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FEMM/Finite Element Analysis Simplified Video Tutorial January 28, 2014

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Published on Feb  7, 2013      8:03 minutes

A YouTube tutorial going through the general process and overview of finite element analysis for electrical simulations, and using a Linear Electromagnetic Device as an example in FEMM.

Click on the link below to view this instructional YouTube Video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LvWE1JscO4

A more detailed look at using FEMM can be found in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m0eEw…

For more information, please contact:

EDITORIAL CONTACT:

Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:   877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

Tags:  FEA, FEMM, Finite Element Analysis Tutorial, FEA Video

Galil Controller Helps Deliver Amazingly Clear 3D Images January 21, 2014

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Viewing ultrasound images of a developing child is a sight to behold — even if it is a bit hard to make out.  Those once fuzzy images are more revealing than ever due to the iU22 ultrasound system from Philips Medical Systems. I t fully integrates 2D, 3D and real-time 4D imaging modes, as well as multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) resolution that rivals acquired 2D plane definition.  As a result, expectant parents can quickly identify the very distinct anatomic features of their child — including the fetal heart.  And, clinicians and doctors can diagnose with greater depth and accuracy.

The iU22 delivers detailed images using its mechanical probe or transducer, which incorporates a unique gimble mechanism that is powered by a single brushless motor.  Prior probes used gears that provided slow frame rates, causing the image to “chunk” along as the clinician moved the probe over a patient.

The motor is controlled by a customized, single-axis motion controller and drive combination from Galil.  The controller features a Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) filter with acceleration and velocity feed-forward functionality for accurate control and smooth motion.  It also handles high bandwidths and compensates for high-frequency noise.  These features help the iU22 3D probe perform with high accuracy and stability between frames, which eliminates any wobbly or bouncing images.

To help speed the iU22 to market, Philips went to Galil for the motion controller to keep costs down and knowing that Galil could handle the noise and accuracy specifications.  Galil was able to take Philips existing single axis DMC-1412 controller and integrate it with an amplifier on a small-sized board to save space and costs while not compromising on performance.

The Galil controller already offered a contour mode and arrays that can buffer the position data that is sent on the fly from the Philips CPU.  These include constant, linear speed generation of profiles that are coming from the scan head.  By offloading this and other intensive motion tasks to the controller, the CPU is freed to focus on handling the image computations for the 3D renderings.

Reducing user fatigue was another critical consideration, as examiners had found the all-day, back-and-forth movement of the ultrasound probe to cause stress to their hands, wrists, back and shoulders.  To prevent this, the iU22 features an ergonomic probe and a flat, articulating display/control panel that adjusts for each user.  It also has a lightweight, portable chassis for scan-ning flexibility, foot-controlled swivel lock and brakes, and voice recognition software that lets users stay productive when their hands are full. Such features have improved workflow and productivity to the point that doctors report savings of 3 – 5 minutes per exam.   With a typical day running at 50 exams, that adds up to almost four hours of time saved for other tasks or additional patients. In addition to 3D images inside the womb, the iU22 isused for gynecological imaging and scanning of the breast, prostate and muscular systems.

To view the complete article go to: http://www.galilmc.com/support/customers/philips.pdf

For more information, please contact:

EDITORIAL CONTACT:

Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:   877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

Tags:  Galil, Servo2Go, Motion Controller, Automation, Servo, Philips Medical Systems, DMC-1412

Absolute encoders. A short primer January 15, 2014

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Reprint of Design World 2012-08-09 Article

Encoders can be either absolute or incremental.  Absolute encoders have a unique code for each shaft position. Or in other words, every position of an absolute encoder is distinctive.  The absolute encoder interprets a system of coded tracks to create position information where no two positions are identical.  Another feature is that absolute encoders do not lose position whenever power is switched off.  Since each position is distinctive, the verification of true position is available as soon as power is switched on.  It is not important to initialize the system by going back to a home base for a reference.

Absolute Encoder Codewheel

Absolute Encoder Codewheel

Absolute encoders can be either single-turn or multi-turn.  Single-turn encoders are well suited to short travel motion control applications where position verification is needed within a single turn of the encoder shaft.  Multi-turn encoders, on the other hand, are better for applications that involve complex or lengthy positioning requirements.

Absolute encoders have a number of advantages.  First is the non-volatility of memory.  An absolute encoder works as a non-volatile position verification device.  True position is not lost if power is lost or the system moves while power is switched off.  A continuous reading of position is not needed.  This is specifically useful in those applications, such as satellite-tracking antennas, where position verification is key.

