The LCR actuator is a very flexible positioner

The Parker LCR Series offers users unmatched flexibility in a small footprint linear actuator. The fine lead screw offers higher resolution and higher thrust with lower motor torque. The LCR high lead screw provides users with a higher speed solution and screw drive positioning capabilities. As an alternative to our screw driven options the LCR belt drive options is perfect for high-speed motion or long travel of up to 1metre applications. Pairing these drive technologies with the different bearing designs (rigid square rail or glider bushing), the LCR offers a complete miniature linear positioner with a sealed body design.

These light capacity rodless positioners from Micromech are ideal for OEM instrument manufacturers looking for significant ROI (return on investment) from an off-the-shelf yet tailor-made solution. The LCR provides unmatched flexibility with a choice of two profile sizes (20 and 30 mm), two bearing options, three drive train options and many motor options. With the standard part numbering options, users can select nema 8, 11, 17, and 23 stepper motors as well as nema16 servomotors. The availability of custom capabilities, a wide array of 3rd party stepper, servo, or brushed DC motors can also be mounted.

The main design features of the LCR are a high speed belt drive or high thrust lead screw drive versions, stepper or servo motor options (22 and 30mm frame sizes) and a modular stepper drive/amplifier option mounted to the actuator. A rugged square rail or economical glider bushing design, flush mount limit sensors for space and inventory reduction, encoder feedback options and cables with connectors for quick and easy installation.

The LCR is unique for a number of reasons, first is the extrusion which offers the best in class miniature positioning options. It is a black anodised aluminium extrusion designed for rigidity in a small footprint that also allows easy mounting with toe clamps and quick and easy limit sensor installation with tee-slots along both sides of the extrusion.

Next, the bearing options include a robust high performance internal square rail design or for a lighter payload, the glider bushing is perfect in reducing instrument weight and cost. With the internal square rail design the bearings are therefore protected from environmental debris and provide a longer life with a more aesthetically appealing design for lab instruments.

The Drive Options are either coarse lead screw to provide thrust with high-speed capabilities, while fine lead screw options provide higher thrust and finer positioning capabilities. For really high-speed moves or for longer travel lengths, the belt drive option allows users to select stroke lengths up to one metre and speeds up to 1m/s.

The carriage on the LCR30 series and the larger offers, use a dowel pin hole for simple, easy mounting with the added insurance that the mounting location will be common even if a tooling plate or tray holder is removed or replaced. The locating holes save users time and money through quick, repeatable installation and assembly.

Further advantages of the design include a strip seal using a high strength, flexible stainless steel sealing strip that is attached at each end of the unit, then travels through the carriage creating an IP20 class protection on the unit. The sealing strip is magnetically coupled to the actuator which prevents any particles from entering the actuator along the length of the body.               Fitted directly on the LCR as standard is the ion drive, which can be mounted to either side of the actuator. For users looking for higher power options, closed loop control, or single axis motion controllers. With ease of use in mind, this actuator offers standard user friendly options including toe clamps, XY and XZ mounting kits, limit sensors (normally open or normally closed, NPN or PNP), customised dual lead screws for simple electric gripper actuation.

Applications include:

Microscopy

The LCR Series is optimal for a lightweight microscope slide and provides instrument builders with an OEM friendly design, which allows them to meet or exceed customer expectations.

Lab Automation

The LCR is small enough that it will keep overall instrument sizes to a minimum, yet with the square rail bearing design, the positioner has enough stiffness and support to carry up to 12kg. Simple modifications to the standard unit can turn the LCR series into an environmentally friendly electric gripper. The result of this is a multi-axis LCR solution ideal for storage and retrieval of light payloads.

Mass Spectroscopy

Positioning samples in instruments does not need to be a tedious design project as this ‘off-the-shelf’ solution allows instrument builders and OEMs a RoHS compliant product to bring their designs to market faster.

Analytical Instruments

With multiple cross sections, bearing options, and drive trains the LCR is perfect for complete automation of liquid handling instruments whether the microtitre trays are in motion or the pipetting tips are in motion, the LCR is most suitable for simple automation of these components.

