Archive For: Motion Control

What is a Stepper Motor?

What is a Stepper Motor?

A stepper motor (sometimes called a step motor or stepping motor) is a DC motor with a fixed number of steps that make a full rotation.  The motor can be commanded to move to any one of those step locations and hold position without any need for a position sensor – assuming it is properly ... Read More
 
Beam Testing at Portland State

Beam Testing at Portland State

For their undergraduate senior capstone project, a team of Mechanical Engineering students at Portland State University (PSU) recently designed an electronic system upgrade for the control system of a 100-year-old beam testing machine. Using a range of AutomationDirect parts, the purpose of the project was to make the operator experience comparable to modern machines.
 
Selecting Motors for Industrial Applications

Selecting Motors for Industrial Applications

Efficient use of motors is always important, but there are many other things to consider when specifying an electric motor. Mechanical and environmental considerations are on the list, as is the application and operation. All of these factors are important, but the application is where the selection process should start.
 
Linear Motion | Automation Notes

Linear Motion | Automation Notes

Linear motion actuators are used in factories for pick and place operations, CNC lasers and routers, complex adhesive application or whenever super-precise and accurate positioning is required.
 
Small Timing Belts and Pulleys

Small Timing Belts and Pulleys

AutomationDirect’s SureMotion line of motion control products now includes additional synchronous timing belts and pulleys for small motor applications. An excellent choice for many industrial applications, SureMotion MXL series timing belts are 1/4-inch wide, have a 0.080-inch pitch, and are available in neoprene with fiberglass reinforcement and urethane with polyester reinforcement styles. Neoprene belts have ... Read More
 
Lock-Jaw2 Robot Competes in BattleBots TV Show Using AutomationDirect Parts

Lock-Jaw2 Robot Competes in BattleBots TV Show Using AutomationDirect Parts

Robots Activate! Is a familiar phrase to those fans who follow the BattleBots competition which just completed its 2016 season broadcast on ABC Television in the United States. One of the BattleBots competition veterans, Donald Hutson, has been involved since the show began and has been on the robot combat circuit since 1986.
 
Machine Produces Nanofibers for Biomedical Research

Machine Produces Nanofibers for Biomedical Research

If you can’t buy it, you have to build it. This was the situation our group of engineering students encountered when we needed to grow vascular tissue for a bioengineering project at Walla Walla University, and found existing solutions were not acceptable.
 
It’s a Wrap! Automated Taping Machine

It’s a Wrap! Automated Taping Machine

The capstone senior design project is the crowning achievement for seniors at the University of Connecticut School of Engineering.  In this two-semester course, senior students are mentored by faculty and industry engineers as they work to solve real-world engineering problems for their corporate sponsor. Students learn about the principles of design, how ethics affect engineering ... Read More
 
There’s No Vaccine to Prevent this Strain of LOCK-JAW!

There’s No Vaccine to Prevent this Strain of LOCK-JAW!

Lock-Jaw is a ‘heavyweight’ (250 lb.) robot built for the 2015 BattleBots competition on ABC. Lock-Jaw’s creator is veteran builder Donald Hutson from team Mutant Robots. Donald has competed in many types of combat robotics events including the original Robot Wars back in 1996 with his first 220 lb robot called Tazbot. Donald is also ... Read More
 
SureMotion Linear Slides

SureMotion Linear Slides

AutomationDirect’s SureMotion line of motion control products now includes both motor-ready actuator assemblies and an assortment of sliding components and accessories to provide a wide variety of motion control solutions for X-Y and X-Y-Z positioning systems. Twin round-shaft slide actuators feature a continuously-supported round rail slide with ball screw actuation and provide robust precision linear ... Read More