Delta Tau tales of motion control – Episode 19: The new Clipper makes machine control plain sailing

Delta Tau has introduced its latest low cost CNC and general purpose controller that enables simpler and inexpensive operation of all sorts of machines from metal cutting tools to lasers, flatbed cutters and Cartesian robots. The control provides motion control, operator interface, PLCs, standard interfaces and software in a single unit.

Called the Advantage 500, this system can handle four or eight axes and has at its heart Delta Tau’s powerful Turbo PMAC Clipper which gives motion controllers stability, flexibility, accuracy and speed. These features coupled with the use of the Turbo PMAC CPU embedded computer, delivers a controller that has many high level features within an otherwise simple system.
Unlike PC based solutions the Advantage 500 solves all of the wiring headaches of getting cabling in and out of the motion controller. Furthermore the controller comes with a broad array of hardware interfaces as standard so that just about anything can be simply plugged into the unit.

This means requirements such as lead screw and planar compensation; backlash compensation; fast position capture; rapid position comparison; master/slave capabilities; and the ability to handle 40MHz and auxiliary handwheel encoders; these are just a few of the features available that will greatly appeal to machine builders and end users.

The set up is simple and could not be easier to operate. There are interactive input screens, which include axis characteristics, axis I/O, axis reference methodology as well as general axis and CNC options.

The Advantage 500 can be supplied with either CNC machine tool software or with DNC software or custom HMI’s designed using or C++ embedded for any type of flatbed machine. The CNC interface uses the familiar RS274 G-code library, but also offers the PMAC-style structured text entry and a DNC interface for external program download. Most usefully the controller’s CNC software has full G, M and T code compatibility for milling, turning and grinding.

The designers at Delta Tau’s have implemented their soft PLC, which allows the Advantage 500 to be programmed using American Ladder Logic or Sequential Function Chart since the software is IEC1131/3 compliant. Programming can also be performed remotely for subsequent download. The user-friendly programming is emulated at the controller itself, but while allowing the changing of variable values for maintenance purposes, the programs cannot be overwritten at the machine. This is clearly an important safety and security feature.

Micromech is the authorised systems integrator for Delta Tau high level, multi-axis control products, if you wish to find out more about these exciting products then contact Stirling Morley on 01376 333333 or

‘Affordable Automation’

Extended servomotor lead times are not a problem for Kollmorgen

Deliveries of the AKM Synchronous servomotors from Kollmorgen are now down to only four weeks lead time due to capacity being increased by one third. In spite of considerable growth of the AKM range, the factory has reduced its lead times and thus is able to help its customers to realise additional competitive benefits. Machine builders can now deliver faster, and machine users will benefit from shorter service times.

LeadtimesMany motor users will already be aware of delivery problems from their current supplier who right now will be experiencing very long lead times. In fact some motion control manufacturers have warned their customers of these delays and feedback from many is telling us that motor lead times are rising to 20 to 24 weeks. Kollmorgen’s extra production capacity at their AKM motor manufacturing factory has resulted in considerable growth, but even with this higher production demand the added manufacturing capacity has still enabled them to reduce motor delivery time to 4 weeks.

As machine makers, if you are experiencing severe problems producing machines ordered from your company, then Micromech can help keep production going and avoid any penalty costs. To assist in the motor and drive conversion process we have a checklist of questions to make it easier for customers wanting to change to Kollmorgen products. At Micromech we offer a complete service, from design and build, to test, programming, installation and commissioning which means we can fully integrate an alternative motor and if it is required also the drive. This means changeover to AKM is made easy.

Not only are AKM motors suitable for the development of compact, light machines with improved heat dissipation, energy consumption, durability; they are also a sensible alternative to many motors used in already existing applications. Thanks to their extraordinary multiplicity of design options and special design characteristics, a suitable solution can be found quickly and cost-effectively for almost all circumstances and providing positive results for the existing machines.

Udo Aull, President of Kollmorgen EU: “It is our objective to minimize the lead times for our AKM motor series continuously so that machine builders can not only achieve competitive advantages by optimally-tailored, highly-efficient solutions, but also by reducing their time to market. OEMs that have obsolete or defective motors from other motor manufacturers can quickly replace them with AKM servo motors thanks to our highly flexible design, quick prototype availability, fast delivery.”

Micromech is a leading UK motion expert in positioning and speed control supplying a wide range of motion control products plus associated equipment to industry, research, defence and manufacturing. Micromech can supply goods either as components or complete packages and so is a significant force in the field of sophisticated multi-axis control and is a recognised specialist in servo and stepping motor applications.

For more information about these exciting products contact Alan Spinks on 01376 333333 or

‘Micromech your Kollmorgen Silver Motion Partner’

Targeting Excellence in Cable and Wire Harness Manufacturing with IPC/WHMA-A-620 Certification

We are pleased to announce that Micromech are now a Certified IPC/WHMA-A-620 application specialist. This follows successful completion of an IPC approved training course by Dave Whitmell our Workshop Supervisor.

Dave WhitmellThe IPC 620 standard covers the requirements and acceptance for cable and wire harness assemblies. The training topics included crimp terminations, insulation displacement connections, connectorisation, moulding and potting. This investment in the IPC 620 certification demonstrates Micromech’s continual commitment to meeting customer requirements and quality improvement.

