Motion control: MagneMotion opens new headquarters, demonstration facility

Designer and builder of linear-motor-based transport systems, MagneMotion moved to its new corporate headquarters in Devens, MA, doubling available space for motion control efforts. A large facility will test large linear synchronous motor (LSM) and Maglev transport systems.

By Control Engineering Staff January 22, 2009

Devens, MA – Designer and builder of linear-motor-based transport systems, MagneMotion moved to its new corporate headquarters in Devens, MA within the former Fort Devens complex. The new facility is said to double the company’s space compared with the previous facility. The company made the move to a accommodate growth within the company and the need for a large facility to construct and test large linear synchronous motor (LSM) and Maglev transport systems. Also read:

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MagneMotion’s Urban Maglev Transit System (M3) pairs linear synchronous motor technology with electromagnetic suspension and guidance to create a fast, safe, and efficient alternative. Source: MagneMotion

In other news, the company will provide a sneak preview of a new LSM transport system specifically designed for smaller, lighter payloads such as those found in the Lab Automation and Pharmaceutical Markets, at the Lab Automation 2009 Conference , Jan. 25-27, in Palm Springs, CA. The new system builds on MagneMotion’s existing QuickStick LSM technology while addressing applications requiring the movement of smaller, lighter payloads. It is said to provide superior performance compared to conveyors, resulting in more accurate control of carrier movement, tracking and tracing of product at all times, intelligent priority routing, and accurate positioning at instruments and process stations. The company plans to ship first units in fourth-quarter
MagneMotion’s co-founder, Dr. Richard Thornton, recently presented a paper on the company’s novel M3 maglev system, which the company built for Old Dominion University, at the Maglev 2008 Conference in San Diego, CA. The paper described the original M3 project, which created a 25 foot proof-of-concept prototype, as well as the current M3 project, which is split into two phases. Phase I will demonstrate a 160 ft full scale model at MagneMotion’s new facility. Phase II will demonstrate a 500 ft scale model on an existing guideway at Old Dominion University.
MagneMotion’s Urban Maglev Transit System (M3) pairs LSM technology with their electromagnetic suspension and guidance (EMS) technology to create what the company characterizes a fast, safe, and efficient alternative to traditional light rail, automated people movers (APM), personal rapid transit (PRT), and group rapid transit systems. M3 is said to eliminate the cost and complexity found in larger, heavier maglev projects or other transportation modes. “Our unique urban maglev design allows for smaller, lighter, and more easily controlled vehicles,” says a company spokesperson, “with lighter, cost-effective guideways with less environmental impact; and energy savings far greater than conventional transport systems.”
The company says the transit system uses attractive magnetic forces for the suspension, guidance, and propulsion of vehicles on a guideway. A single magnetic structure provides all the forces necessary for operation, which the company says provides a simpler, more cost-effective, and efficient maglev solution.
Competitive maglev designs in use today typically use two electro-magnetic structures– one for magnetic suspension and another for magnetic propulsion. The company says this makes larger maglev trains in use today heavier, more complex, and therefore inherently more expensive to design, build, and operate.
The M3 suspension system, on the contrary, is said to use attractive force between permanent magnets on board the vehicle and guideway steel to suspend and guide the vehicle as it moves along the track. Permanent magnets on the vehicle make it possible for only a small amount of control power to provide stable levitation. Levitation control coils placed around the magnets on the vehicle stabilize the suspension system, maintaining a nominal operating gap of approximately 20 mm. These same levitation control coils coupled with the magnets on the vehicle and steel on the guideway are said to provide a smoother ride, turbulence damping, and weight shift resistance, and to control lateral movement during acceleration, deceleration, and travel through curves.
C.G. Masi ,
Control Engineering News Desk
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