Aventics’ new universal electric actuator for industrial applications features a highly flexible design for customization to the customer’s application.
The new Aventics best in class universal electric actuator is heavy-duty and suitable for normal or extreme environments. The highly flexible design allows the actuator to be customizable to the customer’s application. A wide range of best in class features include: highest output torque and accuracy, operating temperature, integrated gear box, and unlimited radial and linear positional control. The actuator can be used in many factory automation applications and in food, beverage, processing and packaging, etc.
The universal electric actuator features a flexible customer interface for integrated or remote applications and allows for both active or passive actuation. Communications protocol include CAN, PWM, analog, etc. The actuator has buffered battery voltage monitoring with under voltage lockout, and is 12V or 24V ready. On board diagnostics and feedback are provided, and it is field programmable/addressable. The actuator features various mounting configurations including NEMA 23 or 34 attachment/compliance, and meets IP50, IP67 and IP69. Motor technology can be BLDC or PMDC.
Universal electric actuator specifications:
See additional information online at: Aventics Universal Electric Actuator.
With the second generation EMC electromechanical cylinder, Rexroth expands the possibilities for utilizing these compact drive units. With their hygienic design and IP65 protection class, they are now suitable for applications with frequent cleaning cycles in the food industry. The new size EMC100-XC-2 increases the power density for feeding forces of up to 56 kN, e.g., for applications in forming technology. An optional force sensor allows decentralized process controls without a higher-level control system.
The axis penetrates the narrow working area and approaches different positions, or varies the pressing force: electromechanical cylinders combine the advantages of a slim cylinder with the possibilities provided by digital control of electrical drives. The ready-to-install drive units consist of anodized aluminum profiles in ISO standard dimensions, with an integrated ball screw drive. They cover variable-length strokes of up to 1,500 mm. In the newly developed second generation, Rexroth has implemented the principle of hygienic design in the cylinder body. There are no recesses or slots in which dirt can be trapped. The screws on the end face can be optionally sealed. Together with the version in IP65, which is also valid for the timing belt side drive, the EMC withstands frequent cleaning cycles and spray water.
For use in applications with particularly aggressive cleaning agents, the version in IP65 + R ensures a long service life with seals and scrapers made from chemically stable materials. A pressure compensation port prevents the occurrence of overpressure or negative pressure in the cylinder for the versions in IP65.
Additional size and optional force sensors
As the seventh size, the EMC100-XC-2 variant completes the product range. XC stands for extra capacity. The EMC-100-XC is longer than the EMC-100- NN-2, a larger axial bearing and larger ball screw drive provide up to 56 kN of feeding force—at the same profile cross section. This widens the usage for electromechanical cylinders from Rexroth towards more powerful applications in forming and machining.
Furthermore, Rexroth offers all sizes with an optional force measuring pin. This can be placed on the end of the piston rod as well as on the timing belt side drive. The sensors transmit the values with a +/- 10V analog signal to the drive. A Motion Logic System, which can be optionally integrated in the Rexroth drives, evaluates these signals and enables decentralized process control without a higher-level control system. The certified Safety on Board functions that are integrated in the drive simplify implementation of the Machinery Directive with low engineering effort.
In addition, the new housing is equal in its dimensions to those of the first generation. Interchangeability is thereby ensured. The technical data of the second generation is the same or better for all sizes, in comparison with the previous series. As a function of the piston rod position, the new EMC catalog now contains diagrams for the permitted radial piston rod force. With the newly designed lubrication points, users can integrate the electromechanical cylinder in central lubrication concepts. On request, the modules can be delivered by Rexroth without initial lubricant allowing users to apply industry-specific lubricants.
Rexroth provides a wide range of servomotors and drive controls which are suitable for the different sizes. Users can also operate the electromechanical cylinders using motors and controllers from other manufacturers. An online configurator supports selection of the suitable motor attachment kit.
Piezo elements are used in a variety of configurations to provide rotary or linear motion in applications that require short strokes and fast response times. Piezo elements that are used to produce motion through the inverse piezoelectric effect are known as piezo actuators. These devices provide very small displacements with extremely high resolution. When one or more piezo elements are combined, the assembly is commonly referred to as a piezo motor. Piezo motors require more sophisticated drive electronics, but can provide longer travel lengths than piezo actuators.
