The winners of the 2021 LEAP Awards (Leadership in Engineering Achievement Program) were announced today in a digital ceremony, with products across 12 categories, including Motion Control.
Critical to LEAP’s success is the involvement of the engineering community. The Design World editorial team assembled a top-notch independent judging panel, comprised of a cross-section of OEM design engineers and academics — 12 professionals in total. This judging team was solely responsible for the final results.
In the Motion Control category, the winning submissions for this year are:
XPlanar is a revolutionary approach to automation that removes barriers and pushes the boundaries of what engineers can accomplish. Through flying motion technology, Beckhoff offers completely new ways to solve automation problems.
Developed in-house and manufactured by Beckhoff, XPlanar is available for purchase today and is ready to completely transform machines and processes with flying motion technology. XPlanar movers float and fly freely above planar tiles arranged in customizable layouts that enable extremely flexible, precise and highly dynamic applications. For machine builders and manufacturers, this results in unprecedented flexibility and throughput with simplification in machine and plant designs.
The XPlanar system combines the individual arrangement of planar tiles with multi-dimensional positioning capability of the planar movers floating above them. Easy to use software tools include graphical path planning, automated jerk, pitch and yaw control, collision avoidance and 6 degrees of motion freedom. The movers enable jerk-free and contact-free motion in two dimensions at up to 2 m/sec with 1 g acceleration and 50 μm positioning repeatability – completing movements without any noise or friction.
XPlanar is completely integrated into the standard TwinCAT programming environment and runtime. For communication, XPlanar systems are networked via the standard EtherCAT G protocol, which itself is fully compatible with the entire 100 Mbit/sec EtherCAT ecosystem.
DRS60L3 SCARA Robot
This unique SCARA robot arm developed by Delta Electronics features an integrated 5th-axis as a solution for angled pick-n-place and 3D path execution. This patented technology allows users to accomplish similar movement of a 6-axis articulated vertical arm robot but at a lower cost implementation. The DRS60L3 is a Delta branded SCARA robot with 600-mm reach, 200-mm Z-stroke and 3-kg payload and is able to achieve high repeatability of robotic cycle time within 0.45 sec. The 5th-axis SCARA model includes a rotary servo gear motor, which is mounted to the end of the Z-Axis spline, allowing the End-Of- Arm-Tooling to rotate and pivot. The motors power and feedback cables are routed up the hollow spline shaft, and this 5th-axis is included in the robotic motion path to deepen the integration level for ease implementation, tool path calibration, and point teaching.
This high level of integration allows OEM machine builders to add lower cost robotics into their machines with high system reliability and performance. With the controls included as part of the robot package, sensorless compliance control functions and collision detection become part of the design-in solution. The product also offers scalability up to 800-mm reach, 8-kg payload and 420-mm Z- stroke.
Bronze (Two-way tie)
22-mm diameter kit encoders for motor feedback
These miniature kit (modular) encoders from Posital-Fraba are designed to fit on 22-mm BLDC motors, providing them with position feedback for servomotor functionality. These devices are compact (22 mm diameter, 23 mm height) and provide 17-bit resolution and 0.09-degree accuracy. They also provide battery-free multiturn measurement capabilities, an industry first.
The miniature kit encoders can easily be integrated into existing motor designs, with straightforward installation and calibration procedures. A small permanent magnet is mounted on the motor’s shaft, while the other components – a miniaturized electronics package and a Wiegand sensor for energy self-sufficiency – are installed at the rear of the casing. The rotation counters are powered by a Wiegand energy harvesting system and record all rotations, even if these occur during a power failure or control system outage. Once power is restored, the motor’s complete rotary position, including an up-to-date rotation count, is available to the control system. This eliminates the need – typical of systems with incremental encoders – to return the machine to a known reference position and re-start rotation counts. Eliminating this time-consuming procedure improves process security and lowers operating costs.
The SmartStage XY series from Dover Motion can be used as a single axis or stacked XY system. It’s the first of its kind high performance, general-purpose stage where the motion controller is built-in, and doesn’t require additional instrument space for motion control electronics. It features a built-in controller, 3-phase servo drive, and 1.25 nm resolution encoder feedback. By embedding what used to be multiple cables and external electronics, the control is seamless, and performance optimized for low noise. The result is an ultra-high stage performance with 5-nm resolution and no backlash.
Smart Function Kit
Bosch Rexroth’s Smart Function Kit for Pressing and Joining is a complete mechatronic solution that combines Rexroth mechanical and electrical components, as well as software, into one package that reduces downtime for engineering and commissioning, increases productivity and captures key i4.0 data. The Smart Function Kit is ideal for standard pressing, testing, forming, assembly and joining tasks from two to 30 kN. It’s versatile enough to be used as a stand-alone system or integrated into higher- level production systems. The mechatronics solution is delivered as a ready-to-install package that includes an electromechanical cylinder with optional force sensor, servomotor, drive controller, industrial PC and browser-based HMI software based on HTML 5 — all standard components supplied by one company.
22ECP35 2A brushless dc slotless motor
The 22ECP35 2A brushless dc slotless motor reduces many of the complexities associated with typical motor operation. The motor features integrated electronics, which helps to cut down installation time, decrease application footprint and minimize the clutter of wirings, all while providing cost optimization benefits. These compact motors offer almost 50 percent more continuous torque over similar comparative motors without compromising on smooth operation and long.
Programmable Smart Encoder
Autotech’s Programmable Smart Encoders serve as drop-in replacements for a range of encoder types. Designers can type in existing part numbers on the company’s website and receive specifications of a number of different manufacturer’s encoders, along with the price, and the drop-in Autotech replacement with its specifications. A range of absolute or incremental, different quadrature types, and voltage driver types are covered. Without any laptop, software or cables, the number of counts per revolution, count direction and absolute code can be programmed with just two buttons. The encoders provide an LED digital display of shaft position as well as settings.
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