Within the broad scope of motion control, some of the most challenging applications are those that involve high acceleration-deceleration cycles. Here we explore some of the latest tools and tactics to create smooth and controlled motion profiles, regardless of speed requirements.
High-speed controllers ramp up processing power
Accelera Series 5th generation motion controllers feature a 32-bit RISC-based, clock-multiplying processor with DSP functionality. The DMC-40×0 motion controller, for example, offers standalone operation or can be interfaced to a PC via its Ethernet 10/100 Base-T or RS232 ports. Maximum acceleration and deceleration values that can be programmed are one billion counts/sec2, with a maximum speed of 22 million counts/sec. Of course, users must select a mating servo drive and appropriately sized motor to actually drive the load at these accelerations and speeds. Controllers are available in one through eight-axis models, with drive options that accommodate steppers and servos.
Galil Motion Control Inc.
Jaw couplings handle high accel/decel shock loads
This newly expanded line of zero-backlash jaw couplings includes more compliant spider elements for applications where greater shock absorption is needed. The jaw couplings are three-piece units made of two hubs with curved jaws plus an elastic element. The polyurethane spiders damp impulse type loads, minimizing shock to the motor and other sensitive equipment. Spider elements of three hardness levels — 85, 92, and 98 shore — are available. The soft spider element gives the jaw coupling the greatest damping characteristic, while a harder element provides the greatest torsional rigidity. The couplings are suitable for many servo applications with reversing torque, achieving zero backlash while absorbing shock and damping vibration.
Ruland Manufacturing Co.
Linear rail systems position with precise control
A new Linear Rail System uses a precision leadscrew assembly to provide controlled positioning along the axis of a robust linear slide. The system consists of a stationary base with a load-bearing carriage that travels along a custom-extruded, wear-resistant aluminum rail. It can use one of the company's matching linear actuators or may be provided with various leads and shaft end configurations to accommodate virtually any source of rotary power. Slide bearing play is controlled with a self-adjusting linear bearing and loads easily attach to the moving carriage with screws. Typical applications include plant automation, food and beverage automation, packaging, and custom machinery.
Haydon Switch & Instrument Inc.
Speedy conveyor divides lanes in a flash
The newly released High Speed Switch conveyor is a lane divider designed to split a flow of products while maintaining product pitch. It can receive a single line flow and switch it into two, three, or four lanes of output. Product flow can be split at speeds of up to 200 fpm. The switch conveyor transports products on a series of sliding carriers, with either standard or raised top carriers available. Each carrier slides freely on a pair of stainless steel carrier rods, which are supported between and driven by a pair of conveyor chains. Many configurations are possible, including two-to-four lane switching, sorting applications, and more.