Two new ways to help robot, motion control designs

Specification software, modular designs for motion control, robotics from maxon and Parvalux by maxon include Parvalux Rapid Prototyping services with the Modular Range from Parvalux along with maxon’s new high performance joint drives, drive systems for robotics at the Automate 2024 event by A3.

By Mark T. Hoske June 13, 2024
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering

 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how robotic motor, motion control design, specifications can improve by using an online software configurator.
  • Learn about products and services for robotics and motion control, such as drive systems with electronics, motors, frameless motors, gearing, sensing, actuators, encoders for robotics and other motion applications.

Automate 2024: Robotic and motion system design insights

  • Robotic motor, motion control design, specifications can be improved by using an online software configurator from Parvalux by maxon.
  • Products and services from maxon group were shown at Automate 2024 for robotics and motion control, such as drive systems with electronics, motors, frameless motors, gearing, sensing, actuators, encoders for robotics and other motion applications.

Designing, specifying and integrating cost-effective robotics and motion control components and systems are easier with modular designs and specification software, as shown by maxon and Parvalux by maxon at Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Biren Patel, maxon group head of business development USA, provided a booth tour discussing benefits of Parvalux Rapid Prototyping services with the Modular Range from Parvalux along with maxon’s new high performance joint drives, drive systems for robotics.

Patel said Parvalux and maxon motors span many applications beyond industrial, including medical and surgical, such as heart and insulin pumps, exoskeletons for robotic rehabilitation, a space-station remote surgical robot, mobility and electric bicycles. Motor sizes range from 4 mm diameter to 30 mm diameter. Design considerations matter, Patel explained. For instance, a motor on the inner runner with winding on the outside can provide 2 to 2.5 times the torque with better heat dissipation in a more compact package compared to an outer-runner motor design with higher inertia.

Figure 1: Geared Motor Solutions from parvalux by maxon enables many industrial motion control designs; online configurator software helps with product integration and specification. Geared motors change the speed and torque of motors to fit application needs. Various component combinations of gears, motors, drives and shafts are show in this display at Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago.

Figure 1: Geared Motor Solutions from parvalux by maxon enables many industrial motion control designs; online configurator software helps with product integration and specification. Geared motors change the speed and torque of motors to fit application needs. Various component combinations of gears, motors, drives and shafts are show in this display at Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske Control Engineering

Motor, motion control design, specification software: Online configurator

Parvalux Modular Range helps with design, configuration and specification of a geared motor system using the maxon Parvalux online configurator. Brushed or brushless motors are available in many ratios across the modular gearbox range. Accessories may be added, such as encoders, brakes, and shaft extension kits for rapid prototyping and application design. The modular range of geared motor products are available on a quick turnaround and can be ordered in quantities of up to 10 pieces.

Software options navigate options to explore pre-selected modular combinations for applications listed, helping with modular motion control design or custom motion control design for meeting application needs. Motion control applications and designs, many with modular options, include building automation, access control, door automation, materials handling, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), warehouse tugs, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), conveyors, mobility, wheelchair lifts, platform lifts, patient hoists, stairlifts, modular geared motors, modular gearboxes and modular motors.

Next steps in the online motor and motion control configurator software are to determine the required output performance, then select a starting point and fine tune the selection. Added information and specifications are available along with help from sales engineers, as needed, Patel said.

Products and services for robotics, motion control designs

Parvalux by maxon “Robotics Drives Products and Services” can help when designing and manufacturing high-performance drive systems. They are described as torque-dense, integrated and compact actuation solutions, robust and cost-effective, vertically integrated and optimized for robotics markets. Capabilities for integrated, compact robotic drive systems are said to include:

  • High torque density and lightweight construction.

  • Customization as needed at scale to fit application needs.

  • Agile production with high production quality, consistent performance and robust designs.

  • Cost efficiency and low total cost of ownership without compromising quality.

Robotic drive systems include electronics, motor, gearing, sensing

The maxon High Efficiency Joint HEJ 48-90-140 is said to be a highly compact, integrated and efficient robotic drive system with subsystems needed for motion controls, such as electronics, motor, gearing and sensing. Applications include autonomous mobile robots, humanoid robotics, exoskeletons and mobile manipulation robots. The enclosed drive is ingress- and impact-rated and designed for continuous operation and active thermal cooling if necessary. It offers high robustness and a long operating lifetime. Controlled via EtherCAT communications, it can implement various internal control and gain topologies for all robotics applications. Specifications include:

  • 13 rad/s, 140 Nm and 30 V – 60 V

  • IP67 ingress protected

  • Efficiency up to 86%

  • Ideal for battery-powered systems

  • Integrated absolute joint encoder and cross-roller bearing

  • 90 mm length x 110 mm diameter at 1.96 kg with smaller version under development.

Actuators, encoders for robotics applications

The maxon High Precision Joint Portfolio, DT and RJ Series (HPJs) are composed of a set of actuators that are highly customizable and lightweight, featuring high-resolution absolute joint encoders for precise control, engineered without joint backlash and designed to offer high dynamics and exceptional torque density. Applications include lightweight robotic manipulation, medical and surgical robots, industrial robots and collaborative robots. Specifications include:

  • 5 Nm to 484 Nm and 0.9 rad/s – 17.8 rad/s

  • Hollow shaft, integrated joint output bearing, motor encoder

  • Configurations: Electronics, sensors, brakes, safety

  • 70 mm to 146 mm diameter

  • 9 kg to 5.3 kg.

Figure 2: Components for the maxon group high performance joint drive for robotics could be used in other industrial and motion control applications, as shown at Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Components for robotics and motion control applications include positioning controllers, wheel drive, integrated drives, new dynamic torque drives and frameless and flat DC drives.

Figure 2: Components for the maxon group high performance joint drive for robotics could be used in other industrial and motion control applications, as shown at Automate 2024 event by A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, in Chicago. Components for robotics and motion control applications include positioning controllers, wheel drive, integrated drives, new dynamic torque drives and frameless and flat DC drives. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske Control Engineering

Frameless dynamic torque motors for flexible motion control integration

The maxon Frameless Dynamic Torque Motors EC frameless and DT Portfolio is a frameless motor portfolio designed for robotics applications. With high torque density and dynamics and efficiency, the motors can be flexibly integrated into robotic designs because of well-designed tolerance chains and ability to pair the motor and encoder system. Different mounting flanges and potting the motor into customer parts are available. Potting and integrated winding temperature sensor improves heat transfer and thermal protection.

Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering, WTWH Media, mhoske@wtwhmedia.com, wrote this article from notes and press releases from maxon.

KEYWORDS: Automate 2024, motors, motion control, robotics design

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Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.