Absolute encoders also provide programming flexibility.  By removing the need for system homing, the encoders can be controlled to give positioning programs based on setting up reference from point-to-point, rather than from a home position.  Additionally, a microprocessor interface module allows for programming various operating parameters, such as resolution.

Safety is another benefit. In some applications where a loss of position could lead to operator injury or machine damage, an absolute encoder automatically provides position verification when the power is switched on.  Absolute encoders also have good immunity to electrical noise.  The device determines position by frequently reading a coded signal. Stray pulses from electrical noise will not build up and accurate position is presented again on the next reading.

For more information, please contact:

EDITORIAL CONTACT:

Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:   877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

Tags:  Encoder, Absolute Encoder, Single-turn encoder, Multi-turn encoder

Galil Motion Controllers Support 2-Phase Closed-Loop Brushless (Step) Motors December 2, 2013

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You don’t have to purchase a servo motor anymore for accurate positioning!  Now you can save money and achieve the positional accuracy you need for your high torque, slow speed application with Galil’s integrated, high power (8 Amps continuous), 2-phase drive for closing the loop on a step motor.

Galil DMC-30017 Motion Controller

Galil DMC-30017 Motion Controller

Two types of electrical motors have traditionally been used in automation applications; step motors with open loop operation and servo motors with incremental or absolute feedback.

Step motors are low cost, easy to use and are prime candidates for applications that require slow movement, high torque and low positional accuracy.  Feedback for step motors isn’t necessary because the current is kept constant through the phases which allow a position to be held with a fairly high level of static torque.

Step motors are not candidates for applications that require positional accuracy, smooth motion, fast speeds or power efficiency.

Applications that require accuracy and smoothness typically need servo motors with analog or digital feedback, where the motion controller provides a PID filter or something similar.  3-phase brushless motors are higher cost, and require more effort to stabilize than step motors, but they handle fast or slow speeds with perfect accuracy and smooth motion, at all times.

There are some occasions when applications desire the benefits of step motors but also need the accuracy of a servo motor.  Additional accuracy can be achieved on step motors with half, quarter, and microstepping motion.  While these modes provide some advantages, they do not reach the level of positional accuracy achievable with a servo motor.

A solution for these distinct applications can be a closed-loop step motor.  Adding a feedback device to the step motor, and controlling it like a servo motor, achieves the positional accuracy of a servo motor.  In this configuration the step motor acts like a 2-phase brushless servo motor.  Because it’s acting as a servo motor, current is only drawn when it is needed greatly improving the power efficiency and eliminating wasted heat.  However, like an open loop step motor, this solution provides high torque at low speeds. The closed loop step motor will not achieve as high speed or run as smoothly as a 3-phase brushless DC servo motor.

This solution is available on the DMC-30017 and the DMC-40×0.  Please contact a Galil Application Engineer to review which option will work best for your system.

More information on the DMC-30017 and the DMC-40×0 from Galil Motion Control can be found at the link below-

DMC-30017   http://www.servo2go.com/product.php?ID=105334&cat=

DMC-40×0    http://www.servo2go.com/product.php?ID=101658&cat=

For more information, please contact:

EDITORIAL CONTACT:

Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:  877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

Tags:  Galil, Servo2Go, DMC-30017, DMC-40×0, closed-loop step motor, Automation, Stepper System, Motion Controller, Motor Control,

Si Programmer: A Complete Training Video for programming stepper drives! November 8, 2013

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Intended for use in stand-alone applications, Si Programmer™ Software, from Applied Motion Products, provides an extremely friendly point-and-click graphical interface  that doesn’t require any previous programming experience.  The software runs on Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, NT, ME, or 98.

Si Programming Video

Si Programming Video

Click on the link below to view the video-

http://www.applied-motion.com/videos/amp-training-si-programming-software?test=october2013newsletter

More information on the Si Programmable Products from Applied Motion Products can be viewed at-
http://www.servo2go.com/search.php?search=Indexer&D=PROD

For more information, please contact:

Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:  877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

Choosing a Power Supply for Your Stepper Drive October 11, 2013

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Power Supply for Stepper Drives

Power Supply for Stepper Drives

When choosing a power supply for a stepping motor driver there are performance and sizing issues that must be addressed.  An undersized power supply can lead to poor performance and even possible damage to the stepping motor driver, which can be both time consuming and expensive.  However, bipolar chopping stepping motor drives are quite efficient and may not require as large a supply as you might suspect.

