauges of overall market performance and as benchmarks for assessing relative company performance. To learn more about MCA, visit Motion Control Online.

Zaber Releases LAR Linear Actuators

Posted: February 17, 2014

Zaber Technologies released LAR linear actuators which offer high thrust and force capabilities and can be used in industrial applications to push heavy loads.

LAR Series are motorized, computer controlled linear actuators. These actuators are available in a various versions, including with built-in controllers and/or encoders, different travel lengths, and either lead screw or ball screw driven (BAR Series). Versions without built-in controllers are designed for use with Zaber’s A-Series stepper motor controllers, or they can be used with any 2-phase stepper motor controller.

-200 or 300 mm travel options
-55 kg maximum force
-Up to 65 mm/s speed
-Lead screw or ball screw versions (BAR Series) available

Festo to Show Superconductor Technology Concepts

Posted: February 14, 2014

Superconductors have fascinating properties: when cooled to a certain temperature, they not only lose their electrical resistance but can also “freeze” the field of a permanent magnet positioned nearby and thus hold the magnet in position at a constant distance. The resulting stable air gap allows the contact-free, frictionless positioning and moving of objects without the need for control technology. For several years, Festo has been carrying out research into the advantages of superconductor technology for automation; the company is demonstrating three new, unique application concepts at the 2014 Hanover Fair.

The first research platforms at the 2013 Hanover Fair already illustrated how objects can be maintained in a state of levitation and be moved without contact, for example. Festo has now further developed these ideas with SupraHandling 2.0, SupraShuttle and SupraChanger – its three current exhibits based on SupraMotion 2.0. These exhibits demonstrate the linear and rotary motion of levitating objects in all directions and in all spatial positions. All three of these new applications make use of electric cooling units with cryostats (refrigerated containers). The exhibits make use of decentralised control and do not require regulation technology to maintain objects in a state of levitation. They demonstrate opportunities for specific applications of this technology in automation, with a comprehensive solution package from control technology to temperature monitoring.

Superconductors: materials with special properties
Superconductors are metals, metal compounds or ceramic materials that acquire very special properties when cooled below a so-called critical temperature: not only does their electrical resistance then drop abruptly to zero; the superconductor also stores the field of a permanent magnet at a predetermined distance. If the superconductor is cooled down to its critical temperature and the spacing element is removed, the magnet will remain hovering in a stable condition above the superconductor and will return exactly to this stored position after being removed or displaced. For the high-temperature ceramic superconductors used by Festo, the critical temperature is about 93 kelvin (–180 degrees Celsius).

SupraHandling 2.0: linear motion in three spatial layers
With SupraHandling 2.0, a levitating carriage moves over two magnetic rails 2.5 metres in length. This carriage is fitted with three cryostats with superconductors. The entire system can be rotated by up to 180 degrees about its longitudinal axis, thus enabling the carriage to travel vertically or even upside-down. SupraHandling 2.0 thus demonstrates stable non-contact positioning, which for example could enable the levitated transportation of objects in production.

SupraShuttle: hovering and moving in any direction
With the SupraShuttle, Festo is demonstrating the movement of a levitating object in all directions and, for the first time, the handling of the superconductor element itself: the cryostat with the superconducting material is transferred from one electric axis system to another. The exhibit also shows how easily hovering objects can be introduced into a hermetically sealed space and moved within it. This feature would be useful, for example, for applications involving work with gases or in a vacuum.

SupraChanger: controlled rotation
With SupraChanger, an application for the first time transmits a rotational movement without contact and in a controlled manner to a magnet, which levitates due to superconductivity. The exhibit shows this effect in three automatically changing, distinct applications: a centrifuge, a blender and a hovering rotary indexing table. A possible future field of application would be laboratory automation, in which several processing steps are often performed on an object in sequence.

Electric cooling of the superconductors
All superconductors for the new SupraMotion exhibits are cooled by long-life electric compressors. The cryostats maintain the superconducting material at a constant temperature of around 93 kelvin (–180 degrees Celsius), with an energy consumption rate of about 12 watts per cryostat. SupraHandling 2.0, SupraShuttle and SupraChanger can thus be operated energy-efficiently and independently of cooling media such as liquid nitrogen.

