Micromech is pleased to introduce the Eltra Linear Potentiometers and Magnetostrictive Transducers

Eltra’s linear potentiometer transducers assure high reliability even in heavier environments. Easy installation is made even easier due to the presence of a groove in the housing potentiometer, representing an ideal solution for the most highly dynamic machines. These devices can also be used in explosive environments such as in the presence of gas and inflammable powders. The range is engineered for high accuracy, high cycle-life and easy installation. Standard strokes are from 10mm (0.4inches) to 1250mm (4ft).

Eltra’s Potentiometers

Potentiometer [EPLA] These assure great reliability even in tough applications with heavy vibrations and shocks. The groove on the enclosure of the transducer represents an excellent alternative to the usual system of fastening with brackets. Installation is also made simpler by the absence of variations on the electrical output signal outside of the theoretical electrical stroke. EPLA represents a great solution in most machinery for material processing systems such as injection presses for plastic, rubber etc, it is also suitable for use in explosive environments or in presence of gas or inflammable powders.

Cylindrical Potentiometer [EPLB] Mechanical mounting is made simpler by the presence of two spherical joints on the two sides and by the enclosure’s cylindrical shape. The main characteristic is the absence of variations on the electrical output signal outside of the theoretical electrical stroke. Thanks to its robust design and precision EPLB represents a great solution in most mechanical automation application.

Potentiometer with Cursor [EPLC] This transducer is without internal rod and characterised by a cursor with integrated coupling sliding on the axis. This system eliminates problems created by air compression generated from the insertion of the rod and longer strokes are also reached.


Potentiometer with sensing system [EPLT] This model is characterised by the absence of a cursor and the presence of a sprung loaded moving rod and stainless steel sphere. This transducer is suitable for applications where short strokes are requested. Moreover, the connector output is in misalignment in respect of the axis of the device in order to allow the through rod structure and giving greater robustness. The spring assures an automatic head positioning making this device suitable for being used in precise applications on cams or on product outputs coming from automatic production lines.

Eltra’s Magnetostrictive Transducers

These transducers have analogue interface and provide accurate, non-contact position sensing in a wide range of configurations. Thanks to the absence of electric contact on the enclosure there is no issue of wear and deterioration during working life. Magnetostrictive technology guarantees great performances of speed and precision. There is a range of rod styles available for fitting within hydraulic pistons or profile housing for convenient mounting. These sensors feature absolute positioning, greater reliability, easy control, noise reduction, robustness, increased productivity, reduced shock and stress on mechanical parts, high precision for high performances, and are cost-effective solutions.

Analogue Output [EMSPA] EMSPA is an absolute linear magnetostrictive transducer with analogue interface. The compact size and the rugged enclosure assure high reliability and simple installation even for applications with mechanical stresses such as shocks or high contamination.



Analogue Output [EMSPB] Magnetostrictive technology guarantees great performances relating to speed and precision. The compact size and the rugged enclosure assure high reliability and simple installation again, ideal for applications with mechanical stress such as shocks or high contamination.


SSI Output [EMSPS]
This transducer features a digital RS422-SSI compliant output. The compact size and the rugged enclosure assure high reliability and simple installation.



Rod with Analogue Output [EMSSA] The compact size and the rugged enclosure assure high reliability and simple installation even for applications with mechanical stresses such as shocks or high contamination. This series has been designed for being mounted internally for high applications of 350 bar to 700-bar peak, such as hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders.



SSI Output Rod [EMSSS] This transducer features an SSI output. The compact size and the rugged enclosure assure high reliability and simple installation even for applications with mechanical stresses such as shocks or high contamination. This series has been designed for being mounted internally to high pressure of 350 bar and 700-bar peak, such as hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders.

Micromech is the UK and Eire distributor of these encoders, if you would like more information about them, then contact Alan Spinks on 01376 333333 or alan@micromech.co.uk

Diamond to shine light on infections

As a supplier to The Diamond Light Source we are proud to relate its progress and for those who are perhaps not so familiar with the project, give some detail of its current successes. We are therefore delighted,  with kind permission of Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent, BBC News, Boston  (Jonathan.Amos-internet@bbc.co.uk) to bring you the latest news from Diamond  Light Source.
All images courtesy of Diamond Light Source

The UK’s national synchrotron facility – the Diamond Light Source near Oxford – is to become a world centre for studying the structure of viruses and bacteria that cause serious disease.

Diamond uses intense X-rays to reveal the molecular and atomic make-up of objects and materials.

It will now use this capability to image Containment Level 3 pathogens.

These are responsible for illnesses such as Aids, hepatitis and some types of flu.

Level 3 is one step down from the most dangerous types of infectious agent, such as Ebola, which can only be handled in the most secure government facilities.

“Viruses, as you know, are sort of tiny nanomachines and you can’t see them in a normal microscope.

“But with the crystallography and X-ray techniques we use, we are able to get about 10,000 times the resolution of the normal light microscope,” explained Dave Stuart, the life sciences director at Diamond and a professor of structural biology at Oxford University.

“This takes us from the regime of not being able to see them to being able to see individual atoms.

