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January 30, 2009

A new year brings a new edition of Motors Monthly to your inbox. This month, stepmotor failures may require a more in-depth look to prevent future breakdowns. Configruing drives sets its sight on an often overlooked area, the components between the motor and the load. When one servomotor can't handle the load, link two or more so they behave as one with Servos in Harmony. And direct-drive linear actuators get that linear servo feel without intervening hardware.
--Robert Repas, Assoc. Editor


Keep stepmotors turning
Those who use stepmotors know these motors are infamous for failure or stalling just when they’re needed the most. It is easy to assume the motor just went bad when this happens. However, a deeper look during troubleshooting often exposes the real reason the motor failed and a long-term solution that prevents future malfunctions.


Do You Want Motors That Last 2X Longer?

WEG has developed a way to make their motors last twice as long. By combining a WEG VFD with a W21 NEMA Premium or High Efficiency motor, you can optimize motor flux at low speeds to produce full torque, while reducing the temperature by 11%. This motor/drive combination doubles the life of the motor. For more information, call 1-800-ASK-4WEG (275-4934)
or log onto

Basics of configuring drives
The promulgation of automation has thrust many engineers into the role of specifying drive parameters. So it can be useful to examine the equations that describe how drives transform one form of mechanical power into another. The key to many motion applications is in sizing the drive components lying between the motor and load.

Servos in harmony
Two servomotors drive a single shaft in what’s billed as the world’s largest trim-in-place thermoforming machine. The thermoformer, dubbed the FT14k, recently went to work for a company molding yogurt cups at a 140 cups/cycle rate. It incorporates an all-electric dual-action press designed to turn out cups, trays, or plates.

Linear actuators get a servo look
Direct-drive linear servoactuators produce linear motion directly rather than convert rotary motion to a linear displacement. As is the case with rotary servomotors, the shedding of ball-screw mass, friction, wear, cogging, resonance, and so forth gives direct-drive linear actuators agility and lets them be easily controlled.

Featured Content

How Does It Work: Motor Animations
This issue's Featured Web Content comes from the University of New South Wales in Sidney, Australia. It uses animated gifs and schematics to explain the physical principles of some of the different types of electric motors, generators, alternators, linear motors, and loudspeakers.

New Products

Linear Slide and Motor Assembly
The MotoRGS linear-slide assembly incorporates a Kerk Rapid Guide Screw (RGS) linear slide and a Haydon Size-17 hybrid stepper motor. A supportive integral mounting base offers positioning accuracy, repeatability, and axial stiffness.
HaydonKerk Motion Solutions


BX4 Brushless motor with Four-Pole Power and reliable long service life

What can the Faulhaber BX4 Brushless motor with 4-pole technology do for your designs? From aerospace to robotics to medical applications, the BX4 can deliver power for a wide range of applications. Constructed with a modular design with fewer parts and no adhesive bonded joints. Continuous torque up to 12.2 mNm combined with the 22F series gearhead torque increases to 1,500 mNm. Click here for more info and video on the all new BX4 from Faulhaber.

Microstepping Drives
The new Compumotor-brand Open Frame Stepper (OFS) microstepping drives are an alternative to ac-powered step drives, especially for less-demanding point-to-point applications. The drives feature three-state, PWM, MOSFET H-Bridge technology, which allows 3.5-A peak current/phase and handling of Size 11 through Size 34 stepmotors.
Parker Electromechanical Automation

Motors and Drives
A new line of motion products include high-quality, low-cost dc step drives, stepmotors, and integrated stepper motor and drives. The dc step drives come with 5 or 10-A output and low-cost dc step drives with 2 or 3.5-A output.
Automation Systems Interconnect Inc.

Parallel-Shaft Gearmotor
The VWDIR20 parallel-shaft ac gearmotor is available in eight standard models. The gearmotor features 1/4-hp (186-W) 115-V, 60-Hz split-phase operation and a phenolic high-speed gear for low noise and steel gearing in subsequent stages, with ratios ranging from 14:1 to 286:1.
Bison Gear & Engineering Corp.

News from MD


Find out how you stack up against your peers when it comes to income and workload by taking a few minutes to fill out the 2009 Machine Design salary survey. Your confidential response, and the replies of other readers, will show where you fit in among other design professionals. Results will be highlighted in our salary survey article in the April 23 issue. Respond to the survey at by Friday, Feb 13 and you're automatically entered into a prize drawing for a $100 American Express gift card.

Machine Design Video Spotlight

IAI's Energy Efficient Solution: Green Automation
IAI America's Derrick Ellerman discusses the Green Automation aspect of factory automation that is becoming increasingly an important part in choosing a complete motion control system. The electro-mechanical ROBO Cylinder is energy efficient, which dramatically reduces running costs and offers complete motion control solutions that have many advantages over pneumatic systems.

Check Out the New

Our newly redesigned web site still features the best content and information for engineers provided by engineers but with these new great features.

Multiple Path Navigation
Find content your way. Improved site navigation creates multiple ways to find the content you are looking for.

Supercharged Search
The search function has been highly improved and tested to provide the most effective results for engineers.

Highlighted Resources
Looking for CAD drawings? Find them in our CAD Library. Download whitepapers in the Whitepaper Library. Valuable educational content is featured in the eBook section. Check out the latest in editorial and sponsored video in the Video section.


Burton Snowboards Brings th eBest Designs to Market with the Help of 3D Printing
Sponsored by Objet
DATE: February 5th, 2009
TIME: 2:00pm ET/11am PT

Design and manufacturing companies are faced with ever increasing competition. More innovative product designs and technology are essential to successfully compete in today’s market.

Burton Snowboards has been the world’s leading snowboard company since 1977 and continues to set itself apart by quickly adapting to snowboarding’s continuous progression. Burton’s latest bindings innovation, Extra Sensory Technology is an example of this adaptation. Fully developed, tested and delivered in 18 months, EST shattered previous timelines by 6 months with the aid of in-house Rapid Prototyping.

Join us as Burton Snowboard Senior Prototyping Specialist Ryan Larson and Objet Senior Applications Engineer Neil Ranney team up for a webinar that explores how Burton Snowboards uses rapid prototyping and 3D printing to cut time and costs off new designs.

Click here to learn more and register!


Click Here for a list of archived Machine Design webcasts.

Featured Links

LEESON's new SM2 Vector Series inverters deliver up to 200% starting torque and control an Inverter rated motor down to 1Hz at full output torque.

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Contact Information
Editorial questions:   Robert Repas 216-931-9319
Advertising/sponsorship opportunities:   Virginia Goulding 216-931-9893

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