Other application examples include microplate or slide handling, material transfer and positioning, analytical and diagnostics instruments, optics positioning and syringe pumps.

‘Micromech and Parker are Partners in Motion’

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Motion systems project file – November 2012

Micromech Systems provides a comprehensive motion service ranging from just simple modifications to motors, to bespoke multi-axis control systems including full installation, commissioning and after sales service.

Year: 2010

Industry or Research faculty: Research

Location: UK

Application or solution:

Positioning of  ‘micron scale’ laser targets within a vacuum vessel

Scope of overall contract The supply of a 4-Axis IN-VAC (clean room prepared) laser target positioning-stage assembly package with local piezo servo motor drive control and encoder interface enclosure. In addition a 4-axis sub-micron accuracy motion control system with embedded co-ordinate correction algorithm and ethernet PC interface.

Description of equipment and services supplied.
In most laser research applications it is necessary to have the ability to manipulate a very small target sample in three dimensions in order to direct the laser power at precise locations on the target sample. This can be achieved by initially acquiring a metrology image of the target using a laboratory-based vision system, which has high levels of zoom and magnification. The acquired 3-D co-ordinates are then replicated on an identical positioning system within the vacuum target chamber for target processing.               Micromech Systems Ltd specified and pre-tested the Target-Positioning 4-axis motion stage assembly for carrying out this process. The Target Metrology System (TMS) with vision workstation was also supplied under a separate contract for this client.

Merits of solution provided.
The motion control positioning stages for both target metrology and target positioning were both built by Alio Industries which was necessary to achieve the same degree of precision in all three axes. The vacuum stages were designed to be compatible with equipment operating in clean room conditions during pre-assembly and pre-shipment test.

Micromech Systems builds motion control systems ranging from simple single-axis applications, to complex multi-axis systems, according to customers’ exact specifications. We will design, build, test, and produce application software, then install and commission it, providing a cost-effective trouble-free solution to your Motion Control problems. Whether the application is a machine upgrade or a new project, Micromech Systems has the answer.

December’s project: Laser target metrology system

The TMCM-1021 is an intelligent 0.7A/24V stepper motor (NEMA11) 1- axis controller/driver

The TMCM-1021 is an intelligent stepper motor controller/driver module featuring the new outstanding coolStep™ technology for sensorless load dependent current control. This allows energy efficient motor operation. With the advanced stallGuard2™ feature the load of the motor can be detected with high resolution.

Features

  • up to 256 times microstepping
  • memory for 2048 TMCL commands
  • stallGuard2™ sensorless load detection
  • coolStep™ sensorless load dependent current control
  • microPlyer™ 16 to 256 times microstepping interpolation
  • integrated absolute sensOstep™ encoder
  • automatic ramp generation in hardware
  • on the fly alteration of motion parameters

The module is designed to be mounted directly on a 28mm flange QMot stepper motor. It converts the motor into a compact mechatronic device with serial bus oriented or standalone control.

The PC based software development environment TMCL-IDE for the Trinamic Motion Control Language (TMCL™) can be downloaded free of charge from the TRINAMIC website. Predefined high level TMCL commands guarantee a rapid development of motion control applications. Communication traffic is kept very low since all time critical operations, e.g. ramp calculation are performed onboard.

Specifications

Electrical data

  • up to 0.7A coil current RMS
  • 12 to 24V DC (nominal) supply voltage

Supported motors

  • two-phase bipolar stepper motors with up to 0.7A coil current
  • mountable on QMot motors with flange size: 28mm/NEMA11

Interface

  • RS485
  • Step and direction interface
  • inputs for ref. and stop switches
  • general purpose I/Os

Software

  • stand-alone or remote controlled operation using TMCL™ (Trinamic Motion Control Language)
  • PC-based application development software TMCL-IDE downloadable free of charge
  • optional CANopen firmware available

Micromech is the UK and Eire distributor for these amazing products and if you would like a quote or to find out more contact Stirling Morley on 01376 333333 or email stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’

Parker HPLA/HLE linear actuators updated with a powerful motor

These well-known actuators are now offered with the option of the popular and powerful MPP motor. Designed for the demanding applications found in today’s high-performance servo systems, MPP motors offer lower inertia and higher power, all in a smaller package than conventional motors.