The IPC/WHMA-A-620 certification is the first industry consensus standard for cable and wire harness fabrication and installation. Classes of products are defined and include criteria for target, acceptable, process Indicator and defect conditions to support the collection of visual quality acceptability requirements for each class.

Revision A, developed during a four-year process by members from user and supplier companies, represents a consensus among industry leaders which includes the IPC Wire Harness Acceptability Task Group of the Product Assurance Committee and the Wire Harness Manufacturers’ Association Industry Technical Guidelines Committee to prepare this standard.

The standard describes acceptability criteria for crimped, mechanically secured and soldered interconnection and the corresponding lacing/restraining criteria associated with cable and harness assemblies. This industry developed and approved programme
includes training, certification and instructional materials and also takes the individual to the position whereby they themselves are at a level to be IPC/WHMA-A-620 Certified IPC trainers. It is a comprehensive and technically accurate programme providing certified IPC trainers with high quality materials and detailed instructional plans.

The benefit of this certification demonstrates commitment to customer requirements and greatly facilitates certification to ISO Certification or other quality assurance initiatives. By having earned this portable credential, Micromech has received immediate recognition, legitimacy and value throughout the electronics industry.

For more information contact Joe Marshall, Quality Manager on 01376 333333 or

Micromech to distribute Thomson linear motion components for medical engineering

Modern medical  engineering incorporates a wide range of devices for various areas of the  logistical challenges of mobilising patients, and highly complex systems for  diagnosis and treatment purposes, as well as to automate laboratory processes.  We are therefore pleased to announce that Thomson linear motion components are  now available from Micromech offering clear advantages in all medical  engineering areas.

Depending on their intended purpose, linear components used in  a variety of medical engineering must feature an extensive range of different  and sometimes competitive performance characteristics. For Instance, which  linear motion components are used in a dentist’s chair, for example? In order  to support the weight of a patient plus a safety reserve, the components used  must first and foremost be extremely robust. In addition, all movements must be  performed as smoothly and quietly as  possible to ensure patients are not subject to any unnecessary stress. Compact  dimensions are another key factor, since the chair, with all its added special  accessories, must not take up too much space.

For diagnosis systems, for example a combination of movable  patient table and the scanning heads of a MRI tomograph, another important  criterion must be taken into consideration and that is the need for precision.  These highly technical imaging procedures can only deliver accurate results if  the patient is moved precisely into the desired position and the scanning heads  are aligned with equal precision.

Precision is of utmost importance in automated laboratory  systems such as pumps that take blood samples or inject dosed quantities of  active ingredients to the milligram by means of infusion. It is also the case  that it is often only those miniaturised components, which meet stringent  sterility and corrosion resistance criteria  that can be installed in these types of device. Linear motion components used  in handling systems for laboratory techniques – where DNA tests are performed,  and cell cultures are incubated or drugs are manufactured – must be equally  precise and efficient. Their tasks must also be performed without the need for  frequent interruption for maintenance.

The areas where Thomson motion products can be used in the  medical field are extensive:
robotic workstations; DNA  sampling; cell culture; air displacement; pipetting; drug testing; drug  dispensing; precision liquid dispensing; blood sampling; infusion pumps; adhesive automation;  liquid handling; ambulance gurneys and cots; stair lifts; bed lifts; patient  couches and tables; bath lifts; surgical tables; dental chairs; MRI and CT  machine; nuclear machine; portable thermal imaging;  O-arm image diagnostic; radiation oncology; portable ventilator; dental  injectors; portable respirators; surgical robotics; pick and place; and blood  handling/sampling – to name but a few.

Contact Micromech to receive a copy of Thomson’s Medical Motion Optimised brochure, which shows  examples of how designers and developers of medical-technical devices are  implementing Thomson products. Their precise installation is also depicted in a  range of cross-sectional views. Micromech is the UK distributor and systems  integrator for Thomson motion products or for more information call Stirling on  01376 333333 or

‘Affordable Automation’

Space tight, turn right – the Stealth RS gearbox is just right

The Stealth Advanced RS right angle planetary gearhead  delivers the high performance features of the STEALTH RS in a compact, right  angle package. With seven frame sizes and 9 gear  ratios to choose from, customers are guaranteed  to find a gearhead to fit most stepper and servo motor applications.

The RS  designs have a great space-saving advantage over other brands of precision  right-angled gear reducers in that the dimension between gearbox mounting face  and the rear of the body shell is very short per gearhead size. For example the  RS60 unit has a dimension of only 76.8mm which is only 23% greater than it is  square flange footprint. This allows the drive motor to be tucked down out of  the way very neatly so there is reduced risk of it being hit by passing  operators or moving machines.

The superior design and  construction deliver the helical advantage because they are strong; with 30%  more torque and quiet with less than 70db  noise. The RS is fast, accepting 6,000 RPM input speeds, accurate at less  than 4arc minutes backlash and furthermore is over 94% efficient.

Neat and compact, the seven frame sizes range from 60 through  to 300, the nine ratios from 5:1 up to 100:1 and nominal output torques range from 5 to 100Nm. The price includes the adapter flange and the input coupling  selected to suit the specified motor type. The RS has an excellent service life of 20,000hours, can  operate at temperatures from -20 to 90° C and  has a positive degree of protection rated at IP65.

The  application opportunities for the Stealth range is enormous but of course its  stepper and servo motion where high dynamic and precision control is required  they excel.

For  more information or a quotation contact Alan Spinks on 01376 333333 or