Depending on the arrangement of the piezo elements and the type of movement they generate, piezo actuators can generally be grouped into four main types: longitudinal, shear, tube, and contracting. Despite their different configurations and uses, these piezo actuators all operate on the same basic principle: movement is directly proportional to the voltage applied. Because they operate solely on the solid-state dynamics of the piezoelectric material, with no mechanical parts, piezo actuators do not experience wear.
A piezo actuator can be integrated with frictionless flexures and levers to form a flexure guided piezo actuator. The flexures and levers multiply and translate the motion of the piezo stack to provide travel up to a few mm, in one or multiple axes. Because the motion of the flexures is based on elastic deformation of the material, there is no friction and no wear.
Unlike piezo actuators, piezo motors typically incorporate mechanical elements to produce motion, which makes them susceptible to wear. Take ultrasonic piezo motors for example. They operate by electrically exciting a piezo actuator to produce high-frequency oscillations. The actuator is preloaded against a runner via a coupling element. Although the motion (oscillation) of the actuator does not create wear, the interface between the coupling and the runner presents a source of friction, and therefore, wear.
Piezo inertia motors – also referred to as “stick-slip” motors – also use a piezo actuator and runner to produce motion. But in this case, the actuator expands slowly and contracts rapidly. Through a coupling element, the runner is able to move along with the actuator during expansion, but during the rapid contraction, the runner slips on the coupling and effectively stays in place. For rotary motion, a variation on this design uses “jaws” that engage with a very fine thread screw and turns the screw as the actuator expands. In either design, the reliance on friction and the “stick-slip” effect makes wear inherent in piezo inertia motors.
A piezo motor design with little or no wear is the piezo stepper motor. Piezo steppers consist of multiple piezo actuators and operate by coordinating clamping and shear motions between the actuators and a runner. Unlike other piezo motor designs, because each of the actuators (also referred to as “legs” due to their walking-type motion) in a piezo stepper motor make contact and then lift off of the runner, friction is minimized and wear is virtually eliminated.
The new Spindasyn SEZ electric cylinder from AMK Automation is a ready-to-install linear drive motor system in which the rotor is pressed directly onto the screw. Featuring high and constant force, high precision and position accuracy and high energy efficiency, the closed-loop positioning and force control of the SEZ make it an ideal alternative to other linear technologies such as pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders, rack and belt drives and linear motors. With several options available for screw and strength length, motor type and acceleration, the SEZ provides high rigidity without additional wearing parts.
With the ability to set multiple travel profiles, the SEZ can be easily integrated into machine automation processes and applications such as tubular bag packaging; blister packaging; carton forming; palletizing; pick and place; cross-cutting; labeling; wrapping; strapping; filming; insertion; order picking; sealing plastics; printing; paper processing; textiles; food and beverage; machine tooling and more.
Resonance occurs when the resonant frequency (also referred to as the natural frequency) of an object or system is equal or very close to the frequency at which it is being excited. This causes the object or system to vibrate strongly and can result in unexpected – and sometimes catastrophic – behavior.
When one oscillating object or system (a piezo drive or controller) drives another system (a piezo motor or actuator) at or near the natural frequency of the second system, the second system will oscillate at a high amplitude at a specific frequency. When damping effects are small, the resonant frequency of the system is approximately equal to its natural frequency.
f0 = resonant frequency (without load) (Hz)
kT = piezo stiffness (N/m)
meff = effective mass (kg)
The resonant frequency of a piezo motor or actuator depends on its material composition, shape, and volume. For example, a thicker piezo element will have a lower resonant frequency than a thinner element of the same shape. In addition, attaching a load to a piezo motor or actuator reduces its resonant frequency – the higher the load, the more the resonant frequency is reduced. In manufacturer specifications, the resonant frequency given for a piezo actuator assumes that it is unloaded and one end is fixed or attached to a mass that is significantly larger than the actuator.
f0‘ = resonant frequency with added mass (Hz)
m´eff = meff + additional mass (kg)
In an electrical circuit representing the piezo element, the frequency at which the impedance of the circuit is at a minimum is the series resonant frequency, fs. Conversely, the parallel resonant frequency, fp, in the equivalent circuit occurs when impedance in the circuit is theoretically infinite (assuming mechanical losses are ignored). This is also known as the anti-resonant frequency, fa.
The series and parallel frequencies are suitable approximations of the minimum and maximum impedance frequencies – fm and fn, respectively – and therefore are used to determine the parameters of the piezoelectric motor or system. Maximum response of a piezo system occurs between fm and fn. Piezo systems with a higher resonant frequency will have a better phase and amplitude response, which means that the operating frequency can be higher.