A wide range of possible applications
A conceivable application in automation technology of the future would be the energy-efficient, stable positioning of objects, without the requirement for measuring or control technology. Superconductors would also enable objects to be moved beyond walls in confined spaces and in all positions. In view of this non-contact handling, there is also great application potential wherever equipment is required to be cleaned conveniently or during operation, for example in laboratory automation, medical technology or the food industry.

STM Sensor Technologies Joins Balluff Group

Posted: February 10, 2014

STM Sensor Technologie München joined the Balluff Group. As development and technology partners in the area of specialty photoelectric sensors, the companies are connected by a long-standing cooperation venture.

With the integration of Balluff STM, the area of sensor miniaturization for industrial automation will be further expanded. "Thanks to the concentration of our competencies in this area we are able to offer our customers extended and integral solutions", states Florian Hermle, Balluff Managing Director.

There will also be synergy effects and new potential for production. For instance, Balluff STM has a patented production process in photoelectric precision sensor systems. A big strength of the Bavarian company is the production of photoelectric sensors for use in the cleanroom environment and in high vacuums, such as those used in the semi-conductor industry.

Michael Unger, Management Spokesperson of Balluff GmbH, sees huge opportunities in the modular product structure. "With Balluff STM we are able to provide an impressive variety of customer-specific solutions in a fast and flexible manner." As a result of the integration, there is also considerable development and expansion potential for the company in important growth markets for Balluff such as the Life Science industry, including medical technology, or in the area of laboratory automation.

As Vice President of Business Development, Edgar Melzner, founder and previous owner, will continue to be responsible for the development and the customer-specific adaptations of the STM product range at the Neubiberg site. He places great trust in the cooperation venture. Through the intensive exchange of information and ideas, the long-standing cooperation venture and the personal contact, we know that we share the same vision and ideas."

Tecsis Releases Model XPMF03 Miniature Pressure Transducer

Posted: February 10, 2014

Tecsis releases Model XPMF03 miniature pressure transducer with a flush diaphragm design which creates zero dead volume at the pressure connection. This feature makes it ideal for operations which involve spraying or application of sealants, paints, coatings or other congealable media which can clog conventional pressure ports. The diaphragm measures as small as .310” in diameter and installs into a 3/8”-24 UNF or a 7/16-20 UNF threaded port with an o-ring seal. This modified standard product also features a miniature threaded electrical connector for ease of integration into new or existing applications.

XPMF03 delivers a combined linearity and hysteresis spec of 1.0% FSO with an output of 2mV/V. The standard sensor is manufactured from 17-4 PH stainless steel, with other materials available for improved performance in harsh or highly corrosive environments. This versatile unit is manufactured as a single piece, making it sturdy enough to handle pressures of 0-20,000 psi yet sensitive enough to measure ranges from 0-150 psi. XPMF03 features a wide operating temperature range from -65° to +300°F. Robust construction provides safe overload protection of 150% full scale. Available now from tecsis LP, priced from $477 with quantity discounts available.

Franklin Control Systems Moves Into Larger Space

Posted: February 7, 2014

Franklin Control Systems (FCS) moved into a new 60,000 sq. ft. engineering and production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, doubling the company’s leased space under a single roof.

“We hired 31 new employees this year and will add more sales and development personnel in the first half of 2014,” said Andre Perra, FCS president. “Plus, our business growth had caused us to rent an increasing amount of temporary storage for inventory as we brought four new products into production last year.”

“The move lets us consolidate our inventory and reconfigure our production area, allowing us to apply more, lean 6-sigma-style techniques to our manufacturing, including space for more in-depth product testing,” said Tonny Ton FCS Manufacturing Manager.

Franklin Control Systems, formerly Cerus Industrial, was acquired by Franklin Electric in 2012. Franklin Electric is a global leader in the production and marketing of systems and components for the movement of water and automotive fuels. Recognized as a technical leader in its specialties, Franklin Electric serves customers around the world in residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, municipal, and fueling applications.