“And if we can look at ‘live’ viruses and get an atomic-level description of them, it opens up the possibility of using modern drug-design techniques to produce new pharmaceuticals.”

Prof Stuart was speaking in Boston at the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Diamond has been working for some time to get its “Crystal Lab” ready for Level 3 work, and the Oxford researcher used the US conference to announce that the preparation was now complete.

Synchrotrons work by accelerating electrons in a giant magnetic ring to near lightspeeds.

As the particles turn around the circle, they lose energy in the form of exceptionally intense X-rays.

This light is channelled down “beamlines” where it hits targets put in its path.

The way the X-rays scatter off the atoms in these targets reveals their arrangement.
This allows scientists to glimpse the shape of virus and bacteria components and get some insight into how they function.

Diamond has already been studying pathogens at lower levels of containment.

A good recent example, says Prof Stuart, is the Human Enterovirus 71 (EV71) that causes hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

The infection is relatively common in infants and children, especially across the Asia-Pacific region, and is characterised by fever, painful sores in the mouth, and unpleasant blisters on the hands, feet and buttocks. There is currently no vaccine or anti-viral treatment available.

A joint UK and Chinese team working at Diamond solved the structure of EV71 last year.

This allowed the researchers to see a kind of breathing motion in the virus that it uses to initiate the infection process. Evident also was the small molecule it picks up from the body’s cells to shift itself from one state to another.

“That molecule must be lost to cause an infection, but now that we can see in atomic detail what that molecule looks like, we can try to design a synthetic version that will attach more strongly,” Prof Stuart told BBC News.

“That would stop the breathing and stop the infection process.”

The British synchrotron’s new status makes it now one of only two such facilities in the world where Level 3 study is undertaken; the other being in the US.

This means it will be a major draw for scientists across the world.

Prof Stuart stressed the operations at Diamond would pose no risk to others working on the Harwell site or in the immediate Oxfordshire area.
The pathogens will be brought to the synchrotron in crystal form in double-sealed containers that are not opened during their time at the facility.

They are manipulated robotically inside the Light Source and, what is more, they are destroyed in the very act of shining X-rays on them.

CoolStep™ modules for energy efficient stepper motor operation

TRINAMIC is world leader for stepper motor modules, integrated or attached to motors. They have introduced a range of intelligent stepper motor controller/driver modules featuring the new outstanding CoolStep™ technology for sensorless load dependent current control.

Stepper motors are well known for being inefficient. A lot of energy is dissipated as waste heat. Since stepper motors are very widely used in different kinds of industries they are responsible for a large amount of the total industrial power consumption.

CoolStep™ is a unique mechanism, which results in energy savings of up 70-80%, depending on the application. With CoolStep™ enabled, the actual load at the motor shaft is measured. With a control loop, the current that is used to energise the motor coils is adapted to the level that is currently needed to drive the motor instead of powering the motor coils with a fixed current.

In addition, having the sensorless load detection StallGuard2™ using low resonance 3-phase stepper motors, smoothness at low speed can be increased significantly compared to a 2-phase stepper motor solution. The unique high resolution, is also used for the world’s first integrated load dependent current control feature called CoolStep™. The ability to read out the load and detect an overload makes them an optimum choice for drives where a high reliability is desired at a low cost.

Trinamic directly drive external MOSFETs for currents of up to 6A and this way it reaches highest energy efficiency and allows driving of a high motor current without cooling measures even at high environment temperatures.

The main features of the modules are StallGuard2™ for sensorless load detection, CoolStep™ for load dependent current control, saving up to 80% energy and to gain supreme smoothness. It also achieves the best current zero crossing performance, the best sine wave form and lowest power dissipation. In addition there is full protection and diagnostics, standby and shutdown modes, a stall / load detection output and low power consumption via low RDS-ON power stage. Communication traffic is kept very low since all time critical operations, e.g. ramp calculation are performed onboard.

Ultimately this results in saving energy, which means saving costs as well as protecting the environment.

Follow the link below to see the CoolStep™ in action:

If you do take a look, please also see the other TRINAMIC videos posted on the right of the screen!


New to the range is the 6-axis stepper controller/driver 1.1A/24V TMCM-6110:

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

Trio’s UNIPLAY HMI system

Trio’s UNIPLAY HMI system is a revolutionary way to make operator interfaces better, easier and more secure! The UNIPLAY series boasts a 7″ and 10″ colour display. It’s unique and available now from Micromech!

The UNIPLAY range has built-in power isolation technology making it more reliable in noisy environments.

No additional software is required; Uniplay HMI’s work with the Trio 4xx Motion Coordinator so that motion and HMI pages are programmed in a single software environment.

Motion Perfect v3 is used to create operator HMI screens which are transferred to the UNIPLAY HMI by the Motion Co-ordinator at runtime.


  • Single point HMI programming inside Motion Perfect v3
  • Centralised program / HMI screen storage in Motion Perfect v3 project
  • Easily display any controller data type + graphics
  • No need to separately program HMI panel
  • 7” and 10” UNIPLAY sealed touch panels available
  • Ethernet connection reduces wiring

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