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Usually, in discussion about these terms, we tie in the word actuator – so more precisely, what is the difference between a linear actuator vs a rotary actuator?

Linear actuators, in essence, move something along a straight line, usually back and forth.  Rotary actuators, on the other hand will turn something a number of degrees in a circle – it might be a limited number or an infinite number.

So, linear actuator – back and forth, Rotary actuator - round and round

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.
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?
Never sized a servo before? Well, we want to share with you some of the best practices we have found over the years. Over the next few months, we will continue this series with a variety of tidbits that will help you become more comfortable with the job of sizing a servo. In this post, we’ll start with the basics of good preparation.
Linear motors fill an important role in providing a robust and high precision direct drive solution in many high performance applications.  In order to achieve the highest level of performance, the linear motor system must be commissioned properly.  This blog post addresses key areas to consider when setting up and commissioning a linear motor system.  It is always important to refer to the installation and set -up instructions provided by the manufacturer.

So up until now, we've seen how a couple of German immigrants came to America and turned their dreams into a reality. Fredrick came to America at the turn of the Century, Hugo a few decades later, and now Otto Kollmorgen had the reins of Kollmorgen firmly in his hands. Just how did these two companies come together? Here is a first hand account from Herb Torberg (Chief Engineer, Kollmorgen). "In the late 1950's, Kollmorgen was very busy updating submarine periscope features capabilities. Submarines were going deeper, faster and the capabilities of the periscope were greatly expanded. Included was the need to take better photographs, including sextant navigation, provide Passive electronic countermeasure, and to aid the operator in training (turning) the periscope."

There is a nostalgic group out there thinking about when they first were introduced to the BASIC language. BASIC? What is that? Kind of like today when you say album or 45, or even vinyl – certain “younger” folk will look at you and say “whhaatt?” – after they pull the ear buds from their ears and pause there MP3 players. BASIC – Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instructional Code. I first used Basic to program a computer back in 1976, and it had already been around for over 10+ years at that point.

Over the next few months, we will be publishing a blog series about how Kollmorgen evolved from its humble beginnings to today. Follow us on this journey and learn about the visionaries that built the foundation of our company.

Turn back time – to the 1900’s, the turn of the century, the industrial revolution in full force. A young man who was skilled in optics left his homeland of Germany to work under the auspices of optics pioneer, Karl Reichert in Vienna. Frederick Kollmorgen decided to bring his skills to America, passing through London with a brief stint with Ross, Ltd. Kollmorgen settled in New York, providing optic skills for Keuffel & Esser, who manufactured drafting and surveying instrumentation.

Today’s blog is part of a Throw Back Thursday post – about an article I wrote for SubNotes magazine back in 1988. At the time we had completed a number of submersible motor applications for some very unique and tough environments. Applications with interesting names like Alvin, Jason Jr, or Robin – the first, a manned research vehicle at the time operated by Woodshole Oceanographic Institute, the other two, remotely operated submersibles used to explore the wreck of the Titanic, among other adventures.

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