Donald Labriola, P.E.

Labriola, P.E.

Donald P. Labriola II, P.E., specializes in servo controllers and motors, with a special focus on cost-effective motion control. He has been granted ten U.S. patents as well as numerous international patents. His background includes over 35 years of motion control including 20 years in medical instrument design. He enjoys gardening, camping, and Ham radio — and motion control.

Labriola founded QuickSilver Controls in 1996. Prior to that, he worked at Beckman Instruments as a Senior Staff Electronic Engineer. Labriola earned his bachelor and master degrees from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

QuickSilver Controls Inc. (QCI) was founded in June 1996 to build Hybrid Servo actuators — actuatorse based on high-pole-count two-phase ac motors. Commonly known as microstep motors when operated open loop, their performance transforms when operated in closed loop. The PLC/indexer/servo control/digital drive are all combined into a single unit. QCI has expanded to now include three-phase brushless, voice coil, DC brush, linear hybrid servos,  as well as the original rotary hybrid servo, and most recently the Mosolver — a hybrid servo actuator with a rugged low cost position sensor based on the same magnetic structure as is used by the motor.

In fact, QuickSilver products have been used in myriad applications from tracking drones to making tortillas, gluing picture frames, controlling animatronics, testing brakes on a fighter jet,  processing semiconductors, controlling laser paths, and medical diagnostic and therapy applications, to name a few. The drive technology includes software and hybrid damping capabilities which allow the motors to be readily tuned to 100:1 inertial mismatch, frequently allowing for the elimination of gear heads via the resulting direct drive capability.

Machine Design articles including commentary from Labriola and coverage of QuickSilver:

New Product: Nema-11, 17, and 23 servocontroller/driver (2007)
The basics of system engineering: What system engineering is and what it does (2001)
Animatics, Quicksilver bury the hatchet, settle patent suit (2004)
All other QuickSilver mentions (2001 to Present)

A new option for motor-position feedback: Built-in resolver design
Now, another position-feedback option in a combination motor-and-resolver design eliminates these problems with minimal materials and electronics. We call the resulting feedback an emulated resolver, as the setup acts as a traditional resolver but without the rotary transformer or separate driver electronics. These sensors track motor position in two steps.
Servocontrols in theater and mechanical-creature applications
Putting motion into art requires a different approach to motion control than typical machine-tool applications. Although hardware elements such as actuators, servomotors, and controllers are similar, the approach to motion in artistic endeavors is typically quite different.
Why open-loop steppers lose steps, and how to solve the problem
Not missing a beat: Here we take a look at why open-loop steppers lose steps, as well as some solutions to the problem.
Precision motion evolution: Early history of precision motors (1960s to 1980s)
Today’s precision position motor family has two major adherents, the step motor and the brushless permanent magnet (PM) motor.
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