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.

The Motion Control Show Episode 1 - Who Can Help Me

Episode 1:

Who can help me to size and select industrial automation electric actuators and a motion control system?

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.

 
The Motion Control Show Episode 2: What are the Main Components

Episode 2:

What are the Main Components Needed to Make a Motion Control System?

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?

 
The Motion Control Show Episode 3: What terminology do I need to know?

Episode 3:

What Terminology do I Need to Know? (Force, Torque, Moment, Inertia, Axes of Motion)

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.
The Motion Control Show Episode 4: What terminology do I need to know?

Episode 4:

What Terminology do I Need to Know? (Precision)

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.

 
The Motion Control Show Episode 5: What terminology do I need to know?

Episode 5:

What Terminology do I Need to Know? (Motion Requirements & Summary)

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.

 
The Motion Control Show Episode 6: What terminology do I need to know?

Episode 6:

What Terminology do I Need to Know? (Types of Linear Mechanics)

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 7: What Terminology Do I Need To Know? Types of Rotary Mechanics

Episode 7:

What Terminology do I Need to Know? (Types of Rotary Mechanics)

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.

 
Specsmanship - Load ratings using Bearing Life Curves

Episode 8:

Specsmanship - Load Ratings Using Bearing Life Curves

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.
 
EMC-Installation-Preventing-Electrical-Ghosts

Episode 9:

EMC Installation - Preventing Electrical Ghosts

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 10 EMC Installation Why do I need a Mains Filter

Episode 10:

EMC Installation - Why do I need a Mains Filter?

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.
 
EMC Installation - Selecting a Mains Filter

Episode 11:

EMC Installation - Selecting a Mains Filter

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.

 
The Motion Control Show, Episode 12 - What does a gantry look like?

Episode 12:

What Does a Gantry Look Like?

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.

 
The Motion Control Show, Episode 13 How Many Motors do I Need for Parallel Axes on my Gantry?

Episode 13:

How Many Motors do I Need for Parallel Axes on my Gantry?

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.


 
The Motion Control Show, Episode 14 Don't Forget Cable Management!

Episode 14:

Don't Forget Cable Management!

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.

 
The Motion Control Show, Episode 15 Ballscrews vs Belt Pulleys vs Linear Motors

Episode 15:

Ballscrews vs Belt Pulleys vs Linear Motors

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.


 
The Motion Control Show, Episode 16: Take the Mounting into Consideration

Episode 16:

Take the Mounting into Consideration

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.

 
The Motion Control Show, Episode 17: The Holistic Approach

Episode 17:

The Holistic Approach

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.

 

The Motion Control Show, Episode 18: End of Travel and Home Sensors vs Absolute Encoders

Episode 18:

End of Travel and Home Sensors vs Absolute Encoders

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.

 

The Motion Control Show, Ep #19: What I need to know to select mechanics?

Episode 19:

What do I Need to Know to Select Mechanics?

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.
 
The Motion Control Show, Episode 20: Do I need feedback?

Episode 20:

Do I Need Feedback?

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 21:

Linear Encoder Errors

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 22:

Mitigating Risks in Mechanics

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 23: The Effect of Accuracy & Repeatability on a Solution

Episode 23:

The Effect of Accuracy & Repeatability on a Solution

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.
The Motion Control Show Episode 24: The Effect of Moment Loading on a Solution

Episode 24:

The Effect of Moment Loading on a Solution

Valin’s Kent Martins shows what happens when important moment-loading information is omitted in Episode 24.

The Motion Control Show Episode 25: The Effect of Moment Loading on a Solution's Lifespan

Episode 25

The Effect of Moment Loading on a Solution's Lifespan

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 26

What Tools Can I Use to Size Electric Linear Actuators?

Here are various types of tools available to you to size industrial electric linear actuators and free access to our favorite one!

Episode 27:

How Does Abbe Error Effect the Straightness and Flatness Performance?

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 28

How to Convert from Pneumatic and Hydraulic Actuators to Electric?

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.
 

TMCS Ep#29: 10 Questions to Consider in Deciding Between Robots and Modular Mechanics

Episode 29

10 Questions to Consider in Deciding Between Robots and Modular Mechanics

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.

25-ish Funny-ish Moments in the First 29 Episodes

Episode 30

The Motion Out of Control Episode

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.
 
Can I Mix and Match Products from Different Suppliers?

Episode 31

Can I Mix and Match Products from Different Suppliers?

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!




 

Can I Mix and Match Drives and Motors from Different Manufacturers?

Episode 32

Can I Mix and Match Drives and Motors from Different Manufacturers?

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.
Can I Mix and Match Motors and Mechanics from Different Manufacturers?

Episode 33

Can I Mix and Match Motors and Mechanics from Different Manufacturers?

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.

Can I Mix and Match Drives and Controllers from Different Manufacturers?

Episode 34

Can I Mix and Match Drives and Controllers from Different Manufacturers?

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.

 




 

The Motion Control Show, Episode 35: Can I Mix and Match Controllers and HMIs from Different Manufacturers?

Episode 35

Can I Mix and Match Controllers and HMIs from Different Manufacturers?

HMI to controller communication may be one of the biggest surprises in your project to over-come.  Here are some factors to consider.