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Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2023

How to integrate smarter motion controls into machine designs

Integrating smarter motion controls add flexibility, safety and efficiency, as shown Festo Pack Expo Las Vegas 2023 booth.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 29, 2023

Top 5 Control Engineering content: August 21-27, 2023

The top 5 articles from the past week include linear actuator electrification, quantum rods for VR devices, PLC programming fundamentals and more.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 28, 2023

Five advances in motion control, communications, design to ease automation use

New products and productivity tools streamline design, ordering, application and use of Festo automation products, as described prior to Pack Expo Las Vegas 2023.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 18, 2023

Motion control, ease of use, sustainability: Pack Expo Las Vegas 2023

First look at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2023 includes motion control optimization, ease of use features and sustainability among other topics. Before the Sept. 11-13 show, strong attendance was expected, organizers said.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 17, 2023

How electrification of linear actuators improve material handling automation

Electric actuators are helping connect the emerging digital world and the physical world. Three factors impacting industrial motion and seven linear actuator advances are highlighted.

By Travis Gilmer
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 4, 2023

Advancing motion control applications with the right drives, technology

Industrial automation today is dependent on performing key tasks accurately and effectively and engineers should know what to seek out in industrial automation devices to deliver high-quality motion applications.

By Thomas Burke
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 26, 2023

Motion control market showing steady growth in 2023

The global motion controls market is expected to be worth almost $19 billion in 2023 and reach $22 billion by 2027.

By Interact Analysis
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 14, 2023

CNC, robots, industrial training help Freedman Seating

Automation, CNC, robotic welding help Freedman Seating with metal fabrication, as seen in a recent tour.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 26, 2023

ProMat 2023: Motion control platform, UNIX virtualization, rugged distributed control

A sampling of exhibits at ProMat 2023 show advances in automation and control help warehousing, distribution centers and other motion control applications, including offerings from Beckhoff Automation.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 12, 2023

ProMat 2023: Intralogistics, software and motion in focus

By forming the Siemens Intralogistics vertical, the company can focus hardware, software and services for distribution centers, warehousing and motion control and material handling for manufacturing.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 6, 2023

Integrated and distributed safety for motion control

Safety requires an integrated and distributed approach to keep workers safe from an environment that features autonomous equipment.

By Nick Cravotta
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 26, 2023

Updated PackML standard released

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has released a simplified of PackML to make the standard easier to implement across many manufacturing applications.

By Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC)
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 24, 2023

Making machine control open, secure

Adopting modern and flexible automation platforms helps OEMs and end users meet traditional production challenges while addressing newer concerns such as supply chain issues, labor shortages and cybersecurity.

By Darrell Halterman
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 11, 2023

Three motion control trends for 2023

The motion control industry is moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, but trends such as supply chain challenges, predictive maintenance and increased customization remain prevalent.

By Cheryl Coupé
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 25, 2022

Micro-PLC motion control made practical

Modern micro-PLCs combined with stepper motor controllers make advanced motion control and edge integration simple for smaller systems.

By Conor Perry
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 21, 2022

Open system technology consolidates automation controls

Yaskawa's i³ Control (“iCube” Control) is an open system platform deigned to consolidate a variety of automation controls into one centralized controller.

By Yaskawa America, Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 6, 2022

IMTS: Machine tool hardware, software, efficiency, integration tools

Siemens machine tool announcements at IMTS aim to simplify operations, increase productivity, manage machine tool resources, advance related ecosystems and digital thread, with collaboration to integrate additive and subtractive CNC machining technologies.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 22, 2022

Laser, CMM and CNC technologies displayed

Hexagon revealed a new technology for training entry-level CNC and CMM operators on production equipment, without devoting the actual machines to the instruction effort.

By Tyler Wall
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2022

Market opportunities emerging in motion control market

Our last insight into the motion control sector looked at prospects for overall market growth up to 2026. We commented on the breadth of the market for the technology owing to its universal applicability.

By Tim Dawson
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 3, 2022

Global motion control market grows more than 20% in 2021

The global market growth in motion controls jumped more than 20% in 2021 and is expected to have slower, but still strong, growth through 2026.

By Interact Analysis
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 26, 2022

Strategic partnership announced for additive manufacturing production

Siemens and Roboze announced a strategic partnership aimed at increasing the production opportunities of companies involved in the energy, mobility and aerospace sectors.

By Siemens Industry, Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 25, 2022

Strengthening metal additive manufacturing capabilities

Siemens has launched a collaboration effort with Xerox Elem Additive Solutions, which is aimed at strengthening the metal additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities of both businesses.

By Siemens Industry, Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 24, 2022

Motion plastics: Improved deliveries, investments in climate neutrality

Faster deliveries, movement toward carbon neutrality and motion control designs that decrease reliance on lubrication are among trends from igus, a German-based manufacturer of motion plastics.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 9, 2022

Product advice: Smart mechatronics platforms offer new handling solutions

Intelligent mechatronics components, such as linear motion products, controllers, servo drives and operator software with easy-to-use configuration tools, are necessary to build complete, high-performance mechatronics solutions, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.

By Richard Hansen
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 2, 2022

Pneumatics are evolving for the digital era

Pneumatic technology is adapting to the concept of digitalization and taking advantage of industrial Ethernet, IO-Link and more to make them connected.

By Chris Patient
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 17, 2022

Sizing a single-blade rotary knife application

Inside Machines, Part 2: Using calculations and equations will demonstrate how to correctly size a rotary knife application based on previous data. Part 1 covered key terms.

By Sixto Moralez
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 13, 2022

Motion control market future looking bright

The motion control market had a strong 2021 thanks to high demand and the future looks equally bright according to an Interact Analysis expert.

By Interact Analysis
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 11, 2022

Condition monitoring, industrial powertrain, sortation: Merger, new motion control products

New condition monitoring system, gear drives, industrial powertrain, roller bearings, sortation system and worm gears were among Regal product introductions, at Pack Expo Las Vegas. Days later the motion control company announced it completed its merger with Rexnord PMC, creating Regal Rexnord Corp.

By Regal, Regal Rexnord Corp.
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 6, 2022

Precise positioning for autonomous vehicles

Inertial measurement units (IMUs) are key to delivering highly precise position sensing for fully autonomous vehicles at a mass market price.

By James Fennelly
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 29, 2021

Control Engineering November-December digital edition, Global System Integrator Report

Inventory insights, standardization help for the supply chain, cloud and edge, motion system efficiency, control systems and AI, vibration measurement are among topics in the November-December 2021 edition of Control Engineering. Global System Integrator Report, Oil & Gas Engineering, and ebooks also are included.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 23, 2021

Low-voltage, piezoelectric membrane is big advance for spintronics

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed an all-thin-film membrane composite of the relaxor-ferroelectric material lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT) and ferromagnetic nickel that demonstrates an intrinsic coupling between voltage and spin.

By Jason Daley
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 17, 2021

Integrating controllers and robots with coordination

Integrating a single, motion-centric coordinator to control a machine and robots can provide advantages in development time, cost and performance compared to separating PLC and robot control functions.

By Dave Greensmith
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 18, 2021

Understand total system efficiency for motion control

Motion system efficiency, more than induction motor efficiency, also depends on electrical input power, variable frequency drives, gearboxes and transmission elements like chains and belts. Learn more in an Oct. 22 CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week course.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 7, 2021

Machine control migrations hinge on system openness

Cover Story: When upgrading controllers and automation platforms consider increasing flexibility and adding capabilities while being cost conscious. Four controller selection questions are highlighted.

By Doug Schuchart
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 5, 2021

Machine control migration goals and risks

Upgrading control systems can be a fraught process and there are many things users need to consider. Seven questions are highlighted.

By Pratul Singh
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 28, 2021

Simplified electric motion, intelligent air flow control, I/O modules

Simplified electric motion, intelligent motion terminal flow control, decentralized I/O modules are among products shown at the Festo booth at Pack Expo Las Vegas, Sept. 27-29.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 27, 2021

Smoother machine designs, better integration

Integration of motion control and robotics, along with high-powered processing capabilities enable smoother, more secure machine designs for packaging and other industries. See video from Pack Expo.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 14, 2021

Designing motion control and precision positioning equipment for high-vacuum applications

How motorized positioners meet requirements of vacuum applications through specific design, selected materials and components, and vacuum-enabling manufacturing and quality control processes.

By Stefan Vorndran
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 4, 2021

Motion control standard simplifies machine design, improves machine effectiveness

Standardized motion control function blocks combined with a state diagram from PLCopen are helping to shift mechanical machine designs to more efficient and effective mechatronic (mechanical and electric) designs, helping machine builders and machine builder customers, end users.

By Eelco van der Wal
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 3, 2021

Single blade rotary knife: Application overview

Industrial rotary knives, usually servo-driven, cut a continuously-fed web into desired lengths. Software helps size and configure the servo for rotary knife applications.

By Sixto Moralez and Phil Drexler
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2021

Getting connected: interface options for motion control

Electronic motion control systems require reliable communications interfaces to exchange information between the controllers, actuators and sensors.

By Christian Fell
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 26, 2021

Manufacturer, university partner up to advance additive manufacturing technology

Cincinnati Incorporated (CI) announced a partnership with Ohio State University's Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) to help researchers and students advance additive manufacturing (AM) technology.

By Cincinnati Incorporated (CI)
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 8, 2021

Intralogistics markets expand motion control use

Huge demand in warehousing, food and beverage, and other interior logistics (intralogistics) applications expand variable frequency drive flexibility and features.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 27, 2020

Unlabeled data aids self-driving cars

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have found a way to unlock a mountain of autonomous driving data to improve self-driving cars.

By Gregory Hale
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 17, 2020

Machine module provides software-supported product changeovers

Koch Pac-Systeme designed a labeling and grouping unit in a toothbrush packaging line with a transport system at its core.

By Frank Würthner
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 12, 2020

Donation made for mechatronics lab at university

Omron Foundation made a donation to California State University, Chico (Chico State) for an expanded mechatronics laboratory and classroom space.

By Omron Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 10, 2019

Seven things to know about OMAC

The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) assembles end-user manufacturers, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) machine builders, system integrators, technology providers, and non-profit and government agency organizations to address key issues, such as connectivity, manufacturing efficiency and best practices for global manufacturing.

By John Kowal
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 10, 2019

Motion control, motor sales increase slightly in Q3 2019

TheMotion Control & Motor Association (MCMA) reported that global motion control and motor suppliers have received orders at $2.65 billion through the third quarter of 2019.

By Association for Advancing Automation (A3)
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 28, 2019

Mobile machinery manufacturer changes name

SKF Motion Technologies, formerly part of the SKF Group, is now known as Ewellix: Makers in Motion, effective immediately.

By Ewellix
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 14, 2019

Glass elevator installed for Empire State Building Observatory

Otis Elevator Co. delivered and installed a custom-made glass elevator to carry visitors to the Empire State Building’s observatory, which was recently renovated.

By Otis Elevator Co.
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 3, 2019

5 enduring developments in electronic motion control

Motor drives, power-switching transistors and microprocessors, sophisticated control algorithms, software influences, and mechatronic integration are among the standout electronic motion control developments.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control 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
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 9, 2019

New technologies reducing lead times for spare parts

Digitalization and new manufacturing techniques have paved the way for a dramatic improvement in lead times.

By Daniela Haldenwang
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 25, 2019

Motion control and motor market reports decline in first quarter of 2019

The Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA) reported that the global motion control and motor market saw a very small decline in shipments in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2018.

By Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA)
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 11, 2019

CNC technology developments help engineers cut corners in all the right ways

Cover Story: Automation technologies continue convergence across platforms and computer numerical control (CNC) technology advances, along with faster control hardware and software, allow engineers to complete more accurate cuts in less time.

By Matt Prellwitz
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 10, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 3-9

Articles about the Career and Salary Survey, CNC digitalization, alarm management and process safety, process instrumentation education, and asset performance in refineries were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 3-9. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 2, 2019

Using motion control to upgrade motors for machine design

Inside Machines: Motion control product demand has increased for many machine design applications as the economy has improved. However, different markets have different expectations and needs, forcing suppliers to be flexible.

By Sudhakar Chaudhary
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 31, 2019

Easier CNC programming, probe system integration

Cover Story: Computer numerical controls (CNC) trends for machine control include easier integration of systems, such as measuring probes, to save up to 90% setup time.

By CFE Media
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 31, 2019

Standard interface simplifies CNC digitalization

Cover Story: VDW, the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association, said the first concrete OPC UA companion specification based on a realistic set of parameters will be presented at EMO Hannover 2019 in September. The interface allows data exchange from and among machines with different control systems. See more answers in “Flexibility in a marketable standard.”

By Annedore Bose-Munde
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2019

Sinumerik 828D CNC by Siemens

Siemens Sinumerik 828D computer numerical control (CNC) now comes with version 4.8 of the operating system. Sinumerik 828D is a panel-based CNC offered in vertical and horizontal models for flexible machine design integration.

By Siemens Industry, Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 29, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 22-28

Articles about object-oriented industrial programming, AI and machine learning benefits, IIoT benefits for manufacturers, and rate-predictive control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 22-28. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 2, 2019

IIoT-ready technologies improve machine controls

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies have the potential to improve user benefits through diagnostics, prognostics and predictive maintenance.

By Steven Fales
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2019

CNC system MTX by Bosch Rexroth

Bosch Rexroth’s CNC system MTX with new hardware is designed to achieve even shorter cycle times and better machining quality.

By Bosch Rexroth
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 13, 2018

Controls upgrade boosts machine productivity 40%

Machine running speed nearly doubled with greater product control, quick ROI.

By Chuck Dillard
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

‘Power of Industry’ will propel Hannover Fair 2001

Hannover, Germany—Twenty-five halls will be "in play" to accommodate this year's edition of the "world's largest industrial technology trade show" on April 23-28, 2001. An extra benefit is the fairground's upgraded infrastructure, completed for Expo 2000, the World's Fair. Hannover Fair 2001 combines six "fairs" in its "Power of Industry" theme.

By Frank J. Bartos, Executive Editor, fbartos@cahners.com
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Control Engineering Highlights the 40 Best Products of 2000

Control Engineering editors— in the 14th annual process—highlighted the best products of the year, based on technological advancement, impact on the market, and service to industry.Editors selected from among thousands of products mentioned in Control Engineering and Control Engineering Online during year 2000, in nine product categories: Control components; Human-machine interface...

By Antonia E. McBride, and Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Slower economy unfolding in 2001— except in industrial controls

Based on data for the fourth quarter of 2000, many economists are painting a grim picture for much of 2001. Rising energy costs and declining consumer confidence have combined to create a bleak forecast—at least for 2001's first half. Users post big gainsIndividual user industries all posted sales increases with Utilities and Oil, Gas & Coal leading the way.

By George J. Blickley, consulting editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Innovations inundate National Industrial Automation Show at National Manufacturing Week 2001

Chicago, Ill.— Hundreds of exhibitors showed thousands of innovative products and services at the National Industrial Automation Show during National Manufacturing Week 2001 at McCormick Place. For more coverage, including streaming video clips, click on "NMW 2001" at www.controleng.com. Advantech Automation (Cincinnati, O.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Enhancements include HART support

Spring House, Pa.— Siemens-Moore recently added a HART analog output, a 1-5 V input, and a non-HART analog input modules to the Procidia control system. All modules support eight channels with the HART output module reading up to four HART variables from each controlled device. The 1-5 V and non-Hart analog input modules address user request for lower cost modules.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Sensorless AC Drives Fill Price/Performance Niche

KEY WORDSMotors, drives, & motion controlAC variable-speed drivesAC induction motorsAdaptive controlControversial right from their name, "sensorless" ac drives actually use current and voltage sensors to achieve motor control. Even beyond terminology, it's not obvious what sensorless ac drives can or can't do, and where they fit into the big picture.

By Frank J. Bartos, CONTROL ENGINERING
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Pressure Sensing: It’s Everywhere!

KEY WORDS Process control and instrumentation Process sensing Pressure sensing One of the most-used sensors, pressure instrumentation is found nearly everywhere now. The old process standby is still there—chemical change-of-state monitoring still requires tracking such mundane variables as pressure and temperature—but it now can be found, however tiny, in manufactured goods from au...

By Dick Johnson, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Smart two-way diaphragm valves

Irvine, Calif. —Two-way diaphragm valves from Burkert are available with intelligent On/Off , continuous proportional, or manual control. Available in either plastic or stainless steel, Types 2030/2031 are designed for automated process control and Types 3232/3233 for manual control applications requiring two-way flow control of ultra-pure, sterile, aggressive, or abrasive gases, slurrie...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 5, 2018

Using digital technologies to create spare parts

Digitalization is the key to rapid and precise repairs, but repairing critical equipment can be a time-consuming task. This is especially true if original parts are difficult to source, which has led some to produce new casting parts using additive manufacturing technologies.

By Jennifer Cardillo, Sulzer
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 30, 2018

A standard reference point for motion controllers

A coordinate frame is a point of reference that defines the six degrees of freedom (DoF) in a PLCopen controller. A programmer needs to know how the different coordinate frames interact and which ones are important to understand.

By Mark Wilder, Yaskawa America Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 28, 2018

Machine vision’s role in the IIoT

Many manufacturers are striving to implement Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capabilities in their facilities, and machine vision is playing a big role in this.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 5, 2018

Applying artificial intelligence and machine learning in robotics

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have only been applied in limited ways so far, but are already making an impact with robotic automation and will continue to do so over the next few decades.

By Robotic Industries Association
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 30, 2018

The future of embedded vision in manufacturing

Embedded vision can be used in many different ways for a variety of functions, and the future of embedded vision technology could take several different paths for manufacturing applications.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 31, 2018

Embedded vision systems are crucial for ADAS in automobiles

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in automobiles have quickly become a common feature in most new vehicles and serves as a prime example of embedded vision technology's potential to transform the way we interact with products.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 27, 2018

Pros and cons of high-speed machine vision interfaces

When deciding on which machine vision interface would be best for an application, it's important to assess the application's unique needs and consider ease of deployment, cable length, low life-cycle cost and customer ecosystem.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 18, 2018

Visual SLAM technology benefits and applications

Visual simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is quickly becoming an important advancement in embedded vision and refers to the process of determining the position and orientation of a sensor with respect to its surroundings while simultaneously mapping the environment around that sensor.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 29, 2018

Six tips for designing and building a small controls project

When designing and building a small controls project, aspects such as ordering and specifying parts, building the system, and programming should be considered to make the process as smooth as possible.

By Frank Lamb, Automation Primer
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 3, 2018

Benefits of pneumatic-mechanical grippers for pick-and-place applications

Pneumatic-mechanical gripper benefits include large grip force range and easy implementation, which make them ideal for pick-and-place applications.

By Brant Bullister, Cross Company
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2018

Ladder logic 403: Message scrolling and multiple faults

Two faults happening at the same time in ladder logic is extremely unlikely, but there are different situations and scenarios users need to be cognizant of and plan for accordingly.

By Frank Lamb, Automation Primer
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 14, 2018

Traceability and imaging for life sciences applications

Traceability in the life sciences industry provides companies with the ability to trace a product, device, or medicine through the course of its supply chain from beginning to end to reduce liability for all companies involved in the supply chain.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 19, 2017

Benefits of smart cameras in industrial settings

Smart cameras incorporate an image sensor and CPU capabilities into the camera, which has a few consequences for certain applications and can capture and process images without the need for an external PC.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 18, 2017

Engineering company to acquire manufacturer

IMI Precision Engineering announced it has agreed to acquire Bimba, which will combine the companies valve and air preparation and cylinder products, respectively.

By IMI Precision Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 19, 2017

What’s next for motor efficiency?

Motors and motor efficiency: Standards efforts continue to shift from looking at motor efficiency to measuring power use; attention to the system in the application is very important when optimizing energy use, according to NEMA Motor Generator Section representatives.

By Rob Boteler, Bill Finley, Tim Schumann
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 15, 2017

Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 8-14: Project scope expectations, DCS migration, project quality, more

Articles about project scope expectations, DCS migration, measuring project quality, data center infrastructure, and the programmable controller's origins were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 8-14. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 21, 2017

Power supplies for automation, process control applications

XP Power's DPC series of DIN rail ac-dc power supplies are available in 30, 50 and 70 W single output models and they are designed for applications such as include factory automation, process control and other industrial applications.

By XP Power
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 27, 2017

PLC platform for data logging, Ethernet communication

AutomationDirect has added the BRX PLC platform to their line of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which are available in four form factors: M series, 10-point series, 18-point series, and 36-point series.

By AutomationDirect
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 24, 2017

PLC data logger for collecting historical, production, troubleshooting data

InterConnecting Automation's FC-LOG is a programmable logic controller (PLC) data logger that collects historical and production data and can operate as a mass storage device.

By InterConnecting Automation Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 29, 2017

Industrial magnetic sensor for industrial applications

The MMC5883MA is designed to provide accuracy, low noise, and little power consumption for drone and industrial markets.

By Memsic
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 13, 2016

EC: ConnectCore for i.MX6UL system on module

Machine & Embedded Control — CNCs, board-level products: Digi ConnectCore for i.MX6UL system-on-module (SOM) is designed for a wide range of demanding applications with secure, pre-certified wireless connectivity in a simple, compact, low-profile, connector-less module. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 13, 2016

EC: EZTimer, a digitally programmable multi-fuction timer

Machine & Embedded Control — CNCs, board-level products: EZTimers say goodbye to knobs, pots, and hundreds of timer models. It is a digitally programmable multi-function timer with precision settings of 1% resolution, 1% accuracy, and 0.1% repeat accuracy. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 13, 2016

EC: Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5380 Programmable Automation Controller

Machine & Embedded Control — PLCs, PACs, industrial PCs: The Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5380 is a programmable automation controller that is ideal for small to mid-size applications that require low axis motion and I/O point counts. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 13, 2016

EC: Field Logic Controllers Powered by ARGEE programming environment

Network Integration — I/O systems: With Turck's field logic controllers powered by ARGEE, engineers can program logic directly to compatible I/O devices without a PLC, reducing cost per I/O point and increasing flexibility in control. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 13, 2016

EC: Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical

Software — Control design: AutoCAD Electrical is AutoCAD software for controls designers, built specifically to create and modify electrical control systems, providing comprehensive symbol libraries and tools for automating electrical control engineering tasks. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 10, 2016

Advanced process control and real-time optimization

Advanced process control and real-time optimization are techniques that can improve a plant’s profitability and efficiency by maintaining a process at desired operating conditions while taking process constraints into account.

By Ali Awais Amin
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 15, 2015

EC: IEH3-4096 Integrated encoder

Motion Control: The new IEH3-4096 series from Faulhaber is the most compact 3-channel encoder of its class, delivering two square-wave signals as well as an additional index channel. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 3, 2015

Motion control system is low cost and plug and play

Optimal Engineering Systems’ Sonata series is a low cost, plug-and-play, stand-alone solution for motion control applications up to 3 axes.

By Optimal Engineering Systems
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 29, 2015

Document for better project

Is project documentation an afterthought? Does the documentation stage of a project seem to be a tedious process? Does the customer understand the importance of proper definition? Documentation is likely the most important part of a project.

By Jeff Haywood, Maverick Technologies
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 22, 2015

Maximize opportunities for code reuse in your control system configuration project

Control system configuration projects and the ensuing maintenance can become very complicated and time consuming if not managed carefully. Here are three concepts that can move your project in the right direction.

By Justin Robinson, Maverick Technologies
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 18, 2015

Low-pressure transmitter provides overpressure resistance

OsiSense XMLP transmitter for low-pressure ranges that provides resistance to overpressure and harsh operating conditions.

By Telemecanique Sensors
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 21, 2014

Hardware in the loop, FPGAs help motor testing

Case study: Field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices can advance hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) capabilities for simulation and testing, moving from idea to production more quickly, as this Subaru hybrid example explains, with electric motor and drive testing. Subaru reduced test time to 1/20 of the estimated time for equivalent testing on a dynamometer.

By Kyle Perkuhn
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 16, 2014

Growth returns to the market for motion controls in 2014

According to the latest IHS study on motion controls market, the outlook for 2014 is more optimistic as growth accelerates in global machinery production. As defined by IHS, the market for motion controls includes general motion control (GMC) and computer numerical control (CNC) servo motors, servo drives, and position control hardware.

By IHS Technology
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 10, 2014

Slip ring for packaging systems, machine tools

Moog's AC7257 slip ring has a through-bore model that provides power and signal communications and is designed for applications like packaging systems, machine tools, and work centers.

By Moog Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 9, 2014

Solid-state contactors approved for general use

Phoenix Contact's Contactron ELR 2+1 and ELR-3 series of solid-state contactors, which are designed for switching resistive and inductive loads have received UL 508 General Use approval, which allow them to be used in heating-load applications.

By Phoenix Contact
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 9, 2014

Additive manufacturing project for industrial use

Renishaw's EVO Project is an additive manufacturing system designed for single material industrial production for applications like automation, monitoring technologies and reduced operator interaction.

By Renishaw
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 5, 2014

Programmable position transmitter for linear actuators

Festo's SDAT-MHS T-slot programmable position transmitter are designed to offer OEMs a solution for sensing a pneumatic cylinder's position that can be transmitted to a PLC with a repetition accuracy of 0.1mm.

By Festo
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2014

Pneumatic actuator for servo positioning and force control

Festo's DDLI servo-pneumatic actuator delivers precise dynamic movement of large loads for OEMs and can regulate feed forces on the fly.

By Festo
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2014

Integrated drive, motor, gear unit saves 60% electricity compared to traditional products

Video: Integrated electronic drive, permanent magnet motor, and gears, the SEW Movigear was shown to save 60% in electricity compared to a more traditional design with separate drive, motor, and gearbox, which requires more space and creates more heat.

By CFE Media
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 27, 2014

Infrared camera series has thermal, visible, multi spectral dynamic imaging

The Omega OSXL-EX infrared camera series has thermal, visible and MSX (multi spectral dynamic) imaging designed to reveal problems from sources of energy loss, moisture intrusion and structural issues. Thermal images can reveal problems from sources of energy loss, moisture intrusion and structural issues to overheating electrical and mechanical equipment.

By Omega Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 25, 2014

Data acquisition modules for harsh conditions

HBM's SomatXR Data Acquisition System series has added three modules—the SomatXR MX1615B-R, the SomatXR MX1601B-R, and the SomatXR MX1609KB-R—to function in harsh operating conditions and manage test data for machine and mining applications.

By HBM Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 25, 2014

Five-port managed Ethernet switches

Moxa's EDS-405A-PTP five-port managed Ethernet switches feature PTP hardware time stamping, and they support Modbus TCP, Profinet, RT, and EtherNet/IP for better SCADA integration.

By Moxa
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 24, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, November 17-23: Automation and beer making, ladder logic, manufacturing visibility, more

Articles about reasons why automation improves beer making, ladder logic, manufacturing visibility beyond the cables, industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, and tuning PID loops for level control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, November 17-23. Were you out last week? Miss something? Catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 24, 2014

Servo drive with auto tuning function

Mitsubishi Electric Automation's MR-JE servo system, which was displayed and featured at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago is designed for applications that require precise control of servomotors like packaging, labeling, and machine tool applications.

By Mitsubishi Electric
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 23, 2014

PC-based control technology, stainless steel housing, wearable HMI support Industry 4.0

Beckhoff Automation highlighted its PC-based control technology and its innovation supporting Industry 4.0 with Google Glass human machine interface (HMI), multi-core embedded PCs, and HMIs with RFID and stainless steel housing.

By Beckhoff Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 21, 2014

Pneumatics, motor and drive units for food industry on display

Festo displayed its new line of motor/drive units, pneumatic valves and manifolds, and process automation components at Pack Expo 2014, as demonstrated in a video.

By Festo
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 17, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, November 10-16: Tuning PID loops, smart devices, control system programming, more

Articles about tuning PID loops for level control, manually configuring smart devices, control system programming, automation vs. headcount, and optimizing servo controls were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, November 10-16. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 11, 2014

Servo drive with integrated safety

The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5500 servo drive with integrated safety from Rockwell Automation uses the EtherNet/IP network for streamlined machine safety functions and is designed for machine builders and end users.

By Rockwell Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 9, 2014

Motor Summit 2014: Energy efficiency focus is on total motor systems

Presentations at this biennial technology conference showed growing movement to embrace work on the larger electrically driven system beyond the motor itself. This approach can enable large efficiency gains. Motor Summit was hosted by European and international energy associations and co-hosted by the National Electric Manufacturers Association (NEMA) of the U.S.

By Frank J. Bartos
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 7, 2014

Cabinet free modular machines saves space for OEMs, plant operators

Automation and machinery applications designer Bosch Rexroth demonstrated drive, motion and controls products, and cabinet-free devices that allow fully distributed control. There were also working presentations of mechatronics, anti-slosh and anti-vibration systems at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago.

By Bosch Rexroth
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 3, 2014

Optimizing servo control with an adaptive nonlinear algorithm

Servo control software improves applications requiring accurate path tracking and low settling time, such as CNC and cutting, conveyor tracking, pick-and-place operations, PCB mounting, welding, as well as painting, coating, and gluing. A gantry robotic application resulted in a 33% increase in machine throughput, compared to prior technology.

By Dr. Yves Villaret
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 24, 2014

Line scan camera with RGB, NIR ouputs

Teledyne Dalsa's Piranha4 2k quadlinear line scan camera featuring red, green, and blue (RGB) outputs plus a Near Infrared (NIR) channel for multispectral imaging and is designed for machine vision applications.

By Teledyne Dalsa
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 21, 2014

2014 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit videos

The 2014 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit highlighted a number of topics and challenges facing manufacturing.

By CFE Media
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 21, 2014

Brushless slotless motor for high performance applications

Portescap's 16ECH brushless motor is optimized for high continuous torque at low to medium speed and is constructed with an enhanced magnetic circuit designed to reduce both iron and recirculation losses, the primary causes for motor stator heating.

By Portescap
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: DataMan 8600 series readers

Machine & Embedded Control — Machine Vision, Barcode Readers: DataMan 8600 readers are ideal for applications in any manufacturing environment that requires robust DPM and label-based barcode technology and unparalleled reading capability. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: Do-more T1H series PLC

Machine & Embedded Control — PLCs: Do-more T1H Series PLC uses proven Terminator I/O hardware for a flexible control platform with fast and powerful performance. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: Ensemble QLAB Piezo motion controller

Motion Control: The Ensemble QLAB is a high-performance nanopositioning piezo stage controller for 1 to 4 axes of motion that allows user-configurable open-loop and closed-loop operation on a per axis basis. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: Ampgard XP3 MCC

Motion Control: The Eaton Ampgard XP3 motor control center helps meet the challenges of today's demanding motor control environments by helping identify equipment fatigue and simplify preventative maintenance. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: 17/1 series planetary gearhead

Motion Control: The 17/1 gearhead is available with up to five gear stages, with standard reductions of 3.33:1 to 1,367:1. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: FDM0620 stepper motor

Motion Control: With a holding torque rating of 0.25 mNm and a dynamic torque of up to 0.2 mNm, these stepper motors are a great fit for applications requiring high power in a small space. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: g500 gearbox series

Motion Control: Developed to transform motor speed into torque intelligently and accurately, and designed for mechatronic integration with the Lenze Smart Motor, the g500 gearbox series enables efficiency of over 94% across an entire transmission range. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: Smart Motor

Motion Control: For optimal standardization, the simple and versatile smart motor is fully programmable from a smartphone and blends the simplicity of an ac motor with the technical benefits of an electronic drive control. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: PowerXL DG1 adjustable frequency drive

Motion Control — Drives: The Eaton PowerXL DG1 adjustable frequency drive is designed to help reduce energy consumption compared to traditional control methods, improve safety, and support reliable operations. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: 3890 CR dc motor

Motion Control — Drives: The 3890 CR coreless dc motor ensures cogging-free, precise synchronization with very low energy consumption. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: EL7211 servo terminal

Motion Control — Servo Drives: The Beckhoff EL7211 servo terminal is a complete compact servo drive with an output current of up to 4.5 ARMS—integrated into a 24-mm wide EtherCAT terminal housing. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: Gold Twitter servo drive

Motion Control — Servo Drives: Gold Twitter is a nano servo drive that provides over 4,000 W of qualitative intelligent power. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5500 servo drive with integrated safety

Motion Control — Servo Drives: The Kinetix 5500 drive controls servo and induction motors using EtherNet/IP to send safety, control, and motion signals over a single wire—eliminating needs for hardwired safety systems and vastly reducing development time. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: Freelance AC 900F controller

Process Control Systems: The AC 900F controller expands ABB's Freelance control system capabilities. Enhanced PROFIBUS and digital fieldbus support for remote I/O, actuators, drives, and instrumentation helps reduce project wiring and engineering costs. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2014

EC: TwinCAT 3 Automation Interface

Software — HMI Software: TwinCAT Automation Interface enables automatic generation of code and configurations as well as the remote control of engineering systems. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2014

UV sensor for industrial automation applications

The UVX-300P Sensor by EMX Industries is designed detects the presence of phosphorescent materials and pigments and is able to quantify light output of phosphorescent additives used in paints, adhesives, films, security inks and plastics.

By EMX Industries
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 13, 2014

Brushless DC motor drivers integrate module, transceiver

Microchip Technology's MCP8025 and MCP8026 3-Phase BLDC motor gate drivers integrate power module, LIN transceiver, and sleep mode and are designed to reduce resources needed for control.

By Microchip Technology
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 13, 2014

Fast, cheap nanomanufacturing

Arrays of tiny conical tips that eject ionized materials could fabricate nanoscale devices cheaply, according to MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

By Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 10, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, September 10 to October 9: The first PLC, future of the PLC, System Integrator Giants, more

Articles about the competition for the first PLC, the PLC’s future, System Integrator Giants of 2014, cascade control fundamentals, and open- vs. closed-loop controls were Control Engineering’s top 5 reader favorites from September 10 to October 9. You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 6, 2014

Linear displacement transducer for original equipment manufacturers

Ametek's Gemco 955 eBrik II Linear Displacement Transducer (LDT) is designed for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and uses magnetostrictive position-sensing technology.

By Ametek
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 6, 2014

Enclosed soft starter for smaller pump applications

ABB’s enclosed PSE soft starter features two-phase torque control and a built-in bypass contactor and has built-in electronic overload for motor protection in small pump applications.

By ABB
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 2, 2014

3-phase induction motors

WEG Electric's W40 three-phase induction motors are suitable for inverter operation up to 460 V are designed for compressors, blowers, oil well and fire pumps and industrial refrigeration applications.

By WEG Electric
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 29, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, September 22-28: Electronic motion control, motion control developments, in-line flowmeters, more

Articles about electronic motion control, the greatest motion control development, in-line flowmeters using SAW-based technology, the PLC’s future, and the competition for the first PLC were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, September 22-28. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 24, 2014

Laser sensor for positioning and measuring

Banner Engineering's LE250 laser sensor is optimized for measurements ranging from 100 mm to 400 mm and has a small spot size, which makes the sensor useful for small part detection and measurements that involve multiple colors.

By Banner Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 22, 2014

Danfoss bid to acquire Vacon: Low voltage VFD suppliers may join forces

Denmark’s Danfoss A/S has bid $1.34 billion for the acquisition of Finland’s Facon Oyj, which would result in the union of two of the 10 largest variable frequency drive suppliers globally.

By Kevin Schiller, IHS Technology
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 20, 2014

What is the greatest development in motion control in the past 60 years?

Ask Control Engineering blog links to 60 years of motors, drives, and motion control coverage for the answer.

By Mark T. Hoske, Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 19, 2014

Electronic motion control, then and now

Automation tales in motion: Great changes have taken place in motion control systems over the past 60 years. From proprietary, “black-box” controllers and early analog drives, electronic advancements have led to today’s largely automated controls that rely on digital signal processors, accurate motor models implemented in software, and ability to connect with other systems in a facility. Four online extensions, with a historical photo gallery, cover more functions and history.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 19, 2014

Electric motors’ influence on motion control

Motor design and motion control: Earliest electric motor designs reach back 150 years. While motor principles have changed little over time, much has changed in how motors are manufactured and packaged. Advances in construction materials—especially magnet materials—dramatic physical size reductions, and design innovations have occurred. Some of these developments are explored in this online extension (1 of 4) of the main article “Electronic motion control, then and now,” in Control Engineering’s 60th anniversary issue, September 2014.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 19, 2014

More motion developments, last 20 years

Various motor control and motion control developments were covered in the main article “Electronic motion control, then and now,” appearing in Control Engineering’s 60th anniversary issue, September 2014. Newer developments over the last 20 years are discussed in this online extension (2 of 4) of the main article.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 19, 2014

Motion control from the archives

This motion control product and technology roundup looks at motor, motion, and drives developments from 60 years ago through 2008, with more than 20 historical images. Original wording of excerpts from the pages of Control Engineering has been kept where possible to portray the flavor of the times. See added remarks; add your comments.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 19, 2014

Compendium of references for electronic motion control

See motion control, motor control article series references, additional motors, drives, and motion control discussion, and 6 more images from the Control Engineering archives.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 17, 2014

Composite materials are big business in the aerospace industry

Manufacturing of advanced aerospace composite materials was covered by Dr. Greg Hyslop, Boeing Research and Technology, in his keynote speech at the TRAM Aerospace Conference at IMTS. He also commented on the manufacturing industry as a whole.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 16, 2014

Barrel sensors for tight spaces

Turck's EG05K and EH04K barrel sensors are housed in a stainless steel barrel and are designed for applications where small sensors are a requirement like the stamping industry or medical device manufacturing.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 12, 2014

ISO standard used to improve machining efficiency

STEP-NC is an ISO standard designed to improve machining efficiency between end-users and cutting machine tool manufacturers. Presenters Jim Kosmala and David Odendahl explain the benefits of STEP-NC at the TRAM Aerospace Conference at IMTS.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 12, 2014

Laser shaft alignment tool helps increase machine life

The Fluke 830 Laser Shaft Alignment Tool is designed to deliver precise shaft condition measurements. It helps plant maintenance teams to increase machine life and keep plants running at maximum efficiency.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 11, 2014

Two-channel CNC system for machine tools with up to five axes

NUM's Flexium+ 8 CNC, which is being showcased at IMTS 2014, is designed to be a control solution that in many cases eliminates the need for a second CNC kernel.

By NUM CNC
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 8, 2014

Compact logic-based controllers

Schneider Electric's next-generation MachineStruxure is a comprehensive suite of compact logic-based controllers for hardwired applications, CANopen communication, and modular architectures.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 5, 2014

Belt drive for long-stroke applications

The ELGA-TB-RF by Festo uses roller bearing guides, it can be used in rugged and built-to-last solution for dynamic, long-stroke applications where high speeds, feed forces, and accelerations are required.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 29, 2014

Compressive force transducers for harsh environments

HBM's C10 line of compressive force transducers applications range from propulsion testing, end-of-line testing, and any application where precision force in harsh environments is required.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 28, 2014

Open- vs. closed-loop control

Automatic control operations can be described as either open-loop or closed-loop. The difference is feedback.

By Vance VanDoren, PhD, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 27, 2014

Companies reach agreement on linear motor technology

Rockwell Automation has granted Beckhoff Automation a license to more than a dozen U.S. and European linear motor patents in an amicable agreement over patent infringement litigation.

By Beckhoff Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 25, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 18-24: Cascade control fundamentals, System Integrator Giants, world’s tallest observation wheel, more

Articles about cascade control fundamentals, the System Integrator Giants of 2014, the world’s tallest observation wheel, tuning PID control loops, and writing a process operating description document, were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, August 18-24. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 21, 2014

Active surfaces control what’s on them

Researchers develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move.

By David Chandler, MIT News Office
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 21, 2014

Linear piezo nanopositioner series

Aerotech's QNP-L series of linear piezo nanopositioning stages give nanometer-level performance and its travel and feedback options and also offer closed-loop feedback using a capacitive sensor design for high accuracy and nanometer positioning.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 19, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces

Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties.

By David L. Chandler, MIT News Office
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 18, 2014

Single-phase variable speed mini drive

WEG Electric's CFW100 mini-drive comes in a small package and features CFW programming that is completed with the built-in keypad that monitors two different parameters at the same time along with operation status, alarms, and faults.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 16, 2014

More from 1955: Nuclear energy breeds new markets for control

1955 Industry Pulse: Instrumentation and control have merged to become one of the most profitable phases of nuclear energy. The control makers have taken notice and are profiting.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 15, 2014

Rotary actuators for automation processes

Bimba's MHRQ rotary actuator line is suited to a broad range of general light-duty automation processes.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 14, 2014

Isolated DC-DC converter series for industrial applications

Schaefer's TEC-100 and TEC-200 Series of isolated dc-dc converters that provide 100 W and 200 W of continuous power and offer protection circuitry including over-current, over-temperature and short-circuit protection.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2014

RFID read and write head for close and medium HF applications

Turck's Q80L800 HF read/write head is an RFID industrial solution for close and medium high frequency (HF) applications can be integrated into existing control systems and supports all of the major protocols.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2014

The world PLC market faced another decline for 2013

After a downturn in 2012, the global PLC market declined again in 2013, with revenue falling by 2.1% annually. The overall market for PLCs in the United States is growing strongly, IHS said. In end-user sectors, the fastest growing segments are the oil and gas and food and beverage industries.

