• Direct Drive vs Mechanical Transmissions on Lab Equipment

    Şubat 11, 2014, by Ken Huffenus

    There aren't many of us that open up the hefty manual that you receive with your new lawn tractor or dishwasher but if you did there would be a section in there on "preventative maintenance." There's a similar section in the documentation that comes along with most IVD analyzers and other lab equipment. The documentation often includes recommended activities to be done on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis to keep your instrument running as intended.

  • Incredible Voyage - Using Tried-and-True Servo Technology

    Şubat 18, 2014, by Scott Evans

    Do you remember the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage? What about Innerspace? Both of these movies feature stories about a small vessel working inside of the human body. At the time these movies seemed impossible because there were microscopic humans operating the ships. Of course now it is 2014 and surely you've heard of Arthroscopy. In my last blog post, I discussed drive-by-wire in a car. Essentially, the mechanical linkage between you and the steering wheel clutched in your white-knuckled fists is going away-replaced by sensors on the steering wheel that tell an actuator motor which way, how hard, and how far to turn the car's wheels based on how far and how hard you are turning the steering wheel.

  • Sound of Silence

    Mart 20, 2014, by Ken Huffenus

    As soon as you walk into a quiet space, you know it. In the world of automation, noise tends to be considered a necessary byproduct. A number of my colleagues have become very adept at describing the various noises made by stepper motors, leadscrews, cams, gearboxes, etc. Wheeeeeew. Wheeeeeeeeeeew. Wheeeeeeeeew, clack. This tends to be fine if you're talking about a single axis of motion, but imagine a hospital lab with hundreds or perhaps thousands of axes of motion all moving at the same time. Try having a quiet conversation in a large lab around the 8:00am sample rush - just about impossible.

  • Going Small - How Current Step Motor Technology Can Help You Reduce Machine Size

    Ağustos 13, 2015, by Josh Bellefeuille

    As it turns out, "going small" is an effort that traces back to the first steppers ever manufactured. Released in 1952, the Sigma "Cyclonome 9" series, one of the first steppers ever designed, was the first standard offering of its kind. Motors had a frame size of 1 3/16 inches, roughly the size of a modern day NEMA 11 motor. With a torque range of 1 - 12 oz-in, common applications at the time included printers, tape readers, and chart drive and display controls. Just like today, the small form factor of these motors allowed OEMs to reduce the overall size and footprint of their machines.

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