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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 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!

If you experience some unintended motion or unexplained drive faults in your motion system, there are several possible causes. For example, motion setup through the drive, a poorly designed program within the control, and motor or feedback commutation phasing 180 degrees out can all cause unintended motion. For this review, we’re going to look at issues created by the contribution of poorly chosen and installed motor cables.

Frameless, or “servo motor kits”, open up numerous possibilities in designing motion elements for your machine related to performance.  A frameless motor consists of rotor and stator components which are built into a machine assembly to transmit torque to a load.  Many applications which take advantage of a frameless motor are direct driven, which eliminates bandwidth robbing compliance.  Effectively, this means you have eliminated torsional losses and any wind-up or spring losses. 

These 3 characteristics are crucial when sizing a motor for any application from military to industrial and beyond. In this day and age where everything seems to be getting smaller and more compact, we all want our toys to take up less space, but we don’t want to sacrifice any performance. Let’s use cars as an example. When someone is shopping for a sports car, they may be looking for things like high speed, quick acceleration, low center of gravity, small body, etc. These are all reasonable things to look for in a sports car. However, if someone was to say, “I need a two-door sports car with a top speed of 160mph, but I also need it to tow my 10,000 lb trailer”, we might have a problem. This is the same principle when we’re talking about motors. Just like cars, generally smaller motors have much higher speeds than larger motors. However, the large motors are the ones towing that 10,000 lb trailer, or in our case, exerting the most torque.

Search the web for frameless or kit motors and you will find many offerings to choose from.  When looking at the motor specifications, there are many important parameters to consider such as rated speed, rated current, peak current, etc.  What do all these things mean and why is it important to understand how the values are being presented?

Over Christmas my family and I traveled to Cape Canaveral, Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center. Since the trip (and even before) my house has been a buzz about rockets, astronauts, count downs, stages, boosters, and did I mention rockets? Naturally, I was one of the 3 million people to watch the launch of the Falcon Heavy live. And over the last few days, there have been several things that I have found myself reflecting on – and it isn’t nostalgia for the space race – its excitement.

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.
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?

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