By Alex Hong, Senior Analyst - Industrial Automation at IHS Technology
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2014

Stator ground protection relay for IO, communication protocols

Schweitzer Engineering Labs' SEL-2664S Stator Ground Protection Relay provides stator winding protection with built-in I/O contacts and multiple communications protocols including Modbus, IEC 61850, and FTP.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 12, 2014

Brushless dc motors with extended battery life

BEI Kimco Magnetics' frameless brushless dc motors enable extended battery life and higher operation efficiency.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 11, 2014

Testing software for motor, inverter measurement performance

HBM's eDrive testing software is an integrated system for measuring the performance and efficiency of electric motors and inverters.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 11, 2014

Real-time monitoring system

The Cognex Explorer RTM incorporates a scalable architecture, a web-based performance statistics interface, and Cognex vision technology.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 11, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 4-10: PID control loops, PID math, process operation descriptions, more

Articles about centralized tuning PID control loops, PID math, writing a process operating description document, radio frequency basics, and motion control and robotics integration were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, Aug. 4-10. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 8, 2014

Magnetism improves electric motors

Magnetic materials can help develop electric motors and generators that promise energy savings.

By Gregory Hale, ISSSource
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 31, 2014

Decentralized drive for precise motor speed control, in IP66, NEMA 4 enclosure

Mitsubishi Electric's PowerGate 66 IP66/NEMA variable frequency drive is designed to improve motor efficiency and prevent motor damage.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 31, 2014

Of control design, motor measurement, and trains

Control systems are a major part of the control engineer's day-to-day activities and there are many challenges when it comes to equipment as well as execution.

By Jack Smith
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 29, 2014

Miniature force transducers for welding, hardness testing, other applications

The U9C and C9C lines of flexible miniature force transducers can be used for measuring contact forces in ultrasonic welding, calibration of hardness testing machines, testing Bowden cables, and more.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 29, 2014

Cameras with 3.0 USB vision

Basler's CMV2000 and CMV4000 cameras offer full USB bandwidth, USB 3.0 interface technology and Basler's USB3 Vision implementation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 25, 2014

Long range ultrasonic sensors with flexible outputs

Carlo Gavazzi launched its new Long Range UA30CAD60 Series Ultrasonic Sensors with digital and analog output configurations.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 22, 2014

Servo terminal for EtherCAT IO systems

The EL7211 servomotor terminal from Beckhoff is suitable for servomotors up to 4.5 ARMS and the EL7211-0010 variant also supports the OCT connection technology which saves material and commissioning costs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 22, 2014

Following two consecutive years of stagnation, low-voltage (LV) VFD market poised for growth in 2014

As process markets improve in Europe, growth will recover in VFD markets, which will in turn lead to a recovery in premium drives sales.

By Kevin Schiller, IHS Technology
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 18, 2014

Helical gearboxes with shaft output and drive flange

B&R Automation's 8GP70 and 8GF70 helical gearboxes series are IP65-rated and are designed for precise synchronization while emitting a low noise level at high speeds.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 14, 2014

Fractional horsepower explosion proof motors

WEG Electric’s full line of High Efficiency Explosion Proof motors is now joined by a line of fractional single phase and three phase hp motors.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 10, 2014

Product replacement trends in the market for geared products

The market is forecast to return to growth in 2014, with revenues projected to increase 4.7%.

By Michelle Figgs, IHS Technology
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 8, 2014

Angular rate sensor can withstand 10,000 g shock

Measurement Specialties' Model 620 angular rate sensor that accurately measures angular velocity in test and measurement applications like munitions and biomechanics testing.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 7, 2014

Industrial amplifier measure torque and angle with no programming

HBM's PX460 industrial measurement amplifier is designed to enable users to make precise measurements of raw and filtered torque and angles as well as other data with no programming.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 4, 2014

Lathe controller helps operator structure the program

Heidenhain's CNC Pilot 640 lathe controller features smart.TURN, which helps the operator structure the program and define technology data, machining strategy and global data settings and it can be programmed to learn simple, non-recurring tasks or thread repair.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 4, 2014

What resources could help with an engineering-related job hunt?

Ask Control Engineering blog offers links to resources that could help a subscriber with a engineering-related job hunt.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 3, 2014

Electric induction motor series for high torque industrial applications

Baldor Electric Company's Large AC - GPM Induction Motors are designed for high torque industrial applications and feature an insulated opposite drive end bearing and drive end slinger and provisions for bearing RTDs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 3, 2014

Infrared cameras with wireless connectivity

Fluke's Ti90 and Ti95 Infrared Cameras with wireless connectivity are designed to work in conjunction with Fluke Connect and feature 8 GB of removable or wireless SD card memory and a 3.5-in color LCD screen.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 2, 2014

Multi-camera vision system includes touch screen display

Teledyne Dalsa's Geva-312T multi-camera vision system is designed to meet diverse requirements in industrial inspection for end users and features a touch screen display, 1.6 GHz dual core processor and two Gigabit Ethernet camera ports for camera and network interfacing.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 2, 2014

Autonomous motion, guidance, and monitoring system

The eMotionSpheres demonstration system from Festo is an autonomous motion, guidance, and monitoring system that is designed for logistics and fulfillment applications and has 10 cameras installed and its adaptive propeller is modeled after a dragonfly's wing.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 17, 2014

Linear positioning stage with preloaded ball-screw

Aerotech's MPS75SLE linear position stage features a precision ground, preloaded ball-screw coupled has low thermal expansion and motor options like a dc servomotor with a high-resolution rotary encoder or a stepper motor.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 16, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 9-15

Articles about things noncontrol people should know about control engineers, career and salary survey analysis, Google Glass, programming PLCs, and PID controllers were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, June 9-15. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 6, 2014

Linear kit encoder series with high mounting tolerances

Heidenhain's LIC 2100 absolute linear kit encoder series is designed to serve applications that require high mounting tolerances and reliability.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 6, 2014

Servo pressure transducer monitors air pressure

Marsh Bellofram's Type 3110 single-loop electro-pneumatic analog circuit-card servo pressure transducer is designed to provide air pressure monitoring within OEM applications and has analog monitor output along with 0-10 V dc or 4-20 mA control signals.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 29, 2014

Industrial cameras with GigE interface and PoE capability

IDS Imaging Development's UI-5360CP and UI-5370CP industrial cameras have a GigE interface and Power-over-Ethernet as well as a resolution of up to 2048 x 2048 pixels with strong light sensitivity and rapid frame rates.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 27, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, May 19-25

Articles about things noncontrol people should know about control engineers, fixing PID, the world’s largest wind turbine test facility, reducing harmonics, and automation improving an alternator test system were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, May 19-25. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 26, 2014

Machine controller integrated with motion engine

The MP2300Siec machine controller from Yaskawa integrates a motion engine with the IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen programming standards and is available in 4,8, and 16-axis and preconfigured with a local I/O module.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 23, 2014

Super efficient motor series has shaft grounding brush to divert currents

Baldor's Super-E electric motor series comes with the Baldor Shaft Grounding Brush, which is designed to divert shaft currents away from the motor bearings as well as reduce voltage spikes in the rotor.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 22, 2014

Motor controller designed to improve motor protection and increase wire efficiency

Mitsubishi Electric Automation's MMP-T32 motor controller protects the motor branch circuits from overload or phase loss during short-circuit conditions while reduces the number of required devices and wiring.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 22, 2014

LED scanner for indoor and outdoor mobile equipment

Pepperl+Fuchs' Multi-Ray LED Scanner R2100 delivers two-dimensional area measurement for challenging indoor and outdoor and applications where unique surfaces need to be accurately detected.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 19, 2014

Fiber optic amplifier has 10 microsecond response time

Banner Engineering's DF-G2 fiber optic amplifier is designed to achieve a 10-microsecond response time while giving the user control and providing manipulation of all operating parameters. It has an easy-to-read dual digital display and six teach and set methods.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 19, 2014

Industrial inclinometer for harsh applications

BEI Sensors' T-Series industrial inclinometer is a compact sensor for measurement that uses MEMS technology and motion feedback and incorporates built-in linearity and temperature compensation for offset and sensitivity.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 16, 2014

Inductive miniature sensor is designed for extreme applications

Balluff BES R04 block sensor is designed for harsh and demanding mechanical environments and its ceramic cover protects the sensor from debris and vibration.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 15, 2014

Terahertz imaging on the cheap

New theory could reduce number of sensors required for high-resolution imaging systems.

By Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 8, 2014

Ultrasonic proximity sensors have 10 output types, IP67 rating, and LEDs

The UK6 and UT2F proximity sensors from AutomationDirect have 10 output types and are IP67-rated and equipped with LED status indicators.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 7, 2014

Servo terminal IO provides power, feedback signals

Beckhoff Automation's EL7201-0010 servo terminal supports One Cable Technology (OCT) and has an EtherCAT I/O system integrate a complete servo amplifier for motors.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 7, 2014

World’s largest wind turbine test facility aims to resolve stresses of more wind generation

Clemson University created what it calls the world's largest 15-megawatt (MW) Wind Turbine Drivetrain Test facility to create new technologies for the energy market. The facility, which opened November 2013, uses National Instruments (NI) integrated hardware and software tools.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 5, 2014

All-in-one variable frequency drive series

Mitsubishi Electric Automation's A800 Series all-in-one variable frequency drive (VFD) combines induction and permanent magnet motors and is suitable for low performance applications and high performance industrial applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 2, 2014

Linear inductive sensors are available in five ranges, 14 mm to 120 mm

Pepperl+Fuchs' PMI40-F90-U-V15 and PMI40-F90-I-V15 linear inductive sensors are designed for vertical valve measurements and delivers accurate linear position regardless of sensing range.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 29, 2014

Upgrading control systems: Phase migration vs. complete replacement

After receiving the approval for a control system replacement project, how do you decide between phased migration and a complete replacement? Do you keep some of the old and integrate the new, or just go with a fresh start?

By Dave Cortivo
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 25, 2014

Standardized sensor profiles improve safety-related process data

Controller Area Network (CAN) in Automation (CiA) recently released CAN device profiles that aim to standardize safety-related process data.

By CiA
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 25, 2014

Disc magnet motor series for rapid acceleration, direction changes

Portescap's P760 series disc magnet motor has been optimized to deliver high torque and acceleration up to 5,000 rpm for applications where rapid changes in acceleration and direction of rotation are required, such as robotics.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 23, 2014

Metrology company is acquired; programming appreciated

Renishaw has purchased Advanced Consulting & Engineering Inc. (ACE), a U.S.-based supplier of dimensional measurement products and services in an attempt to enhance its programming capabilities.

By Renishaw
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 23, 2014

Gantry handling system for assembly and medical automation

Festo's EXCM mini-H gantry is a handling system designed for small parts assembly and medical laboratory automation and is programmed with critical parameters for plug-and-work operation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 21, 2014

Vision sensor for assembly and presence control

Balluff's BVS Universal Vision Sensor has a 360° algorithm and is designed for assembly and presence control as well as reading and verifying codes.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 21, 2014

Remote machine management promises numerous operational improvements, including more efficient energy use

While smart factories in which every step in the value chain is automatically tracked and recorded may still be a distant prospect, technology that allows remote management of at least of some plant equipment is becoming mainstream.

By Jürgen Hase
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 16, 2014

Linear position sensors gain acceptance

Linear variable differential transformers (LVDT) can deliver better machine operation.

By Eileen Otto, Macro Sensors
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 15, 2014

Electric motor power measurement and analysis

Understand the basics to drive greater efficiency.

By Bill Gatheridge, Yokogawa
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 14, 2014

Big plans for small nuclear reactors

Cover story: U.S. nuclear power plant outlook: new designs, safety, plant openings are part of the nuclear energy spotlight in 2014. Speakers at a recent American Nuclear Society meeting discussed more efficient nuclear reactor designs with simpler controls, nuclear plant safety, small modular reactors, and timeline for next new nuclear power plants.

By Frank J. Bartos
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 2, 2014

High-pressure axial piston pump

Rexroth's A15VSO hydraulic axial-piston pump for stationary applications in open circuit operation is designed to meet pressure requirements to 420 bars and has minimum sound emissions for a quieter, more efficient operation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 2, 2014

Motion control motor company acquired

Blufton Motor Works' affiliate, DC Products Group, acquired RAE Corporation, which manufactures motion control motors and gearmotors.

By Blufton Motor Works
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 26, 2014

Inductive linear sensor is rated IP67

The Q25 inductive linear sensor from Turck enables real-time monitoring and measuring and is IP67 rated and can be used in harsh temperature conditions.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 24, 2014

DIN-Rail controller with programmable warning lights

Advantech's Uno-1110 DIN-rail controller features four programmable LED warning lights and isolated digital I/O ports so users no longer require extra signal converters.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 19, 2014

Rotary encoder for hazardous conditions

Heidenhain's ExN 400 rotary encoders are designed for Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX) and handle shaft speeds up to 6000 rpm in a temperature range from -20 C to +60 C.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 19, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 10-16

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering’s five most-clicked articles from last week, March 10-16, including articles about high-voltage fault, selecting a level instrument, wireless connectivity, the 2014 Engineers' Choice Awards, and the 2013 HART Plant of the Year.

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 18, 2014

Electric actuators avoid some classic hydraulic actuator challenges

Hydraulic vs. electric actuators technology update: When less than 2000 lb of force is required, electric actuator systems provide a better performing, more cost-efficient, more environmental, less risky solution with improved control and precision.

By Ajay Arora
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 18, 2014

High speed machining provides dynamic accuracy to machine tools

To evaluate the capability of a machine tool for high-speed machining (HSM), it is more important to consider acceleration than velocity, according to Control Engineering Poland.

By Wojciech Ptaszynski, Roman Staniek
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 17, 2014

Squeezing light into metals

University of Utah engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information with an inkjet printer.

By University of Utah College of Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 13, 2014

Capacitive displacement sensor has bar graph to ease setup

Lion Precision's CPL490 Capacitive Displacement Sensor measures position/displacement up to 100 picometers and has a bandwidth of up to 50 kHz.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 11, 2014

Sealed linear encoders have transmission speed up to 5 MHz

The absolute LC 195M and LC 495M sealed linear encoders from Heidenhain can be used on machines that require a Mitsubishi interface. They feature a transmission speed of up to 5 MHz.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 11, 2014

Case study: Pumps provide effective wastewater handling at California winery

Ecolabs designed and now manages the wastewater treatment process for a Northern Californian vineyard producing premium varietal wines for global markets. Learn about the challenges and solutions in developing the system.

By Jordan M. Schultz
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 10, 2014

Motor controllers for commercial, industrial applications

Schneider Electric's TeSys U Self-Protected Combination Motor Controllers and Square D TeSys N Self-Protected Combination Motor Controllers are designed for industrial and commercial buildings as well as OEMs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 10, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 3-9, 2014

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, March 3-9, 2014, including articles about motion control, training simulators, CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers mobile application, Microsoft in process control systems, and control charts.

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Jordan Schultz
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 3, 2014

Top 5 Control Engineering articles, Feb. 24-March 2, 2014

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering's five most clicked articles from last week, Feb. 24-March 2, 2014, including articles about process control systems technology, high-voltage fault detection, pressure instrumentation, vendors and the engineering gap, and operator interface standardization.

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Jordan Schultz
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 26, 2014

Precise motion control gives famous vessel new life

A piece of Cold War history uses automation for precise control of its floating dry dock. Less expensive components and in-house engineering allowed for a more advanced system.

By Ben Chisolm, Christine Lesher
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 26, 2014

Cageless, high peak torque motors

ETEL's TML and TMM series of cageless and high peak torque motors use direct drive technology and have multiple mounting options while reaching speeds of up to 2100 rpm.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 25, 2014

Gestures can control cranes

Haptic control is proven for cranes, by using a Microsoft Kinect system.

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, Karol Miądlicki
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 21, 2014

Precision linear motor stages

Kollmorgen's MMG series of precision linear motor stages deliver facilitate reduced-time-to-market with a higher performing machine for OEMs and can deliver up to 150mm travel.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 20, 2014

Subminiature sensor series expanded with LED and laser

SensoPart's F 10 subminiature sensor series now includes LED sensors as well as laser sensors that includes a proximity switch and a blue light version for light-absorbing objects.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 20, 2014

Vision sensor for inspection, stock management

Balluff's BVS-E Universal vision sensor is designed for inspection tasks and stock management and can inspect many characteristics in one pass like checking brightness, comparing contrasts, and detecting patterns.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 20, 2014

Synthetic molecular oscillator could serve as a timer to control artificial cells

Researchers have made important discoveries regarding the behavior of a synthetic molecular oscillator, which could help create artificial cells.

By Sean Nealon
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 18, 2014

Automation system retrofit transforms 175-ton hydraulic forming press

Application Update: In less than one month, a rebuild automates press operations to increase production rates and improve quality.

By Scott Martin
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 14, 2014

CFE Media’s 2014 ARC Industry Forum coverage

This year’s ARC Industry Forum convenes in Orlando, Fla., February 10-13, to discuss its central theme “Industry in transition: The information driven enterprise in a connected world.” Experts will present on the Internet of Things, predictive analytics, additive manufacturing, 3D visualization, and more. Check this page for CFE Media’s daily coverage and reactions to the show.

By Jordan M. Schultz
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 14, 2014

Go beyond horsepower when sizing a servo motor

When using a servo motor, one should consider torque, speed, and other applications for a specific motion control application.

By John Brokaw, Valin Corporation
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 12, 2014

2014 ARC Industry Forum: The information-driven enterprise

Andy Chatha, president of the Arc Advisory Group, opened day 2 with remarks on the forum’s theme, “Industry in transition: The information-driven enterprise,” focusing primarily on the Internet of Things, cyber security, and interconnectedness.

By Mark Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 11, 2014

GE Intelligent Platforms manufacturing software

Bob Gates, market director of manufacturing, announced significant updates to GE Intelligent Platforms’ suite of Proficy manufacturing software and explained how these apply to the new realities of business potential enabled by the industrial Internet, at the 2014 ARC Forum.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 11, 2014

Yokogawa process control advances

Mr. Masatoshi Nakahara, senior vice president, head of industrial automation platform business HQ, and Chet Mroz, president and CEO, Yokogawa Corporation of America, introduced Yokogawa’s new Centum VP system offering and explained how it will advance the company’s vision for Yokogawa’s VigilantPlant as the ideal facility for industrial automation.

By Mark Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2014

EtherCAT box for angle, acceleration measurement

Beckhoff's EP1816-3008 EtherCAT Box is an I/O module that is IP67-rated with built-in tilt monitoring and has two integrated 3-axis acceleration sensors and 16 digital inputs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2014

Micro drive for simple machine interface

The ACS250 Micro Drive product line by ABB features an IP20 panel-mounted chassis and features an IP66/NEMA 4X drive for harsh conditions.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2014

Handheld barcode readers

Cognex Corporation's DataMan 8050 Series of industrial handheld readers are designed with a ruggedized housing and are available with corded and wireless communication modules.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2014

Manufacturers are investing in Mexico

The U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Import/Export Statistics indicates that Mexico increased imports of U.S. packaging and processing machinery by more than 15% and that major companies like PepsiCo, Nestlé, and Cisco are planning to expand their business operations in the country.

By Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 6, 2014

Switching servo drives deliver sub-nanometer position jitter

ACS Motion Control's NanoPWM delivers sub-nanometer position jitter performance and are included with an EtherCAT motion controller and power supply.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 6, 2014

On-machine PAC has multidisciplined control

Allen-Bradley Armor GuardLogix PAC by Rockwell Automation offers multidisciplined control in a hardened, on-machine package.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 29, 2014

Monochrome and color imaging dual line scan cameras

Teledyne Dalsa's monochrome Piranha 4 dual line scan camera and Piranha 4 2k trilinear model are designed to solve challenging machine vision inspection problems.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 29, 2014

DC transmitters with potentiometer input

Omega’s DMD4008 series of transmitters accepts a resistance input from potentiometer, slidewire, linear position, displacement, or rotational devices and has removable plugs for fast installation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 28, 2014

Model-based control, dead times, lag times

Distillation columns and precise composition control: Composition control is critical for economical operation of distillation columns. Model-based control techniques prevent purity problems associated with dead and lag times.

By Jim Ford
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 24, 2014

More from 1955… Automatic freightyard shuffles cars quickly yet gently

American railroads pay $100,000,000 a year for freight damaged—much of it in yards where trains are assembled. This new computer-controlled system promises to slash the bill. It controls the rolling speed of cars so that they couple gently.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 20, 2014

Inductive sensor monitors speed, acceleration

Sick's Sam inductive sensor is designed to monitor speed and acceleration changes and has a monitoring range of up to 12,000 pulses per minute and three modes to reduce false trips.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 16, 2014

Linear motor series has anti-clogging design

The LMS ironcore linear motor series by Etel is designed for high-end automation to demanding semiconductor machines where a high power density is required.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 13, 2014

Data acquisition card with real time calculation

The isolated Genesis 1 kV data acquisition card by HBM can perform real time calculations on the fly and provides values per half cycle at sampling rates of up to 2 million samples/second.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 13, 2014

Multi-touch improves data analysis

Multi-touch technologies have rapidly moved from the commercial to the industrial sector where they are being used to enhance data analysis.

By Steve Byrom
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 10, 2014

Motion control market revenues reached $12.2 billion in 2013

According to an IHS study on the market for motion controls, strong growth is forecast to return to the market in 2014, propelling market revenues to a new record high by the end of the year.

By IHS Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 10, 2014

Inductive proximity switch has rotating, 5-position head

The Model IPH 5-Way Rotatable Head Inductive Proximity Switch by BlueLevel Technologies features a rectangular 4-wire AC sensor with open and closed switch outputs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 2, 2014

Algorithm to improve servo performance

ACS Motion Control's Advanced ServoBoost algorithm provides significant throughput enhancement by minimizing settling time and can adapt to large load changes and disturbances.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 31, 2013

Desalination plant in Saudi Arabia to receive control system

The SWRO-4 Desalination Plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, will be using a control system provided by Yokogawa for monitoring and online diagnosis of the instrumentation devices in the plant.

By Yokogawa
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 26, 2013

Direct current drives are PWM controllers with current limit feature

AutomationDirect IronHorse line of motors and drives now includes the GSD series of dc drives.

By TJ Johns
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 24, 2013

Control Engineering Digital Edition Exclusives, December

Control Engineering Digital Edition Exclusives provide additional information not included in the paper edition, this month with information on isolating high-speed data interfaces, crane controls, and automated guided vehicles.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 22, 2013

Magnetic angle sensor for automated applications

ASM's PRAS26 magnetic angle sensor is designed for automated and OEM applications and has IP67 protection as well as 360° measurement range.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 20, 2013

Integrated vision system helps speed production, maximize efficiency at Pleasant River Lumber

Application Update: Integrating a new vision system can calculate the measurements of each tree-length log in about 7 seconds, 9 logs per minute, nearly 10 times faster than previously.

By Maureen Clancy
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 19, 2013

Modular energy controller for power automation, renewable energy

Advantech’s ECU-1871 is modular energy controller designed for power automation and renewable energy needs and features two integrated I/O slots and isolated IO ports.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 12, 2013

Digital pressure sensor in a traditional package

The Ashcroft DG25 digital pressure gauge provides a 5 full digit LCD in ranges up to 25,000 psi.

By Sources: Ashcroft
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 11, 2013

Hollow shaft angular gearbox

Cable feed-through and output shaft flanges on both ends

By Source: B and R
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 11, 2013

Crane controls help make energy from waste

Application Update: Olmsted County increased the energy processed at its waste-to-energy facility by doubling the amount of refuse burned daily, with integration of updated drives, motors, and controls.

By Lynn Bostrom
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 10, 2013

Sealed subminiature switch are designed for valves, actuators

The sealed V5 sub-subminiature microswitches by Crouzet Switches have an IP67/IP69K rating and are designed for valves and actuators.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 10, 2013

Some perspectives on MES implementations: Part 1

A lack of understanding or definition of MES within a company can lead to the same mistakes being made on project after project.

By John Clemons
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 9, 2013

Retrofit package to replace control system

MEAU has developed a retrofit package designed to replace control systems using the company's Meldasmagic 64 controls. The retrofit package includes a control unit, LCD, keypad, and two power supplies.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 9, 2013

Website launched for Automate 2015

Automate 2015's website has been launched to deliver information about the upcoming trade show, which will be held March 23-26, 2015, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

By Automate 2015
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 5, 2013

X-Ray detector and sensor

The Xineos-1515 flat X-Ray detector by Teledyne Dalsa is designed for medical diagnostics and features a switch saturation dose for technicians as well as an extended Field of View (FOV).

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 5, 2013

Emerson signs agreement to acquire minority stake in company

Emerson has acquired SPX Corporation's minority interest in EGS Electrical Group for $571 million.

By Emerson Process Management
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 2, 2013

Smart camera system for vision-guided robotics

ABB Robotics' Integrated Vision works with PC-based ABB RobotStudio to provide a platform for creating vision-guided robotic applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 2, 2013

Wireless vibration sensors

Parker Hannifin's wireless vibration sensors are part of an advanced conditioning monitoring system that combines remote monitoring and high-fidelity machine analysis with low cost and simple installation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 29, 2013

Servo motor series has high torque

The 8KS servo motor series by B+R Automation provides up to 140 kW of power and stall torque up to 555 Nm and features a resolver interface and optical encoder.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 27, 2013

Applying automation to baked goods production

Automation Integrator Guide: Pattern toppings applicator, pie makeup machine, and snack cake and snack pie lines added consistency, speed, and flexibility with smart integration of automation.

By Ric See
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 25, 2013

Customized direct drive motor kits solve complex motion challenges

Applimotion brushless direct drive motor kits provide complete motor assemblies for complex motion assemblies in automation, semiconductor equipment, medical devices, and satellite communication systems.

By Robert Mastromattei
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 15, 2013

Automated guided vehicles integrate power, without batteries

Automation Integrator Guide case study: SuperiorControls doubles assembly line throughput without increases in floor space or staffing by integrating battery-free automated guided vehicles (AGVs) with controls and manufacturing execution system (MES). See photo gallery of application.

By Rod Emery
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 14, 2013

Motion control company to be acquired, integrated

Rockwell Automation announced it will purchase Jacobs Automation, a motion control company, which will be integrated into Rockwell's Automation Motion Business.

By Rockwell Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 11, 2013

Fieldbus node for pneumatic valve terminals

Festo's CTEU bus node opens up Fieldbus connectivity for two pneumatic valve terminals at the same time and meets IP65 and IP67 ratings.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 8, 2013

The long and short of connecting sensors to control rooms

Temperature sensors, more than most other types of instrumentation, can require specialized cabling and treatment to provide accurate data.

By Jim Cobb
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 8, 2013

Control unit for variable speed drives has universal vector control, encoder feedback

Siemens' CU250S-2 control unit supplements the Siemens G120 drive with universal vector control and encoder feedback for applications including material handling and chemical processing.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 7, 2013

Showcase your plant’s success to a global audience

Control Engineering seeks presentations for 2014 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2013

M&R Printing Equipment uses advanced servo, controller

Mitsubishi Electric Automation MR-J4 Servo and Q170 stand-alone motion controller help M&R Printing Equipment beat its own world record.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2013

Printer breaks world record with advanced servo, motion controller

Application Update: M&R Printing Equipment beats its own world record by 12% for speed printing using latest generation, advanced servo motor and stand-alone motion controller in its new machine design.

By Greg Hookings
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 28, 2013

Motion control: Long-length linear encoders look lively

Linear encoders provide direct position feedback to various machine tool and automation systems. Working in a linear format allows extreme length position measurement and control—critical for machine tool accuracy and production of precise large-scale parts. Focus here is linear encoders with 3-meter (about 10-ft) or greater measurement length.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 28, 2013

Solar tracking motors

The Gen 4 Solar Tracking Motors (STM) by Dunkermotoren features integrated electronics and inclinometer options and can interface directly with the main power plant tracking controller.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 28, 2013

Long-length linear encoder addendum

Motion control: Successful implementation of linear encoders requires appropriate installation, calibration, and connectivity to the control system—in addition to an accurate encoder scale. Coverage of these areas here supplements the article, Long-length linear encoders. See the table of selected encoder manufacturers and products.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 24, 2013

Cable actuated position sensor has 6 pulses per millimeter

The WS42 cable actuated position sensor by Automated Control delivers a resolution of 6 pulses per mm and has IP50 protection.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 23, 2013

Fanless vision system for harsh industrial environments

Teledyne Dalsa's GEVA 3000 is fanless and is equipped with a Gen3 Core i7 processor, choice of camera interface and ready-to-use application software.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 21, 2013

Fractional order PID controller improves motor velocity control

Compare the integer order proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller (IOC) with the fractional order PID controller (FOC) for improving the velocity control loop of the permanent magnet switched motor (PMSM), according to research highlighted in Control Engineering Poland. See supporting equations, diagrams, and graphs.

By Artur Kobyłkiewicz, Krzysztof Pietrusewicz
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: XT Motor Control Center

Motion Control - Drives: Eaton XT motor control centers provide 24-Vdc control power in a compact footprint, and are designed to improve uptime and enhance safety for commercial, industrial, and OEM applications. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5500 servo drive with Kinetix VP low-inertia servo motor

Motion Control - Drives: The single-cable Kinetix motion solution gives machine builders a proven solution for servo and induction motor control on a single development platform to reduce design time and cabinet space, and improve power density and efficiency. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 525 AC Drive

Motion Control - Drives: The compact Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 525 ac drive helps machine builders and end users simplify equipment design and operation, and speed installation and configuration. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: SINAMICS V20 Variable Frequency Drive

Motion Control - Drives: The SINAMICS V20 variable frequency drive is the cost-effective, reliable and easy-to-use ac drive for basic applications. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: MV1000 Medium Voltage AC Drive

Motion Control - Drives: The MV1000 is a full featured medium voltage drive, providing outstanding quality, performance, flexibility and system friendliness for medium voltage applications, from 200 to 5,000 hp. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: Ensemble LAB Motion Control Platform

Motion Control - Motors: The Ensemble LAB motion control platform is designed to provide full capability motion control for laboratory automation and light industrial manufacturing applications in an easy to use and intuitive package. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: AM8500 Servo Motors

Motion Control - Motors: The Beckhoff AM8500 servo motor series with One Cable Technology features an increased rotor moment of inertia and is ideal for applications with larger external mass inertias, such as CNC applications, for example. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: EXCM Mini H-Gantry

Motion Control - Motors: The Festo H-gantry EXCM is a company planar surface gantry with rectangular working space offering extensive functionality with a highly compact design. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: SIMOGEAR Gear Motors

Motion Control - Motors: SIMOGEAR, the new Siemens gear motor series, is specifically designed for automation and motion control applications. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: PlantTriage v12

Software - Diagnostics: PlantTriage Control Loop Monitoring system watches over a plant 24 hours a day, prioritizing and diagnosing each improvement opportunity. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: Cognex DS1100 Series 3D Displacement Sensors

Machine & Embedded Control - Discrete sensors, vision: The DS1100 is an industrial 3D sensor that can determine an object's shape on the production line—its length, height, and width, even its overall volume and topographical information about its surface. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: Inductive Angle Sensor

Machine & Embedded Control - Discrete sensors, vision: TURCK inductive angle sensors deliver enhanced valve monitoring on rotary actuators. Operating with the inductive resonant circuit measuring principle, inductive angle sensors can monitor three-way valves, while also detecting the valve position during cleaning cycles. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: NI cRIO-9068 Software-Designed Controller

Machine & Embedded Control - PLCs: The NI cRIO-9068 software-designed controller, based on the NI LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture, features a new, improved design for embedded control and monitoring applications allowing engineers to design and deploy faster than ever before. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: SIMATIC S7-1500

Machine & Embedded Control - PLCs: The SIMATIC S7-1500 is the new generation of controllers that sets new standards in power and efficiency for maximum productivity. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: SLIO PLC

Machine & Embedded Control - PLCs: VIPA's unique SLIO PLC is programmable with Step7 or TIA from Siemens, having the power of a 300S CPU. One PLC is configurable in 12 different versions. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2013

EC: Micro Motion Compact Density Meter

Process Control - Flowmeters: The Micro Motion compact density meter is designed for the custody transfer metering of crude oil, refined hydrocarbons, alcohols and many agressive process fluids and is ideal for customers who confront measurement problems on a daily basis. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 16, 2013

Medium voltage AC drive is compact, saves energy

Yaskawa's MV1000 medium voltage ac drive family use a modular, compact design for energy savings and are compatible with the 1000 series low voltage ac drive products.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 8, 2013

Going green in powertrain and engine testing

Flexible test machines that regenerate energy promise to revolutionize the world of aircraft and automotive subsystem testing.

By Jason Stefanski
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 7, 2013

Vertical lift stages, in 2 sizes, with dc servomotor

Aerotech's MPS-SV series lift stages are offered in two sizes, the MPS50SV and MPS75SV, and feature a DC servomotor as well precision-ground ball screws for accurate geometric performance.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 7, 2013

Top Control Engineering articles, September 2013

The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during September 2013 included: Alarm management standard, IT vs. OT, automation upgrade help, Invensys acquires InduSoft, thermowell selection, motor shaft grounding, machinery directive help, help from IT, big structures from small interlocking pieces, human-robotic collaboration, automation justification, modular PLCs, and more.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 3, 2013

Self-assembling robots from MIT have simple design

Resolves problem for modular-robotics community: Small cubes with no exterior moving parts can propel themselves forward, jump on top of each other, and snap together to form arbitrary shapes. Link to video of the robots.

By Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2013

Safe motion modules, hygienic servos, fighting robots

Kollmorgen Safety Modules (KSM) help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) deliver higher productivity by combining machine safety logic and safe motion. Servo drive advancements, stainless steel motors, and fighting robots were also shown.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2013

Integrated-motor market to expand by more than 40 percent in five years

Integrated-motor market sales are projected to reach $553 million by 2017 due to a larger global market size and additional market revenues from ac brushless servo and dc brushless integrated motors.

By IMS Research (Now part of IHS Inc.)
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 27, 2013

Electropneumatic controller series offers PID control

Emerson Process Management's Tescom ER5000 Series of electropneumatic controllers are a microprocessor-based PID controller designed to ensure desired pressure even as system process parameters change.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 23, 2013

Pneumatic components market: Changes stir tranquil waters

IHS reports that the pneumatic valve market landscape is starting to radically change as Chinese suppliers start to expand into the U.S. and Europe.

By IHS Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 16, 2013

Latin American low-voltage motor drive market takes uphill path to $600 million in sales in 2017

The low-voltage ac and dc motor drive market is expand to grow to $600 million by 2017 thanks to lower commodity prices and concerns about potential mining and hydroelectric projects.

By IHS Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 13, 2013

Saturated control elements: When you hit the end of the scale

Scotty’s “Captain, I’m giving you all she’s got,” tells Kirk that he’s reached maximum output. The same thing can happen in your production unit. What results depends on the nature of your process.

By Peter Welander
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 13, 2013

PLC coding conventions initiative launched

PLCopen's coding conventions meeting worked out ways to define a set of rules to provide a PLCopen proposal on how IEC 61131-3 should be used.

By PLCopen
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 9, 2013

Digital valve controller with stainless steel housing

The Fisher Fieldvue DVC6200 digital valve controller family from Emerson have a stainless steel housing to withstand harsh conditions as well as an isolated weather-tight field wiring terminal box.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 9, 2013

Rugged programmable controllers

MTNW’s LCI-90i-IS Rugged Programmable Controller is approved for use in Class I, Division 2, T5, Group A, B, C, and D hazardous locations.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 4, 2013

Foundation offering grant for electrical motor power density tests

EMERF is offering a $15,000 grant to a university or research facility to develop research concepts on improving power density and efficiency in small electric motors.

By SSMA - The Motor and Motion Association
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 30, 2013

North American machine vision sales rise for second straight quarter

The AIA reports North American machine vision sales rose 6% for the second quarter of 2013 with machine vision systems having the highest growth of any category.

By AIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 26, 2013

Top Control Engineering articles, July 2013

The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during July 2013 included: System Integrator Giants of 2013, temperature sensor selection, future human-machine interfaces, Invensys sales talks, programming methods, top articles in June, when to automate advice, and industrial network selection, among others.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 22, 2013

Linear positioning drives deliver 40 N force

Nanotec Electronic's Nema 8 and Nema 14 hybrid linear positioning drives deliver a force of up to 140 N and a resolution of up to 0.01 mm.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 20, 2013

Direct drive motor assemblies

Applimotion's customized direct drive motor assemblies include precision bearings, encoders, and cabling for a low-profile direct drive solution.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 14, 2013

Of PLCs, control panels, and VFDs

PLCs have come a long way since the late 1960s and their applications in engineering are both innovative and seemingly endless.

By Jack Smith
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 12, 2013

Global motion control shipments fall in first-half 2013, optimism expressed

Global shipments for motion control products fell 6.8% for the first half of 2013, but there is still general optimism that sales will increase by the end of 2013 according to the Motion Control Association.

By Motion Control Association
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 12, 2013

Loop detector with DIN rail mounting

The ULT-DIN loop detector by EMX Industries features two output relays and 10 sensitivity settings and has a detect-on-stop feature for cross traffic situations in warehouses.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 9, 2013

Asia to become largest PLC market by 2016

Increased demand by China as well as Korea, Taiwan, and Japan as well as a stagnant European economy suggest Asia will be the largest programmable logic controller (PLC) market by 2016, according to ARC Advisory Group.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 9, 2013

Industrial networking expands PLC functionality

Combining real-time Ethernet with visualization, control, and communication capabilities allows PLCs to open the door to a new level of visibility and control for manufacturers.

By Randy Durick, Chris Vitale, Matt Boudjouk
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 6, 2013

Servo drives receive expanded IO capability

Ormec's XD indexer family expands analog I/O, adding motion control features for new applications and it also features software for complex applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 5, 2013

Integrated linear motor stage

Aerotech’s PlanarDL-series delivers geometric performance for applications where precision is critical and it has three positioning performance options as well as anti-creep crossed-roller bearings.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2013

Torque transducers also measure speed

The T40B and T40FM torque transducers by HBM are able to measure torque and speed at the same time in harsh conditions.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 31, 2013

Transmitter with batch controller capabilities

The Signet 9900 Transmitter by GF Piping Systems has a batch controller system that helps consolidate multiple platforms and parameters for diverse use.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 31, 2013

Incremental encoder for IO system

The Speedway IP67 I/O-System by Wago has an HTL Incremental Encoder/Counter module designed to evaluate encoders at 24 V signal levels in harsh environments.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 30, 2013

Machine tool optimization: Future machines will talk to other machines, systems

Manufacturers are “standing on the next of the next major step” in efficiency with improvements in machine tool optimization, said Siemens officials on Monday, July 29, in advance of the EMO machine tool show in Hannover, Germany, in September. More integrated, self-optimizing future machines will be 50% more efficient.

By Bob Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 24, 2013

Motion controller for end users with third-party controls

The Q170MCPU-EIP motion controller by Mitsubishi Electric is designed for end users who have third-party control system to incorporate and create Mitsubishi positioning applications via the Ethernet.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 22, 2013

Closing the loop to maintain precise hydrogen pressure

Inside Machines: A programmable electro-hydraulic motion controller improved standard deviations of the discharge pressure distribution by about 70%, helping improve manufacturing productivity in an Alberta EnvironFuels application. A closed-loop controller runs at 1000 loops per second to optimize tuning and respond more quickly and automatically to changing conditions.

By Don Denman
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 18, 2013

CNC platform series offers higher output, faster cycle times

The M70V CNC Platform Series by Mitsubishi Electric Automation is designed to deliver increased production output and faster cycle times for production machining in a wide range of applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 18, 2013

How to size servo motors: Advanced inertia calculations

Inside Machines: To properly select the appropriate servo motor for a motion control application, find the inertia of the load being rotated. Applications where the center of rotation is on a different axis than the center of mass can lead to some challenging inertial calculations.

By Mark Wilder
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 11, 2013

NASCAR driver, an engineering major, appreciates high technology, charity donation

Vecoplan donated to a NASCAR effort that aims to deliver 500,000 lb of food and supplies to families in U.S. racing communities; the driver, an engineering major, and team owner of the #23 Vecoplan Ford Mustang toured a Vecoplan plant and noted appreciation for its high-tech biofuel and bioenergy products.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 11, 2013

Portable pressure calibrator

The Yokogawa CA700 Portable Pressure Calibrator can measure pressures with an accuracy that is within ±0.01% of reading and is able to store calibration procedures for transmitters and switches in its internal memory banks.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 10, 2013

Servomotor line with field-replaceable encoders

Siemens' Generation II Simotics 1FK7 servomotors are field-replaceable 24-bit encoders in 10 styles as well as three inertia versions and seven shaft heights.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 9, 2013

Automation company opens regional office in Chicago area

Beckhoff opened their seventh North American regional office in Woodridge, Ill., a Chicago suburb, and will primarily focus on sales and engineering support.

By Beckhoff Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 9, 2013

Consortium formed for semiconductor wafer fabrication challenges

Ten global companies formed the Facility 450 Consortium (F450C) and five companies formed the Global 450 Consortium (G450C) with the intention of addressing facility and infrastructure challenges of 450mm semiconductor wafer fabrication issues.

By The Global 450mm Consortium (G450C)
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 8, 2013

Rotating torque sensor series

The Dyno LaborSaver rotating torque sensor series from SensorData Technologies allows for dual measurement and has a wide range of measurement options.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 2, 2013

Electric cylinder and closed loop servo drive

Festo's EPCO electric cylinder and CMMO-ST closed loop servo drive are designed to quickly assist in machine and product changeovers and offers the flexibility of commissioning via the Internet.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2013

Understanding state-full programming methods

A straightforward approach that enforces discipline with preparation, planning, and documenting.