Theoretically, the resonant frequency is the operating frequency at which the piezo material vibrates most readily and converts electrical energy into mechanical energy most efficiently. However, piezo systems (especially actuators used for positioning) are often operated below their resonant frequencies in order to minimize the phase shift between the driving signal and the actuator.
When operated below their resonant frequencies, piezo actuators act like capacitors, with displacement being proportional to the stored charge. With a rapid increase in control voltage, a piezo system can typically reach its nominal displacement in 1/3 the period of its resonant frequency. However, this causes large overshoot, which must be compensated for by the controller.
tmin = minimum rise time (s)
f0 = resonant frequency (Hz)
Feature image credit: Stack Exchange Inc.
Thomson Industries Inc. has announced availability of new synchronization capabilities for its Electrak HD heavy duty electromechanical linear actuators. Designers of equipment in which large or awkward loads must be moved repeatedly and evenly, such as large solar panels or heavy hoods on construction equipment, can now simultaneously distribute that load using up to four actuators.
The Thomson Electrak HD, which boasts the most advanced onboard controls of any actuator in its class, has added a synchronization option to its feature set.
Traditional methods for synchronizing multiple actuators can be inflexible. Gas spring technology, for example, is limited in application, while hydraulic cylinders can be prone to leakage and costly to maintain. Non-integrated electronic systems have more flexibility and are cleaner but require external devices such as encoders and potentiometers to track position and send feedback to an external PLC or other logic solver.
“The ability to synchronize movement of large and potentially awkward loads is something our customers have been requesting as they seek to automate larger applications or improve ergonomics,” said Chad Carlberg, Product Line Manager for Industrial Actuators at Thomson. “We are pleased to announce that we have tapped into the advanced electronics capabilities of our popular Electrak HD heavy duty linear actuator technology to achieve synchronization more easily and cost effectively than is possible with any other available approach.”
Synchronization enables motion integration of up to four Electrak HD actuators. When multiple units with the synchronization option are installed, designers can take advantage of a more stable and potentially quicker lift, no additional guides, and improved handling of uneven loads.
Thomson achieves its synchronization by embedding all load handling technology into a single electromechanical actuator, which is then wired in sequence with up to three other similarly equipped actuators. Designers install these wherever linear movement is needed without the need for external assemblies. Once the actuators are installed, customers synchronize them instantly by wiring them together and operating a single unit with a simple switch. During operation, system electronics detect speed changes that indicate load imbalances, thereby eliminating bouncing or other effects of imbalance.
By using multiple actuators, synchronization increases system movement speed more efficiently. A larger load that might normally use a single, heavy load actuator, for example, could be moved faster by combining multiple, lower load actuators. Synchronization also retains all Electrak HD mechanical capabilities, including the handling of bidirectional loads of up to 10 kN (2250 lbf) with stroke lengths up to 1000 mm (39 in.) and accuracy of 1% of stroke from 100-1000 mm. High-quality ball screw assemblies provide efficient current draw and support speed options up to 43.5 mm/sec (1.7 in./sec) (using the 1.7 kN [382 lbf] version).
There are numerous opportunities to apply the benefits of synchronization. In addition to solar panels and off-highway agricultural equipment mentioned earlier, potential applications include:
• Industrial logistics trains for automatic correction of imbalances between the front and backend loads, which can cause stoppage, noise or unnecessary wear.
• Doors on ovens and large processing equipment for smoother, safer opening and closing.
• Ergonomic patient-handling equipment such as lift tables, synchronizing operation of lift columns for smoother movement and higher-quality patient experience.
• Marine applications, such as rudder assemblies, for smoother, more responsive steering.
• Structural engineering applications such as automatic loading doors in factories and warehouses.
Electrak HD linear actuators with synchronization capability are available immediately. The same actuator can function as a master or slave in any multiple-unit configuration, simplifying replacement and reducing spares requirements.
Thomson Industries Inc.
The new SDLM-019-070-01-01 direct drive linear motor is the latest addition to the series of zero backlash, zero cogging, high acceleration, high speed, high resolution, long life linear servo motors from Moticont. Also known as an electric cylinder, this compact direct drive linear motor is just 0.75 in. (19.1 mm) in diameter and 2.75 in (69.9 mm) long. Protected inside the motor housing, the linear optical quadrature encoder is directly connected to the shaft for the greatest possible accuracy. This direct drive linear motor features 1.25 µm (0.000049 in.) in of resolution.