Bronkhorst Releases T23 Mass Flow Controller

Posted: February 7, 2014

Bronkhorst releases T23 mass flow monitor and controller that works on the basis of direct through-flow measurement (no by-pass), following the constant temperature anemometry principle. The instrument contains no moving parts and has no obstructions to the flow path, which makes it ideal for low pressure drop applications and less sensitive to moisture or particulates than thermal mass flow devices with by-pass sensor.
The electronics housing is of rugged design according IP65 (dust- and waterproof). The T23 is available with optional ATEX approval for use in Category 3, Zone 2 hazardous areas.
T23 is a compact Mass Flow Controller with an integrated, direct operating valve that can cope with high gas flow rates. The maximum flow control range of the instrument is 12-600 ln/min. Both analog I/O-signals and RS232 connection are available as a standard feature. In addition to this there is the possibility of integrating an interface board with DeviceNet, PROFIBUS DP, Modbus or FLOW-BUS protocol.
Applications can be found in process control systems as for example in food, chemical and petrochemical plants.

Yokogawa Develops Multi-Protocol Wireless Adaptor

Posted: February 6, 2014

Yokogawa Electric announces that it has developed a multi-protocol wireless adaptor that enables wired field instruments or analytical sensors to be used as ISA100 Wireless devices, and will release models in May and July that support communications based on the HART and RS485 Modbus standards. To facilitate the introduction of field wireless systems in plants, Yokogawa plans to release additional models that will cover other standards.

Field wireless systems enable the field devices and the host-level monitoring, control, and other systems in a plant to communicate wirelessly with each other. They have numerous advantages such as allowing the placement of field instruments or analytical sensors in difficult to wire locations, eliminating the need for cables to connect devices, and costing less to install. In accordance with its Wireless Anywhere concept, Yokogawa is seeking to promote the plant-wide use of field wireless systems by developing ISA100 Wireless devices such as this multi-protocol wireless adaptor.

When the multi-protocol wireless adaptor is mounted on a wired field instrument or analytical sensor, the instrument or sensor is able to function as an ISA100 Wireless device. It may be used with any type of wired field instrument or analytical sensor commonly used in plants, including those used to monitor temperature, pressure, liquid level, or vibration, or to detect gas and is compatible with both Yokogawa devices and devices from other vendors. By giving customers a greater range of field instruments and analytical sensors to choose from, Yokogawa expects that this multi-protocol wireless adaptor will greatly facilitate the introduction of field wireless systems.

1. Support of multiple standards
The first two models are intended for wired HART and RS485 Modbus communications, both of which are widely used in plants. Yokogawa plans to release models that are compliant with other wired field communications standards such as FOUNDATION fieldbus and PROFIBUS.

2. Battery power source for field instruments and analytical sensors
The battery in the multi-protocol wireless adaptor can also power the field instrument or analytical sensor, eliminating the need for wiring. As with other Yokogawa field wireless devices, the multi-protocol wireless adaptor uses a large-capacity lithium-ion battery, and this is able to power both the multi-protocol wireless adaptor and the field instrument or analytical sensor for a long time. An indicator on the host system shows the estimated remaining days of battery life.

3. Environmental resistance
An all-weather model type that is waterproof and dustproof performance and an explosion-protection type that can be used in the presence of inflammable gases are scheduled to be released.

Yokogawa’s Approach to Field Wireless Communications
Yokogawa released the world’s first ISA100 Wireless system devices and wireless pressure and temperature transmitters in July 2010. In addition to enabling sophisticated control techniques in continuous processes, this gave customers a wider range of devices to choose from. In July 2012, Yokogawa released a reliable, large-scale field wireless system for use in plants and is now expanding the range of suitable monitoring and control applications for wireless technologies and devices.

In addition to being highly reliable, suited for a wide range of applications, and expandable, ISA100.11a is compatible with wired communications standards such as FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART, and PROFIBUS. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is currently considering the adoption of the IEC62734 standard, which is based on ISA100.11a.

