Welcome to Kollmorgen's Blog in Motion.  We have been adding information and knowledge to the great web based world for many years - through white papers, technical documents, and even webinars.  Kollmorgen enjoys sharing our knowledge with you, as well as identifying other motion related tidbits through our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube feeds.  Our newest source is Blog in Motion, covering a wide range of topics, as well as some interesting contributing authors with lots of Motion experience.  If Motion Matters to you, stop by, follow, like, and sign up so you can stay tuned for what Kollmorgen has in store for you!


  • A few years ago I watched the DARPA challenge. If you’re not familiar with the challenge, the idea was to build a robot that could drive a car, climb a ladder, turn a handle, use a drill and various other activities.  In the challenge each robot was given an hour to complete the tasks.  It was a slow process. I had two reasons to watch, one, Kollmorgen has some frameless motors in the Carnegie Mellon robot and two, I’m a Virginia Tech graduate and they also provided a robot.

  • Last time in our Block and Tackle Series on “What is a Linear Actuator?” we identified the general types of mechanisms that are used to move loads in a straight line.  Today’s blog expands on that just a bit with a few more details on the different types used in the motion control world.

  • What is Mechatronics?

    October 04, 2017, by Bob White

    Mechatronics is taking a holistic look at a complete machine solution, taking account of all elements that make up that system that are part of the machine, including mechanisms, motors, drive electronics, controls, interfaces, and ergonomics.  A variety of disciplines are involved when considering a machine design utilizing a mechatronics approach. It is a melding of the physical expectations of a motion system whether mechanical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic or any hybrid of technologies used to accomplish a physical task. Often, these systems are trying to duplicate, simplify, or assist a human function, most often a repetitive motion that a machine can do better.

  • Question: What is a linear actuator?

    Answer: Quite simply, a linear actuator is a device that moves a load in a straight line.  Linear actuators come in many styles and configurations – our blog post today covers those actuators associated with motion control.

  • In our last blog related to decentralized drives, we indicated several key customer benefits tied to using this approach.  First, you can reduce your cable costs significantly in machine configurations with lots of axes spread apart throughout the machine.  Second, a reduction in cabinet space and cooling requirements since you’ve taken a number of heat producing elements (Servo drives) from the enclosure.  Thirdly, you increase flexibility in design. In this blog entry, we will explore what is meant by flexibility and how this offers several advantages.

  • Less Cabling, Smaller Cabinet, Less Heat…More Flexibility!  Less Cabling, Smaller controls cabinet, Less heat…wow, that’s all great stuff.  I can achieve this all with a decentralized solution?   Absolutely – and even more! Decentralized Control Architecture means shifting the motion control drives from the crowded cabinets, and moving them near to the motors – out on the machine where the action is.  Immediately you can see that this can reduce the size of the controls cabinet, moving all of those drives out onto the machine – but how do I see these other advantages?

  • Block and Tackle Series Volume 4 – What does TENV (Totally Enclosed Non-Ventilated) mean?

    Question: What does TENV, or Totally Enclosed Non-Ventilated mean in regard to a servo motor?

    Answer: Well – the answer is simply the motor is Totally Enclosed, and Non-Ventilated. Based on NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) definition, TENV states that the motor housing is fully enclosed and is not ventilated with a fan.

  • In our last Block and Tackle posting, we touched on operating a motor in a hotter ambient temperature.  For this posting, we take a look at the Root Mean Square (RMS) Torque and why it is important. Typically an axes’ motion profile is broken up into multiple segments, each segment is found to require a specific torque for a specific amount of time to complete the desired motion.  For example this can include torque required to accelerate, traverse (against an external force and/or friction),  decelerate, and dwell.  Each of these segments affects the amount of heating the motor experiences and thus the equivalent steady state continuous requirement utilized to select the correct motor.

  • The FSMA evolution is ongoing and Kollmorgen continues to enable innovators to meet the requirements of making food production and packaging safer.  Kollmorgen’s White Paper “Food Safety Regulatory Requirements”  explains the background of FSMA as well as the implications on machine design.  We recognize that not all facilities have the ability to build a completely new plant from the ground up.

  • How do I calculate a motor’s continuous torque when it is operating in an environment above its rated temperature? Since the motor’s continuous torque (Tc) is rated in a 40°C ambient, how can I estimate the motor’s continuous torque during my worst-case ambient temperature of 55°C?  

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