The addition of these motors to the HPLA and HLE belt-driven product configurations makes creating a complete system, from actuator to gearhead to motor, easier than ever. The option includes enabling flanges and pinions for the MPP motors to be easily mounted in the field. Alternatively, customers can save time and have the motors already mounted. Furthermore there is a massive range of mounting hardware for thousands of different motor models and manufacturers.

Along with this change in the motor-mounting options, Parker has announced a new feature of the HLE60 to match the HPLA product line feature set. Customers who have ever had trouble tensioning a belt in a belt-driven actuator will be pleased to learn that the HPLA and the entire HLE family offer easy belt tensioning implemented at the idler end of the actuator. This allows belt tensioning to be done without removing the load so that maintenance time is reduced and the machine will be up and running in no time with this easy-to-tension design style. This feature, coupled with the direct-mount gearbox design on the HPLA and the complete HLE family, reduce overall cost of ownership by as much as an incredible 20%.

The main features of the HPLA/HLE features include:

  • Up to 50m for rack-and-pinion drive (HPLA180)
  • Up to 20m for timing belt drive
  • High speeds in practical applications of up to 5m/s
  • High load-bearing capacity up to 1600kg
  • Nominal drive torque up to 244Nm
  • Nominal thrust force up to 5500N
  • Repeatability up to ± 0.05mm
  • High degree of mechanical efficiency
  • Independent multiple carriages can be used on one linear actuator for rack-and-pinion drive

The new HLE60 design is similar to the HPLA family with a belt tension station at the idler end of the actuator, instead of the carriage where the pulley on the motor end can now be mounted directly to the gearbox shaft – in place of using couplings. Also like the HPLA it has been furnished with standard configurations for the MPP motors on the HPLA/HLE family. These updates mean that countless motors of many varieties have been mounted as the spec often drives the motor selection and it’s very easy to put any manufacturers motor.

Micromech is a Trio Motion Technology partner and can offer a solution to meet  your motion control needs, for more information about their exciting products contact Stirling on 01376 333333 or stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Micromech and Parker are forces in motion’

Motion systems project file – October 2012

Micromech Systems provides a comprehensive motion service ranging from just simple modifications to motors and bespoke multi axis control systems including full installation, commissioning and after sales service.

Year: 2011

Industry or Research faculty: Research

Project: Laser wave-plate synchronisation unit

Location: Oxford

Application or solution
A compact optics bench, adaptable system was required to rotate an optical laser wave-plate lens in precise synchronisation with a 5Hz laser pulse stream such that four 90 degree segments of the wave-plate lens were co-incident in position with the laser beam at a speed of 1.25revs/second.

Scope of overall contract.
Design and construct wave-plate lens holder and motor drive assembly. Design and build a motion control system. Test and verify combined system using a central laser pulse -generator ref frequency source. Demonstrate the equipment to the client before shipping.

Description of equipment and services supplied.
In 2010 Micromech Systems was asked to build a controller unit with installed software for an existing stepper motor driven wave-plate unit which had been constructed by the client. Although a control system was devised and supplied using a Parker Hannifin 6K8 motion controller (the client’s standard preference) it soon became evident that in operation the stepper motor driven approach was not ideal for this application.

The long-term integrity of the mechanical transmission and synchronisation program was plagued with de-synch issues which frustrated and upset users. After re-consideration of the application target the designers realised that a brushless servomotor with planetary gearhead and servo controller could meet the dynamic requirements successfully.

The illustration depicts a timing belt driven reduction gear with encoder mounted at the brushless motor rear shaft. A home datum sensor is mounted for initial position reference and checking synchronisation speed. A Trio Motion controller is used to command and correct motor speed based on the encoder counts registered in between laser synch pulses. Errors detected in the pre-determined count are programmed to effect a speed increase or decrease at the motor such that it keeps in step with the 5Hz laser pulse rate.
The CE compliant controller was built into a 19 inch bench-top equipment case with suitable interface cables for the client’s mains supply and signal system.