The SDLM-019-070-01-01 direct drive linear motor has a stroke length of 0.500 in. (12.7 mm) and a continuous force rating of 9.7 oz. (2.7 N) and peak force of 30.7 oz (8.5 N). This non-commutated direct drive servo motor features: Quiet long life plain linear bearings, an integrated internal (1.25 micron resolution) quadrature optical encoder with differential outputs, and a non-rotating shaft. Some applications include: Manufacturing (assembly and inspection equipment), sorting and packaging, semiconductor handling, medical equipment and instruments, antenna positioning, dampers and valve actuators.
Direct coupling of the load or stage to the low inertia non-rotating shaft eliminates backlash and allows for high acceleration/deceleration. Both ends of the motor and shaft ends have threaded mounting holes for easy integration into new and existing applications. The SDLM-019-070-01-01 Direct Drive Linear Actuator is also available as a complete plug-and-play linear motion system with a matching motion controller.
This is Part 2 of a two-part series. You can read the first part here.
Tell us about a new application where engineers used your motion-control and power-transmission components to improve their design. What about this application is unlike anything possible 10 years ago?
Another industry trend that has been steadily developing is the replacement of pneumatic actuators with electromechanical actuators. Many machine designers are looking for the controllability, repeatability, and efficiency of electromechanical actuators, with the speed and reliability of pneumatic actuators. In order to address these demands, the Servo Cylinder was developed as a brushless dc actuator with top speeds in excess of 14 in./sec, high acceleration capability, and oversized mechanical components. A successful mode of operation in pneumatic replacement is four preset position mode, where the state of two optically isolated digital inputs corresponds to configurable absolute positions. In many cases this mode allows for drop-in pneumatic replacement with existing control systems, and provides controlled speeds, controlled accelerations, and position repeatability better than 0.001 in. Higher speed Servo Cylinders are currently in development so that more machine designers can realize the benefits of electromechanical actuators in their pneumatic applications.
Director of Marketing
The oil and gas industry has always used hydraulics to automate its valves used in critical applications due to higher forces, longer life and hazardous location requirements. This industry is also very risk-averse and very, very slow to change or adopt new technologies. Now using servo actuator technology, these customers are able to achieve speed and force performance they never thought was possible.
Our big breakthrough is direct drive linear motion, removing the inefficiencies and imprecision of air without the loss of dynamic movement. For an application like basic part rejection or diversion, rotary to linear systems are too slow, flat linear motors too bulky, and voice coils are too small. The LinMot motor can help OEMs and end users remove air from machines with very little redesign.
One of our second successes is in the capping industry. Previous technology would require a new cam or tooling to be cut for a change in packaging types. Even a small change between package heights would still require the installation of a new cam or fixturing. Our standard linear rotary motor makes changeover between products a matter of changing dimensions from an HMI. Changing form factors with our motors is now the work of a programmer to create a new recipe and test the same day.
Sr. Design Engineer
We recognized a growing demand for power-dense actuators used in a variety of off-highway and other extreme-duty applications including agricultural sprayers, snow plows, and mower decks. In response, our engineering team developed a completely new, compact electric actuator with self-contained hydraulic actuation that provides the performance of hydraulics without the space requirements and expense of a full-size hydraulic system. With minimal initial drift, once seated, the new, patented H-Track actuator is immune to vibrational drifting and hydraulically self-locks during load reversals, while holding its position without power. This is especially important in applications such as mower deck lifts, agricultural sprayer booms and snow plow blades where the moment force acting on the actuators is dramatically increased due to the constant bouncing that occurs during operation. The actuators unique fluid design allows the unit to withstand sudden impacts, such as hidden concrete parking blocks in a snow plow’s path, without damage to the actuator. These types of encounters can quickly destroy most electric actuators.
The use of highly engineered coatings in fixture components is rapidly changing. MISUMI introduced a new RDLC coating for locating pins in aluminum body panel assemblies for Body-in-White applications. They eliminated the build-up of the soft aluminum material on locating pins and the fixture-locking
What kinds of large-scale industry moves are you seeing to miniaturization, System- on-Chip (SoC) technologies, automation, (in the case of electric-motor-driven motion designs) efficiency and customization?