By Jeff Monforton
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 20, 2013

5 proactive CNC maintenance tips for holiday weekends

Avoid costly CNC equipment repairs. Perform these five simple, proactive maintenance steps during the holiday shutdown, advises Mitsubishi Electric Automation.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 10, 2013

Multi-purpose digital panel meters

Product Exclusive: Precision Digital introduces PD6080 and PD6081 Super Snooper Modbus Scanners capable of displaying 16 process variables, including Modbus registers and two analog inputs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 2, 2013

Beyond automation: Humans as process controllers

While automated control systems can keep our manufacturing processes running efficiently, new variables are entering into the production equation that are beyond what we can expect from PID. In an interview, Peter Martin explains forces pushing a return to humans as controllers to accommodate these changes, at least for a while.

By Vance VanDoren, Peter Welander, Peter Martin
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 24, 2013

WindPower 2013: Fair winds, prosperous show in Chicago

The American Wind Energy Association’s annual conference and exhibition, WindPower 2013, assembled leading international manufacturers and suppliers of wind power technology exhibiting wind energy products, speakers delivering numerous papers in multiple tracks, various expert panel discussions, and networking opportunities for attendees. Automation and controls help the manufacturing and use of wind-power technologies.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 22, 2013

New high-powered temperature controller

Oven Industries now offers high powered temperature controllers for applications greater than 15 A.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 13, 2013

Software wizard provides easy embedded motion controller setup

Product Exclusive: PMD Pro-Motion software offers axis wizard and support for digital amplifiers and embedded motion development, providing easy setup of embedded motion controllers.

By Performance Motion Devices
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 10, 2013

Magnetic guide sensor can help robot navigation

The MGS1600C by Roboteq is a magnetic guide sensor capable of detecting and reporting the position of a magnetic field along its horizontal axis for mobile robot navigation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 8, 2013

Top Control Engineering articles, April 2013

The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during April 2013 included the following topics: PID tuning rules, April Fool’s Day article, salary and career survey, lower PLC software costs, remote I/O, robotic innovations and safety, lambda tuning, motion control, cyber security, and energy efficiency, among others.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 7, 2013

Demand for DC brushless motors in automotive applications expected to grow 52 percent by 2017

DC brushless motor shipments will outpace shipments of DC brushed and stepper motors used in automotive applications from 2012 to 2017.

By IHS Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 6, 2013

Integrated steppers and stepper motors

Applied Motion Products' NEMA size 23, 24 and 34 stepper motors with IP65 ratings and size 24 integrated steppers are designed for severe environmental conditions and wet factory environments.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 3, 2013

Inductive sensors measure position for hydraulic, pneumatic cylinders

Alliance Sensors Group's MR Series of Linear Position Sensors are designed for use in measuring the ram position of hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2013

Multi-conductor control cable

AutomationDirect's multi-conductor control cables are available in reels up to 1,000 feet and come with up to 41 unshielded conductors and sizes up to 10 gauge.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 30, 2013

China’s motion control market falls nearly 20 percent in 2012

Revenue from sales of motion controls in 2012 fell to $2.2 billion, down 19 percent from $2.7 billion in 2011.

By IHS Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 22, 2013

Stepper motion systems addendum

Cost, simplicity, and continuing innovation are keeping stepper motion technology competitive—as described in the May 2013 main article. Additional developments and perspectives on motor-drive integration, controls, component miniaturization, and stepper motion system suppliers are provided here.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 22, 2013

Step-motor-based systems stay competitive

Motion control: Traditional stepper-motor systems represent the only motion-control technology able to operate in open loop—although the addition of position feedback to enhance performance is on the rise. Simpler controls, lower cost components, and other innovations keep stepper systems competitive with servo motion systems in numerous applications.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 11, 2013

Simulation and modeling software

MSC Software’s Adams and Easy5 Simulation software models and simulates motion control systems to improve machine performance.

By Chris Baker
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 11, 2013

Simulation software boosts machine productivity

Application Update: Armor increased machine productivity 20% with simulation software to create improvements and decrease downtime.

By Chris Baker
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 9, 2013

Program for retrieving CNC data

FasOPC by Fanuc is designed to retrieve, read, and write machine production data from CNC's and is designed to work with most OPC clients.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2013

A video game platform as your next process controller?

While some say current HMIs look like video games, is it practical to run a process unit using an obsolete Xbox as a controller? One supplier says it’s possible and even economical. Get your gaming thumbs back in shape.

By Peter Welander
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2013

Is your controller tough enough?

Controllers are the nervous system of the production process. Reliability is important. Controller malfunctions can throw a wrench into your production processes or even paralyze your factory. You need a rugged controller. See three tips to help choose a controller.

By Dennis Wylie
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 20, 2013

Motorized rotary stages

AGR series motorized rotary stages by Aerotech provide a worm-gear-drive designed for positioning in industrial and labortory use with a stage base that can be used in multi-axis arrangements and other weight critical options.

By Aerotech
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 19, 2013

Valveless pump for gearbox lubrication

The PDS-100 by FMI provides metering high viscosity grease at low pressure for precision lubrication of industrial robot gearboxes.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 18, 2013

Motion control: Statue of Liberty rescue elevator

Application Update: At the Statue of Liberty, the new fast, efficient rescue elevator features a smooth ride to the top, ensured by a motor drive, to improve safety, emergency access, and evacuation for the crown jewel of U.S. statues and tourist destinations.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 14, 2013

Board of directors for motion control group named

The Motion Control Association appointed John Hegel, the Preisdent of American Control Electronics, as the chairman of the board during the group's annual conference.

By Motion Control Association
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 12, 2013

Digital roll-to-roll web processing revolutionizes printed electronic production

Tension control solution for digital roll-to-roll web process enables highest quality, high throughput of printed electronics.

By Source: Bosch Rexroth
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 8, 2013

System integration firm joins OMAC

Control system integrator, Patti Engineering, joins OMAC (Organization for Machine Automation & Control), an organization that provides expertise for machine automation, machine performance, quality, and reliability in manufacturing.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 4, 2013

Products used: Automaker changes gears without changing grippers

Original equipment manufacturer Moore Controls used Festo HGPLE electric grippers to help an automaker’s transmission operations eliminate costly changeovers.

By Bryan Morehouse
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 4, 2013

Automaker changes gears without changing grippers

When a major automaker sought a new strategy for automated transmission operations, an original equipment manufacturer put electric grippers at the cutting edge to eliminate costly changeovers.

By Bryan Morehouse
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2013

China market for motion-control gear slowed in 2012, but picture brightens starting this year

The overall motion-control market in China contracted 19 percent last year compared to 2011.

By IHS Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 26, 2013

Keeping CNC machines profitable

Mitsubishi Electric Technical Services & Support Group helps keep machines in production and profitable.

By Russell Pobutkiewicz
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 26, 2013

CNC services and support

The ‘right’ technical services and support capabilities for CNCs will maximize uptime, boost profits, and reduce maintenance costs.

By Russell Pobutkiewicz
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 22, 2013

Solid-state cylinder switch

The SMT-8M-A solid-state cylinder switch by Festo features a supplemental on-board LED for proper field commissioning and is designed for T-slot applications on pneumatic drives.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 15, 2013

Pneumatic cylinder position switch

AutomationDirect's Nitra line of pneumatic cylinder position switches feature nine solid-state electronic switches that are available in 3-wire DC PNP and NPN configurations.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 15, 2013

Taking the complexity out of designing Smart-Grid devices

National Instruments executive says a new development platform should bring renewable energy sources to the grid much faster.

By Control Engineerig
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 14, 2013

The right system components are critical to maximizing the energy-saving potential of VFDs

Cabling—like other components—must be vetted for its ability to withstand the harshest operating conditions.

By Peter Cox
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 13, 2013

Understanding servo system application requirements

When selecting servo-based motion control systems, it’s all about the application.

By Scott Carlberg
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 12, 2013

Servodrive control

Cover story: Smaller, faster, higher accuracy, and easier to use are among servodrive control advances. Servodrive controls offer high accuracy and repeatability for precise applications, as shown in the cover application video and in the articles, explanations, and examples about each.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 8, 2013

Top Control Engineering articles, January 2013

The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during January 2013 included the following topics: U.S.-manufacturing of medium-voltage drives, decentralized process control, a new engineering research center, 5 ways to enable the next generation workforce, automation programming, and Ethernet communications, among others.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2013

Arc flash system uses trip signal to minimize damage

The Multilin A60 Arc Flash System uses a trip signal to minimize damage to medium-voltage switchgear and motor control center applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 28, 2013

Open architecture digital PMSM servodrive control

Milling machine axis control system uses real-time open architecture and digital permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) control, based on a high-performance PXI platform. Updated with reader comment Feb. 5.

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, Paweł Waszczuk
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 23, 2013

Motion control: Product handling, re-feeder challenges

Integrator update: Controlling the product flow in adjacent machines can be challenging. Polytron and Finesse Manufacturing address product handling and re-feeder interruptions, turning a three-legged race into a winning relay.

By David Hettesheimer, PE, PMP
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 23, 2013

Advanced motion control for product feed, unique packing needs

Manufacturers have motion control solutions available to decouple and buffer between components in the production line in an automated way that is efficient and cost effective as a result of Polytron software development and the mechanical design of Finesse Manufacturing Solutions.

By David Hettesheimer, PE, PMP
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 16, 2013

6-dimensional motion sensor

Honeywell's Interial Measurement Unit (IMU) is a 6-dimensional motion sensor designed for precise control to increase accuracy and operator productivity.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 15, 2013

Liquid-based inclination sensors

The BSI inclination sensors from Balluff offer an enclosure rating of IP67 and are designed where inclination angles need precise detection.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 14, 2013

Eaton dedicates new innovation, engineering center

Electrical reliability, efficiency, and safety were key points of emphasis during a Jan. 9 ribbon cutting, tour, and lunch for Eaton employees, media, and other selected guests at the new Menomonee Falls Innovation Center. See photo gallery and video clip, below. Updated Jan. 16.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 14, 2013

Top Control Engineering articles for 2012

Think Again: Control strategies, optimization, safety and security, and system integration were among top Control Engineering articles for 2012, based on online traffic. What advice here will help your 2013 be more productive?

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 5, 2013

Elevator industry invests in energy efficiency in U.S.

Machine-room-less (MRL) elevator sales in the U.S. are continuing to grow, according to IMS Research, though its continued growth depends on the demand for hydraulic elevators, which remains the dominant force in the industry.

By IHS Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 3, 2013

Creating an HMI that doesn’t get used

When that new equipment skid or machine comes in, it probably has its own HMI, but that equipment will be controlled from a larger system. What should you want that redundant HMI to do?

By David McCarthy
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 27, 2012

Yaskawa commemorates first U.S.-manufactured MV1000 medium-voltage drives

The Kagami-Biraki sake ceremony celebrates the start of U.S. manufacturing of the Yaskawa MV1000 medium-voltage ac drives, first in that series of drives to be built in Oak Creek, Wis., with an investment in manufacturing and testing in excess of $3 million. See photo gallery from the ceremony and plant tour, below.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 14, 2012

CNCs offer predictive, preventive maintenance tools for motors

Fanuc's Series 30i/31i/32i-Model B CNCs offer predictive and preventive maintenance tools for motors and fans. Fanuc can judge when the fan will fail through monitoring tools, enabling maintenance personnel to repair the problem at their convenience.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 13, 2012

Integrated motion servo drive with EtherNet/IP connectivity

Kinetix 5500 servo drive by Rockwell Automation joins the Kinetix 350 and Kinetix 6500 drives to provide users with more options to match motion control needs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 5, 2012

Integrated CNC controller with HMI functions

The M700V series by Mitsubishi Electric is an integrated CNC designed for metal-cutting, forming, plastics, and woodworking applications.

By Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 4, 2012

Top Control Engineering articles, November 2012

The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during November 2012 included the following topics: Leaders Under 40, best products, mobile apps, feedback controllers, machine commissioning, System Integrator Giants, fieldbus project help, level control, project management, and lean manufacturing, among others.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 26, 2012

Worldwide CNC market plateaus

According to a study by ARC Advisory Group, the computer numerical controls (CNC) market faces an uncertain future after strong sales from 2009 to 2011.

By ARC Advisory Group
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 19, 2012

Top Control Engineering articles, October 2012

The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during October 2012 included the following topics: Best products, HMI, mobile apps, motors, level control, system integrators, safety, PLCs, energy efficiency, and project management, among others.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: AM8000 Servo Motors

Motion Control: Synchronous servo motor with One Cable technology, with which the power and feedback system are combined into one standard motor cable. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: EPCO Electric Cylinder

Motion Control: The EPCO electric cylinder is a ball screw driven actuator with integrated stepper motor (closed loop / with encoder) used in light industrial applications. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: IndraDrive Mi Integrated Motor-drive System with Multi-Ethernet Interface

Motion Control - Servo drives: Rexroth IndraDrive Mi with Multi-Ethernet interface is a milestone in drive engineering, combining control electronics and servo motor in one ultra-compact unit. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: MR-J4 Series Servo System

Motion Control - Servo drives: The MR-J4 servo system from Mitsubishi Electric Automation combines high performance features (for maximum throughput and OEE), user-friendly, HMI functions (to accelerate set-up, reduce installation costs and improve operator safety), and energy saving features. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: IndraControl L85 CNC Controller with Multi-core Processor

Machine and Embedded Control - CNCs, board-level products: The IndraControl L85 is a CNC controller with multi-core processor that establishes new levels of sophistication, performance and processing power for advanced multi-axes CNC applications. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: CNX Wireless System

Hardware - Handheld test, measurement, calibration: The Fluke CNX Wireless System simplifies troubleshooting by enabling up to 10 simultaneous electrical and temperature wireless measurements. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: M700V CNC System

Machine and Embedded Control - CNCs, board-level products: The M700V Series CNC is Mitsubishi Electric Automation's full-featured, multi-axis machine controller for high-speed and high-accuracy machining applications. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: SureCross Q45 Wireless Photoelectric Sensor

Machine and Embedded Control - Discrete sensors: The Banner Engineering SureCross Q45 is the world's first completely self-contained wireless photoelectric sensor solution, designed to provide untethered communications for control and monitoring applications. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: Piranha HS NIR 8k Camera

Machine and Embedded Control - Machine vision, barcode readers: The Piranha HS NIR camera is designed to meet the requirements of low light applications such as solar cell inspection, PCB / electronics inspection, large web applications, and food and drug inspection. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: Opto 22 SoftPAC

Machine and Embedded Control - PACs: Opto 22 SoftPAC works like a hardware PAC but uses a PC's processing speed and file handling to run computationally intensive applications or those needing to log, manipulate, and exchange large amounts of data. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: UNO-2184G

Hardware - Industrial PCs: Advantech's UNO-2184G is a compact high-performance fanless industrial grade automation computer with an i7 processor that is designed for applications with tremendous volume and 3D content. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: Controller p500

Hardware - Integrated HMI controllers: A powerful hardware platform for machine-oriented visualization and control applications, the p500 combines logic, motion and visualization in a smart integrated device, delivering a scalable platform and precision control for optimal manufacturing results. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: XC Series High-Performance PLC

Machine and Embedded Control - PLCs: XC PLCs provide fast, cost-efficient control for global food packaging, renewables, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) applications. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: H-Max Series Adjustable Frequency Drive

Motion Control - Drives: The H-Max Series drive sets a new standard in efficiency and stability over traditional variable frequency control methods. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: DSBC

Motion Control - Drives: The DSBC is an ISO 15552 pneumatic cylinder with an anodized aluminum profile body which provides linear movement and force. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2012

EC: Sinamics DCM Base Drive

Motion Control - Drives: The Sinamics DCM Base Drive, based upon the Sinamics DC Master converter, is an extremely flexible and cost-effective solution for new machine installations and retrofits where space is limited. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 7, 2012

Industrial software provides energy intelligence

Enhancements to FactoryTalk VantagePoint, FactoryTalk EnergyMetrix, and the IntelliCenter software from Rockwell Automation let users make more informed decisions about industrial energy use.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2012

SMMA 2012 Fall Technical Conference

SMMA 2012 Fall Technical Conference is Nov. 6-8, 2012, in St. Louis, Mo. Pre-Conference options include three SMMA Motor & Motion College course and the Permanent Magnet Division (PMD) Meeting. During the conference, 28 table top exhibitors will showcase products and services.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 31, 2012

Servo motor versus induction motor systems

Cover story tutorial: Choosing between permanent magnet servo motor or induction motor systems depends on application performance criteria. Consider this advice for the best fit. See more information and photos online, including comparative table.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 30, 2012

Motor-integrated servo drives

The Acoposmulti65m by B+R Automation is designed to unite motors, sensors, and servos into one compact unit. It comes with IP65 protection and is equipped with STO.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 26, 2012

Servo amplifier has EtherCAT connectivity

The Mitsubishi Electric Automation MR-J3-xA-RJ158 is an AC servo drive that provides users connectivity to servo amplifiers through EtherCAT communication. It is designed for automotive applications and has an amplifier with a capacity that ranges from 100W to 22kW.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 24, 2012

New software tools integrated with larger robotic platform

Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s RT Toolbox2 now integrated with iQ Works Software Suite.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 23, 2012

Mobile showroom demonstrates motion control solutions

Mitsubishi Electric Automation's Solutions in Motion is a mobile showroom that has interactive demonstration pods as well as an industrial, bottling-line demonstrating new products.

By Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 22, 2012

Motor lineage, design knowledge help when choosing servo or induction motors

Webcast: In the Control Engineering RCEP Accredited webcast, “Servo vs. induction motors: Which should be considered for what applications?” information presented suggests that understanding motor lineage and motor design help with motor specification. See graphics.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 22, 2012

Modular multiplexor for gauging applications

The MSE 1000 by Heidenhain uses multi-channel electronics for metrology applications. It can combine up to 250 sensors for a variety of measurement needs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 18, 2012

Ceiling-mounted SCARA robot

The RH-3SxHR robot by Mitsubishi Electric is a ceiling-mounted SCARA robot that features speeds of up to 188 parts per minute and 0.01 mm repeatability.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 9, 2012

Electric slide series for pick and place systems

The Festo EGSL electric slide series is designed for pick and place systems and is available in four sizes. It is energy efficient and extremely accurate, the company said.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 4, 2012

Touch sensitive sensors

The KT Series sensors by ifm are designed to be used in the automation industry as machine start/stop buttons. They are IP69K rated.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 2, 2012

Yaskawa acquires Canadian drives and controls company

Yaskawa acquired Wermac Electric, a Canadian company that specializes in drives and controls in the oil and gas industry.

By Yaskawa America Inc
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 24, 2012

Multifunctional capacity controller

The AK-PC 781 capacity controller by Danfoss constantly optimizes compressors and condensers and offers oil management, heat reclaim and CO2 control.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 20, 2012

Actuator with reverse parallel motor mount

The new reverse-parallel motor mount reduces the length of the Tolomatic ERD actuator while increasing mounting flexibility and motor selection in electric actuator applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 19, 2012

Energy management: What’s next for manufacturing?

Small changes in how energy is managed in manufacturing can add up to millions of dollars in energy-consumption savings. See below for four tips for saving energy in motion-control applications.

By Mary Burgoon
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 10, 2012

AC current displays, low cost, visual current indicators

The CurrentMark Series by CR Magnetics are designed to provide indications and measurement of electrical current flow and come in three models with different types of visual indicators.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 4, 2012

New controller supports Visual Studio .Net programming

Advantech launches a RISC-based controller designed for easy user program development.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 4, 2012

Advances in direct-drive rotary servos

Inside machines: In performance and market growth, direct-drive servo motors are outpacing conventional servo motors and gear motors. Advanced designs and new technologies can add efficiency.

By Dan Jones, Muhammad Mubeen
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 29, 2012

Industrial permanent magnet motors, and DC motor lines expanded

Baldor has expanded its permanent magnet and wound field industrial DC motors.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 24, 2012

Technologies inside: Gigabit Ethernet, PLC, servos, drives for new packaging machine

Newly designed VC999 thermoformer packaging machine uses a Gigabit Ethernet bus network, CC-Link and Mitsubishi L Series PLC, servo motors and drives, and I/O modules.

By Terry Carson
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 24, 2012

Gigabit Ethernet used in new packaging machine

Case study: Newly designed thermoformer packaging machine with programmable logic controller, servo motors and drives, and I/O modules uses a Gigabit Ethernet bus network.

By Terry Carson
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 22, 2012

Drives optimize energy efficiency, reduce control room, panel space, cooling costs

Up to 68% smaller than previous generation drives, compact D-frame drives from Danfoss VLT Drives are optimized to deliver highly reliable performance in the 125 – 450 HP range while exhausting 90% of the drive-generated heat outside the enclosure via the backchannel.

By Source: Danfoss VLT Drives
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 16, 2012

Integrated motion control programming software

B&R’s Automation Studio software programming environment integrates motion programming within the B&R Generic Motion Control platform.

By Robert Muehlfellner
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 6, 2012

Stepper drive for motion controller

DMC-30016 1-axis motion controller by Galil Motion Control has been packaged with a 1.4A/phase stepper drive in a single package.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 3, 2012

Integrated programming environment includes drive programming software

The most significant improvement to drive programming is the move to centralized programming platforms that cover an entire automated system rather than learning separate programming software only for drive programming.

By Matt Lecheler
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 2, 2012

Drive programming software is an integrated programming environment

The most significant improvement to drive programming is the move to centralized programming platforms, such as TwinCAT 3 from Beckhoff Automation, which allows users to program an entire automated system rather than having to learn separate programming software only for drive programming. One-cable motors and drives further simplify installation.

By Matt Lecheler
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 30, 2012

Adaptive tools, engineering can reduce drive system energy consumption

Tricks and Tips: Design tools and electric drive components can reduce energy use and pollution, conserve resources, and lower energy costs without sacrificing productivity. Overall cost effectiveness of the drive system should be assessed as part of a lifecycle costs (LCC) analysis.

By Mariusz Jamroz, Lenze Americas
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 27, 2012

EtherCAT box for incremental encoder connection

Beckhoff Automation's I/O module synchronously reads encoder values via high-precision EtherCAT Distributed Clocks.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 26, 2012

Spinning into New Green Power Sources

Generator types: Generators have taken on a new importance in this era of brownouts, blackouts, and energy shortages. New wind and solar renewable energy sources have emerged as major sources of local and grid electrical power, and direct-drive generators using permanent magnets are helping, along with advanced power electronics.

By Dan Jones
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 19, 2012

Use intelligent servo drives to filter mechanical resonance

Inside Machines: Learn how to control machine resonance—the “white noise” generated by machine motion—in servo-driven printing and converting machines. Intelligent servo drives provide advanced programming tools, diagnostic features, and integrated filtering capabilities to combat mechanical resonance.

By Brian Schmidt, Bosch Rexroth
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 18, 2012

CC Link option for field inverter

The FR-A700 inverter by Mitsubishi Electric has added a CC-Link IE Field option card that controls remote I/O and read/write functionality up to one Gbps using the industrial Ethernet protocol.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 17, 2012

CNC software tools for job shops

IMTS 2012: The Sinumerik 828D Basix T (turning) and Basic M (milling) by Siemens are designed to enhance job shop performance.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 17, 2012

Energy-Saving Drive Solutions

Industrial Energy Management: Intelligent concepts cut costs and protect the environment while saving energy; high-efficiency energy conversion and recovery of braking energy also can help.

By Mariusz Jamroz
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 17, 2012

Multi-operation machine tool control

IMTS 2012: Heidenhain's TNC 640 control is designed for machine tools capable of multi-operation machining.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 17, 2012

CNC productivity innovations, handheld unit

IMTS 2012: Fanuc FA America's CNC productivity innovations including enhancements to the Series 30-i Model B CNC and a handheld CNC operator unit.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 12, 2012

Real-time diagnostics system for micromilling

Control Engineering International: Tool condition monitoring is important for quality of micromilling processes and can be improved with a real-time diagnostics system. Diagnostic signals selection, tool wear inspection algorithm, and proper measuring system selection all help. Testing and validation were completed in operating conditions.

By Bogdan Broel-Plater, Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, Paweł Waszczuk
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 11, 2012

Optical UHV encoder

IMTS 2012: Resolute UHV from Renishaw are ultra-high vacuums that offer true-absolute position feedback and sub-micron accuracy for semiconductor and scientific applications that require vacuum compatibility.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 11, 2012

Profiler sets metal removal rate record

MAG's XTi profiler, which uses five spindle motors capable of 3500 rpm, demonstrated a 90-cubic-inch-per-minute metal removal rate (MRR) of titanium. They will be used by ADI for multi-part production of titanium components for aircraft.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 29, 2012

Automatic guided vehicles

Industry sales projections for 2012 remain strong, bolstered by key selling points such as flexibility, versatility, and evolutionary advances in controls.

By AGVS, MHIA
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 26, 2012

Photoelectric sensors have high-function reserve, rugged housing

The BOS 18M photoelectric sensors from Balluff have exact switching response and use LED technology that allow the sensors to be used in indoor settings or in daylight.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 20, 2012

Gearbox and gear motors market faces challenges in Europe

Analysis from Frost and Sullivan that the gearbox and gear motors market, while growing at a steady pace in Europe, is challenged by recession there and by competition from other markets.

By Frost and Sullivan
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 13, 2012

Servo, drive, motion controller

Product Exclusive: Mitsubishi Electric’s new MR-J4 Series Servo and Motion Controller boosts productivity with speed, safety, and performance.

By Source: Mitsubishi Electric
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 12, 2012

Challenges of Motor Selection and Sizing

The range of sizes, types, and configurations of electric motors can seem endless. Here are a few ideas for navigating the choices.

By Jack Smith
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 5, 2012

Patent for CNC adaptive control system

Fanuc Factory Automation America (Fanuc FA America) received a patent for developing on-demand integrated adaptive control for their CNC control system.

By Chris Vavra
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2012

High pressure inductive analog sensor

Balluff's analog sensor is rated up to 500 bar and is IP68 rated and is designed for application that involve control and service measurements of valves and position monitoring.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 24, 2012

Monitor machine conditions

Control Engineering International: Machine condition monitoring can be integrated within digital control of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM).

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, Paweł Waszczuk
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 21, 2012

Bionic grippers for automation

The NanoForceGripper by Festo is modeled off of the gecko and birds to improve accuracy and durability for better robotic product or part handling.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 16, 2012

Efficiency needs a system approach, depends on individual applications

Energy-efficient motion control: To identify the most energy-efficient pneumatic and electric automation, a technology-neutral comparison is required. After considering different alternatives, a German automotive components supplier adopted a ready-to-install energy-efficient handling system.

By Christopher Haug
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 14, 2012

Control is in the Details

Don’t underestimate how little things can affect the big picture.

By Karl Schrader
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 14, 2012

Machine tool controllers, HMIs add efficiency

Inside Machines: Human-machine interface and controller advancements enhance machine tool productivity by combining highly advanced graphics and open architecture of the CNC to render animated graphics and intuitive operator and programming interface. See examples in photo gallery.

By Randy Pearson
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 6, 2012

SIL3 actuator control valves for safety instrumented systems

Midland-ACS announces that a wide range of its actuator control valve products have undergone third-party assessment to the IEC 61508 functional safety standard, and are now certified to support SIL 3 capability.

By Source: Wordsun
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 3, 2012

Digital servo drives for embedded applications

Servo2Go.com announces the release of the Dzralte Series of High Performance Digital Servo Drives from Advanced Motion Controls of Camarillo, CA, which are engineered to conquer the most demanding industrial applications.

By Source: Servo2Go.com
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 3, 2012

Technologies used in the Ulmer Automation application

Festo PositioningDrives engineering software helps with appropriate component selection and sizing to optimize mechanical drive and transmission components and motors and to prevent duplication of safety factors, reducing energy costs by as much as 70%.

By Christopher Haug
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 25, 2012

Machine vision: Focus on design

A well-designed machine vision system enables manufacturers to improve product quality, enhance process control, and increase manufacturing efficiency while lowering the total cost of ownership. A good machine vision design starts with selecting a motion-vision integration type, based on the machine’s automation tasks.

By Priya Ramachandran
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 19, 2012

Filling Bottles: Go with the Flowmeter

As bottle-filling machines look for greater speed and consistency, some users move from older weigh cell technology to flowmeter-based systems, but it’s a tough application.

By Tom Risser
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 19, 2012

Field wireable connectors and couplers

M8 and M12 connectors and T-couplers from AutomationDirect are designed to make patch cables in custom lengths from existing cables or bulk wire.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 17, 2012

Mobile wine bottling truck integrates controls, HMI

Application Update: Marathon Bottling and Automation, a mobile wine bottling and custom automation original equipment manufacturer, automates its new mobile wine bottling operation with an integrated PLC and HMI, requiring less configuration for 50-bottles-per-minute performance.

By Lindsay Pestilli
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 16, 2012

Pocket motion controller

The DMC-30017 motion controller combines a single-axis motion controller and a 6A microstepping drive for operating a two-phase bipolar stepper motor.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 4, 2012

Controller offers Modbus RS-485 multi-drop support

Model 5300 from Control Technology can serve as a bridge between different networking protocols.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 2, 2012

Machine-tool Energy Efficiency: Current Issues

Industrial Energy Management: A range of energy consumers, such as pneumatics, hydraulics and lubricant processing, influence a work center’s power profile.

By Chris Weber
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 31, 2012

Reconfigured ball screws move tons for politics

Nook’s reconfigured ball screws move tons in a small footprint for Democratic National Convention stage.

By Nook Industries
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 28, 2012

Study: Supply chain planning market to grow 44 percent

An ARC Advisory Group study forecasts the SCP market will grow 44 percent in the next five years thanks to the global economic recession being largely over and capital spending on information technology increasing.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 27, 2012

600V ICs for energy efficient inverter motor drive applications

International Rectifier introduces the compact IRS2334SPbF and IRS2334MPbF three-phase 600V ICs.

By International Rectifier
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 23, 2012

Technologies resolve 3 motion integration engineering deficiencies

Motion Analyzer mechatronic design software, Integrated Architecture and Logix Control Platform from Rockwell Automation, and EtherNet/IP enabled devices help resolve motion system integration challenges with mechatronics, scalability, and automation architecture.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 23, 2012

Motion system integration, 3 overlooked points

Tips and Tricks: Control Engineering asked what engineers overlook when doing motion system integration. Pay attention to mechatronics, scalability, and the advantages of using one automation architecture.

By Paul Whitney
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 23, 2012

Automated gripper set for handling and assembly systems

Parallel, three-point, radial and angle DHxS grippers from Festo are designed for handling and assembly systems and have gripping force retention and overload protection for safety.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 8, 2012

Industrial PC Serves as PLC, CNC, HMI

Inside Machines: Seal Tech’s FIP Polyurethane Dispensing Systems cost as much as $100,000 less than the competition and require 20 to 30 hours less wiring, by using industrial PCs for PLCs, CNCs, and HMIs.

By Shane Novacek
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 7, 2012

Easy Motion System Integration: Practical Strategies, Tools

Inside Machines: When designing machine motion controls, remember that motion starts at the load. Applications that guide motion system integration decisions can result in a more strategic machine design for more efficient and intuitive operation.

By Tom Jensen
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2012

Dual display sensor

The DF-G1 Expert Dual Display Fiber Amplifier by Banner Engineering is designed to detect breaks or changes in assemblies including small part and wire break detection.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 24, 2012

Automation technology to be used in infrastructure projects in South America

Metso has been awarded contracts to deliver its automation technology for a hydroelectric plant in Brazil and a dam project in Caracas, Venezuela.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 24, 2012

Rotary position sensors

The RTY Series Hall-Effect Rotary Position Series by Honeywell have flexible options for specific application needs, particularly in harsh environments.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 15, 2012

Tubing, fittings offering expanded in pneumatics line

The Nitra line by AutomationDirect has expanded its tubing and fittings offering with brass adapter fittings and plugs and polyurethane tubing, aluminum manifolds, and blowguns that are designed to meet most pneumatic applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2012

Ethernet-based servo drive for machine automation

ABB Microflex e150 servo drive is designed for the Ethernet-based machine automation market and offer encoder interfacing, motion control programming and integrated functional safety capabilities.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2012

Integrated motor communicates on EtherNet/IP systems

The MDrive integrated motor by Schneider Electric is designed for EtherNet/IP systems enables the networking of products from different manufacturers without the need for special interface adaptation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 4, 2012

Industrial networks: Free membership upgrade offered

The Mechatrolink Members Association (MMA) is offering its Regular Member package for free until March 31, 2012, which is good for an entire year thereafter, the group said.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 31, 2012

Automation, integrated options key for copper mine’s success

Comprehensive automation and power, integrated operations center help Antofagasta’s Esperanza copper mine in Chile reach peak productivity

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 27, 2012

Solar photovoltaic power plant being built at Arizona State

Arizona State agreed to build a 1-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant with Salt River Project and SunPower Corp. at the university's Polytechnic campus in Mesa, Ariz. It uses motion control technology and parabolic mirrors to maximize output.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 23, 2012

Miniature extended range proximity sensors

X-Series Pile Driver Extended Range Inductive Series by Pepperl+Fuchs are now available in 8 mm diameter models that can be used in metal-forming and welding applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 19, 2012

Motion control synchronization

Inside Machines: Simpler, more advanced, cost-effective motion control techniques hone a competitive advantage in new machine designs for Sunnen, a precision original equipment manufacturer.

By Bob Davis, Craig Nelson
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 18, 2012

Inside Machines: Upgrading Boeing 777 Wing Fastening Machine

Wing fastening machine upgrade lifts productivity for Boeing 777 factory.

By Michael Gurney
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 16, 2012

Medium voltage AC drives market in India expects strong growth

ARC Advisory Group expects the medium voltage AC drives market in India to continue to grow through 2015 thanks to increased consumer demand and India's demand-side energy management initiatives.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 14, 2012

Product Exclusive: Unified CNC user interface

Enhancements to Siemens Sinumerik Operate user interface add convenience, features.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 14, 2012

Product Exclusive: Integrated software adds machine tool productivity

Sinumerik MDynamics CNC milling and turning technology package from Siemens increases user productivity and tool speed, and improves part finish.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 13, 2012

Siemens strengthens U.S. gas turbine manufacturing

In mid-November 2011, Siemens Energy substantially increased its capacity to produce advanced gas turbines in the U.S. by officially opening a 450,000 ft2 (41,800 m2) expansion to the company’s Charlotte, N.C., facility. The state-of-the-art manufacturing center adds ability to build gas turbines, in addition to generators and steam turbines already produced there.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 12, 2012

More wind power in Texas, part of an 1 GW initiative

ABB received an order worth more than $50 million from Electric Transmission Texas LLC as a part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) program. It helps increase renewable energy in Texas by up to 18 GW, making it one of the world’s largest land-based wind initiatives.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 29, 2011

Recorder/controller maintains high-integrity data collection

Invensys’ Eurotherm nanodac links easily to enterprise-level systems while providing powerful control and data recording functions. Video: Bob Postlethwaite explains its capabilities.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 27, 2011

Asia Pacific to become largest market for industrial hydraulic components

Changes in the oil market and the European economy, coupled with economic growth, suggest Asia Pacific will be the largest market by 2014, IMS Research said.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 26, 2011

Line scan camera with near-infrared technology

The Piranha HS NIR Line Scan Camera Camera from Teledyne Dalsa has enhanced quantum efficiency in near-infrared and features time delay and integration technology.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 25, 2011

OEM Sustainability: Energy Efficiency for Machines

Purchase price of a machine accounts for just 2%-3% of its overall cost. Making intelligent choices when choosing motors can save up to 30% of energy consumption over the life of a machine.

By Ian Hitchins
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 24, 2011

Servo drive with Multi-Ethernet

With a Multi-Ethernet interface the IndraDrive Mi from Bosch Rexroth simplifies the realization of varied automation structures with one type of hardware.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 24, 2011

Photoelectric clear object detection sensor

The Q26 series is designed for testing high-speed applications where positioning and accuracy are critical.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 16, 2011

OEM Sustainability: Better design, controls make OEM greener

Original equipment manufacturer promotes green initiatives. Automation and smarter machine design help bottle packing equipment use less plastic, less heat, and produce less scrap.

By Mario Mazzotta
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 13, 2011

Integrated, open PLC and motion programming for packaging

IndraMotion for Packaging from Bosch Rexroth is designed to reduce the amount of engineering by implementing all PLC and motion programming tasks in the same same programming language.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 13, 2011

Vision and motion hardware added to controller platform

A reconfigurable Camera Link frame grabber for embedded vision and a motion module were added to the CompactRIO controller platform from National Instruments.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 12, 2011

Motion control market up 19% in 2011

A report by the Motion Control Association (MCA) indicates industry growth and recovery, but at a slower pace overall.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 12, 2011

Photoelectric sensor line has M18 housing

Wenglor photoelectric sensors are available for straight and angled reflex, retro-reflex and through beam sensors and are available in housing lengths of 35 mm and 50 mm.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 9, 2011

Company to expand production in the U.S.

Bosch Rexroth plans to double production area at their South Carolina plant. The company will invest $80 million in the site and is planning to hire approximately 160 additional associates in the next five years.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 7, 2011

Vision sensing technology in track-and-trace applications

Sensors work with control systems to follow perishable and critical products through manufacturing and distribution.

By Mark Lampert, Steve Wong
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 4, 2011

Energy management at Rockwell Automation fair

Online energy savings calculator offered for free download.

By Kevin Parker, content specialist, CFE Media
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2011

System Integration Case Study: 5,000 hp Robotic Birds

Giant dancing birds at a Singapore resort help define the limits of synchronized, large-scale motion control. Mega-scale robotic animatronics system guides two large steel crane structures, each weighing 80 tons and standing 100 ft tall. Four giant hydraulic power units, totaling nearly 5,000 hp, drive an elaborate 10-min. dance.

By Eric Tam
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2011

More than 5000 gearmotors for solar thermal plant in France

The Nord Drive System is being installed for a solar thermal plant. A total of 2,650 mirrors equipped with 5,300 gearmotors are being supplied.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 29, 2011

Machine automation controller provides motion, logic, vision

Omron Industrial Automation's Sysmac NJ-Series machine automation controller is designed to provide motion, logic, and vision on one unit to simplify use and increase efficiency.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 25, 2011

Motion controller for demanding applications

Galil Motion Control’s PCI BUS Econo Motion Controller, The DMC-1417, is designed to handle demanding applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 25, 2011

NYC Tunnel Boring

Automation Integrator Case Study: Communications network, variable frequency drives, and controllers integrate miles-long underground tunneling and motion control project.

By John F. Wozniak, Chuck Lukasik
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 23, 2011

Diagnostics for machine tool monitoring

An open modular architecture diagnostic system is designed for machine tool condition monitoring, as reported by Control Engineering Poland.

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, PhD
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 20, 2011

Metso opens new technology center in Helsinki, Finland

Metso, a valve solutions and services provider, advanced its capabilities with a new factory that increased production by 50%. Metso provides intelligent on-off and emergency shutdown (ESD) valves, real-time condition monitoring, and other technologies, especially in oil and gas, pulp and paper, refining, chemical, and petrochemical industries.

By Kasia Jakubek
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 20, 2011

Machine production set to rebound

IMS Research's report indicates machinery production revenues are expected to rebound in 2011 and continue to grow through 2014.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 18, 2011

EC: Electric Mini Slide EGSL

Motion control: The EGSL from Festo is a ball screw-based electromechanical slide used in conjunction with servo and stepper motors in precise positioning and pressing/clamping applications. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 18, 2011

EC: Smart-Encoder

Machine and embedded control – Discrete sensors: The Smart-Encoder is a new line of rotary encoders from AVG Automation’s Autotech Technologies division that are field programmable through a built-in LED display and two push-buttons, allowing for programming and adaptation to a wide variety of applications without the need for a computer, cable, or software. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 18, 2011

EC: 3200 C L-Force Controller

Machine and embedded control – PLCs: The 3200 C L-fForce Controller from Lenze combines the program logic controller, motion controller, and visualization in one compact device that simplifies engineering and extends cost savings. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 18, 2011

EC: Eaton Soft Start Controller

Motion control – Drives: The S611 soft starter from Eaton provides OEM and construction customers with an economical and feature-rich product including overload, overcurrent, phase loss, jam and stall protection, and power monitoring capabilities. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 18, 2011

EC: CRDSNU Stainless Steel Cylinder

Motion control: The CRDSNU stainless steel round pneumatic cylinder from Festo offers two unique and innovative design features that improve productivity, reduce operating costs, and extend the operating service life. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 14, 2011

New Controls Help Old Icebreakers

New crane control systems and operator interfaces improve safety, reliability, and flexibility of old ships, making them ready for new missions.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 11, 2011

Digital pressure switch, transmitters for non-flammable, non-corrosive gas applications

ProSense switch and transmitters are fitted with a two-meter cable, color LCD display, and are designed for non-flammable and non-corrosive gas applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 9, 2011

Energy-efficient sensorless motor control, variable speed motor control

Sensorless speed control motor and variable speed motor control technology are key energy-saving technologies.