Click on the link below to download this free White Paper.

http://www.servo2go.com/support/files/Choosing%20a%20Power%20Supply%20for%20Your%20Stepper%20Drive.pdf

For more information, please contact:

EDITORIAL CONTACT:
Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:   877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

PID Tuning Using GalilTools Software. A New Video from Galil Motion Control. September 25, 2013

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In this new video from Galil Motion Control, PID Tuning of a Servo Motor is achieved using GalilTools Scope.

GalilTools PID Tuning Video

1:47 YouTube Video.  Click on the image above or on  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzn5J8K_2kk .

Click on the link below to view Servo2Go’s family of Programmable Motion Controllers from Galil Motion Control.

http://www.servo2go.com/supplier.php?id=1031080104

EDITORIAL CONTACT:

Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:  877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

Tags:  PID Tuning, Scope, Servo Motor Tuning, Galil Motion Control, Galil Software, Servo2Go, GalilTools

Comparing CANopen and EtherCAT FieldBus Networks September 23, 2013

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Servo2Go offers a variety of network options for connecting servo drives in a multi-axis configurations.  Choosing the right network depends on a variety of factors such as required bandwidth, update rate, performance, and cost.  The network options supported in AMC Digiflex Performance servo drives are outlined below.

CANopen (CAN) 

A robust serial protocol that is low cost and offers enhanced diagnostic and control capabilities with reasonable bandwidth.  Digiflex Performace CANopen drives also support RS232 as a secondary communication channel.  DriveWare software can run over the RS232 channel during operation to monitor quantities in real time making system design and commissioning fast.  Visit http://www.can-cia.org/ for more information.  Some of the strengths of CANopen are:

  • 3-wire bus is all that is needed to connect drives together (CAN_H, CAN_L and GND).
  • Differential transmission for noise immunity.
  • Up to 1Mbit/sec speeds possible.
  • Up to 128 nodes per CAN network.
  • Robust message arbitration with collision detection/prevention built into the physical layer.
  • Many microcontrollers have built in CAN ports.
  • CAN Hardware for many different platforms readily available (Desktop, PC/104, etc.)
  • Many different operating systems supported (Windows, VxWorks, Linnux)
  • Bi-directional (non-polled) communication possible.
  • PVT – Position,Velocity Time trajectory interpolated by the drive from points sent by the host. Reduces overhead at the host. Countless trajectories possible.
  • Coordinated motion capabilities.

How Fast Can Messages Be Sent? The average CAN message is 130 bits, so it takes 130μsec per message PER NODE to physically send out a message. Different CAN message types improve on this time, but update rates close to 1Khz are possible.


RS232 (serial) 

An economical single-axis solution that offers reasonable diagnostics better suited toward low-bandwidth applications.  All AMC Digiflex Performance servo drives support this communication interface.

  • Many PCs have serial port hardware.  No extra host hardware needed.
  • Simple 3 wire bus (TX, RX, and GND).
  • Speeds up to 115.2K baud are possible.

How Fast Is RS232? – RS232 messages can be longer than CAN.  A read command to a 16-bit index takes 8 databytes (64 bits / 115.2K = 560μsec). The reply is another 12 bytes (96 bits / 115.2kK = 834μsec).  Total message time (both command and reply is 560μsec + 834μsec = 1.3msec.  The result is much slower than a 1Mbit/s CAN bus.


RS422/RS485 

An economical multi-axis solution that yields reasonable diagnostics and control capabilities at higher bandwidths than RS232.

  • Can support multiple nodes (up to 32)
  • Operates at speeds higher than RS232 (115.2K) baud (921.6K) possible with host hardware supporting it.
  • Full-Duplex (RS485 4-wire only) or Half-Duplex (RS422 2-wire).

How fast can I go with RS485? – Max speed is 921.6K baud. RS485 messages can be longer than CAN.  A read command to a 16-bit index takes 8 databytes (64 bits / 921.6K = 70μsec).  The reply is another 12 bytes (96 bits / 921.6K = 104μsec).  Total message time (both command and reply is 70μsec + 104μsec = 174μsec.  This is almost as fast as a 1Mbit/s CAN bus.