Almost all servomotors now have plug-and-play technology so when they are connected to a drive their motor characteristics and parameters are preloaded for operation. Many servos use auto tuning that provides general parameters and if you will ‘good enough’ application tuning. Integrated motor/drive designs are still being introduced and are becoming more accepted especially for existing installations where electrical cabinet retrofits are not easy to do and perhaps impossible. LinMot addresses the market with direct drive motor technology to provide the most efficient and most productive method for point-to-point motion thus providing a simple machine design. The linear-rotary motor technology eliminates many mechanical components and allows for a much simpler machine design.
Where do you see the Internet of Things, IIoT, Industry 4.0, or Connected Industry changing motion system design? Where do you see new materials changing motion design?
Director of Marketing
This is everywhere and will soon be in all things. All components in the motion system will be connected to the internet of things in the near future, providing more information about what is happening with the motion or the factory, such as diagnostic information on when components need maintenance or failure notices. The sky is really the limit with the low cost DSPs being able to be connected easily to the internet using industrial Ethernet protocols.
We see remote access for the Internet of Things (separate IP addresses) so that every axis is connected through the plant network increasing uptime and allowing remote access. Monitoring data from the drive allows users to directly predict maintenance intervals by the increase in average current and more accurately
Additive manufacturing was used for our USB-Serial converter based on the needs of small batch solution to solve customer’s integration requests from a single tested source.
The newest lubricants have high temperature stability and provide for a wide operating range. All the lubricants LinMot uses are food grade – a big plus to be able to use in and around consumable goods.
Where do you see online configuration tools changing how design engineers specify and buy components? How is your company using software and new forms of connectivity to drive innovation in motion design?
Director of Marketing
I feel it’s already there. If you do not have a good online presence and good online tools, customers do not want to do business with you. Online CAD configuration, sizing and selection tools, educational content, e-commerce, and other tools are a must for suppliers to stay current.
LinMot Designer is also freely available so that any potential user can size their application and directly calculate energy savings. The LinMot website features all the installation guides and CAD models so that parts pass easily from concept to combination. Finally, LinMot Talk configuration software is free online allowing potential users to learn through examples or access existing hardware.
Not surprisingly, quality, cost, and lead time are crucial elements as engineers begin sourcing a component supplier. A piece often overlooked is the ease of obtaining CAD models. One of the least exciting aspects of mechanical design is researching and procuring CAD files for purchased components. Many times this involves browsing several vendors’ sites, downloading, importing, and constraining CAD files. This is a process that is commonly repeated multiple times through each design revision.
MISUMI has been working extensively on a free CAD add-on suite dubbed Rapid Design. The first of five applications, inCAD Components, allows users to manipulate MISUMI’s configurable components, research pricing, and access technical information – without going to the website. Independent testing has found this tool to reduce the typical design phase by 32%.
If there is one overarching trend for electric actuators, it has to be integration. That is, integrating more components such as feedback devices, controllers and drives, and functions into the actuator itself. Designers are looking for reliable actuators that can be quickly and easily installed, powered up and operational.
Here’s what some top actuator manufacturers told us about the trends they’re seeing in the industry.
Do you see the same or more demand for motion designs offering design simplicity or turnkey operation? If you see more demand, what kinds of pre-engineered solutions are you offering to satisfy this change in the marketplace?
We’ve seen a steady increase in requests for turnkey actuator solutions that are robust, reliable and easy to use. The ideal actuator solution in many applications is one that will interface directly with existing PLCs, have flexible communication protocols for future system augmentation, and not require extensive learning curves or actuator specific expertise. In a market dominated by smart motors, we saw a need for a “smart actuator” that had built-in absolute position feedback and control electronics designed specifically for electromechanical actuation and ease of integration. This theme is what drove the development of our Servo Cylinder, which integrates our proprietary Phase Index absolute position feedback with a high performance brushless dc controller and robust mechanical components.
Director of Marketing
Yes, motion systems can be complex, with many moving parts and the combination of many different product technologies. The more suppliers can combine products and technologies into solutions to simplify the usage and deployment, the better it is for the end-user. Tolomatic does several things to help customers with design simplicity. Examples include easy solutions such as mounting a motor on an actuator. Tolomatic’s online “Your Motor Here” program is a large database of most brands of servomotors. Once the specifier selects a motor, Tolomatic provides motor mount, coupler, belt/pulleys, and mounting hardware. Another example are Tolomatic’s integrated servomotor actuators that are integrated into any feedback device and mimic any servomotor connector such that standard cables can be used from the drive manufacturer. Further integration involves the servomotor and drive into the actuator that eases setup, configuration, tuning and deployment because the drive/controller already knows everything about the actuator.