By Wu Kang
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 31, 2011

EEMODS ’11—efficient motor systems conference: standards, new technologies

Energy Efficiency in Motor Driven Systems (EEMODS)—a notable international conference on electric motors, drives, and numerous related systems—drew some 150 attendees from industry, academia, government, research labs, and other service organizations to Alexandria, VA (greater Washington, D.C. area) during Sept. 12-14, 2011, to discuss, debate, and promote advances in energy-efficient technologies. This part 2 of two articles covers developments in efficiency standards and newer motor technologies.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 31, 2011

EEMODS ’11—successful 1st U.S. staging of efficient motor systems conference

The latest edition of Energy Efficiency in Motor Driven Systems (EEMODS)—a notable international conference on electric motors, drives, and associated systems—had the objective to explain and promote commercial advances of energy-efficient systems to OEMs, energy users, and other stakeholders. This part 1 of two articles covers system issues, recommendations, and a market overview of efficient motors and drives. See graphics.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 29, 2011

Modular power solutions

Molex's Brad modular power solutions features feeder circuits up to 30 A and molded drop cables for branch power distribution up to 15 A.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 27, 2011

Exoskeletal arm support reduces risk

The X-Ar is an exoskeletal arm support designed to provide additional support for difficult manual tasks.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 27, 2011

Modular IO Cuts Wiring Time 20%

RRR Development reduces machine wiring time by 20%, helps tire manufacturers decrease maintenance woes. Time to market increases, boosts sales by $2.5 million a year.

By Sandy Holden
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 24, 2011

Back to Basics: Limit switches for conveyors

Process monitoring and control improves with proper application of limit switches in conveyor applications. See diagram.

By Richard Staiert
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 21, 2011

Leader Under 40: Brady Melchior

President, Rugid Computer Inc. – BS Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 14, 2011

Pneumatic air cylinders, heavy duty

AutomationDirect Nitra D-Series pneumatic, heavy-duty air cylinders are designed for applications with abusive conditions.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 11, 2011

Accreditation for WPI, first U.S. robotics engineering undergraduate degree program

Four years after the program's launch, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) said it is the only university in the nation with bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in robotics engineering.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 4, 2011

Ultra compact I/O terminal for servo motor control

Beckhoff Automation introduced an ultra compact I/O terminal for servo motor control. The “revolutionary EL7201 Terminal permits direct connection of a servomotor and resolver to a 12 mm EtherCAT Terminal,” the company said. Five axes can be controlled in width of less than 2.5 inches.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 3, 2011

Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011: Automation products target machine builders

Automation and controls introduced and discussed at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 last week aimed to help machine builders optimize designs, become more energy efficient, and improve safety. A sampling follows with more to come.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 28, 2011

Energy efficiency: Open, modular control system cuts waste, adds throughput

Meat processor gains line flexibility with new controls, reduces scrap 10%, increases throughput 15%, and cuts troubleshooting time by 20% with anticipated 12-month return on investment.

By Gary Sherman
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 26, 2011

Disturbance-Rejection vs. Setpoint-Tracking Controllers

Designing a feedback control loop starts with understanding its objective as well as the process’s behavior.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 26, 2011

NEMA 1 inverter drives in 40 hp, 50 hp, 60 hp

Lenze SMVector NEMA 1 inverter drives ramp-up to 60 horsepower; new drives are said to be compact and cost-effective. The drives are among Lenze technologies at Pack Expo 2011, booth S5360, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 25, 2011

Control capabilities on display for machine builders

Multidisciplined control and information technology for machine builders is to be demonstrated and showcased at Pack Expo 2011.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 23, 2011

Machine safety faces paradigm shift

Time’s running out: How will your company embrace the new international standard?

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 22, 2011

Product Exclusive: New Smart encoder eases setup, eliminates part numbers

Autotech Controls Smart-Encoders, from AVG Automation, size 25 (2.5-in. dia.) and size 40 (4-in. dia.), can eliminate dozens of part numbers and speed startup with pushbutton setup and digital readout without a computer. It is a form-fit functional replacement for major brands.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 21, 2011

Wind turbine at manufacturing plant has hydraulic tip-up tower

Wago Corporation installed a Renewegy VP-20 Wind Turbine capable of generating 20 kW for its Wisconsin headquarters. Hydraulics raise and lower the tower; Wago components are used.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 21, 2011

Automated tube testing system shortens time to delivery, improves quality

Cerulean's Q-Test, the first fully automated tube testing system for laminate and plastic tubes, will allow industries such as packaging and consumer goods to reduce time to delivery, eliminate labor intensive manual testing. The machine is at Pack Expo, Sept. 26-28.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 20, 2011

Medium flow controller

Sierra Instruments expands the Smart-Trak 50 Series with its Medium Flow Controller. The controller is designed for OEMs that require higher mass flow control capability.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 17, 2011

Inside Machines: Torque production

Case notes: Robots that use motors in the joints present a motion-control challenge. Should the application produce torque using a six-step technique or sinusoidal commutation for brushless dc (BLDC) motors? See diagrams, equations.

By Dennis Nolan
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 16, 2011

Back to Basics: Motion, guidance, positioning

Setting any object in motion makes it necessary to transfer power and overcome friction. For millennia humankind has used rollers and slides; modern technologies are much better. Here’s a quick guide to types of linear guides.

By Kevin Gingerich
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 15, 2011

Pressure sensor family introduced

Balluff's BPS series of pressure sensors come with IP 67 protection and have 11 pressure range versions for monitoring in process media in factory automation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 15, 2011

Control system design contest for students

Phoenix Contact's fourth annual Nanoline Contest challenges students to design an original control system. The winning group will receive a trip to Germany.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 15, 2011

Pulse control module for time proportional output

Omega Engineering's PCM5 is designed to transmit a signal of up to 20 mA from a process/temperature controller to a time proportional output.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 14, 2011

Inside Machines: Reduce servomotor instability

Motor instability, uncontrolled and unintended motion at the motor shaft, can occur at low or high frequencies and often cause growling at higher frequencies. Effectively reduce or eliminate servo instability without increasing position errors or decreasing performance.

By Marcus Schick
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 12, 2011

Mechatronics a main focus at Pack Expo 2011

Bosch Rexroth is emphasizing automation technology to enable modular, safe and energy efficient packaging machinery at Pack Expo 2011 in Las Vegas. Technologies include open control motion software, an integrated motor/drive with Ethernet communications, and corrosion-resistant pneumatics.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 8, 2011

Dual channel brushless DC motor control

Roboteq's HBL2350 is capable of driving two brushless DC motors at 75 Amps and can accept commands from analog/pedal, R/C radio, USB or RS232 interface.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 2, 2011

Think Again: Control engineering technologies can save the world

Apply the control loop—sense, decide, actuate—to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Engineering Grand Challenges, giving the world a better, more just, future. See photos; link to related stories, videos.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 26, 2011

Linear actuators for Lockheed Martin

Exlar Corporation receives contract from Lockheed Martin to provide linear actuators for target acquisitions systems for the U.S. military.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 23, 2011

Spacecraft Technology Expo 2012

Smarter Shows Limited's Spacecraft Technology Expo will be in Los Angeles, Calif., from May 8-10, 2012, for spacecraft and space-related technologies.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 23, 2011

Mechatrolink membership continues growth

The Mechatrolink Members Association (MMA), a group of product developers that use and promote Mechatrolink, reached its 900th member. 50 firms in North America are currently members. Mechatrolink is available in RS-485 and Ethernet versions, operates at speeds up to 100 Mbps, and can support up to 62 simultaneous devices.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 22, 2011

Product Exclusive: Controller combines logic and motion

Lenze Compact 3200 C L-Force Controller combines logic and motion. It is engineered for precision robotics and packaging automation applications, using EtherCAT Ethernet protocol.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 19, 2011

26th Annual Material Handling and Logistics Conference

MHC2011, sponsered by Dematic, is scheduled for September 18-21 in Park City, Utah.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2011

CNC system used to create 9-axis rotary transfer

Italian manufacturer Sinico used NUM's CNC system to develop the 9-axis rotary for manufacturing volume batches from metal bars and tubes.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 12, 2011

Wind turbine gear production accelerated by refurbishing gear shaper

Linear actuator reportedly enables gear profile changeovers in minutes instead of hours, speeding wind-turbine gear production.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 10, 2011

Many participants in wind power technology

Wind power suppliers: There is a large community of manufacturers and developers whose scope of supply ranges from complete wind turbine systems to hardware and software components and to numerous auxiliary subsystems that make up a wind farm. See list, photos, links.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 8, 2011

RS-232 to USB thumb drive data collector can log production data

Serial data collector from Brigantine Electronics can replace many types of devices.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2011

Digital pressure gauge, range up to 10,000 PSI

Mico's new digital pressure gauge is reportedly designed with a pressure range of up to 10,000 PSI and is to be used in measuring hydraulic and vacuum pressures.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 25, 2011

High-Efficiency gas turbines add new flexibility

Siemens’ H-class gas turbine, the largest machine of its type in production, recently broke the 60% net thermal efficiency barrier in combined-cycle (CC) operation. Other gas turbine makers with efficient machines also are exploiting design and control advances in CC power plant applications—and in evolving hybrid CC plants that incorporate renewable energy.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 23, 2011

Variable frequency drive for ultra high-speed motors, spindles

Amtech Drives Eazy Series Variable Frequency Drive system is designed to manage electrical currents for high-speed motors and spindles.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 22, 2011

Inside Machines: Winding Technology in the Drive

Winder applications that can be integrated into drive systems by setting parameters, rather than configuring and programming, provide an advantage. See photo, diagrams, table.

By Alexander Schaedlich, William Gilbert
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 14, 2011

When buying a CNC, what should I consider?

If I'm buying a new machine with CNC controls or retrofitting an old one, what are some questions I should ask prospective vendors? See our advice and leave your own tips.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 13, 2011

Linear shaft motor stage offers nanoprecision

Nippon Pulse America released their SCR100 stage, which has a coreless direct drive motor, which allows for higher accuracy and precision.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 13, 2011

Computer Numerical Control: CNC Faceoff

When choosing computer numerical control (CNC) technologies for new or retrofit machinery, use this checklist to help compare capabilities. Look for faster program processing, easier integration and use, and customization capabilities. See checklist, related article links. Engineering interaction: Leave your advice.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 11, 2011

Frequency inverter drive for decentralized applications, integrated positioning

Lenze Americas Plug and Drive 8400 protec frequency inverter drive is said to be quick to commission in demanding applications in the automotive, logistics, and printing industrial applications.

By BY: Lenze Americas
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 8, 2011

Benefits the Space Shuttle Era

What are some of the more earthly benefits that have come out of the space program?

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 7, 2011

Tiny piezoelectric accelerometer

Meggitt's Endevco model 25A, the smallest Isotron piezoelectric accelerometer is designed for very small structures and other objects. With a total weight of just 0.2 gram, the lightweight design effectively reduces unwanted mass loading effects.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 6, 2011

Spring applied brakes for servo, stepper motors

Inertia Dynamics released new reverse mounted spring applied brakes to help with demanding motor-braking situations.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 5, 2011

Inverters feature high dynamic performance, efficiency for motion control

Lenze Americas’ high efficiency, dynamic performance 8400 inverter series boosts motion control and logistics automation control productivity.

By SOURCE: Lenze Americas
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 5, 2011

Two variable speed drives add efficiency to pumps, fans

Schneider Electric Altivar line adds two new models of variable speed drive (VSD) designed to make pumps and fans more energy efficient.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2011

Intelligent linear and rotary motion in one actuator

Wittenstein’s ternary actuator offers an all-in-one system with controller, motor, amplifier, and drive.

By SOURCE: Wittenstein
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 29, 2011

Moog acquires Animatics

Moog, a motion-control company, acquired Animatics, advances smart motor capabilities.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 28, 2011

CNC outlook: making tracks in midrange products

Easier CNC programming is creating growth in midrange computer numerical control products, said Siemens Industry. Advanced features, once available for high-end CNC tools used for aerospace, automotive, and medical applications, provide competitive advantage to a wider range of machine tools.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 26, 2011

Application: Unusual CNC Design

Milling center has highly dynamic 3-axis processing with exceptional stability, high energy, efficiency, and compact dimensions, using industrial PC (IPC) and industrial Ethernet automation technologies.

By Mark Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 25, 2011

CNCs: Faster processing, easier integration, customization

Key Siemens developments in computer-numerical control (CNC) for machines include faster 5-axis machining, CAM integration, customizable kernel, CNC volumetric error compensation, and better integration.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 21, 2011

Smartmotor design fits numerous applications, uses

Animatics' new smartmotor is designed to bring integrated benefits in harsh environments. It is rated IP65 with optional IP67 protection.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 15, 2011

Stainless steel enclosures in enhanced 316 Grade material

Hammond Manufacturing upgrades enclosure materials to improve corrosion resistance and durability in aggressive chemical environments.

Mechatronics and Motion Control June 8, 2011

Robotic legs, motion control: Advances exceed some human capabilities

Smart prosthetics, including robotic replacements for human legs, meet and exceed some human capabilities, and advanced sensor developments will soon close the control loop between humans and robotic limbs, said Dr. Hugh Herr, biomechatronics researcher and professor, MIT Media Lab. See photos. Link to video.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 7, 2011

Absolute fiber optic position sensor provides EMI immunity

Micronor MR330 series FOP sensor is an all-optical design immune to harsh environmental conditions.

By SOURCE: Micronor
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 2, 2011

Choosing the right motion control architecture

Building a controller has never been easier—or more confusing. This tutorial guide can help determine which motion control architecture to use. See tables, diagrams, and link to video.

By Chuck Lewin
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 24, 2011

Explosion-proof motors for extreme applications

Siemens Industry’s toughest line of hazardous duty motors feature NEMA Premium logos and are available from 1 to 300 hp.

By SOURCE: Siemens Industry
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 24, 2011

Shorten development cycles and lower overall electric vehicle life costs

Compact, high quality and easy-to-integrate controllers deliver unparalleled reliability and performance to minimize total cost of ownership in vehicle applications.

By SOURCE: Kollmorgen
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 24, 2011

Advanced system diagnostics via the web

B and R Automation has added a range of new diagnostic functions to its System Diagnostics Manager.

By SOURCE: B and R Industrial Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 23, 2011

E-stop switches for automation and specialty machines

Elobau Sensor Technology Inc. offers a line of e-stop switches for the automation and specialty machine market.

By SOURCE: Elobau
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 19, 2011

Minarik Corporation acquires Automation Technology

Minarik Corporation has acquired Automation Technology, increasing Minarik's motion control expertise in Intermountain and Pacific Northwest regions.

By SOURCE: Kaman Corporation
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 13, 2011

ISA88 Part 5 draft: Command, control, status, and functional strategy

We're seeking input on possible language in ISA88 Part 5 draft standard. Figures 6-12 follow, on functional strategy, and other concepts. Please provide comments to ensure the standard is understandable, appropriate, and useful across industries and areas of control, machine control, batch control, and continuous control, as well as flexible and scalable, across hybrid applications. See diagrams. Leave your comments.

By David Chappell
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 10, 2011

Power module enhancements make energy monitoring simpler

New Opto 22 Snap I/O Modules offer greater connectivity, easier scaling and improved 3-phase power monitoring and management, said Opto 22.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 9, 2011

Quick release mechanism protects against vibration shakeout

Speed Connect from Siemens Industry Inc. protects against vibration shakeout on its Motion-Connect line of power and signal cables.

Mechatronics and Motion Control May 7, 2011

Modular solenoid valves join pneumatics product line

AutomationDirect Nitra pneumatic BVS series modular solenoid valves are body ported, three-port (three-way), two-position poppet valves available in normally-open or normally-closed configurations.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 29, 2011

8-bit low-power microcontrollers

Microchip Low-Cost 8-bit PIC Microcontrollers have eXtreme Low Power Technology and Integrated LCD Control. MCUs enable low-cost LCD control with low-power capabilities.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 12, 2011

Michael Babb, long-time Control Engineering editor, dies

Michael P. Babb passed away April 6, 2011, after a short illness. Babb began his editorial career with Control Engineering in 1985. Babb was recognized globally for 26 years of writing and editing about automation and control systems. Leave a remembrance of Mike, if you'd like, using the link below.

By Mark T. Hoske, Frank Bartos, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 11, 2011

Can I leave a memory about Michael Babb?

Leave a memory below about Michael Babb, former editor of Control Engineering and Control Engineering Europe. Link to additional information about Babb, who passed away April 6, 2011.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 6, 2011

Powerful transfer switch control

Russelectric RTS Series 30-cycle-rated and 3-cycle-rated automatic transfer switches have the company’s new RPTCS microprocessor automatic transfer control system for the emergency/backup power industry. Systems are programmed at the factory to include customer options.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2011

CNC standard package for machine tool manufacturing

Software package makes it possible to shorten development times, quickly implement automation processes.

By SOURCE: B and R Industrial Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 31, 2011

Motor encoding systems have 3-channel reflective encoders

Avago Technologies’ 3.95 mm by 3.4 mm, integrated modules feature built-in interpolator for high-resolution motion feedback in commercial, industrial applications.

By SOURCE: Avago
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 30, 2011

HMI operator panel uses CANopen interface

IP65-rated operator panel from Baldor Electric suited for intelligent drives and multi-axis controllers

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 28, 2011

Product development services company recently launched

MB Pulizzi provides new product development engineering services to the data center, medical, military, aerospace, government, financial, and other industries where only a custom design will fulfill requirements.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 27, 2011

USB interfaced I/O card for downloading configuration options

Mesa's 7I61 is a USB interfaced version of the FPGA based Anything I/O card series. It provides 96 I/O bits of easy to access programmable user I/O.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 24, 2011

Worm gear screw jack systems provide environmental efficiencies for solar applications

Nook expands line of screw jack systems to provide linear actuation with less electricity consumption, no hazardous materials, fewer necessary accessories.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2011

Mbed racing robots featured at National Electronics Week

Mbed racing robots will be one of the highlights at the National Electronics Week exhibition, a showcase of cutting-edge technology that is both fun, educational.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 18, 2011

Coordinated Variable-Speed System Drives

A paper machine example illustrates that large electric drive systems have special requirements, for example, special inverter packaging with a separated dc converter to save space and cost, and provide the best reliability.

By Paul Blaiklock, TMEIC GE
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 15, 2011

4-axis 750 W servo drive for Ethernet motion controllers

Galil adds to multi-axis drive family, the packaging of multio-axis drives with motion controllers saves cost, space, wiring.

By SOURCE: Galil Motion Control Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 10, 2011

Getting money back for efficiency

Aren't there tax credits and rebates if I find ways to save energy? How do I apply?

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 10, 2011

Yaskawa names Ogawa as CEO; Kudo retired

Masahiro Ogawa has been named Chief Executive Officer of Yaskawa America Inc. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Ill. Ogawa replaces Gen Kudo who retired.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 9, 2011

Advanced hydraulic controls save 40 percent in fuel: Excavator at IFPE 2011

The Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) will highlight the center’s booth with a high efficiency excavator developed at Purdue University. Advanced controls result in 40% fuel savings.

By Source: CCEFP, Purdue University
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 9, 2011

Rotary inductive sensor has 360-degree angular measurement for outdoor applications

Turck’s inductive analog sensors provide 360-degree angular measurement by using resistance inductive capacitance measuring technology.

By Source: Turck
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 7, 2011

Rapid design, prototyping of PID controllers

Computer models can simulate processes, allowing you to design and refine PID controller action before it is implemented and deployed.

By Arkadiy Turevskiy, Brian McKay, Doug Eastman, Paul Lambrechts; MathWorks
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 28, 2011

SMMA Management for Motion Control Conference

Motor and Motion Association’s Management Conference brings motion control exhibits, meetings, information to industry professionals.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2011

Honorable mentions for 2011 Engineers’ Choice Awards

HONORABLE MENTIONS - click on the link for each product to learn more.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 22, 2011

Linear motion control system helps Biotech Lab robot

The RoToR by Baldor Electric allowed Singer Instruments’ innovate biotech laboratory robot for pinning arrays of cells, more than 200,000 cell samples per hour.

By SOURCE: Baldor Electric Co.
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 18, 2011

Which Industry will Fuel the Chinese Motion Controls Market?

IMS Research report sees high demand for motion control products used in end-equipments, machinery in Chinese GMC market

By Source: IMS Research
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 17, 2011

Gray Backgrounds for DCS Operating Displays?

With all the sophisticated and cool graphic capabilities available today, why does the ASM Consortium recommend such muted and boring colors? The answer involves the human factors behind the selections.

By Peter Bullemer, Dal Vernon Reising, and Jason Laberge, ASM Consortium
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 16, 2011

Multi-axis conformal coating machine handles high volume throughput

Baldor Ethernet-compatible Powerlink servos simplify machine build in small packages.

By Baldor Electric Company
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 16, 2011

Feedback: Advanced motor designs, gain scheduling

Readers provide feedback on Control Engineering articles on advance motor designs and on gain scheduling. See links, comments, below.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 9, 2011

Advanced motor design: New Motors Reach New Applications

Permanent magnets, axial, transverse, and radial flux designs optimize torque, power, efficiency, size, weight, and other motor performance parameters, as explained in this February Control Engineering feature article. Reader feedback added below on Feb. 16.

By Dan Jones, Incremotion Associates
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 3, 2011

Retrofit brings old floor-type mill up to modern standards

NUM’s CNC technology helps bring an old-floor type horizontal boring mill up to state-of-the-art standards, areas improved include programming software, motion control system.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 27, 2011

Rotary actuators with class I, division 2 option for hazardous locations

Exlar features rotary actuators with Class I, division 2 certification, suited for operating quarter turn, multi turn valves.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 21, 2011

Video helps with servo motor tuning

Viewers now can learn to use the Galil Motion Control GalilTools scope to help tune a servo motor. View and measure the system step response and adjust the PID tuning parameters until optimum performance is observed.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 20, 2011

Revised ISA88 Part 5 draft definitions

ISA88 Part 5 draft definitions have been revised using input from comments. Automation object, control strategy, device, and engineered control component are among the terms. See below.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 12, 2011

VME module intended for industrial control loop applications

The V220 from Highland Technology features 12 fully isolated channels, is capable of sourcing and measuring voltage and current, and is intended for use in 4-20 mA industrial control loop applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 11, 2011

Top 20 Control Engineering articles of 2010 at www.controleng.com

Link to the most-read Control Engineering articles of 2010 at www.controleng.com. Energy-efficient motor technology topics, pushed by a Dec. 19 regulatory deadline and increased sustainable engineering efforts, ranked very high. Also very popular were industrial communications technologies, wireless and Ethernet, various Tips and Tricks tutorial-type advice, as well as awards recognition. This was the topic of the January 2010 Think Again column.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 8, 2011

Servo drive: cost-effective, easy to use for motion control applications

Allen-Bradley Kinetix 3 component servo drive from Rockwell Automation provides a solution for machines requiring less than 1.5 kW, up to 12.55 N-, of instantaneous torque.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 30, 2010

Motion controller can rejuvenate your machine

Add productivity to your hydraulic machine with a new motion controller. Adding an electro-hydraulic motion controller can increase machine productivity. PLCs typically do not have instruction sets that are tailored for this function, and machine scan times can vary from scan to scan, making it difficult to deal precisely with feedback information. Old machine can add new life with a motion controller retrofit. See more photos and motion control diagram.

By Perry Yoder, Oilquip Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 29, 2010

Circuit breaker enhancements promote safety, protect equipment

Eaton Corporation expanded circuit breaker capabilities to offer enhanced ground fault protection and non-fused current limiting breaker modules for the Series G circuit breakers.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 28, 2010

Serial synchronous interface module for motion control, position sensing applications

Opto 22 Snap-SCM-SSI serial module offers a communications interface between digital encoders and Snap PAC System I/P processors or programmable automation controllers; designed for use in motion control and other tracking and identifying applications.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 23, 2010

Precision planetary gears added to stepper motors line

The addition of precision planetary gears to B&R’s line of synchronous and stepper motors results in an economical drive program suited for all industrial fields, meeting individual needs.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 20, 2010

Motion software upgrade analyzes, optimizes motion control systems

The Motion Analyzer 5.000 is part of a set of Rockwell Automation mechatronic design tools intended to provide mechanical, electrical and controls engineers the ability to collaborate to digitally prototype machines. Upgrade includes user interface, Profile Editor, selection assistants.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 17, 2010

Spindle motors for heavy-duty machine tool, motion control applications

Siemens Industry’s 1PH8 family of high-performance induction motor drives and servomotors provide dynamic response, smooth operation and low vibration levels

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 7, 2010

Soft start/soft stop motor controller

New Enclosed Altistart 22 soft start/soft stop motor controller by Schneider Electric offers advanced performance and reliability in a packaged starter.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 7, 2010

Software connectivity boosts sales, adds product flexibility

Embedding enhanced communications software capability into its machinery helped a precision press manufacturer improve its product and its sales, giving its servo systems the ability to connect with customers’ components regardless of the protocols being used.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 30, 2010

ABB to acquire Baldor Electric Co. in a $4.2 billion transaction

ABB and Baldor announce a recommended offer for ABB to acquire Baldor for $63.50 per share, an overall transaction value of $4.2 billion, including net debt of $1.1 billion. (See photos and links to additional analysis at bottom of story.) The move, the companies said, is in line with ABB’s strategy to lead the multibillion dollar North American industrial motors business and be a global leader for movement and control in industrial applications (industrial motion).

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 20, 2010

High-inertia servomotors for high, variable loads

Siemens Industry Inc. 1FK7 servomotor provides highly robust control response suitable for high- and variable-load inertia applications, such as feed and auxiliary axes on machine tools, and winders and unwinders on converting, packaging and printing equipment.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 19, 2010

Mechatronics: Trajectory planning with electronic cams

Is the mechanical engineer or the electrical engineer most responsible for understanding motion? Electronic cams can help mechatronic designs.

By Kevin C. Craig
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 17, 2010

Differential pressure switch with low range

High-precision device from United Electric Controls covers 0 to 140 in. water, serving as gage and switch.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 15, 2010

Sundeep Chandhoke, among Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 for 2010

Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Sundeep Chandhoke...

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 11, 2010

IR sensor for packaging coated products

The Reflectance Infrared Spectrometer from Honeywell uses proprietary array detector technology, designed to help reduce defects and amount of raw materials used.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 10, 2010

OMAC’s PackML – A butter knife or a real tool?

ISA88 Part 5 draft Make2Pack standard is the next logical progression, extending the usefulness of the PackML Version TR02 technical report, aiming to get more efficiency throughout continuous, batch, and machine control applications, from the process through packaging.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 5, 2010

Pack Expo: Process to packaging control capabilities expand

At Pack Expo International 2010, Rockwell Automation offers control capabilities to help improve machine performance, flexibility, and longevity.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 5, 2010

Explosion-proof linear actuators for demanding environments

Exlar’s linear actuator line has been expanded to include the EL100 explosion-proof linear actuators, rated for Class I, Div 1, Groups B, C, D and T3 hazardous environments.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 4, 2010

Cable assembly for applications with limited space

Harting has increased the extensive product portfolio with the new High Density D-Sub 44 pole over moulded cable assembly, suited for use in cabinets and control units.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2010

Control Engineering-Engineers’ Choice nominees, 2011

Nominations are closed for the 2011 Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards. Nominees follow, by category. Subscribers may now vote once per ballot if they meet the appropriate criteria ...

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

Control Systems, HMI Change Management, Security

Change management and security concerns have increased as human-machine interfaces have become more open and expose process data and metadata. Security precautions need to provide selective availability to control functions. Standards such as OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) can help off-the-shelf products be flexible and reusable, even in demanding applications.

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz and Mariusz Postol
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

EC: ISaGRAF 6

Software - application software: ISaGRAF 6, Modular and flexible automation IDE. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

EC: Raytek MI3 Infrared Sensor

Process sensors, other: Raytek Corporation MI3 Infrared Sensor. The Raytek MI3 is a powerful two-piece infrared temperature measurement system with miniature sensing head and separate communications electronics. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

EC: eATM tManager Appliance Transaction Module

Network Integration - data acquisition, integration - Online Development Inc. eATM tManager Appliance Transaction Module - Simplifies the exchange of data between controllers and enterprise and plant computers. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

EC: Allen-Bradley Kinetix 3 component servo drive

Motion Control - servo drives - Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley Kinetix 3 component servo drive. The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 3 component servo drive from Rockwell Automation provides machine builders the ability to better match the needs of manufacturers without the complexity of traditional servo solutions. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

EC: PACMotion

Motion Control - servo drives - GE Intelligent Platforms PACMotion GE Intelligent Platforms motion controller can control up to 40 axes of synchronized motion at extremely fast loop rates. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

EC: Gold Whistle Intelligent Servo Drive

Motion Control - servo drives - Gold Whistle Intelligent Servo Drive from Elmo Motion Control. The Gold Whistle is an Intelligent Digital Servo Drive using the latest technology and offering the highest performance motion and network communication architecture to run Brush & Brushless Rotary and Linear Motors. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2010

EC: DMC-41X3

Motion Control - drives: Galil Motion Control Inc., DMC-41X3. Multi-axes Ethernet-based programmable motion controller. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 29, 2010

DC electric motors with Hall sensors

Bosch i-Business Group explores new uses for Bosch DC electric motors with hall sensors in industrial, medical, and commercial applications that require precise control of motor speed or positioning mechanisms.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 25, 2010

Comment on ISA88 Part 5 Draft definitions: Automation object, AO functional manager, device, others

Make2Pack ISA88 Part 5 conference call included discussion of definitions, perhaps particularly timely since the Pack Expo 2010 (www.packexpo.com) conference is so near. We’ve had a number of discussions as this draft has progressed about terminology, especially since that the terms people use from processing and packaging automation can differ.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 22, 2010

SERCOS III planning, installation guide

The SERCOS III Planning and Installation Guide is available and intended to support engineers and electricians using industrial networks for machines and industrial systems.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 11, 2010

IMTS innovations: 6-axis servo system, micro CNC, robotic cell, machine sensors, easier programming, large servos

Diverse product introductions, targeting greater machine tool efficiency, accuracy, speed, and ease of use included 6-axis servo system, micro CNC, robotic cell, machine sensors, easier programming, large servos with peak power output as high as 530 kW (710.74 hp).

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 11, 2010

Full-function robotic finishing solution

PerfectEdge, a complete, full function robotic solution, meets the challenges of tight tolerance chamfering, deburring or finishing processes, while offering a non-touch teach method of programming.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 5, 2010

Control Engineering Applies For BPA Worldwide Business Publication Membership

Control Engineering has applied for business publication membership in BPA Worldwide. The magazine is published by CFE Media, LLC (Oak Brook, IL). Established in 1954 and formerly a member of BPA Worldwide (under Reed Business Information ownership), Control Engineering serves the engineering community providing automation, control and instrumentation information across processing, discrete and hybrid manufacturing industries.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 24, 2010

Robots look for opportunities too

Dear Control Engineering: After looking at the article on Recycling Robots, it seems the company thinks about those machines like people. Well, yes. In this particular case, Navistar found itself having to close a plant and relocate manufacturing to keep up with changes in demand. The robots had to pick up and move to where the work is just like people may have to do when circumstances change.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 20, 2010

Industrial Ethernet: SERCOS III

Specialized fieldbus systems were used for simplified networking of machine drives, I/O, PLCs and other devices, but fast Ethernet technology replaces these systems, and offers advantages. SERCOS III industrial Ethernet platform combines SERCOS I and II interfaces, optimized for high-speed motion control, with the stability, cost-effectiveness and widespread acceptance of the Ethernet physical layer. SERCOS III provides hard real-time for motion control.

By Scott Hibbard, Bosch Rexroth Corp.
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 17, 2010

Video: Mitsubishi Electric Interview at IMTS with Sloan Zupan

Sloan Zupan from Mitsubishi Electric speaks with Peter Welander about the technological advances in machining control at the International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place Convention Hall in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 16th. For more information about machine control topics, please visit the machine control channel.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 15, 2010

Greenhouse gas flow meter for process, plant flue gas applications

A mass flow meter designed to monitor greenhouse gases can help users in chemical, food processing, petroleum refining, pharmaceutical, electric power generation, and other plants be in compliance with the EPA emission requirements.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 10, 2010

Electromagnetic Linear Encoders to the Rescue

Automated motion control beyond traditional robotic applications requires non-traditional linear encoders. Electromagnetic encoders are the answer. Control Engineering feature article; see diagrams.

By C.G. Masi for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 9, 2010

Motion controller with Ethernet, takes encoder inputs up to 15 MHz

Enhancements to this motion controller, the latest product in a series, includes Ethernet 100Base-T, a USB 2.0 port, higher speed performance, larger program memory, and more. It can close a loop in 62 microseconds.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 8, 2010

CNC machines push linear encoder limits

The bleeding edge limitation for CNC accuracy and reproducibility involves thermal expansion. One solution is to provide a second, shorter, encoder axis at right angles to the main axis. Here's how.

By C.G. Masi for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 7, 2010

Global Perspective: Engineering Poland

2010 has been a promising year in Poland innovative automation that can increase productivity and flexibility, especially among smaller companies and with technical university partnerships.

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, Ph.D., and Lukasz Urbanski, MSc
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 24, 2010

Festo Codesys controller integrates drives, pneumatics, I/O

An embedded controller uses Codesys programming to integrate control of electric drives, pneumatics and I/O connections, the Festo CPX-CEC. This is a Control Engineering August 2010 North American edition Product Exclusive.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 23, 2010

Piezo motors, actuators streamline medical device performance

For the execution of precise movements with medical equipment, the latest piezoceramic motors and actuators are more compact, require lower voltage, deliver higher torque, have shorter response time, generate less heat, and are nonmagnetic and vacuum compatible, compared to conventional electromagnetic motors.

By Jim McMahon, for Physik Instrumente
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 23, 2010

Basic piezo technologies for motion control applications

The most common piezo actuators and motor types are “simple” piezo actuator, flexure-guided, piezo actuator, ultrasonic friction motors, piezo stepping motors, and Ultrasonic transducers. Different piezo actuators and motor types are available. The most common ones are:

By Jim McMahon, for Physik Instrumente
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 23, 2010

11 ways piezoelectric motors improve equipment performance

Piezoelectric Motors Help Equipment Performance: Ten reasons to consider piezoelectric motors for motion control application follow, along with one more point that many motion system or product designers might not have considered. This is an August 2010 Control Engineering Inside Machines feature article.

By Jim McMahon, for Physik Instrumente
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 18, 2010

Expansion: Motoman Robotics expands manufacturing in Ohio

Motoman SDA10D robot from Yaskawa (a dual-arm robot called “Dexter Bot”) wore a hard hat and turned the first shovel of dirt on a new 300,000 square foot state-of-the-art office and production facility, for the company's North and South American operations.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2010

Video clip: Telsa Coils, frequency conversion create music

Alternative music group ArcAttack, as seen on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, uses Tesla Coils to make music.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 6, 2010

NIWeek: New high-performance servo drives, motors, use Ethernet

New products provide distributed motion solutions with EtherCAT technology and the NI LabVIEW 2010 NI SoftMotion Module. The products are designed so engineers and scientists can more easily build scalable, distributed motion control systems. They are said simplify setup and configuration for deploying custom motion applications to any NI real-time controller supporting NI EtherCAT technology, including NI CompactRIO, PXI real-time controllers and NI industrial controllers,

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 29, 2010

Premier Automation: 2010 Control Panel Contest Finalist

Control Engineering 2010 Control Panel Design Contest Tutorial Video Finalist: The Art of Panel Building at Premier Automation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 29, 2010

Panel Design by Concept Systems: 2010 Control Panel Contest Finalist

Teamwork in panel design is key to compete and exceed customers' expectation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 29, 2010

Specialty Tooling Inc.: 2010 Control Panel Contest Winner

With integrated motion, logic, control and Safety-On-Board drive technology, Specialty Tooling's control cabinet design is 25% smaller with 35% less wiring costs and 15% higher machine productivity.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 23, 2010

Control Engineering job satisfaction poll results: Feeling of accomplishment

Most important factors adding to job satisfaction were "feeling of accomplishment" and "technical challenge," according to an April poll of visitors to the Control Engineering web site.

Mechatronics and Motion Control July 13, 2010

Variable frequency drives: Mitsubishi Electric Automation enhances F700-NA Series VFDs

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc. released a version upgrade for the F700 VFD Series variable frequency drives. The new version incorporates many new features and functions tailored to meet the requirements of the Water Handling Industry and a new level of flexibility for application specific requirements, Mitsubishi says.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 30, 2010

CFE Media acquires Control Engineering, Consulting-Specifying Engineer and Plant Engineering from Reed Business Information

CFE Media LLC announced on April 30, 2010, the acquisition of the Control Engineering, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, and Plant Engineering publishing assets from Reed Business Information. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 15, 2010

Chip-level motor, motion control vendors

Motor control and motion control have similarities and different objectives; motor control typically needs less precise regulation of speed and torque than motion control. See suppliers.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 8, 2010

Motion control: Packaging machine builder saves with servo system, controls upgrade

Siemens Simotion Shaftless Drive Standard software helps machine builder gain 50% savings on components and 30% savings on control cabinet footprint with comparable performance.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 7, 2010

Instrumentation: Extech clamp meter transmits readings to Flir IR cameras

Separately, Flir Motion Control Systems delivers new pan-tilt solutions.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 7, 2010

High-torque gearhead provides longer life, higher performance

Bodine Electric gearhead offered with new 3-wire-reversible 34R frame ac induction motor.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

Control Engineering North American edition, April 2010

Click on the cover image to see the table of contents, including the salary survey cover story.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

Mitsubishi Electric L Series PLC

Mitsubishi Electric L Series programmable logic controller (PLC) is the company’s newest generation of industrial control, combining advanced networking with motion and sequence control. This is an April 2010 North American edition Product Exclusive.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

New Porsche Hybrid: Two 60 kW motors, no batteries

Porsche racing hybrid technology used in its new 911 GT3 R Hybrid uses electrical front axle drive with two electric motors creating 60 kW. Each motor supplements the 480-bhp four-liter flat-six cylinder engine at the rear of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. Uncommon features of this hybrid vehicle, include: The car will be tested in long-distance races on the Nürburgring.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

Customer-driven quality

Global Perspectives: Mitsubishi Electric's reputation for quality is largely directed by customer requirements. Customer visits to the company's Tokyo headquarters and Nagoya Works facilities foster the two-way communication necessary for maintaining high quality levels.

By David Greenfield, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

Sensorless Control of a Brushless DC Motor

Digital signal controllers make it possible to meet motor torque and speed demands without employing rotor position sensors.

By Daniel Torres, Microchip Technology Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

CNC machine gets integrated drive system

Machine builder sought lower stonecutting machine component costs, reduced footprint and build time, and improved performance. AIM Inc. gained those and other benefits by installing a new drive and control system.

By Earl Scruggs, Bosch Rexroth
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

2-axis motion control card

Industrial Automation Group of Advantech introduces the PCI-1220U, a 2-axis motion control card for stepping and pulse-type servo motors. Hardware controlled linear and circular axis interpolation ensures synchronized movement across both axes, without consuming the PC’s CPU. Other features include programmable T/S-curve acceleration/deceleration rates, constant speed control and more.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

Proximity sensors for high-temperature applications

For sensing applications in temperatures ranging from -25 to 180 °C (-13 to 355 °F), Baumer has introduced its new IFRH Series of inductive high-temperature sensors. This family of two-part proximity switches is available in M8, M12, and M18 designs with chromium nickel steel housings. The IP67-rated IFRH sensors are intended for flush-face installation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

Controller programmable in ladder logic with function block

Divelbiss Corp. announces availability of Micro Bear, an OEM controller programmable in Ladder Logic with Function Block. With a mounting footprint smaller than a 3 x 5 in. file card, the controller is a small yet versatile logic controller. Based on patented PLC on a Chip technology, it is easy to apply and program in ladder logic with function block using related Divelbiss PC based software.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

ABB robots take the stage with Bon Jovi

A primary component of this Bon Jovi concert tour is five ABB IRB 7600 industrial robots positioned toward the back of the stage, each with a 6 ft x 9 ft LED video panel attached to their articulated arm. The robots and screens are integral to the concert production, moving to the beat of the music while displaying real time video footage of the show and digital animations, according to ABB.

Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2010

FR-D700 variable frequency drive from Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Electric FR-D700 variable frequency drive allows adjustable speed control of an ac induction motor.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 31, 2010

Panasonic FP0R Series Micro PLC, Panasonic Electric Works

FP0R Series micro PLC from Panasonic Electric Works has 0.08 micro sec step processing speed and many motion functions of dedicated motion controllers.

By Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 17, 2010

Baldor delivers motor energy calculator via iPhone app

BE$T software conveniently shows potential savings when single or grouped motors are changed to energy-efficient designs.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 16, 2010

Japanese automakers establish electric car group

Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and others set up group to promote electric vehicles, charging standard.

By David Greenfield
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 12, 2010

Lexium 32 servo drive range with servo motors

Schneider Electric's Lexium 32 servo drives reduce cabinet space, simplify interoperability, and improve machine performance.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 11, 2010

2-axis motion control card for stepping, pulse-type servo motors

Advantech Universal PCI Card ensures synchronized movement across both axes, without consuming the PC's CPU.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 11, 2010

Roboticists saved from integration workload

Maxon partnership with National Instruments results in easier robot development, ViNI robotics platform.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 11, 2010

Siemens low vibration motor exceeds IEEE STD 841-2009

Siemens Industry Inc. has introduced a new design concept for the low vibration version of its rugged SD100 IEEE841 motor. The frame, bearing housings, stator and rotor employ the company's most technologically advanced designs to surpass the vibration requirements of the IEEE Std 841-2009.  Separately, Siemens 1FK7 servomotors are now available in three weeks.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 9, 2010

SR motor anatomy: See inside switched reluctance motors

Simple electromechanical structure of switched reluctance (SR) motors offers benefits of robustness and reliability by eliminating permanent magnets, rotor bars, and more - tutorial.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 8, 2010

Porsche unveils 918 Spyder hybrid sports car concept

New concept from Porsche is an efficient, low-emission, mid-engine super sports car that features hybrid and electric drive technology.