Merits of solution provided. The system was designed and built with the benefit of experience gained on the first controller. It has now been tested and run successfully for hundreds of hours without any de-synchronisation issues.

The DC Brushless motor runs with very low audible noise and so synchronisation corrections are virtually inaudible when commanded by the controller.

Partners in collaboration on the contract
Trio Motion:            Control
Rayne:                    DC brushless motor
Wittenstein:             Alphira Planetary gearhead.
Tiptree Precision     Mechanical fabricators.

Micromech Systems builds motion control systems to customer’s specifications, ranging from simple single-axis applications to complex multi-axis systems. We will design, build test, and produce application software, install and commission providing a cost-effective trouble-free solution to your Motion Control issues. Whether the application is a machine upgrade or a new project, Micromech Systems has the answer.

November’s project: Laser target positioning system (IN-VAC)

Using Omron motion controllers with BASIC programming?

Don’t want to use IEC61131 programming on the new Omron NJ controllers?

Micromech offer the Trio series MC403, MC405 and MC464 which can easily replace the Omron MCW151, MC402E, Trajexia and MCH72

A major feature of the Trio Motion Coordinators is they can be programmed in the standard and very popular ‘BASIC’ language with exactly the same command set as the Omron controllers. The Trio controllers also have IEC61131 programming available!

Note: The new NJ controllers from Omron only have IEC61131 programming and so with no other choice users will be forced to go down that route.

The proven MC464 Motion Co-ordinator with EtherCAT represents a quantum leap in motion control technology running a machine faster with its motion co-ordinator based on the 64 bit 400MHz MIPS processor. It provides interface options for traditional servo, stepper and piezo control together with many digital interfaces for current digital servo drives and absolute encoders. This increases the flexibility of equipment having support for up to 64 axes of motion control.

If fewer axes are required then the MC403 is a high specification motion co-ordinator using a high performance ARM11 processor and provides up to 2 axes of servo plus a master encoder axis or up to 3 axes of stepper control. It also features a total of 8 axes in software. Any axes not assigned to built-in hardware can be used as a virtual axis.

With more axes to meet a wide range of applications, the MC405 uses the same processor as the MC403 but can provide control up to 4 axes of servo plus a master encoder axis or up to 5 axes of stepper control. The MC405 features a total of 16 axes in software.

Micromech is a Trio Motion Technology partner and can offer a solution to meet  your motion control needs, for more information about their exciting products contact Stirling on 01376 333333 or stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’

The PD-1161 is either a 57mm or 60mm integrated stepper motor and controller/driver with coolStep™ and sensOstep™ and encoder, but at a low Cost

The PANdrive PD57-1161 and PD60-1161 family is a mechatronic solution including a 57mm or 60mm flange motor, a controller board and a sensOstep™ encoder. It can be controlled via serial interface or operated in standalone mode.

Features

  • up to 256 times microstepping
  • memory for 2048 TMCL commands
  • stallGuard2™ sensorless load detection
  • coolStep™ sensorless load dependent current control
  • microPlyer™ 16 to 256 times microstepping interpolation
  • integrated absolute sensOstep™ encoder (1024 ppr)
  • automatic ramp generation in hardware
  • on the fly alteration of motion parameters

With the advanced stallGuard2™ the motor load can be detected with high resolution. The outstanding coolStep™ technology for sensorless load dependent current control allows efficient motor operation.
The PC based software development environment TMCL-IDE for the Trinamic Motion Control Language (TMCL™) can be downloaded free of charge from the TRINAMIC website.
Power supply, external encoder, interface and I/Os can be connected with JST connectors.

Specifications

Electrical data

  • 12 to 24V DC (nominal) supply voltage

Motor data

  • flange size 57/60mm – NEMA23/24

Interface

  • USB, RS232, RS485
  • step and direction interface
  • inputs for reference & stop switches
  • general purpose I/Os

Software

  • stand-alone or remote controlled operation using TMCL™ (Trinamic Motion Control Language)
  • PC-based application development software TMCL-IDE downloadable free of charge

Micromech is the UK and Eire distributor for these amazing products and if you would like a quote or to find out more contact Stirling Morley on 01376 333333 or email stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’