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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, 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!

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

Who you are defines how you think of robotics and automation.  Software experts and IT may think of internet bots.  They might also think about the new, emerging field of Robotics Process Automation (RPA), which is software that can do mundane and administrative computer tasks.  RPA reduces repetitive tasks such as checking, verifying and transferring data.  Manufacturing facilities will think about physical robots or cobots that are also deployed to handle repetitive tasks such as loading and unloading a CNC machine or installing a computer cover.  They can also be used to automate dangerous tasks such as lifting, welding or removing paint.

We’ve all seen the movies…the one where the ‘intelligent’ robots go off-piste and bring untold chaos to the human race.  It never really turns out rosy just as the end credit start to fall.

However, regardless of Hollywood’s ‘predictions’, no matter where I go or where I look (as part of my role in Kollmorgen’s Aerospace & Defence team) I am constantly tripping over a growing exposure to robotics and Intelligent robots in the Defence sector; air, land, sea and subsea.

On November 13, 2017 FDA approved a pill that can digitally track if a patient has taken their medication.  The pill is called “Abilify MyCite” and is used to make sure that patients with conditions such as schizophrenia have actually ingested their medication.  As news broke about this new tracking pill it rekindled both concern and excitement about technology in the field of medicine.

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.
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?
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.

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?  

Collaborative robots are designed to work safely with and next to their human counterparts.  A subset of collaborative robotics has innovative safety techniques that completely eliminate the need for a safety barrier between the human and the robot.  This enables a wide range of applications to deploy and benefit from this collaborative robot technology.


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Aerospace & Defense
Automated Guided Vehicles
Embedded Motion
Food Regulations
Installation Tips
Oil and Gas
University Partnerships
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