By David Greenfield
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 6, 2010

Manufacturing/Automation Summit to tackle energy, asset management, maintenance

The 2010 Manufacturing/ Automation Summit, hosted by Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, will be March 28-30, 2010, in Chicago.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 5, 2010

Invensys Operations Management names new Wonderware integrator partners

Avanceon LP and Tegron LLC become Invensys endorsed Wonderware systems integrators.  

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 4, 2010

Four Video Media Test

Video #2 Video #3 Video #4.

By Dirk Christensen
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 4, 2010

Slim PLC from Panasonic Electric Works

Panasonic Electric Works "Slim" PLC, the FP0, starts from 10 I/O to 32 I/O and the CPU is only 25 mm wide x 90 mm high x 70 mm deep, about 1/4 the size of the traditional PLC brick style.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 2, 2010

Piher non-contacting 360° rotary position sensor: programmable, high temperature

Piher North America's new non-contacting PSC-360 programmable Hall effect magnetic sensor has a switch function not found in other 360º absolute position sensors; program it at any angle for more design flexibility.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 2, 2010

Motors shipments gain 6.1%, fourth-quarter 2009, NEMA says

NEMA's Motors Shipments Index (MSI) increased 6.1% during the fourth-quarter 2009, marking the second consecutive gain for the index.

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2010

Smart machine control creates unique sortation system

Sortation subsystem benefits from integrated automation to redefine efficiency in high-speed distribution centers.

By Jim McMahon for Dematic
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2010

Collecting Data Reports from Controllers

A tutorial on how to create a simple solution using common off-the-shelf software to solve a variety of manufacturing data collection needs.

By William Love, Kredit Automation & Controls
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2010

By the Numbers – 2010-03-01 – 2010-03-01

5 degrees of freedom positioning and inspection helps produce better sensors, cell phones. http://budurl.com/2pmy 2 energy sources: Wind creates gaseous hydrogen & oxygen from water. Hydrogen drives a generator to supplement electricity production. http://budurl.com/fjxh 4 attributes—size, speed, flexibility, and economy—make PC-based control better than PLCs for almost all appl...

Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2010

MEMS motion sensor: Bosch

Bosch Sensortec introduces the smallest BMA220 g-sensor in LGA housing. This Triaxial digital sensor reduces surface area 55% over current 3 x 3 mm LGA housings, automatically recognizes specific movements, and needs no external microcontroller for signal analysis. The company says that, at 2 x 2 mm, BMA220 is the smallest digital acceleration sensor in LGA housing in the world.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 28, 2010

Intel-led $3.5 billion Invest in America Alliance helps U.S.-based tech companies

IEEE-USA president says U.S. job growth will result from Invest in America Alliance, an Intel-led program that pledges 2 years of help, more jobs for college graduates.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 26, 2010

Rockwell Automation A-B solid-state overload relay: voltage protection, energy monitoring

Allen-Bradley Bulletin 193-EC5 E3 Plus solid-state overload relay provides enhanced motor protection and motor energy consumption information, helps users improve energy efficiency and protect electric motor investment, says Rockwell Automation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2010

Keyence IM-6000 series image dimension measurement system

Without positioning XY-Stages, instantly measure up to 99 features in seconds and create instant reports with the Keyence IM-6000 series image dimension measurement system.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 22, 2010

Carlo Gavazzi EM21 Series is a very compact 3-phase energy meter

Compact 3-phase energy meter from Carlo Gavazzi allows the user to configure the instrument for panel mounting (72 mm x 72 mm) or DIN-rail mounting, either as an energy meter or a transducer.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 17, 2010

Are you doing anything special for Engineers Week?

So have you been doing anything special this week, for National Engineers Week? Do you have anything planned? Leave a comment below.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 14, 2010

Advantech launches PoE switch with fiber connectivity

Industrial Automation Group of Advantech introduces the EKI-2525SPI, a ruggedized 4-port 10/100Base-TX Power over Ethernet (PoE) unmanaged switch with integrated 100Base-FX single-mode fiber connectivity.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 11, 2010

Video addresses common motion, I/O problems

Galil Motion Control debuts 2-minute videos for busy engineers seeking technical solutions.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 11, 2010

Sortation system benefits from smart machine control, integration

Smart system integration and machine control enable a new integrated sortation subsystem to redefine efficiency in high-speed distribution centers.

By Jim McMahon for Dematic
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 8, 2010

Cicoil cables help NASA robotic arm for Mars

Cicoil High-Flex Cables are allowing NASA to perform critical, extreme environment robotic tests, in preparation for the Mars Exploration Program.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 6, 2010

Motors & Drives: Energy savings predictor available through iTunes

Yaskawa offers variable frequency drives message through pop culture software service, Apple iTunes. The simple-to-follow, five-step savings estimator from Yaskawa Electric America helps compare VFD performance to other methods of motor volume control (based on motor output or shaft horsepower).

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 4, 2010

Thermostatic controller for thermoelectric assemblies

Microcontroller-based device from Laird Technologies adds integrated temperature control to protect assemblies.

By Peter Welander
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 2, 2010

Control Engineering Launches Engineering Education Center

Education site launches with Machine Control module. Additional modules to be launched in first quarter of 2010.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2010

Control Engineering North American edition, February 2010

Control Engineering February 1, 2010, North American edition has seven feature articles, including a cover story on PID tuning, plus applications, columns, news, products, and video links covering automation, controls, and instrumentation. Also see the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Award winners.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2010

Motion Control Winners, Engineers’ Choice Awards 2010

In discrete control, Control Engineering gave 2010 Engineers' Choice Awards for drives, motion control, and motors.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2010

Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 1756-L63XT Programmable Automation Controller

Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley ControlLogix-XT Programmable Automatic Controller (PAC) from Rockwell Automation is designed for applications requiring increased reliability in high-temperature and corrosive environments. As part of the Rockwell Automation extreme environment system, the ControlLogix-XT PAC uses the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture control engine with enhancements ...

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2010

Snap-PAC-R1-W Wired+Wireless Programmable Automation Controller

Opto 22 Opto 22 calls its Snap-PAC-R1-W Wired+Wireless Programmable Automation Controller the most powerful and versatile I/O and controller combination in Opto 22’s history. The company also claims this is the first controller in the industry to offer IEEE 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking along with standard EtherNet networking in the same package.

Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2010

Electric servo precision for tube bending

Actuated by servo motors, this new breed of CNC machines boasts as many as 15 motion axes on some models.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2010

Motor control terms, braking

Are there differences in servo drives and servo amps? What are the different kinds of motor braking strategies? 'Brake' now for motor learning.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2010

I/O Modules: Product research and advice from Control Engineering subscribers

I/O module research shows that Control Engineering readers want modular, easy-to-use, rugged I/O, with many analog, digital, and networking options. Manufacturers say new I/O modules pack in those features. See more results, advice, products. NEW: PDF research report attached April 2.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 29, 2010

Cognex offers 3D vision software to help vision guided robotics, assemble, inspection

Cognex 3D-Locate delivers accurate, real-time, three-dimensional position information that enables automation equipment to work with a wider variety of parts, including items that are stacked or tilted.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 19, 2010

Nonintrusive clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter

Economical transit-time unit from Shenitech reads flow with no pipe penetrations.

By Peter Welander
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 13, 2010

Note to CNC machine shop owners: Texting is not just for teenagers

While users of larger systems have enjoyed such technology for a while, owners and operators of small machine shops can now get alarm alerts by phone, fax, e-mail or mobile phone text message with software embedded in Siemens Sinumerik 840D CNC controller.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 12, 2010

Protect linear transducers in rough environments

Housing designed for steel mills protects sensors from corrosion, shock, and vibration in very rough applications.

By Peter Welander
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2010

Control Engineering North American edition, January 2010

Click on the cover, left, to get to the Control Engineering January 1, 2010, table of contents, with seven feature articles, plus application stories, columns, news, products, and video links covering automation, controls, and instrumentation.

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2010

More mechatronics products, services from Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation has expanded its mechatronic solutions portfolio consisting of software tools, motion control products and support. According to Rockwell, the portfolio helps engineers to better collaborate, and reduce machine costs and development time by providing a common forum where design input from the mechanical, controls, software and electrical engineers can be more easily gathered...

Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2010

What 2009 can tell us about 2010

Looking back at the top 20 articles accessed at www.controleng.com during 2009 illuminated some clear areas of interest among our engineering audience. (See the full rundown of top 20 articles at http://tinyurl.com/ylbx9zu.) Four clear categories of article types can be seen across the top 20 articles: Educational/tutorial, cutting edge applications, green/sustainable engineering, and contests/...

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 21, 2009

Yaskawa adds more manufacturing to Milwaukee-area facility

Yaskawa expands manufacturing space in Milwaukee-area facility; 140,000 square feet total helps continued growth in the Americas. See photo.

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 18, 2009

Upgrade: PLC integration engineering improves machine builder options

When Weiler Engineering upgraded the drive systems on its aseptic blow-fill-seal machines, controller compatibility was limiting the functionality of the equipment. A PLC-integration engineering solution by Siemens provided an operator interface, and expanded application flexibility.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 4, 2009

Help for tire and rubber manufacturing: Inspection system improves quality

Laser sensor innovations improve tire manufacturing. LMI Technologies explains how. See diagrams.

By Dr. Walt Pastorius and Martin Sanden - LMI Technologies Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2009

Understanding Intelligent Motor Control

A number of trends are pushing motor drives to operate more intelligently. The first is that more intelligent algorithms can drive motors more efficiently at a given torque and speed. The second is that system efficiency increases when the motor is driven at the exact power level needed, rather than throttling.

By Chuck Lewin, Performance Motion Devices Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2009

Intelligence at the Device

Cover story: As components get smarter and more powerful, manufacturers are finding themselves managing high-performance automation and control systems whose parts are capable of monitoring themselves, diagnosing their own problems, and maybe even making a decision or two, economically and easily.

By Jeanine Katzel for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2009

Tools for Complex Machine Design

At its Automation Fair conference in November, Rockwell Automation announced an expanded mechatronic solutions portfolio consisting of software tools, motion control products, and support. The portfolio enables better collaboration among machine builders by providing a common forum where design input from mechanical, controls, software, and electrical engineers can be more easily gathered and e...

Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2009

Joint Makeover

Recently, a major medical device manufacturer was getting some discouraging feedback from its main customer group: endoscopy surgeons. They said the company’s surgical scissors were difficult to control. It seemed the screw and small nut used in the hinge mechanism, although secure and reliable, was either too loose or too tight to allow pinpoint accuracy.

By David Parham, Orbitform Group
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2009

Packaging Integrator of the Year

Stone Technologies Inc. is recognized for its work with packagers and industry standards.

By Jack Mans for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2009

PackML Clarification and Implementation Assistance

The OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) has been busy clarifying the recently ratified PackML standard and, at PackExpo Las Vegas 2009, it announced the availability of an implementation guide developed by Proctor & Gamble (P&G). OMAC technical director, Dave Bauman, also recently responded to some comments made by Dave Chappell through Control Engineering’s Make2Pack/ISA88 blog, furth...

By Renee Robbins, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 25, 2009

Molex: New DeviceNet diagnostics, add-on profiles, integration help, proactive DN

Molex updated Brad NetAlytix v2 Software for its eNetMeter Diagnostic Solution; Brad PLC Communication Modules include add-on-profiles for Rockwell Automation RSLogix 5000 software; system integrated architecture builder helps PLC system design, Molex explains proactive DN diagnostics.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 20, 2009

Control Engineering offers 2 tutorial videos on proximity sensors

Two tutorial videos from Control Engineering cover trends in photoelectric and fixed-frame proximity sensors and inductive and capacitive proximity sensors. Link to the Control Engineering video library, CEtv.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 12, 2009

Pneumatic cylinder position switches

AutomationDirect's NITRA line of pneumatics products now includes products that connect pneumatic actuators and electrical control systems.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 11, 2009

MTS linear position sensors increase linear actuator performance, productivity

MTS Systems Corp., Sensors Division's Temposonics linear-position sensors are used for precise position measurement for linear actuators to increase output by reducing cycle times and downtime.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 6, 2009

QuickSilver Controls: NEMA 23 servo motor has improved efficiency, power

QuickSilver Controls Inc. expands its line of servo motors with the QCI-A23L-3. This servo motor provides almost 33% higher power output capability than the similarly sized motor it replaces.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2009

Panel PCs handle extreme heavy lifting

Integrated control system helps Wheelift automated guided vehicles move turbine generators, transformers, and other massive payloads.

By Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2009

Quick, easy safety controller monitors safety circuits

Phoenix Contact PSR-Trisafe, a new safety controller, can monitor an entire safety circuit, from emergency stops to safety doors, in a machine or plant. The slim 67.5 mm safety controller can monitor up to 20 safety input signals, such as up to 10 dual contact emergency stops. It also provides four safety Category 4 outputs, as well as outputs for a test pulse, alarm (aux) and ground switching.

Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2009

Pack Expo 2009: PackML Implementation Guide

The OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) announced the development of the P&G PackML Implementation Guide and demonstrated its capabilities at PackExpo Las Vegas 2009. This implementation guide has been created to aid software developers in achieving a clean and efficient implementation of PackML. Rob Aleksa, P&G corporate machine control section head, said, “Although the PackML standa...

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 31, 2009

Mitsubishi Electric Automation molded case circuit breakers, 5-600 A

UL-approved MCCBs complement Mitsubishi Electric Automation drives and servos.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 23, 2009

Schneider Electric confirms B&R technology partnership; next: machine controller, I/O

Machine control and I/O system updates will be Schneider Electric's next step in a technology partnership with B&R.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 15, 2009

Integrated resource for discrete sensor-related issues

Redesigned website for Schneider Electric Sensor Competency Center has a wide range of discrete sensor resources.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 8, 2009

Rockwell medium voltage drive developer wins award

Integrated DC choke invention earns Zargari innovator of the year honors.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 8, 2009

Advantech launches its first embedded motion controller

PEC-3240 features four-axis motion control, 32-channel isolated digital I/O.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 6, 2009

Pack Expo 2009: OMAC Packaging Workgroup: PackML Implementation Guide

The OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) has announced the development of the P&G PackML Implementation Guide, created to aid software developers in a clean and efficient implementation of PackML.

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2009

Using Algorithms to Increase Motor Efficiency

In the face of economic uncertainties and increasing environmental concerns, many businesses are trying to make their operations more lean, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Examining your electricity bill is a good place to start. The top consumers of electricity are HVAC systems, water heating, lighting, office equipment, and machinery.

By Christian Fritz, National Instruments
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2009

Embedded PCs Keep Drilling Machines on Budget

The need to drill straight and precisely shaped holes has been with manufacturers since the very beginnings of industry. Ever since the introduction of hand guns and rifles, the precision benchmark has been set high for deep hole drilling. Even today, these drilling systems are often referred to as “gun drills” because gun and rifle manufacturing was one of the first applications to...

Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2009

Digital mass flow controller

Bronkhorst High-Tech B.V. metal sealed mass flowmeters and controllers are designed specifically to meet the requirements of semiconductor manufacturers as well as other high-purity gas applications. Instruments feature high surface finish components and modular construction with metal-to-metal seals to eliminate sources of contamination and ensure long-term leak tightness.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 25, 2009

P+F rugged extended range inductive proximity sensors have 5-15 mm sensing range

Pepperl+Fuchs X-Series Pile Driver Extended Range Inductive Sensors in 12 mm, 18 mm and 30 mm diameters have 5 mm, 10 mm or 15 mm ranges, up to 2.5 times more than traditional inductive sensors; stainless steel housings deliver durability.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 20, 2009

Balluff UltraFrame thru-beam sensors

Balluff's UltraFrame series is the latest in self-contained thru-beam sensor technology and is designed to solve problems many other sensors cannot. Error-proofing and process monitoring are included.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 20, 2009

Turck Q10S Factor 1 inductive sensor has 5 mm range, compact size

Turck uprox+ line of advanced factor 1 sensors expanded to include the Q10S inductive sensor, 10 x 10 x 28 mm. It senses up to 5 mm and an active side face detects all metals-including aluminum, copper and steel-at the same rated distance without reinstallation. See related video.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 19, 2009

Banner Engineering World-Beam QS30 Clear Object Sensors are robust, easy-to-use

Banner Engineering World-Beam QS30 Clear Object Sensor is said to provide reliable clear object detection to solve challenging applications by using an advanced optical design to allow the sensor to see translucent materials. Link to related video.

Mechatronics and Motion Control September 16, 2009

Robotics development for academics, hobbyists

Microchip Technology announced the availability of a PIC32 32-bit microcontroller (MCU)-based robotics development kit through Digilent Inc.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 9, 2009

Engineering in Balance: Seeing more, faster

Control Engineering presents a monthly comic, "Engineering in Balance" by Mark T. Hoske and Tom Rybarczyk.

By CTL Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2009

How to Choose a Controller

A dozen application-specific lists, and more detailed information online, help you sort through controller choices no matter what type of system you're building or upgrading.

By Renee Robbins, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2009

Alstom: Ethernet for Plant Control System

Alstom's distributed control system uses Modbus and Ethernet Powerlink fieldbuses to address interoperability, speed, determinism, and safety.

By Stéphane Potier and Emma Cameron, Alstom Power
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2009

Modbus TCP/IP to Profibus DPV1 gateway for Modicon controllers

ProSoft Technology announces the release of the new Modbus TCP/IP to Profibus SE Gateway (5204SE-MNET-PDPMV1), designed with special features to better support and easily integrate with Schneider Electric Modicon M340 processors. The gateway offers the new Application Communication Logic (ACL) feature built into the latest ProSoft Configuration Builder (PCB) software.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2009

What kind of engineer uses Facebook?

Demographic data shows engineers using social media to be highly experienced decision makers working across a variety of industries.

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2009

Enhanced motion control development environment, controller modules

MotionWorks IEC Pro from Yaskawa is an integrated development environment based on the IEC61131-3 international programming standard. It is built upon the same code as the company's MotionWorks IEC Express software, including all additions made since the May 2008 release. The Pro version allows users to program in Sequential Function Chart language, configure projects with up to 16 tasks, and s...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 31, 2009

CC-Link leads in Asia among open fieldbus networks; helps pharmaceutical manufacturing in Brazil

CC-Link Partner Association says CC-Link is the leading open network in Asia. In other news, CC-Link and Mitsubishi Electric controls serve as the SCADA system for the Mantecorp pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Brazil.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 27, 2009

System integration: How to design a PC-based test system

Motion controller and DAQ PC combine to produce high performance pipe-testing applications. System integrator Advanced Machine Automation used National Instruments LabVIEW, Microsoft Visual Basic, Delta Computer Systems RMCLink software, and other tools for the system.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 21, 2009

Basics of PLC 61131 programming with Wago CoDeSys software

Wago-I/O-Pro CAA is the Wago version of CoDeSys (Controlled Development System) by 3S Co. Here are some basics about how it works.

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 15, 2009

Control Engineering Industry Leaders

Control Engineering is a magazine for engineers in all industries who buy, specify, design and maintain automation, control and instrumentation devices, networks, systems, and software for automated process, manufacturing, and hybrid solutions. Visit the partner sites below for insight into their market expertise, products, and services. Click on an Industry Leader logo and you will be taken through to view this valuable information Honeywell Honeywell Process Solutions serves several industries, including refining, oil and gas, pulp, paper and printing, power generation, chemicals, life sciences, and metals, minerals and mining.

Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2009

Machine builders: Application-specific reference

Eaton Corp. has developed an OEM Product Guide covering motor control, industrial logic, machine interface and more.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2009

Machine control: Long bed CNC gantry mills achieve unprecedented accuracy

A Siemens Volumetric Compensation System and proprietary temperature compensation system combine with laser calibration to achieve +/- 0.003 in. accuracies.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 12, 2009

Northrop Grumman recommends Siemens CNC technologies for use by F-35 supply chain

To achieve high-tolerance machined parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the company is "strongly encouraging" its supply chain to explore use of Siemens Sinumerik Volumetric Compensation System.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 2, 2009

Engineering in Balance: Password, please

Engineering in Balance cartoon by Mark T. Hoske and Tom Rybarczyk

By Mark T. Hoske and Tom Rybarczyk
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2009

Can linear motors replace ball screws?

A reader of Control Engineering recently asked, “When I hear the sound of a ball screw that’s beginning to fail on a CNC milling center, I have to wonder: Isn’t there a better way to get that kind of linear movement? Are there other technologies?” We put that question to John Meyer at Siemens Motion Control Group, and he suggests linear motor technology.

By John Meyer, Siemens Motion Control Group
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 30, 2009

Where in the world is Control Engineering? Photo Contest

Show us where you read Control Engineering magazine and your picture could be on the cover!

By CE Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 23, 2009

Controller: CANbus controller weighs less than 1 lb.

CANminiBOX from Saelig is a compact embedded controller for embedded CANbus control applications.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 23, 2009

Machine control: Yaskawa enhances MotionWorks hardware, software

Yaskawa Electric America announces MotionWorks IEC Pro, an enhanced development environment, and MP2310iec controller modules.

By Renee Robbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 9, 2009

Industrial networks: CAN, CANopen find new applications, including wind power

Besides traditional industrial machines, this serial bus system for embedded control is in wind power systems, medical machines, and more.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 9, 2009

Distribution: Higher coil voltage Fuji contactors available from AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect has enhanced its motor controls offering with higher coil voltage versions of Fuji electric contactors. New SC series components operate with ac coil voltages of 440-480 V to 500-550 V at 60 Hz, and are available in frame sizes of 43 mm, 54 mm and 67 mm.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 7, 2009

OEMs find advantage with mechatronics use, sustainability goals

A Rockwell Automation motion control expert describes how machine builders can use mechatronics modeling software to realize sustainability targets for their customers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2009

Programmable controller fundamentals

Programmable Controllers, 4th Edition teaches the fundamental principles of programmable controllers for process and machine control in a clear and concise manner. This applications-based book was written by Thomas A. Hughes and has been used as a textbook for programmable logic controller (PLC) courses, and as a self-study guide and resource for thousands of technicians and engineers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2009

Decreasing semiconductor manufacturing a European competitive concern

Technological innovations in the machinery industry, and thus the competitiveness of the engineering sector as a whole, increasingly depend on the application of intelligent electronics, says VDMA, the German Engineering Federation. Access to customer-specific microchips could be threatened with a vanishing European semiconductor industry, according to the organization.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2009

Compact current-to-pressure transducer

New Type-595XP explosion-proof current-to-pressure I/P transducer provides precise regulation necessary for accurate and repeatable control of actuated valves. With its small size and light weight, the device is stable with ability to tolerate shock, vibration and position changes. A low mass control circuit provides reliable linear output in difficult applications at an economical cost.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2009

Alstom launches new Alspa Series 6 control system offering

Platform designed for power plant automation covers the full plant-wide operational range.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 11, 2009

Encoders: Heavy duty magnetic rotary and tiny micro inductive models debut

Baumer introduces MHXX Series of magnetic rotary encoders, while Maxon Motor USA introduces the Mile inductive encoder for micromotors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 11, 2009

Advanced drive module for integrated control system

ACS Motion Control has enhanced the drive operation of its MC4U integrated modular control system with the development of an advanced 4 axis high-voltage universal digital drive module.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 11, 2009

Industrial sensors fit range of factory, logistics applications

Sick has launched four new sensor lines for harsh industrial environments: AT20 line array, MPS and MXT8 magnetic cylinder, low-cost photoelectric, and WFL laser fork sensors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 11, 2009

Miniature triaxial accelerometer for submersible applications

Dytran Instruments has released a miniature triaxial accelerometer designed for submersible applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 10, 2009

Motion and logic controller family enhanced

Ormec Systems Corp. has enhanced its ServoWire Motion & Logic Controller (SMLC) family.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 10, 2009

SureStep motion control line expands AutomationDirect stepper systems

AutomationDirect has expanded its line of SureStep motion control products.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 10, 2009

Programmable controller fundamentals book

Applications-based book written by Thomas A. Hughes has been used as a textbook for programmable logic controller (PLC) courses.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 8, 2009

Less semiconductor manufacturing is a European competitive concern, Germans say

VDMA: Engineering industry relies on intelligent electronics made in Europe. Semiconductor production sites in Europe are important for the engineering industry, says the federation of German engineers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 2, 2009

5 bottom line improvements to packaging automation

Packaging automation, such as Yaskawa Sigma-5 servo amp and motor pairing, can improve machinery in five key ways.

By Barbara Axelson
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 2, 2009

Packaging Technology and Solutions Center adds efficiency to machine design

The Schneider Electric Packaging Technology and Solutions Center (PTASC) supports machine builders' automation, control and power needs to improve machine design and efficiency.

By Barbara Axelson
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2009

Flexible Assembly

Manufacturing air conditioning and engine cooling systems for passenger and commercial vehicles accurately, in the proper sequence, is a priority for Behr GmbH & Co. KG, of Stuttgart, Germany. The company produces automobile and truck engine cooling systems in its Charleston, SC, facility using programmable logic controllers (PLCs), radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and machine-vi...

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering, Oliver Weise, Behr Heat Transf
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 28, 2009

SCADA systems controller provides 32-bit processor, basic functions

Control Microsystems announces its high-powered, low-cost SCADAPack 314 controller, designed as a back-to-basics solution for effective processing at a low cost.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 28, 2009

 HMIs: Graphical touch screen interface delivers intuitive packaging machine control

Standard-Knapp has designed a graphically-driven color touch-screen interface with the look and feel of a car dashboard that can be customized to each packaging machine it builds and sells.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 14, 2009

Multi-axis system includes PLC with 1 ms update rate

Motion controller includes a PLC programmable in any IEC61131-3 language.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 14, 2009

Motion controller aids fine art of carpet cutting

CNC Machines International created a high performance waterjet cutter. Here's how engineers chose a controller.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 14, 2009

Yokogawa introduces UTAdvanced digital indicating controller

Yokogawa Electric UTAdvanced controller family improves measurement, display, operation, control, and networking functions, enhances the efficiency of user design, and saves money by eliminating the need for peripheral devices and associated wiring. This embedded instrument replaces company's Green series controllers for machine builders.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 14, 2009

Sensor spotlight: Round up of encoder news

News on motion control related sensors from Renishaw, Portescap/Danaher, BEI, Heidenhain, and others.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 14, 2009

Automated: Pumping station doubles capacity, saves energy

When the process control of the pumping station at Parksluizen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, was automated, an Emotron FDU variable speed drive for 690 V with 12 pulse power supply was included. Pumping capacity doubled and energy consumption was minimized. Other benefits include...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2009

Smart Drives Protect Their Motors

Like the self-maintaining robots of science fiction, modern machines have become more intelligent, and in some ways also more human. They are incorporating more decentralized intelligence, which operates like a human’s autonomic nervous system. This makes it possible for a packaging machine, for example, to protect itself from expensive breakdowns through quick reflexes, in the form of er...

By Renee Robbins, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2009

Control Panel Design: 60% Less Space

The winner of the 2009 Control Engineering panel design award is CP Packaging of Appleton, WI. The company’s design for a plant-floor machine control panel reduces space on the machine, provides easy access for maintenance, reduces costs, and saves build-out and installation time. In the winning video describing the entry, CP Packaging’s Ray Buchko Jr. Link to videos, more photos.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2009

Successful system integration in a recession: 10 tips

An economic recession may be the perfect time for smart engineers to upgrade their plants and plan for recovery. While the sales staff works on finding new business, operations and design staff can take the make the most of relatively idle time to retrofit existing machines. Here are 10 steps to success for wisely using a system integrator to help with the hard stuff.

By Dan Walser, Applied Motion Systems
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2009

Controller uses microSD memory card

Opto 22 announces that its standalone and rack-mounted programmable automation controllers are now equipped with a microSD card slot that supports standard cards up to 2 GB. Such removable data storage in controllers enables easy firmware and control strategy updates, and can be used to store process and other machine control data.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 27, 2009

Report from Hannover: New Beckhoff automation hardware, software

At Hannover Fair (April 20-24, 2009), Beckhoff introduced several new products, including an expansion to its AX5000 servo drive series; software that integrates robotics, motion control, and PLC; and a condition monitoring terminal. The company also previewed the upcoming release of a PC-based safety PLC.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 27, 2009

Automation breakthrough: Opto 22 adds wireless capabilities to programmable controllers

Opto 22 says it has made the use of wireless for programmable automation controllers and I/O is as easy as it is for PCs and laptop computers.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 23, 2009

HMIs: Open frame panel PCs for industrial applications

WinSystems family of open frame color flat-panel PCs handles all the messy issues of flat-panel integration.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 17, 2009

Industrial Ethernet: Environmental conditions determine hardware selection

Selection of commercial or industrial hardware like Ethernet switches should be based on the environment, says Carl Henning, deputy director, PTO, Profibus and Profinet North America.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 15, 2009

Pressure sensor: New design uses fused silicon glass element

Robust diaphragm of pressure sensor thrives in hostile environments, says Tel-Tru.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 10, 2009

Broadway Automation: Behind the Scenes

Ideas in Automation: Creating modular motion control systems that can move multiple pieces of scenery during the same show is the typical system integration and design work for Hudson Scenic Studio. The typical Broadway show today requires automation to move scenery because of its design, size, or complexity. Actuation includes ac motors, hydraulics, and pneumatics. See photos.

By David Greenfield, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 9, 2009

Embedded systems: SUMIT-ISM Type 2 seeks to unify PC/104 SBC market

SUMIT-ISM Type 2 and UEMF is a new modular standard for stackable expansion of single-board computers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 9, 2009

Commentary: Integration of Make2Pack concepts helps packaging industry

The world needs the savings associated with seamlessly moving product and information from production to packaging. That's Make2Pack.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 8, 2009

New motion controller and motion control library

Ingenia has introduced the Mercury motion controller and motion control library.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 8, 2009

Controllers: PAC system gets microSD memory card slot

All Opto 22 standalone and rack-mounted automation controllers now have a microSD card slot that supports standard microSD memory cards up to 2 GB in capacity.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 7, 2009

Photoelectric sensor has extended range background suppression

Balluff BOS 50K sensor also has IP67 housing.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2009

Industrial automation fair expands to China

Though trade fairs in the U.S. have declined significantly over the past several years, they are still big business in Europe and Asia. Further evidence of trade show popularity overseas can be seen in the expansion of the SPS show—the Nuremberg, Germany event recognized as one of the premier industrial trade shows in Europe—to China.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 26, 2009

New module extends benefits of FieldQ for control valves

Module expands scope, scalability of Emerson Process Management FieldQ range in conventionally wired applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 12, 2009

Motor controller with optical encoder inputs targets mobile robots

Designers of mobile robotic vehicles have a new motion controller choice from Roboteq Inc. See photo.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 10, 2009

Control Engineering control panel design tutorial video – due 3/16/09

Upload videos showcasing your control panel design prowess and receive industry-wide recognition. To enter the control panel design video contest, all you have to do is submit a video (5 minutes or less) by March 16 demonstrating some of the following points ...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 9, 2009

SPS: Industrial Automation Fair goes to Guangzhou, China

Four exhibition organizers from China and Germany have joined to launch a new show in China for the industrial automation and motion control solutions sector. See images.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 5, 2009

System integration: Flexible assembly system delivers in-sequence automotive cooling modules

Pre-assembly of components leads to flexible, accurate assembly of multiple combinations sequentially. RFID helps information flow. Machine vision guides robots that check quality. PLCs provide control, from order to shipping.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E.; Oliver Weise, Behr Heat Transfer
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2009

Explosion-proof electronic switches

United Electric Controls (UE) has added explosion-proof versions of its One Series line of digital electronic pressure switches and electronic temperature switches. Designed to meet the needs of harsh and hazardous applications, the One Series is available in explosion-proof pressure and temperature models for Division 1 (Zone 1) and Division 2 (Zone 2) areas.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 24, 2009

Application: CNC retrofit helps mold shop succeed

There comes a point in the life of every business when it has to choose between investing in an advanced technology and staying with the tried-and-true—the potential big payback versus the safe status quo. When that choice confronted the owners of Fidelity Machine & Mould Solutions, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (see more photos), they chose CNC machine controls from Miceli Technologies because...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 16, 2009

Stimulus package to help battery technologies; blog sees engineering opportunities

The latest economic stimulus bill contains more than a few opportunities, such as $2 billion in grants for the manufacturing of advanced batteries and components. Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine has an engineering blog called "Give and Take" that "picks apart the stimulus bill."

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 12, 2009

Motors: Gearmotor designed for washdown conditions

SEW-Eurodrive has introduced a hygienic gearmotor.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 11, 2009

Compact integrated stepper motor, drive, controller

Compact Arcus Technology DMX-K-SA-11 integrated stepper package is for applications in medical, motion, and manufacturing automation.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 9, 2009

2008 New Product Compendium: Motors, Drives and Motion Control

The following products were introduced in 2008, and participated in the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards competition.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 6, 2009

Motor energy-efficiency developments: recycling, efficiency classes

Although an effective date isn’t expected before 2011, mandatory minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for electric motors are coming to Europe in 2009. Learn more about recycling, replacement, and motor classes.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 5, 2009

CE International

    Control Engineering Asia Control Engineering China Control Engineering Czech Republic Control Engineering Europe Control Engineering Middle East Control Engineering Poland Control Engineering Russia    .

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 3, 2009

Top 20 Control Engineering articles of 2008 at www.controleng.com

Below are links to the top 20 articles posted during 2008 that received the most traffic during the calendar year at www.controleng.com. Most popular among Control Engineering readers were articles about electrical design software, rules for software project success, closing the engineering skills gap, copper versus fiber networks, and soft starters. Link to all 20 most valuable.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2009

Top stories of 2008 and why

Of the myriad things I write, sharing the year’s top stories is best. A) It involves measurement, which is fun — sorting the number of times readers accessed these stories online. B) I get to learn what you found most interesting or useful and figure out why. In 2008, the following stories were most viewed at www.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor in Chief
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2009

Microprocessor advances translate into more CNC machine capability

It is a fact of life that the needs of general-purpose-computing drive microprocessor trends. Simple semiconductor-fabrication economics makes mass-marketable designs very inexpensive, while making designs aimed at smaller market segments, such as CNC, cost prohibitive. “Advances in technology help all technologies in a general way,” says Paul Nickelsberg, president and chief techni...

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2009

Polish automation trends mirror global interests

Almost every technology presented by vendors at industrial fairs is called innovative. So, are we truly living in a time of milestone technology solutions, or is “innovative” simply marketing’s favorite new term? The answer is not always easy to discern. Consider the advanced control algorithms now being introduced in programmable logic controllers.

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, Control Engineering Poland
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2009

Control Valve Actuators

Reed Research Group surveyed Control Engineering subscribers in December 2008 about their use of control valve actuators currently, and going forward. The results presented here are based on 224 completed responses from subscribers who evaluate, specify, recommend, install, and/or purchase these devices.

By Peter Welander, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 28, 2009

Remote Access Security Challenges for Embedded Systems

This white paper describes the security considerations as a major issue when deploying a remote access solution and how the difficulties are compounded when solutions must include support for embedded systems. Successful implementations must provide effective authentication and access control and care must also be taken to ensure that data is secured during transport over the network.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 14, 2009

Integrated motion, machine logic solution uses open programming standards

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms received certificates of compliance from PLCopen for its PACMotion system.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 19, 2008

Motion control: Omron selects EtherCAT as its next motion bus system

Omron Corporation announced that it has selected EtherCAT to be its next motion bus system. In addition, the company will take an active role in the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) to help customers transition to EtherCAT smoothly and seamlessly.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 19, 2008

4-axis stepping/pulse-type servo motor control module

Industrial Automation Group of Advantech released Adam-5240, a 4-axis stepping/pulse-type servo motor control module for use with the Adam-5550 Series PACs (programmable automation controllers).

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 19, 2008

Resources: White papers help improve embedded designs

Two new white papers to help embedded system developers create better products more efficiently are available for download. One explores software testing methods and why they are critical for embedded-system developers. The other looks at industrial thermal management challenges for computer hardware designers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 17, 2008

Packaging Automation Benchmark Study Vol. 3

Digital Edition System Integrators This third and final installment of the Automation in Packaging Benchmark Study focuses on system integrators, and the role they play coordinating projects for packagers, equipment builders and automation suppliers. Packaging is a specialty that manufacturers in virtually every industry must address. Control Engineering and Packaging Digest set out to investigate this dynamic market through the Automation in Packaging Benchmark Study, a three-part, year-long research project conducted by Reed Research Group.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 16, 2008

More outside engineering expertise needed, says HiTech Control Systems

Industry needs technological expertise, even in tough economic times, says Michael Shea, president of HiTech Control Systems, 2009 Control Engineering System Integrator of the Year winner. He made the comments to Control Engineering in a 3:55 minute podcast.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 15, 2008

Strongarm Designs unveiled the D755 line of industrially hardened computers, with help from Dell

Strongarm Designs unveiled the D755 line of industrially hardened computers, a sturdy computing system that incorporates the Dell Optiplex.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 11, 2008

Ultra high-speed vision system for precision inspections

PV500 ultra high-speed gray scale vision system from Panasonic Electric Works Corp. of America achieves 0.4 ms processing time for full-screen gray-scale windows. It can display images clearly for 2 MP cameras with high resolution using any XGA compatible screen. Pre-processing filters ensures high-precision inspection with simple setting operations. It also can handle up to 4 cameras triggered independently to correct mechanical displacements.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 11, 2008

12-MP CMOS camera captures clear images on fast-moving lines

CMOS-based machine vision camera from Toshiba Teli America Inc., CleverDragon CSC12M25BMP19, has a proprietary and patented 12-MP, 1.9-in. CMOS monochrome progressive scan sensor for high-speed machine vision, parts inspection, robotics, and medical applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 11, 2008

High-resolution camera features digital interface

5 MP progressive scan camera with GigE Vision digital interface joins the new Jai Inc. 3-tier C3 Camera Suite. See machine vision resource guide, below.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 10, 2008

Compact, high-density D-Sub interface modules for motion control

Wago Corp. Custom Products Division has engineered a new line of 26-pin D-sub interface modules  for motion control applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 7, 2008

Machine vision development environment builds applications step at a time

Matrox Design Assistant 2.0 from Matrox Imaging is flowchart-based software for the Matrox Iris E-Series smart camera.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 5, 2008

Intelligent camera for high-speed image processing applications

HawkEye 1600T intelligent camera from Microscan Systems is a compact machine vision system suitable for a broad range of vision applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 3, 2008

Siemens announces motors, drives, and motion control advances

The Sinamics S110 drive, C240 PN Simotion motion controller, and the 1PH8 series of motors were debuted by Siemens at the SPS/IPC/Drives show.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 27, 2008

Cameras with DSP coprocessors offer multiple options

Three new smart cameras from National Instruments (NI 1744, NI 1762, and NI 1764) deliver faster processing speed, higher image resolution, and more powerful options for embedded machine vision applications than previous models.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 5, 2008

Biofuel production: Process automation for greenfield plants in Singapore and Rotterdam

New renewable Diesel fuel plants, while geographically separated, will share same integrated process control and safety system architecture.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2008

PLC/PAC product research information revised

Control Engineering's September Product Research survey on PLCs and PACs (North American print edition, p. 83) included a list of representative products from 20 vendors. The information from Mitsubishi Electric Automation was incorrect, and the list of vendors was in the wrong order. Following is the accurate information on Mitsubishi's iQ Automation product: According to Mitsubishi, the new i...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 29, 2008

New controller handles complex motion applications

GE Fanuc says PacMotion is a completely new motion controller designed to serve the high-end needs of complex motion applications. See photo. White paper offers more information.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 23, 2008

White paper: Ways to use USB in embedded control systems

Written by Micro Digital R&D embedded software engineer Yingbo Hu, and the company’s president Ralph Moore, white paper presents 11 methods to use USB in embedded systems. See 7 below and link to others.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 20, 2008

Correction: PLC/PAC product research information revised

Control Engineering’s September Product Research survey on PLCs and PACs included a list of representative products from 20 vendors. The information from Mitsubishi Electric Automation was incorrect. The accurate information is....

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 2, 2008

Industrial Ethernet applications in real time

Industrial Ethernet protocols can help real time applications. Examples follow, along with application photos and links to additional industrial Ethernet information. Peek inside multiple industrial Ethernet applications with Rovema, SERCOS III, Automata, Bosch Rexroth, Ilapak, Ethernet Powerlink, Linux, B&R Automation, and...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2008

Targeting Tumors with Motion Control

Focused radiation continues to be an effective means for treating cancerous tumors, particularly when there is a clear shot at the target. Getting a clear shot, however, is no simple task, especially since the target is often surrounded by healthy tissue, can grow, shrink or shift over time, and is affected by changes in the patient’s anatomy.