In the U.S., we see a strong demand for design simplicity, our pre-guided axes like the P04 and F-Guide feature an extrusion profile and integrated guide rail allowing customers to directly mount loads without stumbling over alignment. The F-Guide system allows for a bolt together gantry from stock parts, making 3 or 4 axes of motion possible with no teach-pendant.
Our customers have also shown preference for control systems that require minimal drive intelligence and communication setup. PVA and NC streaming both allow axis control to stay within the PLC for tighter machine synchronization and a familiar programming environment.
Yes, and we are expanding our standardization of customer custom machined products into our standard configurable products, kitting services, and exploring light sub assembly services.
Has your company added or expanded services to provide more in-house engineering support and upfront customization for your customers or their end users? Tell us about that and what problems you are eliminating for your customers by doing some of the integration for them.
The analog signal operation mode of the Servo Cylinder has proven to be extremely popular and effective in applications that require precise motion control over the entire range of travel. The combination of long life mechanical components, control electronics, and absolute position feedback greatly reduces cabling, system complexity, and the number of vendors associated with a project. Our Phase Index absolute position sensor is contactless and batteryless, which increases system reliability and eliminates the need for external sensors like limit switches, Hall effect sensors, encoders, and linear potentiometers.
Director of Marketing
Tolomatic has always worked with customers wants and needs to provide customized engineering solutions. In fact, an increasing trend for Tolomatic is to modify existing designs to meet unique customer demands. Simple modifications such as integrating specialized mounting features are common, but more complex requests involve integrating position and force sensors into actuators.
Our company has hired more engineers for the support role, and we maximize their time through remote sessions and virtual meetings. The creation of AOIs and other programming function blocks have made digital motion accessible to a wide range of PLCs and Numerous short tutorials have also been produced to reduce the strain on new integrators.
Yes, we have expanded the in-house engineering team to meet the demand of our rapid growth as well and further deepen the level of application and component selection support we offer. We find that designers are having to work on shorter timelines, and therefore are looking for more support from suppliers to offset some of that work.
Product Line Design Manager
Over the past couple of years, we have experienced a trend that more and more of our customers have benefited from releasing some portion of their design to a qualified motion control partner. In many cases our customers have a great deal of expertise in their specific field, but that field is not necessarily motion control. By teaming up with a qualified motion control company they can reduce their development timeline, risk, and ultimately release their product to the market sooner and gain more market share.
What industries are most changing motion-component design? What industries or applications are using more custom components than in the past and why?
Motion control in UAVs/UGVs often uses electromechanical rotary actuators, but a linear system can increase overall performance while reducing linkage complexity, cost, and weight in many applications. The Ultra Motion Servo Cylinder includes a mode to move to a proportional position as commanded by an RC-PWM (1 to 2 msec pulse) signal, which is offered as a standard servo control output in many commercial autopilots. Phase Index absolute position feedback eliminates the need to home the actuator at startup, which is a critical feature for control surface applications since homing is intolerable in the event of a power glitch. The native RC-PWM control mode coupled with high reliability Phase Index absolute position feedback and the extremely dynamic motion capability of the Servo Cylinder offers a great combination for unmanned vehicle applications. Detailed control and diagnostic information is available through the Servo Cylinder’s RS-232 command interface for telemetry purposes or for more sophisticated control and decision making. The Servo Cylinder has successfully replaced rotary actuators on unmanned vehicles in applications such as control surface manipulation, throttle control, and landing gear deployment.
Director of Marketing
We see a lot of change happening in the food and beverage environment, with the continued increased enforcement and effect of the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act). This has driven customers to demand more hygienic designs from all the components they use. Due to the increased demand for more hygienic designs, Tolomatic is taking more standard product and customizing into hygienic designs that meet their requirements.
Very few industries can tolerate frequent changing motion components. In fact, new technology like the LinMot tubular linear motor technology takes many, many years to become an adopted and accepted alternative to traditional point-to-point motion. Europe is leading here as the European OEMs adopt new technology more readily and drive their business through new motion component technologies, creating faster, smarter and more flexible machines. Custom components are used in all industries but many customers find it easier to select from standard dimensions to reduce concern about replacement parts.
Automotive is introducing different materials and technologies into automobiles faster than ever, and this brings with it unique engineering challenges for the automation equipment to handle these. The most influential now are aluminum body panels for vehicles, and the rise of the Electric Vehicle and the battery-based powertrain.