Steer-by-Wire Systems with the Integrated Torque Feedback Improving Steering Performance and Reduce Cost

Hydraulic steering systems have long dominated the industrial utility vehicle market because of their familiarity both to vehicle designers and operators.

Recent trends in the industry position hydraulic steering as less advantageous for many industrial utility vehicles. Hydraulic steering systems require a motor, pump, valves, hoses and fittings. Utility vehicles that utilize hydraulic drives for other functions may or may not have a hydraulic pump with enough capacity to accommodate the steering system.

Advantages of electronic steer-by-wire systems.

Another reason for the trend away from hydraulic steering is substantial performance improvements that have been made in electric motors in recently years. The power density of electric motors has substantially increased because of advances in magnetic materials, lead/ball screw efficiency, construction, manufacturing techniques and electronics. Today’s electric motors can deliver substantially more power while maintaining high levels of efficiency. Steer-by-wire systems have also benefited by the improved reliability as published in Industrial Utility Vehicle & Mobile Equipment of all electronic and electrical products. Electronic steering systems provide nearly maintenance free operation and are thus much less prone to fail due to lack of maintenance.Nilfisk-Advance, Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment. Nilfisk-Advance engineers made the decision to upgrade the steering system to electronic steer-by-wire in order to improve steering performance, reduce power consumption and make it possible to add additional features. Nilfisk-Advance, Inc. engineers adjusted the torque feedback to simulate the hydraulic steering systems that many customers are used to. They configured the unit to provide fewer lock-to-lock steering wheel turns than are required by most hydraulic systems to reduce the amount of operator effort. They also decreased the level of steering sensitivity when the vehicle is going straight in order to make it easier for the operator to keep the vehicle on a straight path.

Nilfisk-Advance, Inc. ran the Danaher integrated electronic steer-by-wire systems through thousands of cycles on life test fixtures. The units performed perfectly in these tests which simulated the service life of a machine. The integrated steer-by-wire system replaced the old torque-assist unit, a shaft and a u-joint while providing a cost reduction of 25%, said Steve Strand, Continuation Engineer for Nilfisk-Advance. The ability to fit within the envelope provided by the existing console saved thousands in tooling costs. Feedback from customers who have driven the prototypes has been very favorable, and the scrubbersweepers with the new steering system will soon enter production.

As published in Industrial Utility Vehicle & Mobile Equipment Jan/Feb 2009 Volume 21 – Issue 13 (repost)

A success story of Danaher/Kollmorgen
Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Kollmorgen in Wisconsin.
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One Servo Motor – Any Servo Drive Improve Labeling Speed and Accuracy

Maximize Performance With Servo Motors
Labeling Machines

For high speed labeling applications that require accurate and high response motion, the SLM and SLG Series rotary motors from Exlar provide the perfect solution. Where space is at a premium, their footprint is smaller than any other motor offering the same torque.

Application Solution
The integrated gear reducer in the SLG Series offers a higher stiffness and lower inertia than bolt-on gear reducers. These features allow for quicker acceleration and shorter settling times resulting in higher throughput on your packaging machine.

Exlar can configure the SLM and SLG Series to operate with nearly any servo drive on the market. This means you can have the advantage of the compact design and high performance of the SLM and SLG, while using the servo drive of your choice.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Exlar in Wisconsin.
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Automatic Laser Marking For Farm Produce Traceability

It’s 7 o’clock… do you know where your produce came from?

If you have fruits or vegetables from Wishnatzki farms, you not only know where it came from, but also what field it came from, what day and time it was picked, and who picked it! Wishnatzki Farms has taken the Produce Traceability Initiative to heart. The Produce Traceability Initiative, or PTI, is an effort to increase value throughout the produce harvest chain by encouraging accountability. Some ambitious companies, including Wishnatzki Farms, are even using it for customer feedback purposes, constantly improving their techniques and procedures. So what does a MOOG Animatics SmartMotor have to do with produce traceability? The answer is FireTag.

“We didn’t try any other servo motor because we needed 100% reliability. The SmartMotors haven’t failed yet and we don’t expect them to. FireTag isn’t designed just for the clean room environment but for the farm factory floor, so durability and reliability were key in our decisions” said Rob Ogilbee, CFO of VirtualOne.

This is an application of MOOG Animatics
Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of MOOG Animatics in Wisconsin.  For more information, contact Tri-Phase Automation Sales or Get A Quote

Foam Sculpting CNC Router

Giant blocks of foam with the help of MOOG Animatics’ SmartMotor™ and JenCNC can be created into masterpieces.

Blockwire specializes in EPS foam cutting: a popular method for designing and producing high quality expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam core monuments, 3D signs, sculptures and prototypes. The router is used to transform bland blocks of foam into any shape imaginable, from ivy detail on roman columns to replica sculptures, jagged rock walls and beyond. Blockwire utilizes four

SmartMotor servos on their router: 2 on the X-axis, 1 on the Y-axis and 1 on the unique 18-inch Z-axis. Not a single failure occurred from the SmartMotor that wasn’t explainable by some programming error or outside cause. Plus, since it is an integrated servo it is easier to get the machine working without learning all the inner working of the motor which saves time.

This is an application of MOOG Animatics
Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of MOOG Animatics in Wisconsin.  For more information, contact Tri-Phase Automation Sales or Get A Quote

Precision Positioning Systems

MOOG Animatics Class 5 IP65 rating motors are suitable in numerous environments for precise position systems that need to maintain stability.

Extremely precise positioning of an apparatus is a common challenge in many industries. Unfortunately, in many cases the system’s environment tends not to favor any sort of stability.

Such in the case when Burchfield Automation desired effective dampening of their pan and tilt positioning system in a bumpy shaky environment.  Fitting a camera to a jarring machine such as a ATV would generally produce undesirable video quality. This becomes even more difficult when the camera is required to pan and tilt or stay focused on a certain object.  Both of these obstacles have been overcome with the use of MOOG/Animatics motors.

This is a MOOG Animatics application.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of MOOG Animatics in Wisconsin.  For more information, contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote


Achieving Industry Leading Precision Velocity Control in Coating and Laminating Applications

An application solution from Kollmorgen

km-velocityIn web handling, velocity ripple causes uneven coating and unsightly horizontal bars across the substrate. There is one solution to overcome these challenges- perfect velocity control.
There are a number of factors that directly impact the ripple problem including Mechanical transmissions cause tooth or belt chatter, and each gear tooth or timing belt will cause a torque/velocity perturbation in the roll resulting in the “bar” effect, sometimes referred as banding. Machine mechanics, along with imperfections in the motor, feedback device, and drive control loop, combine to foil the notion of perfect velocity. Correcting for these variables will go along way toward achieving  the desired velocity control.  The motor’s primary contribution to velocity ripple is its electromagnetic cogging. which is usually at the pole or slot frequency or some multiple of it. The best way to overcome electromagnetic cogging is to begin with a low cogging motor that requires less correction.  All standard Kollmorgen motors, including AKM, Direct Drive Rotary, (DDR) and Cartridge DDR are under 1% pk-pk cogging. They are superior due to electromagnetic design and simulation of the electromagnetic circuit.

Cartridge DDR or Frameless direct drive motors are the best weapon on the precision coating lines because they eliminate mechanical transmission, and with Cartridge DDR having the added advantage of being easy to implement.  Read the whitepaper

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Kollmorgen in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get a Quote