The Motion Control Show
Welcome to The Motion Control Show hosted by Corey Foster, Application Engineering Manager at Valin. In each of the episodes below Corey explains various topics related to motion control and automation.
Episode 73:What a servo system is, why it is needed and the variations of their configurations.
Episode 72:We work through a basic actuator sizing example with basic requirements to show what the process is like.
Episode 71:These are the four most important questions to ask when selecting either a servo or stepper motor for your application: speed, torque, inertia and power.
Episode 70:What is the difference between a direct drive and worm-gear driven rotary stage? Which is better?
Episode 69:When sizing a motor, what is the load-to-motor inertia ratio? And why does it matter? What is an acceptable value?
Episode 68:Understanding the blend of electric and hydraulic technologies.
Episode 67:How a hydraulic actuator is similar, yet different, from pneumatic actuators.
Episode 66:How a pneumatic actuator moves, creates force, various types and constructions, what is required in a system, and the pros and cons.
Episode 65:The basics of what an electric or electromechanical actuator is and the various technologies that this encompasses.
Episode 64:Linear motor actuators are great…but we hesitate before using them in vertical applications. We discuss why and what some solutions are.
Episode 63:Multi-axis applications, applications where two or more actuators are connected together, do not necessarily need customized actuators. But, we do a lot of engineering on how they go together. We discuss factors and lessons to learn.
Episode 62:Explosive materials and flammable gases can be a danger, especially if the equipment could ignite it. So there are certain things we want to take a look at and understand for the actuators.
Episode 61:Wet environments may include caustic chemicals. Sometimes all we have to do is protect the actuators. Other times we have to modify the design a little bit or the materials used. We take a look at the factors we’ll ask about.
Episode 60:Cleanroom applications have particular requirements for keeping the environment that they are in super clean in order to keep the products from being contaminated. We discuss the various factors to consider in selecting the right actuator for the application.
Episode 59:Extreme environments often require custom actuators and motors. We discuss typical considerations for designing actuators and motors for a vacuum environment.
Episode 58:Looking for an electric actuator with a specific stroke length? We discuss the feasibility of producing custom stroke lengths using various technologies.
Episode 57:Have you found an actuator that you like that you want but it just does not quite have everything that you need? Maybe you wish you could tweak it just a little bit?
Episode 56:Are you having troubles with your stepper motor skipping steps or stalling? There are a few reasons that could be.
Episode 55:Are you struggling in getting the performance from your servo motor that you are expecting? We discuss how the servo drive configuration can adversely affect your servo motor performance.
Episode 54:Should you use 5 or 24-volt logic with your devices and controllers?
Episode 53:Find out the difference and why you’d use differential signals.
Episode 52:A useful topic to understand is the difference between “sinking” and “sourcing”. You can use this for inputs and outputs and to make sure that your feedback is compatible with your electronics.
Episode 51:Learn about different types, protocols, form factors and variations of feedback.
Episode 50:These are the technologies and terminologies you need to know about industrial automation and motion control feedback.
Episode 49:We take a broader, more philosophical, look at what feedback is, the types, and where to put it.
Episode 48:We discuss five questions that typically should arise when trying to select a drive for a motor.
Episode 47:We address the most common questions asked by customers who are not getting the performance they expect to from their servo motors.
Episode 46:The next step to understanding and solving performance problems that you may be having, like not getting enough torque or speed or burning up motors, is to understand the various thermal protection models that your drive and motor may have.
Episode 45:We dive into the finer details of how speed/torque curves are created.
Episode 44:To size and select a servo motor, understanding the speed/torques is crucial. We discuss the basics as well as address typical questions that arise.
Episode 43:Piezo motors are an entirely different type of electric motor. We look at the basic structure and how they operate.
Episode 42:Linear motors are linear version of rotary motors…but typically are the same technology as brushless servo motors. We look at the basic structure of a few different designs.
Episode 41:Steppers motors are a specific type of synchronous electric motors. We look at the basic structure of them and what makes a stepper motor a stepper motor.
Episode 40:Brushless servo motors are a specific type of synchronous electric motors. We look at a few different designs and compare them.
Episode 39:John Brokaw helps us learn the difference between these types of motors plus how AC Induction and servo motors fit in.
Episode 38:Synchronizing the drive’s output current to the motor’s magnets.
Episode 37:We address the basics of what a drive is.
Episode 36:We address the basics of what an electric motor is.
Episode 35:HMI to controller communication may be one of the biggest surprises in your project to over-come. Here are some factors to consider.
Episode 34:One may think this is simple, but there are a lot of pitfalls in the compatibility between drives and controllers from different manufacturers. Here are the factors to consider.
Episode 33:Which is better: Selecting motors and mechanics that are the best of breed from different manufacturers OR sticking with one supplier? Here are the factors to consider.
Episode 32:Which is better: Selecting drives and motors that are the best of breed from different manufacturers OR sticking with one supplier? Here are the factors to consider.
Episode 31:Which is better: Selecting products that are the best of breed from different suppliers OR sticking with one supplier? You don’t want to find yourself pushing a train under water with a VW Bug with square wheels!
Episode 30:For my 30th episode, I thought I'd celebrate by sharing a little bit of the goofs and fun and laughter and jokes and frustration that we've had along the way in making the first 29 episodes.
Episode 29:Robots are easy to specify, but they lock you into their design. Modular mechanics take a little more engineering but provide flexibility that you may need. Here are 10 questions to consider for this decision.
Episode 28:On the surface, converting fluid power (pneumatic and hydraulic) actuators to electric actuators is simple. And it can be. But, there are a few things that I've run into that tend to hold things up that you may want to be aware of right off the bat.