EtherCAT
™  

A high-performance Ethernet based deterministic network protocol developed by Beckhoff.  Visit the EtherCAT Technology Group http://www.ethercat.org for more information.  Some important features of EtherCAT are:

  • Transmission rates up to 200Mbit/sec.
  • Based off standard Ethernet for 100baseT.
  • Real-time down to the I/O level.
  • Multiple topologies possible – Line, Star, Tree, Daisy Chain + Drop Lines. Can be used in any combination.
  • Requires no special Ethernet hardware – Standard Network Interface Cards (NIC) can be used for EtherCAT.
  • CANopen over EtherCAT (CoE) allows use of CANopen protocol and feature set over EtherCAT.
  • Off-the-shelf EtherCAT masters available that implement full language features of IEC 61131.
  • Open protocol – Designers can implement their own EtherCAT master.
  • Secondary USB port for direct connection to DriveWare. Can monitor quantities using Driveware without interrupting over EtherCAT.

How Fast Is EtherCAT?

EtherCAT is based off 100BaseT physical layer and can send multiple datagrams per EtherCAT packet. Cycle times can reach lower than 1msec.

AMC Network Options Comparison

Click on the link below to view Servo2Go’s family of digital servo drives from Advanced Motion Controls-

http://www.servo2go.com/supplier.php?id=1031080098

EDITORIAL CONTACT:

Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:  877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

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Did You Know? Synchronized Motion Using Encoder Following September 2, 2013

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Encoder following, which is also known as A/B Quadrature control mode, can be utilized on stepper and servo drives sold by Applied Motion Products.  An encoder is a feedback device most commonly found in servo systems where positional feedback is essential for closed-loop control. Incremental encoders are standard on all servo motors sold by Applied Motion and they may also be ordered pre-installed on our stepper motors and integrated steppers for use with our stall prevention and stall detection features.

But did you know that an encoder can also act as an input signal to control and synchronize the motion of two or more motors?

Because the output from an encoder is a series of pulses, consisting of an A and B channel, these signals are very similar to the Step Pulse & Direction outputs that are commonly found on a PLC or indexer. With a few simple configuration steps, an Applied Motion stepper drive or servo drive can be configured to accept these encoder pulses as a command source.

In motion control applications such as high speed insertion, line speed matching, adhesives application and labeling (all of which require one axis to be synchronized to another), this configuration can not only be very useful, but quite easy to set up and manage.  In those applications that require the secondary following axis to go faster or slower than the primary axis, the “Electronic Gearing” ratio can be manipulated to achieve this.

When configuring a stepper drive, the ST Configurator™ software is used to select A/B Quadrature as the signal type. When configuring a servo drive, Quick Tuner™ is used to make this selection. In both cases, the Electronic Gearing parameter (defined in units of steps per revolution), can be defined such that the motor following the encoder will run faster, slower, or at the same speed as the encoder itself. To illustrate this concept, picture a large machine equipped with a hand wheel connected to an encoder, which has been wired to a drive configured for encoder following. As the machine operator turns the hand wheel, the corresponding machine axis can be positioned at the desired rate of speed.

In more sophisticated control systems that require encoder following to be switched on only at specific times during the process, our Serial Command Language (SCL) can be used to issue commands to the drive to accomplish this.  This feature allows the system designer to synchronize, on demand, two or more axes of motion.

The FE (Follow Encoder) serial command can be issued to switch on encoder following while a drive is running in any other control mode.

Other SCL commands related to FE are:

  • EG – Electronic Gearing (sets ratio for following motor)
  • AC – Acceleration (controlled upon initiation of FE)
  • DE – Deceleration (controlled when FE is turned off)
  • DI – Distance (defined deceleration distance)

To learn more about SCL and Q Programmer, please visit our website.

For more information, please contact:

EDITORIAL CONTACT:
Warren Osak
sales@servo2go.com
Toll Free Phone:  877-378-0240
Toll Free Fax:       877-378-0249
www.servo2go.com

Tags:  Encoder Following, Applied Motion Products, Servo2Go, Step Motor, Servo Motor, Stepper Motor,

Listen to the difference between straight tooth gears and helical gears July 18, 2013

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Listen to the difference between straight tooth gears and helical gears.  The helical gear profile is cut at an angle that allows for gradual tooth engagement allowing for smooth, accurate, and quiet transmission.

Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj3lTLH97UM  to watch this short 28 second video.

GAM Gear - Straight Tooth Gears vs. Helical Gears

GAM’s SPH gearbox features helical gears.  Click on the link below to view the specification on this gearbox.

http://www.electromate.com/products/series.php?&series_id=105398