By John Hayes, Galil Motion Control
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2008

Robotics tutorial: More diversity, functionality

Robotics are adapted to and integrated with an increasing diversity of applications. Understanding types of robots and their functions can help end users, system integrators, and original equipment manufacturers know how to safely and efficiently apply technologies that save humans from tasks that are both mundane and dangerous.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 26, 2008

Book Review: The Art of Designing Embedded Systems

Well written book by noted embedded system expert Jack Ganssle, who was humorous and not afraid to defend his opinions...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 25, 2008

Thermometry: Fiber-optic sensor measures temperature to 1,000 °C

Said to be for applications ranging from weld monitoring and control, to turbine engine service and design.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 24, 2008

Hybrid power: Volvo Powertrain awards Danaher Motion contract to develop hybrid heavy-duty vehicles

Responding to global demand for fuel efficient and environmentally sound vehicles, these companies....

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 24, 2008

Industrial networking: Partnership to enhance wireless technologies for industrial use

Three-year project expects to make wireless technologies better suitable for all industrial needs by....

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 23, 2008

Sustainable manufacturing Website features green machine automation technology

Sustainable manufacturing Website features green machine automation technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 15, 2008

Look at these demos: Tear down embedded systems, get the point of linear motion control

Participate or watch in live embedded teardowns at an embedded systems event for a chance to win a Beagleboard kit. At IMTS last week, there was a potentially explosive demo on magnetorestrictive sensor technology, among other demonstrations. See photos. Link to tutorial and video videos.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2008

Programmable Logic Controllers, Programmable Automation Controllers

The 405 respondents who answered the joint Control Engineering/Reed Research product research study on PLCs and PACs will be increasing their purchases of these devices over the next 12 months. Even with the tight economy, 23% of respondents expect their purchases to increase. Of those polled, 69% expected purchases to remain the same as last year, and only 8% expect them to decrease. More trends, PAC and PLC products, and a link to more research follows.

By Dick Johnson, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2008

Molded Parts: Stamp, Place, Remove, Inspect

Filtertek, Inc. is a world innovator in filter technology. The Hebron, IL, manufacturer makes custom filtration products and fluid control devices for automotive, healthcare and consumer product applications. The company’s ingenuity is reflected in a portfolio of more than 340 issued patents and pending patent applications for novel designs of fuel filters, transmission sump filters, semi...

By Renee Robbins, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 13, 2008

How to make control programming easier, no matter what the language

ISA88 Part 1, the under-development Part 5 and related technical reports can simplify programming related to machine control, packing, batch, and process controls. Here's how.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2008

Barcode scanners tutorial offered

Few things today would disrupt society more than if barcode scanners stopped working. But what is a barcode and how does a barcode scanner work? MechatronicsZone.com presents Mechatronics On-Demand Webcasts to explore the role of mechatronics and, in this case, focus on the development of a nearly indispensable technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2008

Motion Controller Accelerates NASCAR

Automotive test rig manufacturer sets out to improve NASCAR’s standard chassis test stand with improved dynamic capabilities and reduced maintenance.

By Peter Nachtwey, Delta Computer Systems Inc.
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 28, 2008

Pneumatics: Air technology app notes available online

Meech International updated its Website with free, downloadable application notes, including energy saving, noise reduction and efficient cooling.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 24, 2008

Transformerless drives: Higher performance, lower cost

Reducing input harmonics using an input isolation transformer with multiple secondary windings to feed VFD bridges can compromise, and raise maintenance cost.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 24, 2008

Energy savings: Right-sizing electric motors could save billions in energy annually

Energy efficiency losses through over-sizing of pump electric motors by engineers are commonplace, according to WEG Electric Motors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 24, 2008

Heavy equipment: Electrohydraulic flow matching increases hydraulic system dynamics

Rexroth says Electrohydraulic Flow Matching (EFM) is next generation of flow-sharing controls.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 24, 2008

Machine control: Analog sensor improves drawbar operation

Position monitoring system with electronic analog sensor allows users to monitor machine-tool power drawbars for performance and wear.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 3, 2008

Robotic cables: Cable carrier handles 6-axis robots

Less-is-more approach may help robot dress packs preserve cables for a longer period of time. Smooth, uninterrupted cable movement is key. (See photo.)

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 3, 2008

10 by 10: Leading system integrator engineering specialties by vendor

What are the leading engineering specialties by vendor in the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide? The 1,737 automation system integrators listed have...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2008

Modeling in motion

The convergence of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering is changing the face of motion control design and development. This tutorial shows how.

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2008

By the Numbers – 2008-07-01

4 topics covered in a June 25 Webcast include what machine vision can do for control systems, when machine vision is appropriate, how to incorporate it into control systems, and results others have obtained. www.controleng.com/webcasts 3rd quarter 2008 is when AuthenTec expects to have products incorporating the acquired (in April) software assets of EzValidation, including EzPassport fingerpri...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 26, 2008

Tax incentives: Investments in robotic automation can garner tax breaks

Tax incentives said to benefit small companies who install capital equipment.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 23, 2008

Expansions: Hydraulic hybrids in motion, more efficient transformer manufacturing

Smarter motion systems and more efficient, more highly efficient transformers seem likely to result from opening of a Bosch Rexroth technology center and a new WEG Electric Motors manufacturing facility.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 13, 2008

Microcontroller unit study: A Flashy Trend?

Even the microcontroller market is expanding the use of Flash memory according to a recent study of trends in the use of Flash semiconductor ICs.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2008

Off-the-Shelf PLC Optimizes Motion Control Functionality

Like most blow molding original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Saline, MI-based R&B Plastics Machinery LLC (R&B) in has to coordinate different machine motions very closely. Its machines had been using closed-loop hydraulic motions with dedicated motion control cards, which are not only expensive, but somewhat difficult to coordinate.

By Matthias Erhardt, Siemens SEA
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2008

Pushbutton control components

Elobau Sensor Technology Inc. has introduced a new micro pushbutton, Model 145MA, a Hall Effect device with linear analog output, designed for integration into an industrial joystick knob or control panel. The device is based on Hall Effect technology with a linear analog output, making it suitable for applications where a simple on/off switching function is insufficient.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 30, 2008

Look at what we saw: Hannover Fair 2008, a technology postscript

Did you go? If not (or even if so) take a look at this look back at Hannover Fair 2008 (more photos and links follow) for more controls, automation, robotics, industrial computers, networks, and instrumentation than most people ever see in one location. Highlights include....

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 29, 2008

Manage wires: Field termination assemblies, rugged cables

Field termination assemblies and rugged cables are said to offer fast, fault-free wire management from field wiring to process or motion controllers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 28, 2008

NYC refuse trucks to test hydraulic hybrid technology

Bosch Rexroth reports that it has been selected, along with Crane Carrier Company and ISE Corporation, by Calstart’s Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) Refuse Working Group to examine and test the use of hybrid vehicle technology in refuse trucks. The companies expect the hybrid trucks to demonstrate between 30% and 50% reductions in fuel and emissions use during testing.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 28, 2008

A Comprehensible Guide to Servo Motor Sizing

The Importance of servo motor sizing should not be underestimated according to Wilfried Voss, author of A Comprehensible Guide to Servo Motor Sizing.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 28, 2008

System reduces VFD ground currents

Company says its solution, which meets NEC 250 grounding requirements, was engineered for use wherever ac induction motors are operating in conjunction with variable frequency drives and for other applications where large switching power supplies are used.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 28, 2008

Servos control motion market growth

Rapidly growing servo products sector accounts for 80% of the total motion-control market.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 28, 2008

Processor enhances security for embedded applications

Intel says its Trusted Execution Technology brings hardware data security to the embedded market, making its new E8400 dual-core processor ideal for military and government, mid-range network security appliances, and retail applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 22, 2008

Continuous architecture for your machine software

Have you ever stopped to think about what “automation software” really means? Don’t “automation” and “software” mean pretty much the same thing? We generally use software to make processes execute automatically. So, what are we trying to emphasize by calling it automation software? Automation software must be more than simply a prescribed process written in software.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 19, 2008

PLC open Motion Control by B&R

As industrial automation systems become increasingly complex, software development time and engineering expenses can exceed all other development hurdles. PLCopen offers standard, open motion control function blocks based on the IEC 61131 languages to create efficient, flexible code that is vendor- and product-independent. PLCopen Motion Control reduces software development time while maintaining a portable and easily upgradeable code base for future applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 15, 2008

Hot hydraulics, controls drive new solar energy field

Powerful hydraulic actuators rotate and tilt solar collector assemblies as they track the sun’s motion in the desert sky over the new Nevada Solar One power plant (link to photos, videos). The actuators and attached controls make minor adjustments to...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 12, 2008

MechatronicsZone road show kicks off

If you cannot participate in one of the free 2008 Mechatronics road show seminars, browse MechatronicsZone to learn how the mechatronics approach to design can help engineers get the job done better, more quickly and at lower cost.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 12, 2008

Partnership: Advanced, interoperable motion control, machine tools

Factory-wide productivity advances are expected from software that can operate across a variety of brands of machine tools and motion-controlled equipment. Roy-G-Biv Corp. and Siemens....

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2008

Research results: Protocols for Industrial Ethernet

Need for wide-ranging application capability and the ability to handle diverse environments drives protocol development, sparks user interest, survey results suggest. In Reed Corporate Research studies of control products as recent as five years ago, products using the 4-20 mA standard were still dominating the control scene. That’s changing. Here's how.

By Dick Johnson, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2008

PLCs and DCSs Converge

In the past it was fairly easy to determine whether a distributed control system (DCS) or a programmable logic controller (PLC) based system was right for your application, because their strengths and weaknesses were well understood. In recent years, however, this has become more difficult, thanks primarily to the advancement of the microprocessor, which has allowed the technologies to converge.

By Bob Nelson and Todd Stauffer, Siemens Energy & Automation
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2008

Self tuning has its limits

Regarding Self-Tuning Control (July 2007 by Vance Van Doren). A linear control loop will not develop a limit cycle — its cycle will either decay or expand, depending on whether loop gain is below or above unity, respectively. Limit cycling requires a nonlinear function somewhere in the loop to limit the amplitude of the oscillation, and the waveform is typically non-sinusoidal.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2008

RoHS-compliant temperature, limit controllers

Watlow’s on-off temperature and limit controllers are now compliant with the European Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive (2002-95-EC). Products include the Series CV, LV, CF, LF and TM controllers. Watlow uses components that meet the hazardous material restrictions outlined in the directive.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2008

Hinge safety interlock switches

Banner Engineering Corp. SI-HG63 Series hinge safety interlock switches are used in place of standard hinges on swinging guards, gates, or doors. They offer two normally closed safety contacts and one normally open auxiliary contact for application flexibility. When activated, these normally closed safety contacts are forced open by a non-resilient mechanical means, interrupting the electrical ...

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 24, 2008

Big brake: Brake motors save energy

Baldor Electric Co., a manufacturer of energy-saving industrial electric motors, drives, power transmission products and generators, offers three phase short series brake motors with an integral Dodge spring set brake for a compact and cost effective design.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 24, 2008

Stepper motors: Keep motion smooth and fine

Ametek says its new MAE brand “HN Series” hybrid stepper motors feature low detent-torque to holding-torque ratios, promoting smooth operation and fine positioning capability required for microstep operation.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 24, 2008

Electric monorail system

SEW-Eurodrive announces North American availability of an intelligent Electric Monorail System (EMS) for overhead trolley systems in Control Engineering's April North American print edition. Power transfer and communications are wireless. The flexible transport system saves expensive floor space. Load capacity can exceed 4 tons per car, depending on application requirements. Single and multi-axis vehicles are available.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 24, 2008

Old Tools: Retread your old machine tools to make them better than new!

Siemens Energy & Automation implemented its strongest initiative to date in the area of machine retrofits. The company says its commitment evidences the SE&A directive to become a more visible and viable retrofit partner to the machine shops nationwide, who seek to improve their equipment performance and enhance their competitive position in their markets.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 24, 2008

Better mousetrap: Design News searches for clever machine designs

Have you built a better mousetrap? Control Engineering sister publication Design News wants you to tell them about the most amazing product you've designed in the past year. It could be profiled along with other great new products in Design News' Special Engineering Awards issue in September 2008.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 22, 2008

Bosch Rexroth CEO has upbeat outlook

Despite continuing difficulties in the U.S. economy Bosch Rexroth Corp. President and CEO Berend Bracht today announced a 3.1% growth in the company’s U.S. dollar denominated sales in the Americas, and projected double-digit growth for the company overall in 2008.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 8, 2008

Automation in Packaging

Research, trends, and applications associated with the use of automation in packaging, developed by Control Engineering and Packaging Digest

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2008

Switch to SOA spurs trends in IT/automation convergence

Automation is an engineering discipline. Automation products exist in the physical world, and the results they deliver are fairly easy to measure. Software is an information technology (IT) discipline. Users buy something that, ultimately, they can't lay their hands on. Measuring the benefits of collaboration or flexibility can be difficult.

By Jim Fulcher, Contributing Editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2008

Wireless Control Sets Automated Vehicles Free

As pointed out in the Wireless Control Supplement to the August 2007 Control Engineering, one of the main motivations for incorporating wireless communications into automated control systems is to free moving system components from tethers. Using electrical cables to carry control signals to and from moving system components hobbles them.

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2008

Microprocessor-based digital potentiometer

The DP4 Series Digital Potentiometer from Dart Controls is now RoHS compliant. The product is suitable for new equipment, as well as retrofitting most ac or dc drive systems where precise, repeatable speed setting and digital readout are desired. DP4 will also support bipolar connections with power supplies of +/- 10 V dc or lower for regenerative or standard relay reversing control applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 25, 2008

Higher power over Ethernet: First powered device controller

First Powered Device (PD) Controller implementing the 2-Event Physical Layer Classification of IEEE 802.3at standard (Draft 2.0); upcoming PoE standard raises available PD input power to 30 W from 13 W in the existing 802.3af standard, says Akros Silicon.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2008

Monochrome modules: touchscreen, backlight options

A new line of 5.7-in. monochrome, modular graphic displays can be customized.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 14, 2008

Software for Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs) By Opto 22

Programmable automation controllers (PACs) meet the complex demands of modern industrial automation applications because they combine features of more traditional automation technologies: programmable logic controllers (PLCs), distributed control systems (DCSs), remote terminal units (RTUs), and personal computers (PCs).

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 14, 2008

Considerations for Choosing a Programmable Automation Controler (PAC) by Opto 22

Perhaps you’ve been reading about programmable automation controllers (PACs) and how they combine the capabilities of several traditional control and monitoring systems. (See “Comparing PACs to Other Technologies” on page 3.) As industrial applications become more complex—requiring the integration of multiple systems; incorporating process, discrete, and motion control; providing realtime data to company databases—perhaps you’re thinking PACs could be useful in you

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 6, 2008

Research: Process Automation Systems

Impact to plant operations is the leading consideration when upgrading process automation systems, according to recent monthly research of Control Engineering subscribers. Other very important considerations: manufacturing cost pressures, changes in the process, and getting needed bug fixes. More research, advice, and latest products follow.

By Pete Cleaveland for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 5, 2008

Poland: “Small China” in Europe

Polish industry: A time of significant investments 

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, PhD
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2008

Manufacturing in Poland: Creating a “mini-China” in Europe

Many investors and analysts have begun calling Poland “small China”. According to a November 2007 Forbes report, Poland, China and Vietnam are among the best places in the world for production and service investments. Recently, Ernst & Young ranked Poland as second among countries in which companies are planning to invest, stating that Poland offers “excellent productivity...

By Pietrusewicz Krzysztof, Editor, Control Engineering Poland, and assistant professor, Institute of Control Engineering, Szczecin University of Technology, Poland
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2008

Japan considers EtherCAT, other networks

With more than 108,000 visitors gathered at the System Control Fair 2007 (SCF2007) in Tokyo last November, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) took its first steps toward promoting its unique and advanced technology in Japan. This was the first time the group exhibited its high-speed industrial Ethernet technology there.

By Shin Kai for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2008

Fieldbus: Growing Globally

While considered mainstream technology, fieldbus adoption in process industries is still far from commonplace. The picture for users remains upbeat, but incomplete in many respects. Why?

By Peter Welander, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 28, 2008

In the thin of it: Real-time viscosity sensor

SenGenuity’s ViSmart viscosity sensors can correlate readings with instrument data for real-time, oil-condition monitoring applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 12, 2008

Mechatronics info: MechatronicsZone.com redesigned

MechatronicsZone.com unveiled a new design, departments and features. The site has original content on control systems, electronic systems, mechanical systems and software, areas of an emerging trend in engineering known as mechatronics.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 11, 2008

TI microcontroller families double performance and battery life

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced five new families of MSP430F2xx high-performance microcontrollers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 8, 2008

Control Engineering announces Engineers’ Choice Award Winners,  2007 New Product Compendium

Oak Brook, IL — Control Engineering has announced the winners of its 2007 Engineers’ Choice Awards, and released its 2007 New Product Compendium, an online index of more than 150 control, instrumentation and automation products introduced to North America in 2007.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2008

On-Machine Controls

Installing machine controls on the actual machine is not a new idea. Mechanical control systems, of course, were perforce installed right on the machines they controlled. They had to be, because controls were operated through mechanical linkages. Manual controls for electrically powered machinery continued to be installed on industrial machines to give human operators easy access.

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2008

Winners: Motors, Motion Control & Drives

Winners of the 2007 Engineers' Choice Awards - Motors, Motion Control and Drives

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2008

2007 New Product Nominees

2007 Engineers' Choice Award nominees. Product descriptions and deep links to more information can be found in the online 2007 New Product Compendium. 

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2008

Winners: Machine and Embedded Control

Winners of the 2007 Engineers' Choice Awards - Machine and Embedded Control

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 23, 2008

Electric Servo Motors Product Research (January 2008)

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding electric servo motors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 21, 2008

Serial communication expansion available for data station and modular controller series

Red Lion Controls , Inc. has developed the XCRS serial communications expansion card for the Data Station Plus and Modular Controller product series. Both series come standard with three serial communication ports; the XCRS expands the connectivity by adding two extra communication ports, one RS-422/RS-485 and one RS232, quickly and easily.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 7, 2008

Programmable Logic Controllers Product Research, December 2007

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding Programmable Logic Controllers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 2, 2008

Analysis: Use of brushless motors grows for factory floor and beyond

Brushless permanent magnet (PM) motors continue to evolve into high torque, high efficiency, smaller sized packages. They currently dominate electric motors in office automation, medical instruments, and a wide range of factory floor automation applications (including robots, semiconductor equipment, material handling, packaging machines, nut runners, machine tool drives). Now, they are beginning to move into lower-cost, high-volume automotive and appliance applications, albeit in selective cases.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2008

Baldor helps Dolphins make big impression

Although the Dolphins will not be Super Bowl-bound this season, the team did leave an outstanding impression on fans in the United Kingdom. The real-life model of the towering 26 foot high animatronic figure 'Big JT’ - NFL Miami Dolphins star player Jason Taylor - has very fast feet. When physical effects company Artem was commissioned to create the figure, they had to be quick as well.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2008

Servo Motors Speed Up

Rapid and often dramatic technological advancements have given new dimension and substance to automation and control systems of late. Throughout this time of change, however, some components have stayed stable and steady. Case in point is the servo motor. Enhancements and accessories may benefit the application, but the product remains nearly ubiquitous in manufacturing, providing critical serv...

By Jeanine Katzel, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2008

CNC open architectures

Most computer numerical control (CNC) systems are closed for users. Engineers typically can only program the machine, nothing more. Even if it has a so-called programming interface (including 3D visualization and process simulation, pre-defined milling/turning cycles, or even a small CAD/CAM system), it cannot be freely modified by the user.

By Krzysztof Pietrusewicz, Ph.D., Control Engineering Poland
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 27, 2007

Motion control: Automation solution provides four-axis motion control

Baldor Electric launched a new version of the company’s 'all-in-one' motion automation solution supplied in a rugged, ready-to-use packaged form. The company says its NextMove-ESB2 offers control for servo and stepper motor axes, together with onboard I/O and fieldbus connectivity.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 27, 2007

Cooperative agreement: KW-Software inks sole-source deal with Yaskawa

Yaskawa Electric America announced that they have signed a contract with KW-Software, making KW the sole supplier of the IEC software for Yaskawa’s MP2000 series of machine controllers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 20, 2007

Industrial communications: Beijer Electronics acquires Westermo

Malmö, Sweden—Beijer Electronics announced today that it is acquiring Swedish company Westermo, active in industrial data communications for about $33 million (SEK 215 million, Swedish Krona) in stock. Westermo, with 148 employees, has estimated 2007 sales of approximately $34.5 million (SEK 225 million), and an operating margin before depreciation and amortization of some 10%, Beijer says.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 17, 2007

HMIs: Real-time text labels overlaid on live video displays

Digital View has added a text overlay feature to its SVH-1920 Advanced High Definition LCD controller

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 14, 2007

Motion control: Fast feet for largest animatronic human figure; see video, photos

Bristol, U.K., and Fort Smith AR — There's fast feet on the 26 foot high animatronic figure called "Big JT" is NFL Miami Dolphins star player Jason Taylor, according to companies involved, Baldor and Artem.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 12, 2007

Embedded: Green Hills CEO warns about infrastructure security dangers

Santa Barbara, CA—U.S. software infrastructure is vulnerable, and, in his opening comments at the fifth annual Green Hills Software Embedded Software Summit, the company’s founder, president and CEO, Dan O’Dowd treated attendees to a laundry list of those vulnerabilities.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 11, 2007

CNC platform: Machine tool OEMs get high performance, flexibility

Naperville, IL — Num has launched Flexium, a modular CNC platform for machine tool manufacturers that provides scalability that can be applied economically on a machine with few axes, or more than 200. Combined with open programmability, it gives users freedom to customize the human-machine interface (HMI) and add value, the company says. It has a advanced new CNC kernel, four times more powerful than the fastest version of Num's existing Axium controller.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 10, 2007

Electro-hydraulic, servo-piston control: Hydrostatic pump family expands

Ames, IA— Sauer-Danfoss Inc. has released the H1 45/53cc and 78cc single pumps, joining its 147/165cc single pump and the 45/53cc integral tandem pump. The H1 family of compact closed-circuit variable displacement axial piston pumps features high power density. Units use an integral electro-hydraulic servo piston assembly that controls rate and direction of hydraulic flow.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 7, 2007

Maximize workspace: Wall-mounted, operator interface enclosure for constricted areas

Horsham, PA– Strongarm Designs has announced the Wall Station, a compact, wall-mounted operator interface system for process areas and plant floors where space is limited. To maximize floor space, the Wall Station attaches directly to the wall using external tabs, or through holes located in the rear of the enclosure.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2007

Research on Programmable Logic Controllers

Nothing takes the fun out of a control engineering project faster than having to wade through piles of vendor and/or supply house catalogs to find the components for a control system. Even small machine control applications require a lot of specifying, recommending, and purchasing of parts for the simplest of control logic systems—especially if it is to be rendered in traditional relay la...

By Dick Johnson, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 29, 2007

Motor standards: Activities at UL, NEMA; can you help

UL is undergoing a major revision of their motor standard UL1004, while National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is seeking help with another motor standard.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 29, 2007

Use or avoid? Inputs needed on wireless monitoring and control

VDC/Control Engineering conduct survey on wireless monitoring and control

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 29, 2007

Asset tracking: Now, where’d I leave that patient?

Combining ultra-low-power control with innovative remote communications, CenTrak Inc. (formally Remote Play) introduced its InTouch Care Real Time Location System (RTLS), which the company characterizes as an advanced, easily installed system for tracking medical personnel, patients and equipment. Based on MSP430  microcontroller units (MCUs) from Texas Instruments (TI).

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2007

Intel honors Kontron for multicore commitment

San Diego, CA—Intel selected embedded computer builder Kontron to receive its “2007 Multi-core Alignment Award of Excellence” in the Alliance Hardware Member category. The award honors the Intel Communications Alliance member having the largest number and breadth of multicore products.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2007

Not Your Grandfather’s Conveyor Line!

As I sit, staring out of this airport window at a baggage handler unloading the belly of a not-so-jumbo jet, I’m struck by how woefully behind the times that baggage handling system really is. We have a human manually picking packages off a mobile conveyor belt that he earlier towed up to the jet with a little riding tractor.

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2007

Modular Systems Combine Performance and Flexibility

Driven by intense cost and competitive pressures, semiconductor producers try to maximize production while improving outgoing quality. They also need flexible equipment that can be updated quickly and cost-effectively. Maximizing throughput measured in units per hour (uph) and doing it in the smallest area possible helps speed return on investment in an extremely competitive environment.

By Kevin Steele, Bosch Rexroth Corp.
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2007

By the Numbers – 2007-11-01

1,650 lb is the maximum load for a new wheelchair, calculated with Algor finite element analysis (FEA) software for stress analysis in design of a new Aero Innovative Research Inc. Flight Ultralight Wheelchair, called “world’s lightest and tightest-folding, fully adjustable, customizable,” at 18 lb and 9.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2007

Upgrading on the fly

Producing more than 33% of an electric power system's generating capacity can be a daunting task. Located on the Tombigbee River near Leroy, AL, the Charles R. Lowman Power Plant is Alabama Electric Cooperative's (AEC) primary generating source. With its three coal-fired generating units, Plant Lowman's generating capacity equals 556 MW of electric power.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2007

Control Engineering Poland appoints new editor-in-chief

Control Engineering Poland (www.controlengpolska.com) has a new editor in chief for the November 2007 issue. Tomasz Golebiowski (tg@controlengpolska.com) takes over the role from Hanna Tylicka, who accepted a position with a U.S. petrochemical company. Tylicka had been with the publication for more than three years.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2007

Compensation: Measurement and control, salaries, incentives gain

Williamsburg, VA—The annual compensation study targeted on salaried positions in the measurement, control and automation industry was published recently by the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA). The report now includes hourly wage rates for regular and temporary employees.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2007

Improving PLC Compatibility and flexibility in aseptic blow/fill/seal machines

Upgrading components in manufacturing equipment is something that plant engineers take very seriously and think through carefully. Equipment-upgrade options are inspected and tested empirically before a selection is made. The newly modified machine must operate flawlessly to fulfill the requirements of the facility and must integrate smoothly with other designated equipment within the plant.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 29, 2007

Customer-centricity: Innovation center reveals a reinvigorated Schneider Electric

Raleigh, NC—Schneider Electric launched a revolutionary technology center to support automation and control original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the first-ever such resource in the industry, company representatives said. The Automation and Control Innovation Center in Raleigh, NC, brings together a dedicated team of industry specialists from multiple disciplines who serve as a single-point resource for technical and application support, helping with customer focus.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 25, 2007

Industrial Ethernet: Bottom to top, 1Gb CC-Link IE connects them all

Nagoya, Japan—The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) says CC-Link IE industrial Ethernet protocol, can connect all levels of manufacturing, from top management planning systems to smart sensors on the shop floor.   Standard version of CC-Link (originally developed by Mitsubishi Electric) uses RS-485; the new CC-Link IE uses the increasingly popular Ethernet physical layer. (See also CC-Link IE: First, open, industrial Gigabit Ethernet protocol.)

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 22, 2007

New editor: Control Engineering Poland

Warsaw, Poland—Control Engineering Poland has a new editor in chief for the November 2007 issue. Tomasz Golebiowski takes over the role from Hanna Tylicka, who accepted a position with a U.S. petrochemical company. Tylicka had been with the publication for more than three years.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 19, 2007

Embedded: Porting MatLab to an embedded system near you

The Mathworks eased development of compute-intensive applications for embedded systems by introducing Embedded Matlab, a subset of the company’s popular Matlab suite of software. The set of functions enables users to generate highly efficient, embeddable C code directly from Matlab programs, avoiding the time-consuming and error-prone process of rewriting algorithms in C after developing and testing them in Matlab.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 17, 2007

Pack Expo 2007: Programmable sensors enhance production speed, quality

Las Vegas, NV—“Test often. Improve productivity” is the mantra Matt Simms, product manager for photoelectric sensors at Eaton Corp., an advocate for high-speed automated production. “You can spend $10,000 on an automated inspection system that will look at 29 quality measures,” he says, “but it may not be able to keep up with the line, in which case you’re doing sampling, not 100% inspection.”

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 12, 2007

Mechatronics Expo helps define the field, integrate engineering disciplines

Burlington, MA—More efficient multi-discipline systems-level engineering design is closer to reality for some, after discussions at a mechatronics event. Three Reed Business Information business-to-business publications (Design News, EDN, and Control Engineering) worked together to organize the first ever Mechatronics Expo, held at the Boston Marriott Burlington here on Oct. 9, 2007. The event included displays by a number of vendors and an all-day conference program.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 11, 2007

Software improves electrical design performance, usability

ECT International has released a completely rewritten and redesigned version of its electrical design software package, promis-e 2007.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 9, 2007

Acquired: AFM Canada, Mead Fluid Dynamics, Hardy Instruments

Hardy Instruments, Mead Fluid Dynamics, and AFM Canada were among recently acquired companies. To learn details on each, and how the changes could benefit customers, see below.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 8, 2007

Skill saver: Cognos merges Microsoft Excel exploration and analysis with secure BI foundation

A new capability enables Microsoft Excel users to analyze centrally controlled Cognos 8 Business Intelligence performance information for improved decision-making.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 4, 2007

Component selection: Easier choices for specifying, design

Product Selection Toolbox, offered free of charge by Rockwell Automation, is a comprehensive suite of product selection and system design software tools for OEMs, end users and electrical contractors ordering Allen-Bradley products. These tools are available online or can be installed on customers’ computers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2007

Analog Encoders Reduce Pre-alignment Time

How do you double semiconductor wafer throughput, decrease wafer pre-alignment time fivefold (to 600 ms), and improve in positional repeatability fivefold (to 5 nm), while at the same time reducing cost and increasing reliability? The competitive nature of the semiconductor industry places increasing importance on performance characteristics and integration ease for motion controllers used in t...

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2007

Synchronized Motion Relies on Special Controls

The number of motion axes found in industrial automation systems has grown steadily over time because of availability of more powerful controllers and other processor advancements. Yet, in many of those systems, motion axes function independently of each other—as in indexing stations that move parts point-to-point through serial manufacturing stages or in distributed architectures with pa...

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E., Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2007

Efficiency, growth, effectiveness at MESA’s Plant2Enterprise conference

The convergence of production and business data, actionable metrics and continuous improvement processes were again hot topics for automation vendors, end user and analysts at this year’s MESA’s annual Plant2Enterprise Conference, Sept. 16-18, in Orlando, FL. Presentations included data collection and business process management, with a heavy focus on “real world” storie...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2007

High speed and high force actuators

Linak’s high speed and high force electric actuators are built on the LA36 actuator platform. One has a speed of up to 6.3 in./second without a load and another version has a maximum load of 2,247 lb. It is ideal for traffic control and other applications where speed is a critical element. Electrical solutions often have lifting limitations, and the high force version LA36 actuator attemp...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 27, 2007

Embedded: Freescale unleashes 10 ColdFire microcontrollers for low-end 32-bit systems

Addressing the need for flexible connectivity and energy efficiency in the embedded world, Freescale Semiconductor has added 10 highly integrated microcontrollers (MCUs) to the company’s extensive 32-bit ColdFire portfolio. The company says that these latest additions provide developers with a broad range of cost-effective, low-power connectivity options, coupled with comprehensive software tools.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 20, 2007

Application: Cranes get load moment indicator

Hirschmann Automation and Control introduced the iVisor mentor QVGA (graphic) load moment indicator (LMI) for mobile cranes. It provides the operator with a graphic display of the crane and the current load and geometric information, including the actual and allowable load, boom length, boom angle, and load radius.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 12, 2007

Process instrumentation company celebrates 50 years

Wixom, MI—Acromag, a manufacturer of I/O devices for process instrumentation, industrial control networks, and bus-board embedded computer systems, is celebrating its 50th year of business.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 11, 2007

Touch panel computer operates on low power

A fanless 12.1-in. touch panel computer from the Industrial Automation Group of Advantech features a powerful yet low-power consumption Intel Pentium M 1.4GHz/Celeron M 1GHz processor. The TPC-1270H is fanless to improve maintenance-free operation, but powerful enough to support full Microsoft Windows operating systems such as XP Professional, as well as embedded systems such as XPe.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 3, 2007

Good numbers: industrial controls, motion control systems, and packaging machinery

Three recent reports announce positive news for manufacturers, distributors, system integrators, and users of industrial controls, motion control, and packaging machinery, with some areas in double digits.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2007

All My Best Ideas are Stolen

Physicist and star of educational TV during the 1950s and 1960s, Dan Q. Posin was fond of quoting Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants.” Designing control systems may not be on the same level as Newton’s contributions, but “standing on the shoulders of giants”—that is, learning from others’ experience—i...

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2007

Cutting the Cost of Compliance

When questioned, Magnus Hermansson, general manager for GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden, notes his facility doesn’t fall under direct FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), scrutiny. What the plant produces, after all, is the chromatography media used in protein separation and purification.

By Hank Hogan for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 23, 2007

Hydraulic controller nets best-paper win

Mondeep Duarah and Vijay Jayabalan of Captronic Systems, Bangalore, India, won Best Paper in the control category at NIWeek 2007 with their article entitled “Digital Electro-Hydraulic Servo Controller.”

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 20, 2007

Control Engineering Asia honored

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—Control Engineering Asia magazine garnered an Excellence Award at the inaugural Asian Publishing Management Awards for the “Most successful launch of a licensed brand.”

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 15, 2007

Driver enhances LabView to create motion profiles

Austin, TX—Yaskawa Electric, a manufacturer of ac inverter drives, servo and motion control, and robotics automation systems, developed a driver for National Instruments’ LabView graphical programming environment.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2007

Motion Control Meets Medical Imaging

Medical imaging original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are turning to motion control platforms that help control costs, streamline production globally, and provide systems capable of delivering the most sophisticated 2D and 3D clinical images possible. Motion control requirements are driven by these goals, and the need to satisfy specific kinematics requirements.

By Kevin Steele, Bosch Rexroth Corp.
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2007

Loop Controllers: Dedicated Units Gain Popularity

Process loops can be controlled by a variety of devices: standalone single-loop or multi-loop controllers, PC-based controllers, or pneumatic controllers. Which types users preferred and why were among results in the 2007 survey of user of standalone loop controllers conducted by Control Engineering and Reed Research Group.

By Peter Cleaveland, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2007

Wireless Keeps Machines Coordinated

Wireless integration of control systems has been around for a long, long time. Wireless remote control of aircraft and marine vessels—essentially the technology used by RC (radio controlled) modelers today—was developed before World War II. Because the barriers to entry have been lowered so dramatically, wireless control has become competitive with wired control for most applications.

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2007

Anniversary: Flowserve celebrates 10 years

Flowserve Corp., a company specializing in fluid motion and control products and services, celebrated 10 years of its incorporation and listing on the New York Stock Exchange on July 20.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 26, 2007

Motion:  Lenze-AC Tech moves toward packaged solutions

Uxbridge, MA—As the new mechanical product manager at Lenze-AC Tech, [www.actech.com] Chris Ball’s marching orders are to spearhead the company’s drive to integrate its next generation of gearmotors and gear reducers with its other products, creating packaged solutions and integrated systems.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 26, 2007

GE Fanuc announces portable device to simplify application transfer

GE Fanuc Automation, a unit of GE Industrial, introduced the Portable Program Device (PPD), which simplifies the storing of a controllers application without a PC. The device enables the user to easily upload and download controller configuration and logic to/from any USB memory stick using USB connection.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 12, 2007

Connectivity: USB enabled storage for controller applications

Charlottesville, Va.—The Portable Program Device, a new tool from GE Fanuc Automation, simplifies the storing of controllers applications and configurations by allowing a user to easily upload and download to and from any USB memory stick.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 12, 2007

Commemoration: Gold-plated controller marks 20,000 installation

Orlando, Fla.— Prof. Dr. Michael Bruns (left), head of process automation for Siemens A&D, presented a gold-plated Simatic PCS 7 controller to Chris DaCosta,

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 11, 2007

Creativity contest: Explore Z-Wave, win gear

Zensys contest wants to find the most creative Z-Wave control creations. Z-Wave is a wireless control standard for home applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 5, 2007

Faster unloading: System integrator melds vision, robotics

London, Ontario, Canada –Using off-the-shelf machine vision components and a Motoman robotic arm, the Autoflex Loader from JMP Engineerin g provides an economical solution to common labor issues. The product offers manufacturers a cost effective solution to maximize the value of their plant labor related to bin unloading, says JMP, a privately owned industrial system integration company. Autoflex Loader, now available in to U.S. customers after prior introduction in Canada, was demonstrated at the International Robots and Vision (IRV) Show in Rosemont, IL, June 12-14, 2007.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 3, 2007

Markets: Robotics and electroindustry see solid growth

The robotics and electroindustry are growing in 2007, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) in separate announcements. Robotics companies posted gains of 24% in the first quarter, while current business conditions for the electroindustry improved considerably in June compared to May.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 28, 2007

Trends: Drive technology for ac motors

Zurich, Switzerland—Traditionally, the primary use of drives has been in such applications as powering pumps, fans and conveyors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 28, 2007

Linear Motors: Miniature direct-drive linear motor helps shrink automation systems

Canton, MA—Copley Controls introduced a new ServoTube small-silhouette STB11 linear motor.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 21, 2007

Specialty Motors and FO Engineering announce strategic alliance

Specialty Motors (SMI) and FO Engineering have agreed to jointly pursue of new business and development of a new proprietary line of power and motion control products.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 8, 2007

Machine control: Siemens Energy and Automation appoints new VP for assembly systems

Siemens Energy & Automation appointed Jeff Timms to be vice president of its Electronics Assembly Systems Division (EA) effective immediately.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2007

PC-based logic, puzzle-solving robotics

Bosch Rexroth displayed a robotic system to solve Rubik’s Cube puzzles—demonstrating the prowess of its NYCe compact PC-based control. Repetitive puzzle solutions took less than 2 minutes. Software programming of the robot was provided by Korean company Sejin-iGB (www.gear-box.com). Besides its wide range of electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic control technologies on display, other B...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2007

Who Puts the ‘Industrial’ in Ethernet?

Industrial Ethernet hardware can take plant-floor punishment without pampering in enclosures, allowing shorter cable runs with simpler distributed (rather than centralized) designs, and higher reliability than commercial-level Ethernet switches, routers, hubs, gateways, and connectors. Industrial ratings (such as NEMA 4x or IP67 and beyond) applied to Ethernet hardware mean that equipment can h...

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2007

Brushless PM Torque Motors

Electric motors come in a rich variety of configurations to suit different purposes. One specialty motor type—known as a direct-drive, permanent-magnet (PM) torque motor—is characterized by a large diameter-to-length ratio and large number of magnetic poles to optimize torque production. These relatively low speed motors, usually operating under 1,000 rpm, come in housed and framele...

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E., Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2007

Mechatronics Resolves Design Challenges

Intense global competition is putting pressure on machine builders to deliver machines with higher throughput, reduced operating cost, increased safety and more features that improve productivity and differentiate their machines from the competition. For this reason, today’s machine builders have switched from designing rigid, single-purpose machines that rely purely on mechanical gears a...

By Nipun Mathur, National Instruments
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2007

Equipped for the Future

WMF AG (Worttemberg Metal-goods Factory), headquartered in Geislingen an der Steige, Germany, sees itself as a provider of branded products that must be able to meet the most rigorous of demands in terms of design, quality and ergonomic functionality. The company recently revamped its polishing operation for pots and lids, incorporating the latest robotic technology.

By Joe Kraus, Kuka Robotics
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2007

Changing of the guard: New CEO takes reins at Siemens E&A

Siemens Energy and Automation Inc. (SE&A) has a new leader. The company announced recently that Dennis Sadlowski, 46, will take over as president and chief executive officer of the company on July 1, 2007. Sadlowski succeeds Aubert Martin, 64, who is retiring after a very successful career spanning 40 years with Siemens.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2007

High-resolution monitoring speeds bearing press-fitting

A transmission, transfer case or differential may contain four to six bearings that are press fit into place on assembly lines turning out as many as 3,000 transmissions a day, so the problem of automatically finding the exact end point when the part is seated properly is especially widespread in automotive powertrain assembly.

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 24, 2007

Digital drives: Synchronous motors cold form precision profiles

Using a cold forming process to manufacture high-quality gear teeth calls for a drive system that can guide movements precisely and in absolute synchronism.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 24, 2007

Embedded processor: Versatile multi-core chip helps industrial applications

Freescale Semiconductor introduced a highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) processor it says has been optimized for high-performance, power-sensitive applications requiring complex graphics, multimedia, and real-time audio processing.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 10, 2007

Small system control: PLC mounts in standard 11-pin base

Solves-It! plug-in PLC from Divelbiss Corp. is intended for small system control and monitor applications, particularly where panel space is limited. Solves-It! plug-in PLC from Divelbiss Corp ., packaged in a standard relay style housing with an 11-pin plug-in base, is available from stock in two versions. Series of programmable logic controllers is intended for use where a small yet versatile controller is required.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 4, 2007

Motion control: Market growth to stabilize in Western Europe

The market for motion controllers in Western Europe is still expanding slowly, but is entering a period where the growth rate should stabilize at around 4.15% CAGR, according to projections by Suman Bhaskar, a research analyst covering industrial process and control markets for Frost & Sullivan

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2007

Motion: major actuator types

Electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic motion are three major actuator technologies. Which you use depends on your application’s characteristics. Electric control excels when absolute accuracy of movement is required or when continuous motion is needed. Electric servo control is useful in diverse applications: CNC (computer numerical control) for spindles in machining centers and in lift̵...