Episode 27:How well a linear actuator performs in its straightness and flatness is highly dependent upon its Abbe Error…that is the angular error caused by the rolling, pitching and yawing of the carriage as it moves. But, why does it change the performance…and by how much?
Episode 26:Here are various types of tools available to you to size industrial electric linear actuators and free access to our favorite one!
Episode 25:Valin’s Bruce Ng continues the conversation on what happens to the lifespan of an actuator when important moment-loading information is omitted in Episode 25.
Episode 24:Valin’s Kent Martins shows what happens when important moment-loading information is omitted in Episode 24.
Episode 23:What happens if you use the incorrect terminology? What if you say “accuracy” but need “repeatability”? We interview Ray Marquiss in Episode 23 to find out.
Episode 22:How do you mitigate your risks when sizing, selecting and designing mechanics? How do you decide whether to make or buy your mechanics? Here are some considerations. Learn more in episode 22.
Episode 21:You may be wondering about what problems adding feedback to your mechanics can cause. One is that it can make your electronics more sophisticated and therefore more expensive; the other one is that the feedback devices may not be as accurate as you think.
Episode 20:Do you embrace linear encoders, or do you avoid them whenever possible? Or are you wondering what a linear encoder even is? After all this sizing and selecting of mechanics, and even designing your own mechanics, you might be considering putting a feedback device on there and whether you should or not. Learn more in episode 20.
Episode 19:LOSTPED is an acronym that stands for Load, Orientation, Speed, Travel, Precision, Environment and Duty Cycle. But, what does it REALLY mean? And how much do we really need to know about each of those to be able to select our mechanics? Learn more in episode 19 of The Motion Control Show.
Episode 18:A common topic when putting together a motion control system and a gantry is whether to use end-of-travel limit switches, home sensors or absolute encoders. This really depends upon the application. There's no simple answer to that. So, let's talk about the pros and cons.
Episode 17:You cannot just start on the mechanics, pick the motors, pick the drives, pick the controls, pick the HMI. First you must understand everything all together. Since we're talking about mechanics, there's a few things we need to kind of jump on right off the bat. To figure out the holistic approach, there's a lot more to it.
Episode 16:When we size, select, and design gantry systems such as this one, we must make sure that we take into account the whole framing that this is going to be mounted on. Is that framing going to be simply supporting the actuators at just the ends? If so, we might get some deflection and vibration caused by the moving of the load or even just the weight of the actuator itself.
Episode 15:Back in Episode 6, I explained to you the different types of linear mechanics. This included ballscrews, belt & pulleys, linear motors and even rack & pinion. I get the question all the time: which linear mechanics do I use? That could be a short conversation or a long one, depending upon the application.
Episode 14:A very important factor to keep in mind when sizing your gantry system is the cable management and cable lengths you'll need. If you think about it, we're going to need cables to span throughout every axis of motion. Starting with the Theta, we must go through the Z-axis, through the Y-axis, and then even through our X-axis, to get to our end.
Episode 13:One of the things that can really trip people up with sizing and selecting a gantry system is whether they need one or two motors for the X and X-prime. In this system’s configuration, we're utilizing two separate servo motors to drive the X and X-prime axes. This is since they are so far apart.
Episode 12:After taking a break from mechanics for a few episodes, we're returning to the idea of a gantry. But, you may wonder what a gantry looks like. For an explanation of that, we're going to turn to Valin’s own Michael Reynaud with a special animation by Valin’s Cassidy in order to show you what a gantry looks like.
Episode 11:I am continuing my conversation with you about EMC installation. We talked about electrical noise, where it comes from and how we control it. We talked about the reasons for Mains filters. Now I'm going to talk a little bit about how to select Mains filters and unfortunately, it's a real black art.
Episode 10:Continuing on talking about electrical noise, I often times have suggested mains filters to customers and they say, “Well I'm not shipping my system to Europe so I don't need it.” But there are very good reasons for putting a mains filter on your system even when you're not shipping it to Europe. Let's take a look at this.
Episode 9:Today we're taking a break from all the mechanical topics and are going to talk about an electrical one: electrical noise. I've talked to people who don't believe in electrical noise, but I guarantee you that when you've had the problem, and found out what it was, you will wish you had known this.
Episode 8:Today we're talking about specsmanship. Specifically, we're looking at a load-ratings on mechanics by using the bearing life curves. What is specmanship? Why do we care? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, the catalog specs are not always straight forward as they appear. Let's look at a couple examples.
Episode 7:Typically, when people think of rotary mechanics, they're talking about rotary tables. Here's a classic picture of a rotary table on the right. Now, this is a worm gear-driven table. So, you have to have an external motor. Here's the motor mount over here on the right-hand side.
Episode 6:We've been talking about a lot of different basic terminology. Now we're going to talk about just some basic types of linear mechanics.
Episode 5:We're continuing on with talking about some of the basic terminology and things you need to know in order to be able to size your own mechanics and gantry. We cover motion requirements and a summary at the end of the last several episodes.
Episode 4:As we dive further into sizing and selecting mechanics, there are a couple of terms that are extremely important in understanding the requirements of an application. They center around the precision requirements for the application.
Episode 3:Before we dive into the meat of the matter of sizing and selecting mechanics, there are some basic concepts we need to understand: namely the force, torque, moment, inertia, and axes of motion.
Episode 2:You may be wondering what the main components are that you need to make a motion control system. What are the minimum number of components you need?
Episode 1:You've been asked to put together a gantry (or some mechanical motion control system) and you probably have no idea where to start. Let me help you narrow it all down a little bit.
A lesson for me is that I need to involve you earlier in the program.
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