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 Build My 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.