By R. Rusk, D. Warmus, B. Rogers, T. Dwyer, Bosch Rexroth
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2007

Compact photoelectric sensors

Series 31 Opti-Vue photoelectric sensors from Pepperl+Fuchs feature a compact, 35 x 62 mm footprint. The sensors are the company’s smallest photoelectric sensor line, offering a built-in SPDT relay with ac/dc models, and a 4-in-1 output with dc models. An integrated SPDT relay eliminates the need for a separately mounted and wired relay, and the company’s 4-in-1 technology allows on...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2007

More Challenge, More Income

The average Control Engineering subscriber has progressed predictably since we last surveyed print and online readers in 2005: He (and respondents are overwhelmingly male) is two years older (just over 48), has two more years at his current job (for a total of 9.17 years), and has almost 23 years of experience (compared to 21.

By Renee Robbins, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2007

Renewable energy: Hydraulics plant tour highlights wind power

Wind energy and the hydraulic components used in renewable energy projects were spotlighted during a recent visit by international journalists and state officials to Bosch Rexroth’s hydraulics plant in Bethlehem, PA. Bethlehem, PA —Manufacturing for the renewable energy market was the topic for discussion when Bosch Rexroth hosted Pennsylvania state officials and journalists from Western Europe recently at its industrial hydraulics facility here. Organized by the state governor's office, the visit was part of an outreach effort to highlight Pennsylvania's manufacturing capabilities.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 30, 2007

Electromechanical rod actuators

DNCE electromechanical rod actuator from Festo is a screw-driven linear actuator with a non-rotating round piston rod.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 26, 2007

Actuators: Choosing the right technology

Machine designers should take a cross-technology view of power technology, choosing the most appropriate for their application.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 23, 2007

Dual 14-bit A/D converters

ADSD-1420S and ADSD-1420S-EX are the latest additions to C&D Technologies range of dual sampling A/D converters.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 18, 2007

Eclipse open-source programming toolkit

At the Embedded Systems Conference held in San Jose, CA, Aonix, a provider of solutions for safety- and mission-critical applications, announced that it is leading a new Eclipse-based initiative to create an Ada Development Toolkit (ADT) project and will collaborate with the Eclipse Foundation toward that end.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 17, 2007

Motion control: Servo drives add high-current power levels

Parker's Electromechanical Automation Div.'s Compax3 family of industrial high-performance, all-digital servo drives now comes in four new high-current power levels. Rohnert Park, CA —Four new high-current power levels have been added to Parker's Electromechanical Automation Division 's Compax3 family of industrial high-performance, all-digital servo drives. Series is now available with up to 75 kW of output power to satisfy the demand for high- and low-power drives within the same family.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 17, 2007

Control Engineering 2006 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winners

Control Engineering 2006 Engineers’ Choice Awards Innovative control, automation and instrumentation new products introduced between December 2005 and Dec 2006 Stand Out Technologies Every year, hundreds of new products are introduced, but only a few go on to greatness. At Control Engineering , we try to predict which those will be. View the winners HMIS AND INDUSTRIAL PCS HMI Hardware Hardened Resistive Touchscreens - Christensen Display ProductsHMi Operator Interface- Eaton Corp. HMI Software Web Studio v6.1 - IndusoftWebHMI - Iconics Industrial PCs C69xx Industrial PCs - BeckhoffPowerBox 1700 - Modular Industrial Computers. MACHINE CONTROLLERS AND EMBEDDED CONTROL Controllers CX1020 Embedded PC - Beckhoff AutomationCompactLogix 1768-L43 - Rockwell Automation Embedded Products Fido 32-bit hard real-time microcontroller - Innovasic SemiconductorETXexpress-CD - Kontron Discrete Sensors & Readers Dataman 7500 Series reader - CognexChecker 101E - Cognex INSTRUMENTATION AND COMPONENTS Components & Connectors PanelMax corner wiring duct - PanduitP Series terminals - Weidmuller Instrumentation & Analysis Rosemount 3051S for HART protocol - Emerson Process ManagementPDM Series power display - Ohio Semitronics Process Sensors AWI-P wirelss pressure transmitter - Adalet WirelessSafety-certified Coriolis meters - Emerson Process Management MOTORS, DRIVES AND MOTION CONTROL Drives Kinetix 7000 servo drive - Rockwell AutomationKinetix 6000 servo drive - Rockwell Automation Motion Control Model 940 PositionServo - Lenze/AC Technology Corp.750 Series Stepper Module - Wago Corp.MSS Series gearheads - Baldor Electric Motors NEMA motors - Siemens Energy & AutomationMR-J3 Series AC Servos - Mitsubishi Electric Automation NETWORK HARDWARE AND I/O Switches, Routers & Hubs SE-44M-E924 managed Ethernet switch - TurckDirect-Link industrial Ethernet switch - Woodhead Industries I/O Products & Cabling BK9105 EtherNet/IP Bus Coupler - Beckhoff AutomationActive Ethernet I/O - Moxa TechnologiesSnap PAC R-2 - Opto 22 Wireless Solutions Channel Blanket topology - BeldenRAD-802.11XD WiFi device with security - Phoenix Contact SOFTWARE Enterprise Integration & Analysis InFusion ECS - Invensys Process SystemsEquipment Operations Module 1.0 - Wonderware Programming LabView 8.2 - National InstrumentsDevelopment modules for ControlLogix C applications - ProSoft Technology PROCESS & ADVANCED CONTROL Advanced Control Loop-Pro software suite - Control Station Inc.Profit Suite R300 - Honeywell Process Solutions Process Control InTune v5 predictive maintenance software - ControlSoftSafetyNet for emergency shutdown - MTL Open Systems Technologies 2007 Awards Nomination Instructions and Timeline Information to come Previous Editors' Choice and Engineers' Choice award winners Seal of Approval: Best Technologies of 2005 2004 Editors' Choice Awards Archive of earlier winners 2006 New Product Compendium Nominated 2006 New Products by Category Human-Machine Interfaces and Industrial PCs HMI Hardware HMI Software Industrial PCs Instrumentation, Process Sensors, Control Components Analysis instrumentation Connectors Process Sensors Machine and Embedded Control Controllers Discrete sensors and readers Embedded products Motors, Drives and Motion Control Drives Motion control Motors Networks/Communications Hardware and Software I/O products and cabling Switches, routers and hubs Wireless solutions Process and Advanced Control Advanced control Process control Software Enterprise integration Programming Additional New Products Introduced in 2006 Machine Control, Embedded Freescale Semiconductor MC9RS08KA MCU An ultra-low-end, sub-50-cent 8-bit MCU small enough to fit in the head of an electric toothbrush, ideal for traditional electro-mechanical and portable applications such as motor control. Machine Control, Embedded Freescale Semiconductor MR2A16A MRAM The 4-Mbit MR2A16A device uses magnetic materials combined with conventional silicon circuitry to deliver the speed of SRAM with the non-volatility of Flash in a single, high endurance device. Instrumentation and control components, Process sensors Schneider Electric Sensor Competency Center Hyde Park Virtu 30 The new Virtu 30 mm by Hyde Park is an ultrasonic sensor available in a 30 mm barrel body style that breaks new ground for the cost-conscious customer. These compact sensors solve a greater number of applications with an increased sensing distance of 4' (102 mm) to 39' (1m) with the option of being normally open, normally closed or a teachable output.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 9, 2007

Industrial relay is 6-mm wide

Industrial style G2RV slim relay from Omron Electronic Components LLC is only 6 mm wide.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 2, 2007

Ready-made motion control

IndraMotion for Metal Forming roll feed system is a ready-made motion control system from Bosch Rexroth.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2007

A Rainforest Grows in Cleveland

Behind the scenes, a lot of control engineering goes into creating and maintaining a tropical rainforest near Lake Erie, just 40 miles from the Canadian border. It is a feat accomplished by Cleveland (Ohio) Metroparks, a recreational authority that provides an “emerald necklace” of woodlands, golf courses, hiking trails, and other attractions surrounding this Midwest city—know...

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2007

Kinetix 7000 Servo Drive adds flexibility, high performance

Rockwell Automation With continuous output power of 22 to 150 kW, Kinetix 7000 servo drive seamlessly integrates with Allen-Bradley Logix controllers, servo motors, and actuators to add flexibility to machine design and efficiency to manufacturing. The units go beyond supporting synchronous permanent magnet motors, with asynchronous induction motor support as well, giving customers a cost-effec...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2007

Hydraulic Motion Control

The market for powder compacting press equipment is highly competitive, with machine manufacturers vying for market share using a variety of cost/performance options. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) succeed by reducing costs, adding features, increasing productivity, or combining all three. A case in point is Precision Compacting Technologies of Bentonville, AR.

By Rick Meyerhoefer, Delta Computer Systems
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2007

fido 32-bit hard real-time microcontroller integrates software tasks

Innovasic Semiconductor The fido architecture greatly eases the design and test of real-time control applications while providing higher reliability and lower power consumption. The fido family is the first microcontroller designed specifically for industrial applications, including real-time and safety-critical performance, inventory management, reduced development time and life-cycle support.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 29, 2007

Energy storage: Ultracapacitor for heavy-duty use

Maxwell Technologies has introduced a rugged 390 V Boostcap ultracapacitor module to provide scalable, easy-to-integrate, energy storage and power delivery solutions for heavy hybrid and electric vehicles and heavy duty industrial applications requiring up to 1,170 V. The new Heavy Duty Transportation (HTM) module delivers industry-leading performance and reliability and long operational life for vehicles and industrial systems that use electrical energy to enhance efficiency and environmental compatibility. The unit features enhanced integration technology and up to 2.8 times greater energy storage than earlier products. 'Ultracapacitor-based solutions increase the efficiency of systems that consume electrical energy, which saves fuel or grid power, thereby reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants associated with conventional internal combustion vehicles and energy generation,' said Dr.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 29, 2007

Angle sensor: Magnetostrictive device helps stop world’s fastest car

Two Model MS Temposonics magnetostrictive sensors mounted in the Bugatti Veyron's rear-wing supports help raise the wing to improve braking effectiveness at high speeds. Source: MTS Systems Corp. Sensors Division Being the world's fastest street-legal passenger car is all very nice, but what happens when the lady pushing the baby carriage steps off the curb at just the wrong moment? At that point, it's time to have the world's best brakes as well! The Bugatti Veyron actually is touted as the world's fastest street-legal motor vehicle.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 29, 2007

Controller board: Kontron adds Intel duo-processor support on CompactPCI controller board

Kontron added Intel CoreTM 2 Duo processor support to its Kontron CP6012 CompactPCI processor board. According to the company, the upgraded board, called the Kontron CP601264, meets the highest performance standards, and, in combination with the Intel E7520 chipset, manages data throughput with server quality. The PICMG 2.16-compatible Kontron CP601264 features an L2 cache that is twice as large (4 MB), a much improved internal architecture, and 64-bit Intel technology for increased performance over the Intel Core Duo option.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips November 2006

November 28, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Use the right feedback device for the application Closed loop systems use feedback signals for stabilization, speed, and position information. There are a variety of devices to provide this data, such as the analog tachometer, optical encoder, Hall sensor, and resolver. The table in Figure 1 summarizes their various features.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips March 2005

MARCH 29, 2005 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Motion control terminology Motion control, as other technologies, has its fair share of special terms. Not all of them are rigorously defined; some require blending to suit the specific audience. Here's a sampling of some well-known and not-so-well-known terms. A motion control system typically consists of a controller to process motion algorithms and signals; an amplifier to boost signals to a level needed to power an actuator that provides the motion output; and feedback (sensors/transducers) to allow adjustments for process changes, based on comparing measured output with the input. An operator interface or host terminal front-end completes the system.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips December 2006

December 26, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: More servomotor inertial matching. The following is a reader response to a Technology Update called 'Matching moments of inertia' that appears in the December 1, 2006, issue of Control Engineering magazine. Click here to read that. As 'Matching moments of inertia' points out, for best performance the moments of inertia of the load and servomotor armature should have a 1:1 match.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips August 2005

August 30, 2005 Tech TipLow-voltage fuse application guidance Fuse voltage ratings are related to their capacity to open a circuit during overcurrent conditions. Voltage rating determines the fuse’s ability to suppress internal arcing produced after a fuse link melts. Select a voltage rating higher, but never lower, than system or circuit voltage. With a lower voltage rating, arc suppression will be impaired and—under some fault-current conditions—the fuse may not safely clear the overcurrent. Low-voltage fuses of a given (labeled) voltage rating can be safely applied on lower service voltages.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips March 2007

March 20, 2007 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Factors affecting network bandwidth. Bandwidth is defined as the carrying ca-pacity of a circuit. It's usually measured in bits per second for digital circuits, or in hertz for analog circuits.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips September-October 2005

October 25, 2005 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Avoiding ground loops Ground loops (also referred to as 'noise') in an electrical system result from unwanted current flow in a conductor connecting two points that should be at the same electrical potential, but aren't. Minimizing electrical noise effects on control system performance and reliability requires: Using isolated ac power sources; Establishing a single, common system ground point; Providing isolation for low-voltage signals (for example, thermocouples); Minimizing influence of stray magnetic fields; and Selecting appropriate cables and pathways, including adequate cable separation. Improper grounding, such as grounding cable shield wires at both ends or at the wrong end, is well-documented as a source of introducing electrical noise. Cable shield wires should be grounded at one end, preferably at the power source end. The other end should be taped and protected.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips February 2007

February 27, 2007 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Use motor current to monitor load. Every wire carrying an electric current cloaks itself in a magnetic field. You can find the direction of the field by using your right hand to grab the wire so that your thumb points in the current direction.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

Tech Tips April 2006

April 25, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Using diagnostic features of digital valve positioners Digital valve controllers/positioners (DVCs/DVPs) have added significant intelligence to their features over recent years. End-users can tap into this intelligence to ease their valve maintenance and diagnostic chores. Diagnostics available from most DVC manufacturers include: Final control device tracking parameters for monitoring total (accumulated) travel and the number of reversals (cycles); DVC health parameter tests, providing alerts about memory, microprocessor, and/or sensor problems. These permit operator alarms or, for more severe problems, unit or process shutdown actions; Final control device alerts.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2007

New pneumatic control: Need to interface electronic with legacy pneumatic?

Pneumatic interface is compact and resistant to environmental vibrations. If you need to interface an analog electronic instrumentation device with an existing pneumatic control system, valve positioner, or other similar equipment, this new current-to-pressure transducer could be very helpful. It converts 4-20 mA analog output from any type of device into a linearly proportional pneumatic signal using one of three formats. The new 590X I/P transducer from ControlAir can generate three pneumatic output ranges, including 3-15 psi, 3-27 psi, or 6-30 psi, from a 4-20 mA signal.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2007

Question of the Week Q106

March 28, 2006 QUESTION: A graphical language for depicting sequential behavior of a control system (or control action) is referred to as a sequential function chart (SFC). It's used to define time- and event-driven control sequences, and is considered as an extremely effective graphical language to express both high-level parts of a control program and to program low-level sequences—for example, device interfaces. SFC elements are used to structure the internal organization to perform sequential control functions in order to partition a set of steps and transitions connected by directed links . A transition is the condition whereby control passes from one step of the SFC to another—along the corresponding directed link.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2007

Question of the Weekly Q406

December 26, 2006 QUESTION: Can a vision system reject cartons with incorrect bar codes? Khalid Jamal Khayyat, Pharmaceutical Solutions Industry Ltd., Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, wants to know, 'Is there a vision inspection system available that can read barcodes on carton labels as they move down a production packaging line, and can reject cartons that have incorrect bar codes?' This is a classic control application using machine vision, and there have been a number of systems built to do it. With a popular application like this, your best bet is to look for a pre-packaged application from a major vision-equipment vendor, such as Cognex or Systech International. To pick the right system, however, you'll need to supply a few details about your application. First, how repeatable is the position of the barcode and label? At issue is where will each barcode appear in the camera's field of view. In some situations, the barcode is sure to appear in exactly the same spot in the field every time.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2007

Question of the Week Q206

June 27, 2006 QUESTION: This is a trim installed inside a valve that uses a "torturous path," multiple holes, expanding flow area, or sudden expansions and contractions to lower the sound pressure level generated by a valve. Source: "Valve Handbook," Philip L. Skousen, McGraw-Hill (1998), ISBN 0-070057921-0 June 20, 2006 QUESTION: The torque required to start a motor or machine from standstill. Due to static friction effects, it is always greater than the torque needed to maintain motion. Source: Glossary of Terms, "General Motion Control," Rockwell Automation Inc., Publication GMC (April 1998). June 13, 2006 QUESTION: A high-performance valve used to regulate flow, temperature, or pressure of a process.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2007

Question of the Week 2007

February 27, 2007 QUESTION: Can I automate operation of a high vacuum system? The pumping system recommended for general use consists of a mechanical foreline pump that holds back atmospheric pressure and a turbomolecular main pump that scavanges the final 0.1% of the gas in the vacuum chamber. A bypass valve allows isolating the main pump while evacuating the vacuum chamber with the mechanical pump. Essentially any vacuum system can easily be automated.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 21, 2007

Question of the Week 2005

December 27, 2005 QUESTION: For short, it's a graphical plot of failure rates over time for many electronic (and mechanical) parts and products—yielding a curve that resembles the axial cross-section of a "bathtub." A bathtub curve represents data of calculated empirical population failure rates of products aging over time. Three regions characterize the curve. Early failure period (or infant failure period) begins at time zero when a customer first puts the product into use, and often results in a high but rapidly decreasing failure rate.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 20, 2007

Lab to fab: Printed electronics facility opens, uses new platform technology

Nanoident's new OFAB is fitted with a class 100 cleanroom using highly sophisticated air filtration. Here, materials with electrical properties are deposited onto a substrate in extremely thin (20 to 200 nm) layers. Linz, Austria —"Faster, cheaper, better" may reach a new level in semiconductor manufacturing with the recent opening of a new high-volume printing plant.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 15, 2007

AS-Interface network I/O nodes help high-speed communication

Twinsburg, OH —New combined transaction functionality in the VBA family of I/O modules from Pepperl+Fuchs allows transmission of fast analog signals and dedicated high-speed communications profile updates of analog data at the full speed of the network, using AS-Interface specification 3.0. Among other benefits, it is now possible to define a “configuration channel” between I/O devices and the gateway, allowing complex devices to be configured and used easily on AS-Interface. The network often is used inside machines or in the field to connect binary sensors and actuators to higher control-level communications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 8, 2007

New: Rugged bus cables for process automation networks

Northwire offers the DataCell Field Profibus PA and other rugged cables for use with industrial networks, serving process control and machine control applications. Networked process automation networks may get a boost in reliability with Northwire Inc. DataCell Field rugged bus cables for Profibus PA .

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 6, 2007

Proximity switches: New line suitable for liquid level monitoring, positioning

Capacitive proximity switches from Contrinex monitor levels of liquids, pastes, and bulk material in machines and more, even through non-metallic dividing walls. Old Saybrook, CT —New line of capacitive proximity switches from Contrinex is intended for monitoring the levels of liquids, pastes, and bulk materials in machines, installations, and vehicles, even through non-metallic dividing walls. Devices are also suitable for use as limit switches, contact-free position switches, for monitoring and position, as pulse generators for counting, distance, and speed measurement. Switches are enclosed in PPO or PTFE synthetic housings and 304 stainless-steel or nickel-plated brass metal housings and potted in epoxy resin.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 5, 2007

Microcontroller has integrated LCD driver

Family of highly integrated, power efficient 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) devices from Freescale Semiconductor is optimized for LCDs.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2007

Stepper Motion Evolution

It’s the only motion-control method able to run in open loop, without the need for position feedback. This makes stepper-motor-based systems simpler than servo motion systems, with the lower cost of step motors adding to the attraction. Coupled with other evolving design enhancements—such as hardware miniaturization and higher torque density—stepper systems stay competitive fo...

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2007

Ladder logic: Strengths, weaknesses

Anyone who has ever worked on a project knows that one of the differences between an amateur and a professional is using the right tool for the job. This holds true whether repairing a faucet or programming a measurement and control system. Recognizing this need, software vendors often allow multiple programming methods to be used with their software. Tips, diagrams follow.

By Todd Walter, National Instruments
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2007

How to export technology: 4 checkpoints

Break the rules on export of technologies and software and you may experience the feel of handcuffs. What you need to know is neither cut and dried nor uniform. Sensors, logic, actuators, software, networking technologies (much of what Control Engineering subscribers design, use, purchase, integrate, and export) are subject to those rules and restrictions.

By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 27, 2007

Engineers’ Choice 2006 – Motors

Engineers Choice CompetitionNew Products for 2006: Motors, Drives, and Motion Control Control Engineering — February 15, 2007The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2007

EU rules open opportunities for control system vendors

European Union (EU) legislation is the most important driver in the automation and control solutions market for the European water and waste water sector. At the same time, technological advances and the widening provision of open systems will help overcome challenges such as ensuring highly compatible automation solutions, establishing strong systems-integrator networks and providing PC-based systems, according to a report by market research firm, Frost & Sullivan . The report , entitled, Automation and Control Solution in the European Water and Waste Water Sector M04B-10 , finds that the automation and control solutions market in the European water and wastewater sector earned revenues of $540.4 million in 2006, and estimates this will reach $780.9 million in 2013. “Stringent EU directives aimed at improving water and waste water infrastructure are the primary driver for the growth of the market across Europe,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Karthikeyan Balasubramaniyam.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 22, 2007

Motion control: Actuators pack high power into small footprints

Parker Hannifin Corporation 's Actuator Division introduced the P5TT and P5TD Series Twin-Rod cylinders designed for light duty, non-rotational and bearing-guided linear motion applications. The series completes the company's family of compact, high-speed, short-stroke actuators that provide superior power in a smaller footprint. Designed specifically for use on conveyor equipment, packaging machinery, and assembly systems, these cylinder series provide cost-effective, leading-edge technology to meet a wide range of application requirements. They feature dual-cylinder bores to deliver maximum force in a compact, lightweight package; direct mounting of multiple actuators to optimize cost-effectiveness in multi-axis systems; and unique engineering to provide economical solutions for light-duty, non-rotational tasks. Series standard features include internal bumpers for extend stroke along with adjustable retract bumper stop.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 7, 2007

Products: Controller trouble-shooting software on site or long distance

The TOPAS process control toolset from ACT is available for purchase outright or through a service arrangement with the company for assistance with difficult situations via long distance. In one situation, ACT's managing director, Hans Eder, recounted that a customer sent process parameters for a unit that had a swinging controller which would not settle down. ACT loaded the information into its software and calculated settings that stabilized the process in only 10 minutes. TOPAS reportedly uses more than 20 tuning methods, evaluates them specifically for the given situation, and selects the best results.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 6, 2007

Automated optical inspection: Benchtop system boasts speed, precision

B3 automated optical inspection system for printed circuit boards from YESTech offers a variety of improvements, including faster speed and advanced image processing technology for better defect coverage. San Clemente, CA —B3 benchtop automated optical inspection system for populated printed circuit boards from YESTech is said to offer up to a 3X improvement in speed over previous versions, and new Fusion Lighting and advanced image processing technology to provide high defect coverage. Equipment is set to debut at the 2007 Apex Printed Circuits Expo in Los Angeles later this month. B3 features enhanced board handling and software/board set-up compatibility with other YESTech automated optical inspection systems.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 5, 2007

Sensors for industrial robots

SR-61 collision sensor is the latest addition to the line of collision protection devices from ATI Industrial Automation.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 5, 2007

Enclosures Product Research (February 2007)

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding Enclosures/Consoles.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2007

Fix it before breakdown

The old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” may have had its day—and may still apply to some situations—but is unacceptable in today’s lean manufacturing environments. Critical production processes and automated manufacturing systems can’t afford the cost of unplanned downtime amounting to thousands of dollars per hour.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2007

Upgrade Streamlines Application Software

The objectives of the control system upgrade request were clear: make process flow diagrams easier to read, increase security, and improve end-user configurable inputs and alarms. System integrator Magnum Engineering & Controls was put to the test when a global Fortune 500 Company asked for help to improve its semiconductor manufacturing process.

By Rick Hannasch
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2007

Collision sensors protect robots

SR-61 collision sensor is the latest addition to the line of collision protection devices from ATI Industrial Automation. It reportedly has a lower operating range for increased sensitivity in applications using 3-5 kg capacity robots and is designed to prevent damage to robotic end-effectors caused by robot crashes.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 31, 2007

Control Engineering Podcast

Control Engineering Podcast Honeywell EMEA User Group Podcast: New Technologies for Creative Process Engineers Honeywell Process Systems' Dan Sheflin and Brian Chapman discuss their new control and wireless technologies with Peter Welander, Control Engineering process industries editor. Recorded in Seville, Spain, November 14, 2006. Listen to Podcast.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 29, 2007

New pneumatic valve positioners save air, improve communications

Foxboro, MA and Alpharetta, GA —Two new valve positioners improve performance with sophisticated technology advances: The Foxboro SRD991 Intelligent Positioner, from Invensys Process Systems, provides easy configuration and operation of pneumatic valve actuators from local and remote locations. Supporting HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus H1, or Profibus-PA communication, the SRD991 is certified for installations involving explosive atmospheres. Siemens ’ SIPART PS2 positioner is known for its extremely low air consumption. When balanced, air use is virtually eliminated reducing operating costs.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 25, 2007

Motor technology: Move, but don’t touch!

A three-phase LSM has an alternating-pole permanent magnet structure suspended over a straight electromagnet stator structure. Magnetic interaction between the permanent magnet poles and alternately energized electromagnet poles provides a net push in the desired direction. Source: MagneMotion Take a three-phase synchronous electric motor with a permanent-magnet rotor and lots of poles, slice it radially from axis to housing, and unwrap it to lay out flat.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 25, 2007

Material handling: Monorail system with non-contact power transfer demonstrated in Germany

SEW Eurodrive's electric monorail system inductively couples electric power from a set of three conductors carrying high-audio-frequency alternating current through a soft-magnetic core into a pickup coil. The middle conductor carries current in twice the quantity and opposite sense as the upper and lower conductors. This current arrangement forms a pair of poles (as seen in this cross sectional view), which couple maximally to poles in the magnetic core.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 24, 2007

Chemical company to roll out control software through 25 plants

Hartland, WI —Chemical giant Lyondell is launching a major software rollout to monitor and analyze real-time data from their plant control systems. The company has signed an agreement with ExperTune Inc. to license the software developer’s PlantTriage Performance Supervision software at up to 25 of its manufacturing facilities.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 23, 2007

Motion control: modular, 4-axis Allen-Bradley motion controller

Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 1768-L43 controller, another small modular CompactLogix controller from Rockwell Automation, handles up to four axes of motion. Chicago —Performance and cost-efficiency are in balance with the new Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 1768-L43 controller from Rockwell Automation ; it can handle up to four axes of motion. At ProMat 2007 , here in Chicago this month, Rockwell Automation said CompactLogix 1768-L43 controller is ideal for material handling applications requiring speed, motion synchronization and information-sharing capabilities, in a small, modular footprint. As an addition to the Rockwell Automation Kinetix Integrated Motion offering, the new controller combines motion and discrete control into an integrated multitasking platform that helps users lower system costs, simplify installation, and ease maintenance for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 22, 2007

Magnetic brakes in nine sizes

Thomson-Deltran power-off magnetic brake (PMB) series dc spring-set brakes from Danaher Motion are available in nine standard frame sizes from 20 to 120.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2007

SPS/IPC/Drives 2006: The beat goes on

A record 43,000 visitors—24% increase over 2005—topped off positive results for the latest staging of the focused electric automation show SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 28-30, 2006. This added to new records for number of exhibitors (1,203) and display area (77,500 sq m), as reported in Nov.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2007

Laser sensors

Back to Basics tutorial: Lasers can be used in non-contact distance sensors. In industrial machinery or for plant-floor applications, triangulation-based laser displacement sensors are used most often. Laser-based triangulation displacement sensors combine high resolution and comparatively long ranges. See diagram and sensing primer.

By Stephan Petronio
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2007

Correction: PLC providers

Siemens, AutomationDirect, ABB, and Omron should have been on the list of leading vendors in Product Research, November 2006, p. 72. The December Machine Control e-newsletter includes products from those companies. The leading PLC providers, according to the research are: Rockwell-Automation, Siemens, GE Fanuc, AutomationDirect, Schneider Electric, ABB, Omron Electronics, Opto 22, Mitsubishi El...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2007

Controller chip for secure communications

The iChipSec CO2128 secure IP communication controller chip from ConnectOne reportedly reduces costs and speeds the design of IP-enabled POS terminals.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 28, 2006

AC drives: Vehicle wash systems gain uptime in extreme environments

An in-plant test bay for the new PDQ LaserWash M5 model at PDQ headquarters. Courtesy ABB Avoiding vehicle corrosion is big business and ac drives are helping. According to the International Carwash Association (ICA), Americans spend more than $24 billion a year to repair automobile corrosion damage.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 26, 2006

SPS/IPC/Drives 2006: Motion, mechatronics, efficiency

Nuremberg, Germany —A record 43,000 visitors—a 24% increase over 2005—topped off positive results for the latest staging of the focused electric automation show SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 28-30, 2006. This added to new records for number of exhibitors (1,203) and display area (77,500 sq m) as reported in Nov.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 26, 2006

Data integrity: Cable assemblies for motion control, vision systems

Round and flat cable assemblies from W.L. Gore & Associates are reportedly designed to maintain data integrity and prevent data loss when used in motion control and vision applications. Elkton, MD —FireWire High Flex round and flat cable assemblies from W.L.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 19, 2006

Machine, motion control: Software simplifies complex applications

Latest PiCPro software from Danaher Motion, able to support up to 64 axes of high-performance motion, is designed to program the company's MMC-D64 machine and motion controllers. Wood Dale, IL —Latest PiCPro software from Danaher Motion is described as able to support up to 64 axes of high-performance motion. Designed to simplify the integration of machine and motion control applications, PiCPro is used to program Danaher's MMC-D64 machine and motion controllers and provide connectivity with the company's MMC Smart Drives and AKM servo motors. Software combines IEC 61131 ladder logic or structured text programming with 100 MHz Ethernet motion control.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 18, 2006

Light-source replacement: Anodized substrates prolong LED life

Anotherm substrate technology from TT electronics IRC Advanced Film Div. can be used as a replacement for incandescent and fluorescent lighting in a number of high brightness LED illumination and display applications. An anodized substrate is providing a cost effective replacement for conventional lighting sources, according to TT electronics IRC Advanced Film Div.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 15, 2006

System Integration at its Best

Every year since 1993, Control Engineering has published the “Automation Integrator Guide” supplement to let readers know who they can turn to for help with industrial automation and control projects. This year's edition, starting on page 36, includes more than 1,400 system integrators, consultants, and contract engineering firms that can design and install custom automation systems.

By Renee Robbins, editorial director
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 15, 2006

Training: Free modeling, simulation tutorials

Got a little free time over the holidays? Spend it learning about the power and benefits of physical modeling, simulation, and virtual prototyping through a series of free, CD-ROM-based multiphysics tutorials from Comsol . According to Wikipedia , “multiphysics treats simulations that involve multiple physical models. For example, combining chemical kinetics and fluid mechanics or combining finite elements with molecular dynamics. Multiphysics typically involves solving coupled systems of partial differential equations.” Comsol, founded in 1986 in Stockholm, Sweden, offers Comsol Multiphysics, a scientific-software environment for the modeling and simulation of any physics-based system.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 14, 2006

Programmable Logic Controllers Product Research (November 2006)

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding Programmable Logic Controllers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 11, 2006

Precision control of turned parts

Helio-Scope from Mahr universal optical measuring system is designed to facilitate precision control of complex turned parts automatically.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 7, 2006

Industrial Ethernet: 40 Gbps, book, cables, devices, routers, switches

A blazing fast 40 Gigabit/s network was demonstrated at the Yokogawa Technology Innovations Fair, part of its 7th Annual User Conference, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2006.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 5, 2006

Machine automation: Non-contact IR switch for long-distance sensing

OPB732 Series non-contact infrared switches from TT electronics Optek Technology are intended for long distance sensing for machine automation safety switches and feature a reflective distance exceeding three inches, depending on circuitry and reflective material. Munich, Germany —OPB732 Series non-contact infrared switch from TT electronics Optek Technology is capable of operation in industrial environments. Intended to provide design engineers with long-distance sensing for machine automation safety switches, the device features a reflective distance exceeding 3 in., depending on circuitry and reflective material. Opaque housing reduces the sensor's ambient light sensitivity. In addition, a window protects active optoelectronic components to enable operation in dusty environments.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2006

Industrial Ethernet Protocols: Survey results show who’s winning and why

The desire and need to be connected continues to grow—and gain complexity—as automation and control engineers become more heavily involved in networking at all levels. In particular, Ethernet and industrial Ethernet are finding their way onto the plant floor and into original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) offerings with increasing frequency as related technologies evolve and ...

By Jeanine Katzel and Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2006

SPS/IPC/Drives 2006: Ethernet, safety, security

Ethernet in automation, safety and security in automation, and motion control were among key topics discussed at SPS/IPC/Drives 2006. The exhibit and conference for automation technologies, ran Nov. 28-30, 2006, in Nuremberg, Germany, with more than 1,200 exhibitors covering HMIs, drives, interface and sensor technologies, software, electromechanics, and other systems and components.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2006

Programmable automation controllers (PACs)

When ARC Advisory Group analyst, Craig Resnick, proposed a new term for an emerging class of programmable devices for automation in 2001, few expected such growth of related technologies. The market extends beyond the formal name—programmable automation controllers (PACs). Some vendors reject the word, yet satisfy the PAC feature set with newer programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

By Pietrusewicz Krzysztof, Ph.D. and Pawel Dworak, Ph.D.
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2006

Servo System Application Tips

Electric servo systems provide the most advanced and precise motion control available for increasingly versatile industrial applications. Servos excel in two distinct working modes: rapid point-to-point load positioning and smooth, accurate trajectory control between points, as in surface contouring.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E., Control Engineering consulting editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2006

New association serves motor-related interests

A new trade association launched recently to serve interests of motors, drives, and controls companies. The Motion Control Association (MCA) says it will promote the use of mechanical and electronic (mechatronics) motion control technology, which the group says currently accounts for more than $44 billion in annual sales.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2006

NEMA: More sustainable growth for controls expected in North America after torrid pace

A declining housing industry is tempered by a recent overall gain in business confidence, according to recent reports from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The mixed economic indicators translate into NEMA's prediction for slower, more sustainable growth for the electrical industry in North America.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 1, 2006

Starter reduces mounting space

Duo Series combination starter from Fuji Electric Corp. of America consists of two components: BM3 series manual motor starters and SC-E series magnetic contactors. Compact, high-performance motor control system conforms to IEC and UL standards and carries the CE mark. System is designed to cut required mounting space in half and reduce the number of wiring steps by 90%, according to Fuji Elect...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 29, 2006

SPS/IPC/Drives 2006 rolls on

Nuremberg, Germany —Users, developers, and manufacturers of electric automation technology have converged with anticipation at the “special interest exhibition” SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremberg, Germany for another three-day run on Nov. 28-30, 2006. This show has been posting remarkably consistent expansion numbers over the years in three vital areas: exhibitors, display space, and visitors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 28, 2006

SPS/IPC/Drives 2006: Exhibition spotlights Ethernet, safety, security

Nuremberg, Germany —Ethernet in automation, safety and security in automation, and motion control are among key topics on the docket for SPS/IPC/Drives 2006, which opens here today. The exhibit and conference for automation technology runs Nov. 28-30, 2006, and will feature more than 1,200 exhibitors covering a plethora of systems and components in areas including HMIs, drives, interface and sensor technologies, software, and electromechanics.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 20, 2006

Gamers choose settings on interactive ride using Kuka KR 500 Robot

Kuka Robotics Corp. , a global manufacturer of industrial robots, signed a system partner agreement with Primal Rides of Ontario, Canada, to provide a new fully interactive amusement ride. Primal will build a robotic gaming ride around Kuka’s KR 500 robot.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2006

Application note: Deep non-metallic enclosure covers mobile safety system

Rigsmart Systems Inc . develops safety products for the oil service rig industry, including a rig safety and data acquisition system used on service and workover rigs. The system allows the driller to input data on the well, including depth, tubing, casing and rod data, and surface pressure.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2006

PLC Users Like What They Have

The old saying “No News is Good News,” certainly seems to apply in the world of programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Control Engineering’s 2006 PLC Product Research Survey, with help from Reed Corporate Research, indicates that PLC users seem to be happy, or, at least complacent. They’re happy with their suppliers.

By C.G. Masi
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2006

High-performance controller

The latest in the UNO-3000 Series of controllers from Advantech is the high-performance Model UNO-3072, which features a fanless ultra-low voltage Intel Pentium M/ Celeron M CPU and is equipped with two PCI extensions. The rugged device offers dual power inputs and battery backup SRAM and is said to be more compact and reliable than other industrial controllers.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2006

Optimized vacuum system design improves productivity

Vacuum pressure (pressure lower than atmospheric pressure) is the method of choice for handling the majority of industrial products. The performance of robotic material-handling systems depends on vacuum flow as well as vacuum pressure because, although the holding force of a suction cup depends on the vacuum pressure, vacuum flow at the cup determines how quickly and securely the grip is estab...

By Andy Lovell
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 26, 2006

System integration: Wire harness maker finds flexibility with open controls

The CX1000 features a 266 MHz Intel Pentium MMX processor and has no moving parts. Source: Beckhoff Automation A pick and place machine powered by Beckhoff motion control software and embedded PCs establishes communication throughout production line. The Prettl Electric facility located in Greenville, SC specializes in wiring harnesses for the automotive industry.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 25, 2006

NASA awards control systems contract for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Aerospace technology company SpaceDev’s Starsys subsidiary has been awarded a contract valued in excess of $6.3 million to design and build solar array drive, antenna pointing actuators and gimbal control electronic assemblies for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) program from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Swales Aerospace. This award further expands Starsys' role on the LRO mission, which began late last year when Starsys won work the work for the optics pointing mechanism for the LRO Diviner payload in development at NASA/JPL. In total, Starsys LRO related contracts amount to over $7.25 million. Artist’s conception of LRO orbiting the moon.Credit NASA.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 19, 2006

Robots in manufacturing get helping hands from humans

Properly applied robotics can improve throughput, prevent repetitive injury, and make manufacturing more efficient, but not without human-supplied engineering and training. Denso Robotics recently asked Applied Manufacturing Technologies Inc. (AMT) to provide engineering and support services for Denso robots.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 16, 2006

Dual-system flow controller

5600 Series dual-use system from Niagara Meters includes an ultrasonic liquid level and open-channel flow controller.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 12, 2006

Battery-charger design: Li-Ion/Li-Polymer linear charge-management controllers

Microchip offers the MCP73833 Li-Ion battery charger evaluation board to support development using the MCP73833/4 charge-management controllers. Microchip Technology announces single-cell, high current (1A) Li-Ion/Li-Polymer linear charge-management controllers. These combine several key features in a single chip for reliable charging of high-capacity Li-Ion and Li-Polymer batteries.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 5, 2006

Pack Expo 2006: OMAC group demonstrates Ethernet protocol

The " Open Modular Architecture Controls " (OMAC) User Group expects to present a multi-vendor system of devices using Ethernet Powerlink protocol at the upcoming Pack Expo meeting in Chicago, IL, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2006.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 3, 2006

Rockwell Extreme Machines 2006

Stork Townsend Dimac - Aetna Group USA Cavanna Celerity Automation Wright Machinery ATS Automation Tooling Systems Mikron Assembly Technology Schneider Packaging Stork Townsend Raw meat in, cooked sausages out - with no human operator interaction. That process defines the patented QX family of co-extrusion machines by Stork Townsend. QX is an automated process that simultaneously extrudes a continuous flow of meat batter and a thin outside layer of edible collagen gel, making the casing at the same time as the sausage.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2006

‘Astronomical’ application of LVDT sensors

Linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) position sensors are used for linear position measurement and feedback in factory automation, motion control, metal fabricating, power plant, and gas/steam turbine systems. These sensors are used for position measurement on governor valves, throttle valves, reheat/stop valves, interceptor valves, and many other control valves.

By Ed Herceg
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2006

Applying Motion Control

When Arthur C. Clarke remarked that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, he may have had semiconductor fabrication in mind, right up there with nuclear physics. Chips on the edge have features only a few atoms wide (some 65 nm with those as small as 45 nm in the works) and are fabricated with processes that are increasingly complex.

