Pump selection for parallel pump control is critical in determining the desired total system output. Check pump curves to make sure that the number of pumps, flow, head, and multi set points are adequate for your system needs. Head pressure may not remain constant in some cases, as the flow is increased to multiple pumps. Courtesy: Crane Pumps & Systems.
Mechatronics August 15, 2019

Use of variable frequency drives in injection molding saves money

Variable frequency drives (VFDs) improves process cooling optimization and pump efficiency.

By Timothy Albers and Dan Roberts
With a flexible robot cell, the installation and commissioning time is reduced by up to 90%, taking only about two to three shifts. Courtesy: Sick
Mechatronics August 13, 2019

Mobile collaborative robot benefits on the plant floor

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are turning to collaborative robots to increase flexibility on the plant floor, and companies are looking to improve the technology behind the robots. In a flexible robot cell, the installation and commissioning time is reduced by up to 90%.

By Bryan Sellars
Courtesy: CFE Media
Mechatronics August 13, 2019

3-D machine vision for safer collaborative robot automation

3-D machine vision lets a robot sense, process information and mimic the way two humans adjust to working around each other.

Figure 2: The moving platen (yellow structure) is visible above the fixed lower bolster of the 2,430-ton Hoesch press. Courtesy: Delta Computer Systems Inc.
Mechatronics August 12, 2019

Motion controller gives old presses new life

Case study: Retrofit controller on four hydraulic presses used a new programmable logic controller (PLC) to control the moving platen and the levelling cylinders would be controlled by a new electrohydraulic motion controller.

By Bruce Coons
Placing the fabric correctly into the snap fastening machines was difficult to do in a uniform fashion with manual labor, the Universal Robots UR5 enabled Zippertubing to triple the tolerancing. Courtesy: Universal Robots
Mechatronics August 11, 2019

Collaborative robotics deliver faster ROI

Technology update: Collaborative robots used in industrial applications can be easier than traditional robotics for set up and redeployment, producing rapid return on investments (ROIs) in many diverse applications, according to one robot manufacturer.

By Mark T. Hoske
Rotation of a "flower" with six petals. Turning on the LED in sync with the rotation of every second petal beneath the magnet causes lifting of alternating petals, which remain lifted. Courtesy: Jessica A.-C. Liu, NC State University
Mechatronics August 9, 2019

Controlling soft robot movements with light, magnets

Researchers have developed a technique that allows them to remotely control the movement of soft robots using light and magnetic fields.

By Matt Shipman
Engineers Perry Knollenberg (left) and Paul Reynolds (right) inspecting Webb’s secondary mirror’s outboard hinge at Northrop Grumman’s clean room in Redondo Beach, California. Courtesy: Northrop Grumman
Mechatronics August 9, 2019

Secondary mirror for telescope deploys using spacecraft flight electronics

The James Webb Space Telescope’s Secondary Mirror Support Structure (SMSS) was deployed for the first time using the telescope’s flight electronics at Northrop Grumman’s clean room in Redondo Beach, Calif.

By Northrop Grumman
Figure 1: Shown on the left is a 200W servo motor and compatible servo drive with the necessary power and feedback cables for connecting the motor and drive together. Shown on the right is a comparable 200W integrated servo motor that combines the individual motor and drive components into a single package while providing the same speed and torque performance. Utilizing integrated motors into a machine design reduces system complexity and saves space. Courtesy: Applied Motion
Mechatronics August 8, 2019

Integrated motors offer flexibility with fewer components

Integrated motors save space compared to separate motor and drive components by reducing the number of components in the system, simplifying cabling and reducing costs over conventional solutions.

By Eric Rice
The flexible arm of many collaborative robots can be fitted with a wide variety of end-effectors and trained on new tasks via hand-guided teaching. Courtesy: Omron Automation Americas
Mechatronics August 6, 2019

Collaborative robot application benefits for manufacturers

Collaborative robotic applications, a relatively new innovation in the robotic industry, are designed to team up with a human operator to flexibly perform a wide variety of tasks.

By Tina Hull
Figure 2: Material handling conveyors are a common constant-torque application well-suited to ac motors. Courtesy: AutomationDirect
Mechatronics August 6, 2019

Three steps to size motors

Proper motor sizing precludes equipment failures, ensures efficiency and reduces maintenance issues.

By Bryan Sisler