Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering


Vision and Discrete Sensors March 1, 2004

Proximity sensors shine on the shop floor

Sensing the presence or absence of objects, liquid levels in clear containers, or counting cans moving down a conveyor pose everyday tasks for discrete sensors on the factory floor. Noncontact proximity sensors form one branch of discrete sensors, with capacitive, inductive, photoelectric, and ultrasonic devices in common use—each differing in the sensing method.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2003

Automating Your Packaging Lines

Though it's not a new development for the large variety of packaging machines that produce myriad packaged products, automation now offers a whole new level of packaging productivity. Much of prior automation was limited to an architecture where a large mechanical line shaft, driven by a main motor, powered devices and actuators to accomplish various packaging functions.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2001

Integrated, Intelligent Motors & Controls Will Be in Your Future

An emerging class of motion control products—that combines motor, drive, controller, processing intelligence, feedback device, I/O points, communication, and more in one package—defies simple naming. Some systems add all the elements to the motor, others only a few. Integrated, intelligent motor and control (I2MC) unit is the tag name used here, although some of the systems co...

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Workforce Development August 1, 2001

Motion Simulation Cuts through System Development Uncertainty

That new prototype actuator mechanism is complete. Weeks of design work, machining intricate parts, and assembling a complex motion system are happily at an end. The innovative design checks out on paper, and in CAD. Its physical package looks sleek and compact, as well. Yet, upon testing the actuator it doesn't accelerate fast enough or deliver the required force at the end of its motion.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2001

Motion System Simulation Pays Off in Many Ways

Online Extra to August 2001 Control Engineering article on 'Motion Simulation.'

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2001

Efficient Motors Can Ease Energy Crunch

KEY WORDS Motors, drives, & motion control AC variable-speed drives AC induction motors Energy-efficiency Just glance at some recent headlines about energy costs and power shortages. Never has it been more timely to implement prudent use—not repressive use—of electric energy. Electric motors in general, and industry's "workhorse" ac induction motors in particular, represent g...

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Motors and Drives May 1, 2001

Energy-efficient motors may now get respect

M aking electric motors more efficient has never had greater incentive than today. Recent realities of energy costs and supply problems underline the need to act. Electric motors consume over 60% of all electricity used by U.S. industry.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Energy, Power December 1, 2000

Combination Motors and Drives Move to Make their Mark

E lectric motors and their control electronics were not created as equals. So it's not a coincidence that until recently they operated in separate locations, connected by often lengthy and costly wiring for power, control, and communication. Electronic controls generally reside in safer, cooler, and more centralized enclosures, while motors face more severe conditions of temperature, humidity, vibration, dust, washdown cleaning, and more, found in the industrial world. In the last decade, however, the two technologies converged and time became 'right' to unify a range of motors and drives.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2000

`Soft Motion’ Follows Nontraditional Paths

M otion control finds itself, increasingly, an intimate part of the overall machine or process control system. As such, motion control is often associated with PC-based control that relies heavily on software functions. Soft motion is an emerging subset of PC-based control-similar to the development of soft logic-where motion control functions execute in software, entirely on the CPU of the industrial personal computer. Soft motion is characterized by the absence of proprietary hardware or motion control boards.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2000

Rotary encoders provide variety

T he most common feedback device used in motion control systems is the rotary optical encoder. Comments in this 'extra section' pertain to that encoder type. Typical encoder applications encompass machine tools, web handling equipment, robotic and vision systems, packaging machines, conveyors, gantry cranes, storage and retrieval systems, etc. As mentioned in the main article, a standard way of increasing an incremental encoder's resolution is to count the leading and trailing edges of the quadrature signals generated.

By Frank J. Bartos, Control Engineering
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