By Kevin Steele
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2006

Robots add efficiencies to large-format machining cell

A new machining cell uses a robot and linear floor slide to expand machinists work area and travel capability. The new cell is ideal for any customer needing to cut 5-axis large format items, say the companies involved, such as models, statues, stairway parts, or car bodies. Kuka Robotics Corp., global manufacturer of industrial robots, will provide robots for Robotic CNC Solutions' new large ...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2006

Environmental controls protect blood supply

The Indiana Blood Center, a non-profit agency that collects and distributes blood and blood components throughout Indiana, is taking steps to ensure its blood and platelet supplies are stored according to U.S. FDA 21 CFR Part 11. The center has selected Trane to update its FDA monitoring system at seven remote sites and the main headquarters in downtown Indianapolis; Trane’s Tracer Summit...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 28, 2006

Concept brings greater flexibility to auto manufacturing

Concept replaces expensive pallets and robots with easy-to-build programmable gantry style platforms.. Within the automotive industry, the flexible body shop has been a major innovation that permits multiple car bodies to be produced on the same line. Some older lines, however, use expensive pallets designed to hold specific body parts in place for different cars, or the parts may be held in place by complex programmable robots. For example, four fixturing robots might be programmed to lift a vehicle body for spot welding.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 26, 2006

Motion control: Digital servo drive has DeviceNet option

Compax3 family of industrial digital servo drives from Parker's Electromechanical Automation Div., now includes a DeviceNet fieldbus option. Rohnert Park, CA— Compax3 family of industrial high-performance, all-digital servo drives from Parker 's Electromechanical Automation Div. now features a DeviceNet fieldbus option. DeviceNet fieldbus interface is said to provide improved system integration, reduced downtime and maintenance costs, enhanced peer-to-peer capabilities, and easy access to data.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 25, 2006

High-power dc/dc step-down controller

LTC3835 very low quiescent current step-down dc/dc synchronous controller from Linear Technology draws just 80 ìA in sleep mode, preserving battery energy in applications, such as automotive navigation or battery-powered monitoring devices where the system remains semi-active when the engine or power is off.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 18, 2006

Control Engineering’s Weekly News Question of the Week

February 27, 2007 QUESTION: Can I automate operation of a high vacuum system? The pumping system recommended for general use consists of a mechanical foreline pump that holds back atmospheric pressure and a turbomolecular main pump that scavanges the final 0.1% of the gas in the vacuum chamber. A bypass valve allows isolating the main pump while evacuating the vacuum chamber with the mechanical pump. Essentially any vacuum system can easily be automated.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 18, 2006

Ultrasonic sensor for harsh applications

Virtu 30 ultrasonic sensor by Hyde Park is available in a 30-mm barrel body style and with a sensing distance of 39 in. (1 m).

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 14, 2006

Embedded systems go Linux

Microprocessor-based embedded control systems traditionally have used proprietary real-time operating systems (RTOSs) to attain the real-time or near-real-time response needed in such applications as automotive engine control systems. Proprietary RTOS, however, involve some particularly thorny issues. One major issue is simply the engineering cost to develop an RTOS. Proprietary RTOS development is up to the system designer, who usually has more pressing issues to deal with-for example, focusing on developing the algorithms for a particular application-than engineering background software.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 12, 2006

LCD keyswitches feature 10,000 calibrated colors

SB6432 keyswitches from [E3] Engstler Elektronik Entwicklung GmbH, part of the SA series of RGB-backlit LCD devices, have more than 100 brightness settings per color channel. Grosswallstadt, Germany— SB6432 keyswitch extends the SA series of RBG-backlit LCD switches from [E3] Engstler Elektronik Entwicklung GmbH . High-resolution device features more than 10,000 calibrated RGB colors and an extended command set.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 4, 2006

Enclosures for large control systems

ControlTower Series from Stahlin, for large industrial control systems and machine tool control panels, is suited for indoor and outdoor environments in chemical processing, petroleum and refining, pulp and paper, mining, and food and dairy applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2006

Worldwide collaboration

Attention North American engineers: If you've not yet had the pleasure of 10 p.m. conferences calls to India, multi-leg travels to obscure Chinese provinces or months of Internet-based collaboration with Eastern European counterparts, you're in the minority. It may be just a matter of time before a perfect storm of technology, market needs, and global resources makes your work life even more in...

By Renee Robbins, editorial director
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 28, 2006

CAN bus interface

DNA-CAN-503 controller area network (CAN) bus interface adds four channels of CAN bus interface to UEI’s Ethernet-based PowerDNA data acquisition cube.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 24, 2006

Beta program for CIMPortal TDI

Yokohama , Japan — Cimetrix, Inc. , a Japanese provider of factory automation software and solutions for the global semiconductor and electronics industries, has announced its CIMPortal TDI Beta Program. Tool Data Interface (TDI) is a specification adopted by certain Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs) in Japan.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 21, 2006

Inductive, capacitive proximity sensors

The c3controls line of inductive and capacitive proximity sensors for non-contact presence sensing of metallic and non-metallic objects feature nickel-plated, stainless steel, and non-metallic cylindrical, and rectangular housings rated Type 1, 2, 3, 3R, 4.4x, 6, 6P, 12, and 13, and IP67, making them suitable for severe industrial environments.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 21, 2006

PLC supports complex controls

FPSV3 PLC, newest addition to the Panasonic Electric Works FPS ultra-compact programmable logic controller series, offers advanced features to support more complex controls.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 15, 2006

Linear stepper motor with one-piece captive shaft

Captive LinearStep Series stepper motors from Nippon Pulse America are intended for applications where external anti-rotation methods are difficult or impossible to use. Radford , VA —Captive LinearStep Series linear-type stepper motor from Nippon Pulse America is RoHS compliant with a one-piece captive shaft. Guideless, linear-shaft movement is said to give designers a simple system at less cost than a conventional rotary stepper system that must be adapted for linear motion.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 9, 2006

New robotic toolkit enhances engineering learning

Lego Mindstorms NXT shown as a screenshot incorporates NI LabView technology for any user level. National Instruments will release the NI LabView Toolkit for Lego Mindstorms NXT this fall, allowing third-party software and hardware developers to create native blocks for the software. Mindstorms NXT, the next generation of the Lego robotics invention system, became available earlier this month and is targeted to children 10- to 14-years-old.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 3, 2006

Let the chips fly: fast, 5-axis machining

TruePath software from CAMplete Solutions Inc. runs full five-axis CAM programs in a unique fashion, accommodating all machine kinematics to maintain tool path integrity. “We perceived a market need for five-axis machining, where we could offer customers a complete turnkey package from engineering to application, software to machining programs, prototype to production runs, on a variety of complex parts,” explains Rob Bujeaud, vice-president of manufacturing for Turbocam. “We began with a single machine and a vision in 1985,” he says.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

Electro-hydraulic motion controller adds quality to pultrusion machine

Unlike extrusion, which squeezes material through a mold, a pultrusion machine takes fiber material like carbon or glass, impregnates it with resin, and pulls it through a die that shapes it as desired. A chemical reaction occurs as material passes through the heated die. The result is a hardened product, which can be used in ladders, reinforcing panels, chemical-resistant grating, and other co...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

Network Backbone Speeds Printing

Intense printing industry competition requires operators to have high quality, long-lasting control infrastructures with low latencies and high throughput. Computer Integrated Automation Inc. (CIA) uses CC-Link industrial network to provide the open backbone for controlling 32 Tensor web printing press units at Engle Printing & Publishing Co.

By Chuck Lukasik
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

Shielded Cables Tame Servo System EMI

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) in motion control system cabling can be a major source of frustration for servo motor system designers and users. Left unsuppressed, it interferes with system control, creates data errors, and can even turn devices on and off. EMI frequencies can range from dc and the lowest audio frequencies through the entire radio-frequency band.

By Lee Stephens
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

Drive system for multi-axis machines

AcoposMulti drive system from B&R Industrial Automation offers high efficiency for multi-axis machines in the plastics, packaging, print, and textile industries. It integrates a 24-V supply for drives and PLC, PC, or peripherals (optional) to provide a compact design that ensures predictable machine behavior when power is lost.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

C.G. Masi joins Control Engineering

Charles G. (Charlie) Masi has joined Control Engineering's editorial staff as senior editor covering discrete controls. Masi succeeds retiring executive editor, Frank Bartos. (See related "Editorial," p.2) Masi's strong background in high-technology journalism will help CE continue its industry-leading coverage of discrete control systems, including machine controls; discrete sensors; motors, d...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

Machine Vision

Hey, buddy. Here's a tip: Machine vision is a hot automation investment. Among Control Engineering subscriber survey respondents, 64% expect to increase machine vision purchases in the next 12 months; 29% will invest as much as they did this past year. Last year, 35% expected to increase their spending in 2006 and 54% expected to spend the same.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

Frank Bartos retires from Control Engineering

After researching and writing about motors, drives, motion control, embedded systems, PC-based control, and artificial intelligence topics for the past 20 years, Frank J. Bartos, P.E., is retiring as executive editor of Control Engineering as of August 1, 2006. Prior to his distinguished career as a journalist, Bartos held engineering positions of increasing responsibility in the design, devel...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control August 1, 2006

Much more than controls

Unique controls and advanced materials—these contributed to setting seven world records in less than a year. Unwilling to tout technologies, the plant manager instead praises his team's abilities to understand current operating conditions, variables and constraints, then execute better than competitors.

By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 31, 2006

Exclusive: Servo drive adds asynchronous control

Model 940 PositionServo drive with asynchronous control from AC Technology is a simple, yet robust motion controller that can operate ac servo motors and ac induction motors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 31, 2006

Dual-core PXI embedded controller

Dual-core PXI embedded controller uses the 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor T2500 for multitasking environments and multi-threaded applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 27, 2006

‘Expert system’ tool at MotionInfo.com adds technology benchmarking feature

Ability to objectively compare the performance of your electric motor products (and related equipment) to that of the competition is vital to many companies. However, the process can be time-consuming and subject to bias if done by the same team that designs and markets these products. Now MotionInfo.com has teamed up with Incremotion Associates—a notable consultancy and market research firm in motion control—to offer a technology benchmarking service, based on its recently launched “motion-intelligent expert system” ComponentSelector.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 27, 2006

Modify sensors: When tab A won’t go into slot B…

Schneider Electric Sensor Competency Center (SCC), a Schneider Electric company, has set up a unit to provide customers with specially modified interfaces on any Schneider Electric sensor product. The North American Adaptation Center (NAAC) provides a simple and effective way to satisfy customer needs for special features on any sensing product, particularly inductive and proximity sensors. NAAC is equipped to make any cable or labeling alterations to a sensor’s external housing that do not require electronic or internal circuitry modifications. Customers can specify a reduced cable length, customized bracket style or label requirement, or any specialized type of connector.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 18, 2006

Accelerated robotics development focus of industry/academia effort

Ft. Myers, FL — A robotics technology firm and a university will collaborate to accelerate development and use of unmanned robotic vehicles in a variety of applications. Innova Holdings Inc.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 17, 2006

Pneumatic linear actuators

Low-profile pneumatic linear actuators come in compact configurations in which internally threaded end caps to S.A.E. standards provide minimum cross sections for installation in dedicated automation applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 13, 2006

Noiseless, fanless embedded system

eBOX748-FL from Axiomtek is a rugged embedded system with fanless system reliability, low-power consumption, and an onboard high-power Intel Pentium M 1.4 GHz processor or onboard low-power Intel Celeron 600MHz processor. An internal hard disk allows it to function in critical environments and industrial applications, including POS, kiosk, ATM, DSA, building automation, and more. Product includes four COM ports, four USB 2.0 ports, one Fast Ethernet port, a VGA connector, LPT port, PS/2 port, and CompactFlash slot. A mini PCI slot is reserved for expansion and can be used for Wireless LAN.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 6, 2006

System integrators sought for vision-guided robotics

Braintech Inc. and ABB started a Vision Guided Robotics Channel Partner Program, and ABB recruited CIM Systems Inc. as the first certified TrueView Integrator, the companies reported.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 3, 2006

Siemens Automation Summit widens its scope

Las Vegas, NV —With around 700 end-users out of more than 900 total attendees, the 2nd annual Siemens Automation Summit, held here June 5-8, 2006, lived up to its billing as a “users conference.” Expanding substantially on last year’s process-oriented conference, the 2006 Summit highlighted all company divisions—discrete manufacturing as well as process industries. Some 190 technology presentations, including breakout sessions and training classes helped to hold attendees’ interest amidst other attractions of Las Vegas. A Solution Showcase area displayed Siemens’ across-the-board technologies, while 31 key Siemens Automation Partners exhibited products and services in the Solution Partners Pavilion. Aubert Martin, president & CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., Aubert Martin, president & CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., reviewed the company’s giant footprint on the automation and technology scene worldwide, as well as in the U.S.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 3, 2006

Slice of knowledge: Hall-effect sensors detect proximity

Can a Hall-effect sensor be applied as a proximity detector? Yes is the short answer. If you’d like brief a refresher on one approach to doing that, look at the following excerpt and diagram, used with permission from Hall-effect Sensors: Theory and Application, 2nd edition , by Edward Ramsden (Elsevier-Newnes 2006, pp. 109-110). The diagram shows slide-by actuation mode (a) and resultant flux vs.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2006

IMTS: Machine technologists get ready

Machine technology providers and others intent on sharing knowledge are preparing for "The Americas' largest manufacturing show." According to organizers, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, with thousands of exhibitors and more than 85,000 expected visitors.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 29, 2006

Sensorless control for energy-saving motors in washing machines

International Rectifier Corp. (IR) recently introduced a sensorless control platform for direct-drive Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) washing machines. The platform features an embedded field-oriented control (FOC) algorithm for high-dynamic torque control that improves washing cycles—consuming less hot water to reportedly save up to 70% of energy usage. International Rectifier’s new iMotion washer platform is now available for sampling.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 29, 2006

Motion software update

Software for motion control and its related sectors continues to expand. A recent crop of software offerings includes Performance Motion Devices’ Pro-Motion 3.5, intended to speed up motion system analysis and development; Motor-CAD V3 from Magsoft for enhanced simulation of thermal behavior in electric motors and generators; and Applied Motion Products’ Si Programmer software for stepper and servo drives. More details on these products follow along with links to their suppliers’ Web sites. PMD’s Pro-Motion 3.5 supports the company’s ION Digital Drives family and its Magellan family of motion chips and boards.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 29, 2006

More liquid-cooled ac drives are coming

With efficient liquid cooling, Rockwell Automation’s PowerFlex 700L drive dramatically reduces floor space requirement compared to air-cooled drives and can be placed in virtually any factory or outdoor setting. Electric drives with liquid cooling represent a technology presently more prevalent in Europe than in North America. That scene is about to change with Rockwell Automation ’s June 2006 introduction of long awaited Allen Bradley PowerFlex 700L liquid-cooled drive.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 28, 2006

Pump, valve maker buys Czech manufacturer

Flowserve Corp. , a provider of fluid motion and control products and services, announced it acquired HydroTechnik Olomouc s.r.o., a privately held mechanical seal manufacturer based in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 27, 2006

Sensors Expo 2006: ZigBee co-processor

Co-processor, open-source interface, and development kit from Ember is said to make it easy to integrate ZigBee networking capabilities with almost any microcontroller. Rosemont , IL and Boston , MA —EM260 ZigBee co-processor from Ember features a flexible, open-source interface (EZSP) said to make it easy to integrate ZigBee networking capabilities with nearly any microcontroller. Also available is the InSight EM260 development kit that includes hardware, ZigBee networking stack, EZSP serial interface, and development and debugging software.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 26, 2006

Plant expands to make robotics, controllers, bar-code readers

Denso Corp. announced it will build a new facility on the premises of its Agui Plant located in Agui-cho, Chita-gun, Aichi prefecture, Japan. Construction of the new facility is set to start in July and be completed in March 2007.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 19, 2006

Programmable switching amplifier

PSA 3/1 programmable switching amplifier is an overload protection and weighing system usable in many applications, including EOT cranes, bridge cranes, container cranes, steel mill cranes, and more.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 19, 2006

Exclusive: All-in-one controller fits in palm

XLe Series Operator Control Station (OCS) all-in-one controller is just 3.75-in. sq to fit in tight machine panels.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 19, 2006

Weld-immune proximity sensors

Rhino style weld-immune inductive proximity sensors are available in 20-mm flush mountable and 40-mm non-flush mount sensing ranges.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 15, 2006

Real-time flash-based microcontrollers

Atmel Corp. announces the first family of ARM9-based Flash microcontrollers (MCUs) optimized for real-time embedded applications that have outgrown ARM7. Based on the ARM926EJ-S processor core, Atmel's SAM9 controllers share common integration levels, peripheral sets and programming models with Atmel's SAM7 MCUs.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 13, 2006

Machine technologists get ready for IMTS: Sept. 6-13, 2006

Chicago, IL—Machine technology providers and others intent on sharing knowledge are preparing for 'The Americas' largest manufacturing show.' According to organizers, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, with thousands of exhibitors and more than 85,000 expected visitors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 12, 2006

Digital servo drives

Compax3 family of industrial high-performance all-digital servo drives welcomes two new higher-powered additions.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 8, 2006

Manufacturing of wood products gains efficiency with robotic cells

Wood-product manufacturing will be more efficient after Kuka Robotics Corp., a global manufacturer of industrial robots, signed Les Machineries AutomaTech Inc. of Quebec, Canada, as its newest system partner. Les Machineries AutomaTech, an engineering consulting firm specializing in industrial automation, plans on integrating Kuka Robots into wood product manufacturing application cells to increase efficiencies at small- and medium-sized manufacturers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 7, 2006

Asset management system incorporates safety controller

Asset management system incorporates safety controller H51q, intrinsically safe analog isolator H 6200, and HART multiplexer H 6210 from HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH + Co. KG to provide higher-level system preventive maintenance and display comprehensive diagnostic data at reduced cost.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 5, 2006

Prox sensor has 5-mm range

Line of mini-inductive proximity sensors now includes 4- and 5-mm unshielded versions.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 5, 2006

Embedded flash microcontrollers

STR910F Series of embedded flash microcontrollers (MCUs) combines Ethernet connectivity, an ARM9E processor core, and large embedded SRAM and flash memories in a general-purpose flash microcontroller family.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2006

Motion selection tool claims expert intelligence

ComponentSelector at MotionInfo.com is billed by its developers as "the first motion-intelligent expert search system to provide ranked results for users needing electric-motor-based products." ComponentSelector allows users to search for the best motor component match in a unique product database.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2006

Test stands benefit from direct torque control

Rigs constructed to test rotating machines like gears, engines, and complete cars require high accuracy and dynamic load control. Torque control capability in ac motors that drive the test stands is particularly useful for newer, complex electronic functions (such as antilock brake system, electric power steering, or dual-clutch transmissions for automotive applications).

By Vesa Manninen, Steve Weingarth and Julian Hobbins
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2006

All-in-one controller fits in palm

XLe Series Operator Control Station (OCS) all-in-one controller is just 3.75-in. sq to fit in tight machine panels. Featuring a graphical operator interface and expandable I/O and networking capabilities, it also supports the latest standard in removable mass storage. The dime-sized memory, reportedly found only on video-enabled cellular phones to date, is available in densities from 128 MB to ...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control June 1, 2006

Filling, packaging machinery

The 4963 filler upgrade is available for a large variety of filling and packaging equipment, including machinery that puts product in bags, boxes, tubs, totes, drums, or bulk bags. Highly integrated, simple to use controls and new components are said to increase the accuracy of mechanical packaging machinery and improve operations.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 30, 2006

Sensors Expo 2006: Nanotechnology sensor among products on display

Rosemont, IL and Austin, TX — Nanotechnology products are among new offerings that will be introduced and displayed at next week's Sensors Expo 2006 in Rosemont (Chicago-area), IL. Included are demonstrations of several nanotech-enabled sensors from Applied Nanotech Inc. (ANI): carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide devices and a hydrogen sensor for power transformers. ANI will exhibit products and technologies related to four advanced sensor platforms: gated metal oxide sensors (GMOS), photo-acoustic sensing system (PAS), metal nanoparticle sensors (MNPS), and enzyme-coated carbon nanotube biosensors (ECNT).

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 25, 2006

Mechatrolink motion network gains new supporter

Recently, Phoenix Contact has joined the ranks of the Mechatrolink Members Association (MMA), the Japan-based user organization dedicated to developing and promoting Founded by Yaskawa Electric Corp. —a global manufacturer variable-frequency drives, servo control systems, and robotic technology—MMA membership currently comprises 140 industrial companies. In joining MMA, Phoenix Contact is working with Yaskawa to develop and extend a modular I/O bus coupler product line with Mechatrolink interface based on Phoenix's Inline system. When used with Yaskawa drives and controls, the new I/O bus coupler will allow system engineers to integrate motion control and machine control by working with one network that links drives, I/O modules, and controllers into an overall system.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 25, 2006

Hannover Fair 2006 in motion

Numerous technologies of "motors, drives, and motion control" were again in the spotlight at this year's running of Hannover Industrial Fair. Presentations ranged from standards announcements and technology discussions to products emphasizing innovation, energy efficiency, and mechatronic integration—even spanning to developments in high-temperature superconductivity. More details and links to additional information follow about ABB drives, Baldor motors and drives, Lenze gear motors, SERCOS III C2C profile specification, drive innovation perspectives from Siemens, VEM specialty motors, and the "Superconductivity City" exhibit. SERCOS Controller-to-Controller (C2C) Synchronization and Communication Profile integrates communication and real-time links with mechanical connection of machine modules.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 25, 2006

Linear drive technology enhances material handling productivity

Celerity Automation's high-speed Linear Transfer Vehicle (LTV) accommodates payloads form ounces to several tons. Advanced linear drive technologies are in place to raise the bar for material handling productivity, according to recent developments at Celerity Automation Inc .—a developer of equipment in the linear direct-drive arena. Recently, the company introduced its patented Linear Transfer Vehicle (LTV), which reportedly is an accurate high-speed linear transfer system that uses the latest in linear direct-drive servo motor technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 25, 2006

Privacy Policy – 2006-05-25

Last Revised: May/2006 Privacy Policy Overview Control Engineering Resource Center appreciates your visiting this web site. This Privacy Policy describes the policies of Reed Business Information (“ RBI ” or “ we ”), a division of Reed Elsevier Inc., regarding the collection, use, disclosure and protection of the following types of information: • you ” or “ User ”) visit the Control Engineering Resource Center web site (the “Site”).• This privacy policy does not apply to information we collect by other means (including offline) or from other sources. We may change the terms of this Privacy Policy, so Users are encouraged to review this page from time to time. Information We Collect and How We Collect It We require you to provide certain information about yourself when you register with this Site and when you request products and services. The information we collect may include information from which you may be personally identified (“ Personally Identifiable Information ”), such as name, postal address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address, and certain business information such as employer name, occupation, job function, job title and buying information (e.g., preferences or history). When you visit this Site, we may collect the IP address of your computer. automatic data collection t is collected automatically. How We Use Your Information We use Personally Identifiable Information collected on this Site for the following purposes: ••••• We also may use your information to better understand our Users and to improve our Site.servers or to administer our Site.  We may also use IP addresses to help identify a User during a particular session and to gather data regarding use of the Site. We may use the information you provide us to send you e-mail, fax and other communications on behalf of RBI and our affiliates.de an opportunity to opt out of receiving future promotions from the brand whose product/service is being promoted.  We also may use your information to send you e-mail and other communications on behalf of third parties. privacymanager@reedbusiness.com with the subject line “ opt out– third party .” Our Disclosure of Your Information We may disclose aggregated, anonymous statistics about many Users, and individual information that is not Personally Identifiable Information without restriction as long as no individual is identifiable by the information disclosed, and otherwise will not disclose your Personally Identifiable Information except as follows:•ipient.• Personally Identifiable Information confidential and use it only to perform the services.•sponsors and advertisers.  We will always disclose when you are registering or being provided with Premium or Sponsored content.• privacymanager@reedbusiness.com with the subject line: “ do not disclose .”•••• Security We use reasonable safeguards to protect Personally Identifiable Information we collect on this Site from unauthorized access, use, modification or disclosure. Right to Access and Change Information You may view and update information that you previously submitted to this Site by visiting the newsletter or website registration page for this Site, or which you submitted to request a print publication, by sending an e-mail to subsmail@reedbusiness.com . Links This Site contains content, services, advertising and other materials that link to Web sites operated by third parties. This Site is operated by: Reed Business Information360 Park Avenue SouthNew York, NYEmail: privacymanager@reedbusiness.com.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 23, 2006

Motion-component selector offers expert system searches, free trial

Inglewood, CA—A Web-based motion-product selection tool recently launched at MotionInfo.com promises to put expert system capability into the hands of users to intelligently search for the best motor component match in a unique product database.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 22, 2006

Exclusive: Efficient stepper motor modules

X67 stepper motor modules are said to give machine builders a more cost-effective way to control stepper motors, providing high torque level, operation without position feedback, and ability to hold the last position when power is disconnected.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 15, 2006

Small form factor stepper driver

A for the second with optional second stepper or bi-directional dc driver daughtercard.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 11, 2006

ABB Automation World 2006: controls in space

Houston, TX —Stories of computer failures in space were part of the ABB Automation World 2006 Users’ Conference & Exhibition here, May 8-11. More than 2,500 attendees had the opportunity to attend workshops, training sessions and a large hands-on exhibit on site to view the full scope of ABB’s automation offerings. Technical experts were available to meet with individuals to answer users’ questions. The event kicked off with Jerry Linenger as a guest dinner speaker.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2006

Medium-Voltage Drives Shine Offshore

Less numerous than their ever-present low-voltage "cousins," medium-voltage (MV) ac drives are out there in growing numbers, doing heavy-duty motor control in diverse, rugged applications. They span industries from mining, sugar-cane processing, and liquefied-gas handling stations to fluid-power system test stands, fan/pump flow optimization in power-generating plants, and control of mobile off...

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control May 1, 2006

Efficient stepper motor modules

X67 stepper motor modules are said to give machine builders a more cost-effective way to control stepper motors, providing high torque level, operation without position feedback, and ability to hold the last position when power is disconnected. Featuring integrated motor detection, 64 microsteps (per full step), stall detection, and IP67 protection, the new modules come in two models.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 27, 2006

ServoWire SD Drives add IEEE 1394b networking

Networked servo drive products from Ormec have recently been expanded and enhanced with the addition of IEEE 1394b technology for the company's new ServoWire SD Drive family. With 1394b networking, SD Drives gain a more robust, efficient, and faster network than previously available with 1394a, says Ormec.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 27, 2006

Web-based expert system for motion-component selection debuts, offers free trial

Need to dramatically streamline your motion product selection tasks? If so, launch of ComponentSelector at MotionInfo.com may be the tool for boosting your productivity. Billed by its developers as "the first motion-intelligent expert search system to provide ranked results for users needing electric motor based products," ComponentSelector allows users to search for the best motor component match in a unique product database.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 25, 2006

Understanding Programmable Automation Controllers(PACs) in Industrial Automation by Opto 22

Meet the Modern Industrial ApplicationImplementing a modern industrial application can present achallenging and sometimes daunting mix of requirements. For example, it is well understood that a typical control system mustinterface with signals from simple sensors and actuators, yet formany modern applications this is merely the starting point.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 24, 2006

Cantilever electric linear actuator

DGEA cantilever electric linear actuator features a slide unit that remains stationary while the profile moves axially.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 6, 2006

Operator Interface Terminals (April 2006)

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding operator interface terminals.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 3, 2006

Detect, control machine vibration

Machining Point Control servo system enhancement detects and controls machine vibration at the machining point.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 3, 2006

Bosch Rexroth sales rise for third successive reporting period

Frankfurt/Lohr am Main, Germany —Bosch Rexroth AG announced a 12.6% increase in 2005 sales over the prior year—to just under€ 4.6 billion—at its annual Press Conference in Frankfurt on March 22, 2006. This is the third successive reporting period of rising sales for the company (which is part of the Bosch Group) and follows results of 2004, when for the first time, it exceeded the € 4 billion level in sales ( CE Daily News, Feb. 14, 2005 ).

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

High-cycle brake motors

Low-inertia, high-efficiency, high-cycle brake motors have cast aluminum footless frames for increased thermal dissipation. DC brake with integral rectifier provides for faster action than traditional spring-set brakes. Design is suited for continuous start/stop applications, such as baggage conveyors.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

DC-injection lets motors do the braking

Much is made of increasingly dynamic performance available from electric motors (and drives), and rightly so. The other side of the equation is ability to stop all that speed and acceleration efficiently, when needed. External braking is the more familiar stopping method, but three-phase ac induction motors provide internal electronic means to slow and brake their motion—among them, dc-in...

By Frank Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Operator Interface Terminals

If "eyes are windows to the soul," as the French poet, Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas rhapsodized back in 1578, then operator interface terminals (OITs) are surely windows to the process—continuous, batch, or discrete. And although it may seem a stretch to equate the soul with a manufacturing process, the fact that manufacturing is still the heart of the world economy it might as well in...

By Dick Johnson
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Ups and Downs of Customer Satisfaction

Over the past two years, Control Engineering has conducted reader surveys to determine user satisfaction with the principal product categories covered by the publication. To make these surveys more manageable, we split the total 29 product categories into two studies (16 categories in the first survey, 13 in the second) to be conducted in consecutive years and then repeated.

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director, Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Machine-to-Machine Data Capture

Stakes in the evolving machine-to-machine (M2M) era are enormous. Some analysts estimate that nearly 50 billion devices around the world can benefit from M2M communications. That figure is nearly 10 times Earth's population. These figures, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), are attracting intense interest as businesses and equipment manufacturers begin to understand the multi-bill...

By Shaye Shayegani
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Respondents Rate Vendor Satisfaction

Vendor rankings on these pages—across categories included in this year's survey—are based on overall satisfaction with a product and/or manufacturer rated by respondents. Product/manufacturer overall satisfaction is derived from response to survey questions dealing with: ease of installation and setup, quality of documentation and factory calibration, product availability and perfor...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Miniature sensor connectors

Series 707 M5 miniature sensor connectors and cordsets have only 6 mm (0.24 in.) OD of the plug and come in 3- and 4-position versions. Connectors are rated at 125 V and 1 A per contact. Cable connectors are PUR overmolded and offer IP 67/68 protection when mated with the receptacles. Cordsets are offered in 2 or 5-m lengths.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Inductive proximity, position sensors

Line of small, square and rectangular inductive proximity and position sensors are is designed for tight-space robotic, conveyor, and material handling applications. Low-profile sensors range in size from 4-mm square to 20-mm rectangular and come in heights from ¼ to ½-in. high. Rectangular inductive sensors are available in on/off models that detect presence of a ferrous object or va...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Subscribers select eight 2005 Engineers’ Choice Award winners

Control Engineeringsubscribers selected eight Engineers' Choice Award winners among 45 winners of the 2005 Editors' Choice Award, one per product category. Announced at a March 21 ceremony during the Industrial Automation Show at National Manufacturing Week, the winners are: Criteria for editors' Choice Award selection (CE, January 2006) are technological advancement, market impact, and servi...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Beyond the Third Dimension

It's hard to imagine anyone using the old drafting table and instruments to design anything today, but Tegron LLC used to employ labor-intensive techniques to create and revise drawings to automate customers' industrial processes. Under the old approach, recalls Tegron design leader Wayne Gatlin, each drawing required multiple checks by various people.

By Hank Hogan for Control Engineering
Mechatronics and Motion Control April 1, 2006

Accelerometer is field-configurable

SCM5B48 isolated accelerometer input module from Dataforth Corp. provides excitation to piezoelectric sensors with built-in microelectronic amplifiers known as ICP or IEPE sensors. Module provides a constant current excitation to the sensor, then isolates, filters, and amplifies sensor output to yield a high-level, analog voltage output.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 23, 2006

Dual-output encoder cuts downtime costs, adds reliability

BEI’s compact HS35 Series encoders offer cost and space savings with a dual-output option of redundant signals from one device. Innovations in motion-control products continue to come to market. Recently, a dual-output option has been added to a series of heavy-duty, hollow-shaft encoders from BEI Industrial Encoder Div ., which provides redundant encoder signals that ensure maximum control system reliability.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 22, 2006

Subscribers select eight 2005 Engineers’ Choice Award winners

Control Engineering subscribers selected eight Engineers’ Choice Award winners among 45 winners of the 2005 Editors’ Choice Award, one per product category. Announced at a March 21 ceremony during the Industrial Automation Show at National Manufacturing Week, the winners are: Embedded control—LPC-401FS Fanless LittlePC from Stealth Computer Corp. ; Human-machine interface—EZ-Light from Banner Engineering Corp.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 20, 2006

Controller 1/8-DIN with text display

Model 32H8 1/8-DIN controller and indicator with text display is the latest addition to this company’s 3000 Series temperature/process controllers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 13, 2006

Next-generation control platform

Sinumerik 802D solution line computer numerical control (CNC) combines network-centric architecture with Sinamics drive technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 9, 2006

ESC 2006 Silicon Valley around the corner

In less than one month, Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley will be alive with the latest embedded system developments and products at a new location in San Jose, CA. This 18th annual event will run April 3-7, 2006, at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center. ESC is a synergistic combination of extensive technology classes and tutorials, plus an exhibition featuring the latest products from leading companies. Catering to the needs of embedded systems developers and engineers, nearly 200 “how-to” classes will comprise the Conference , while 350 companies are expected to participate in the show-floor Exhibition .

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 6, 2006

Encoder acts as programmable switch

MagRes Absolute Singleturn CAM-encoder acts as a programmable limit switch, replacing PLC or PC controllers in low-level applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2006

Test instruments for rotating devices

DynoLAB-EM electric-motor test system is designed to check electric motors and other rotating electrical devices, including alternators, starters, pumps, and generators. It handles a variety of tasks including performance testing, engineering evaluation, durability cycling, quality control validation, and in-use simulation.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2006

Electric direct-drive steering system

DDS direct-drive steering system is designed to replace hydraulic steering systems. IP67-rated intelligent electric system reportedly provides increased uptime, quieter operation, reduced maintenance, and less energy use. DDS linear actuator has maximum stroke to 160 mm (6.3 in.) at up to 75 mm/s (2.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 1, 2006

Courier-Journal upgrades newspaper handling system

Modern presses, in-plant logistics, and motion control allow late news, more advertising revenue, and faster delivery. For Louisville, Kentucky's then-132-year-old Courier-Journal (CJ) newspaper, stopping the presses was an ongoing and greater threat than the likelihood of missing a day's major news story.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 28, 2006

Siemens introduces 3 new energy-efficient NEMA motor lines

Siemens’ new 3-phase NEMA Design B motors combine special cooling-fin design and internal cooling method to minimize heat build-up for longer life. Shown is GP10A cast-aluminum frame motor. Atlanta, GA —Impact of energy costs on operating electric machinery continues to put energy-efficient motors at center stage.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2006

Elau: New servo motor family optimized for packaging machinery

Elau’s purpose-built PacDrive SH Series servo motors are backward compatible with other components of the company’s PacDrive automation system. Motors and cables are CE/cUL/UL certified. Catering to dynamic and environmental requirements of the latest generation mechatronic packaging machines, Elau (a Schneider Electric company) has introduced SH Series servo motors that feature salient-pole winding technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2006

Software making motion control more friendly; free demo download

Technosoft’s EasyMotion Studio includes a task confirmation feature that sends messages to the user about status of the drives and motors network. Setup, tuning, and programming software for drives/motors is growing in importance. One indication comes from a recent Control Engineering Product Research survey on servo motors (to appear in the March 2006 issue), where respondents rated software for setup/tuning as the most important performance feature in selecting their motors.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2006

Sensorless vector control boosts stepper motion performance

Agile Systems’ SilentStep system works with 2-phase bipolar step motors, using either three half-bridge or two full-bridge drive circuits. Three half bridges (shown) reduce the number of power switches and associated driver and control circuits from eight to six. Stepper-motor-based systems offer simple, low-cost motion control and about twice the low-speed torque production of an equivalent-size brushless servo motor system.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2006

Machine vision: Color camera, flat-panel inspection, x-ray image processor

Recent machine vision developments include Dalsa Corp .’s sale of $1.3 million (CDN) of machine vision products for Next Instrument’s flat-panel-display inspection equipment; new FocalSpot Inc . VIPx X-Ray Image Processor; and new Toshiba Teli America Inc . CS6910CL color machine vision camera. Dalsa Corp.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 23, 2006

‘NEMA Premium’ accepted as federal motor purchasing standard

NEMA Premium identifying logo ensures purchasers that their selection of motors meets a specific level of premium efficiency, suggests NEMA. Energy efficient motor markets deepened recently with directives from the U.S. federal government.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 13, 2006

Variable-frequency ac drives

VariFlex Series ac drives are suitable for most industrial motor control applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 9, 2006

2 embedded control shows set to go

A significant European show, Embedded World , is set to run next week in Nuremberg, Germany, while in the U.S, Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley is gearing up for another presentation in early April in San Jose, CA. Embedded World 2006 Exhibition and Conference, billed as the “biggest exhibition of its kind,” will take place in three halls of Nuremberg’s Exhibition Center, Feb. 14-16. Products on display span hardware (systems, modules, and components); hardware/software tools; applications software , including simulation, test/verification, and real-time operating systems; and services .

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2006

Linear positioners drive ink jets

To read the original print article click here . When most people hear the term “ink jet” they think of an inexpensive color printer. Yet ink-jet technology has a much wider range of uses. As a branch of digital fabrication, it is used in producing passive and active electronics, in biomedicine, pharmacology, micro-optics, and stereolithography, and in many other applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2006

Brushless PM Motors: ‘Big’ on Power, Efficiency

Better known in relatively small physical sizes and lower power applications, brushless permanent magnet (PM) motors can be made in virtually any size, with no real technological constraints. Large brushless PM motors are not particularly new. They're available from select manufacturers, which now seek to overcome past economic issues that have limited their numbers.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2006

Long-distance laser sensors

OHDM-12 and OHDM-20 long-distance laser diffuse sensors with background suppression detect very small or thin objects and depressions at distances up to 1.5 m, regardless of background color or reflectivity. They provide an on/off signal and are suited for long-range part replacement, part detection, counting, and control monitoring in a range of industries, including automotive, food and bever...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2006

I/O Modules

I/O modules are applied most often as a slot in a PLC system or as distributed I/O systems; slot PLC connections saw the largest growth. Top five connecting communications are Ethernet, 4-20 mA, Modbus RS-485, DeviceNet, and wireless protocols. And, overall spending in the next 12 months will equal or top this year's spending for a whopping 94% of respondents to a recent Control Engineering sub...

By Mark T. Hoske
Mechatronics and Motion Control February 1, 2006

High-performance PLC cost-effective with 32-bit DSP-based controllers

Adaptive Networks has announced development of a new PLC family employing Texas Instruments ’ TMS320F28x digital-signal-controllers. Unlike conventional, wired data networks using dedicated transmission lines, the F28x-enabled PowerConnect series of PLC solutions provides network communications through existing low-, medium-, and high-voltage power-lines over distances up to 50 km, eliminating the need to deploy additional wiring for control and monitoring. Single-chip PLC technology is claimed to offer reliable throughput to full-scale networks.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 31, 2006

North American dairy welcomes first stainless-steel robot

Kuka KR 15 SL from Kuka Robotics Corp. is reportedly the first stainless-steel robot to be installed in North America. The device is being used in a dairy case packing process at Dean Foods.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 26, 2006

Technology trends, developments at SPS/IPC/Drives 2005

Motors, drives, and motion control were part of the success of the focused electric automation show SPS/IPC/Drives Exhibition and Conference (Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 22-24), showing continued growth of its exhibiting companies (up 12.6%), display area (up 12.1%), and attendees (up 8.7%) compared to 2004. Beyond statistics, this annual event offers valuable perspective on trends and developments affecting motion control and related technologies.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 26, 2006

Digital drive duo debuts

The trend continues toward more capable, compact digital drives for the distributed control of different electric motor types. Over the past couple months, Performance Motion Devices (PMD)—a leading motion control technology company—announced the first two members of its new ION family of high-performance, network-connected motion-control drives. First came ION Brushless DC Drive (late Nov.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 26, 2006

New robot ‘market incubator’ program from RIA

Robotic Industries Association (RIA), billed as North America’s only trade association dedicated solely to industrial robotics, just announced its “Robot Market Incubator Program.” RIA refers to this program as a comprehensive effort to develop new markets for robotic technology and continue the industry’s unprecedented growth. “Today, robotics is too affordable to overlook; too successful to ignore; and surprisingly underused despite runaway market demand in recent years,” says Donald A. Vincent, RIA executive vice president. Kicking off the Incubator Program is the Robot Market Assessment Program (RMAP), under which interested parties can receive RIA funding and support for formal analysis of potential new markets for industrial robots, says the association.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 26, 2006

Miniature photoelectric sensor comes in 11 models

ASI mini photoelectric sensors include this Beam Oval Back Sensor. Automation Systems Interconnect (ASI) offers new mini photoelectric sensors available in 11 models. Types include diffuse reflective, focalized, polarized retro-reflective, retro-reflective for transparent, and through-beam. Sensing distance ranges from 0.2 cm to 6 m, depending on model.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 23, 2006

Bore cylinders for abusive conditions

HD large-bore cylinder series reportedly offers high performance and long life in abusive conditions by combining NFPA dimensional interchangeability and high-quality components.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 23, 2006

Hazardous location proximity sensor

7HL magnetic proximity sensor is designed to sense actuator position in hazardous location applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 12, 2006

ESC 2006 is coming soon, April 3-7

Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley, the premiere forum for the latest developments and products in this technology sector, will take place April 3-7, 2006, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA. This is a change in location for the 18thannual event, which had run for a number of years in San Francisco. One unchanging tradition, however, is the combination of ESC classes and tutorials plus an exhibition featuring cutting-edge products from leading companies. The Conference part of the show will offer practical, how-to classes numbering near 200, designed for the needs of embedded systems developers and engineers.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 9, 2006

Space-saving panel PC

IntelliVue modular industrial grade panel PC is designed for limited spaces.

By Control Engineering Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 5, 2006

Nuclear-plant turbine control goes digital

Invensys Process Systems will supply both units of American Electric Power 's Cook nuclear-plant, in Bridgman, MI, with Triconex electronic control system