JVL Introduces MAC402 Integrated Servo Motor

Posted: February 6, 2014

JVL introduces MAC402 Integrated Servo Motor designed for battery powered and low voltage applications. The supply range for the MAC402 is from 12VDC up to 48VDC, and full power of 400W (RMS) up to 1200W (peak) can be reached with 24 to 48VDC. This compact motor measures just 191mm (7.52 in.) x 60mm (2.36 in) x 114mm (4.49 in.) Applications include but are not limited to: Remotely operated robots, robotic vehicles, portable equipment, tracking devices, antenna mounts, and positioning devices.
MAC402 options include: Brake, absolute multi turn encoder, and planetary & cycloidal gearheads.
A wide selection of communication modules is available for MAC402 motors including: Basic modules for Pulse-Direction (or analog input) or fieldbus modules including Profibus, Devicenet and CANopen, or programmable modules with easy connections to local sensors make integration into new and existing applications easy. Moreover, a wide variety of industrial Ethernet options are available: EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, Profinet, Powerlink, Modbus TCP and Sercos III. With the VDC supply option the advantages of the MAC400 VAC servos have been expanded to include applications for battery and low voltage operation, from 12 to 48 VDC. With wireless options like WLAN/Wifi, Zigbee or Bluetooth, the MAC402 MAC motor can run completely wireless.
A big advantage of using an integrated MAC motor is that there is no need for a separate servo driver/controller. The advantages are: Space savings in the control cabinet, eliminating expensive motor and encoder cables, RFI/EFI noise is minimized due to internal cabling, and connection errors between driver and motor are eliminated. Additionally, service is much easier as the motor and controller are replaced as a single integrated unit minimizing downtime and maximizing production.

Gudel Moves Trackmotion Manufacturing to U.S.

Posted: February 3, 2014

Güdel transitioned all manufacturing of its third-generation robot tracks for domestic markets to its headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While some initial Trackmotion Floor (TMF) modules were fabricated and machined in Switzerland, the entire product line is now built in the US.

“We believe Swiss Quality, Made Locally reflects our business strategy very accurately,” said Joe Campbell, Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “We leverage drive components from our Swiss factory with US engineering, manufacturing and service. Our North American customers demand the best of both worlds, and we are happy to comply.”

The core of the TMF product line is Güdel’s driveline components, including gear boxes, helical racks, rails and pinions. Güdel’s 50 years of experience manufacturing linear motion deliver the highest precision and highest reliability over the life of the products. And Güdel’s unique cam follower roller block design allows in-place adjustment and outright replacement without the total disassembly required by traditional linear bearing approaches. To date, the TMF has been shipping around the world into diverse industries from aerospace to automotive, packaging to logistics and metal fab to furniture.

Güdel Inc. is the US subsidiary of Güdel Group, a global manufacturer of robotic automation products, systems and services. Güdel supplies linear motion modules, robot track motion units, gantry robots and components to OEM’s, systems integrators and machine builders serving the automotive, aerospace, logistics, heavy industrial and power generation industries. Güdel Inc. is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in a dedicated 45,000 square foot facility, providing North American customers with engineering, design, production, and, customer service support.

Automationdirect Announces Suregear PGCN Gearboxes

Posted: February 3, 2014

AutomationDirect’ announces SureGear PGCN series of stepper gearboxes, suitable for stepper and other motion control applications requiring a NEMA-size input/output interface.

Available in NEMA 17, 23, and 34 sizes and gear ratios of 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100:1, SureGear stepper gearboxes are designed with a nominal speed of 3,500 RPM and maximum input speed of 6,000 RPM. Additional features include a low backlash of 30 arc-min or less, and a 20,000 hour service life.

The SureGear PGCN series is an accurate, high-performance, and cost-effective solution for applications include material handling, pick and place, automation, packaging, and other motion control applications requiring a NEMA input/output. While SureGear planetary gearboxes can be mounted in any orientation, they are not designed for back driving.

These maintenance-free gearboxes require no additional lubrication for the life of the unit and hardware is included for mounting to SureStep stepper motors; optional shaft bushings are available for mounting to other motors.

SureGear PGCN series prices start at $209 and are backed by a 1-year warranty.

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