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  • Does my system need high accuracy or repeatability (or both)?

    Does my system need high accuracy or repeatability (or both)?

    Component selection and machine design affect system accuracy and repeatability. Before we answer this question, let’s define accuracy and repeatability for linear systems. 【Accuracy】 In linear motion, there are two generally categories of accuracy – positioning accuracy and travel accuracy. P...
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  • What is sub-divisional error (SDE) in linear encoders?

    What is sub-divisional error (SDE) in linear encoders?

    Accuracy of the interpolation. To determine the position of a linear axis, an encoder read head travels along a scale and “reads” changes in light (for optical encoders) or magnetic field (for magnetic types). As the read head registers these changes, it produces sine and cosine signals that are...
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  • Linear Systems for Nanopositioning

    Linear Systems for Nanopositioning

    Piezo actuators, Voice coil actuators, Linear motor stages. When we talk about linear motion, we typically discuss applications where the travel distance is at least a few hundred millimeters, and the required positioning is in the range of a few tenths of a millimeter. And for these requirement...
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  • FAQ: What types of linear encoders are there and how do I choose?

    FAQ: What types of linear encoders are there and how do I choose?

    Absolute or incremental, Optical or magnetic. Linear encoders monitor linear movement and provide position feedback in the form of electrical signals. In servo driven systems, linear encoders supply the precise position of the load, typically in addition to the speed and direction feedback provi...
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  • What To Do When Your Motion System Throws You a Curve

    What To Do When Your Motion System Throws You a Curve

    Guide-wheel based ring and track systems are more compact and offer better positioning accuracy and more options for cargo carrying positions than alternative conveyor systems for curvilinear applications. In the ongoing drive to reduce production costs, one trend at manufacturing facilities is ...
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  • Positioning stages and gantries — new trends in integration approaches

    Positioning stages and gantries — new trends in integration approaches

    The linear, rotary, XY, or vertical-lift stage integrates motor, drive, and controller. There’s demand for motion designs offering simplicity or turnkey operation, so component suppliers are now doing much more integration for OEMs and plant engineers. Nowhere is this more evident than in the wa...
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  • Simple support structure improves warehouse packaging efficiency

    Simple support structure improves warehouse packaging efficiency

    An improvement in packaging efficiency required attention to ergonomics, ease of assembly, and cost efficiency. Automation is changing how traditional distribution centers operate as companies search for new ways to maximize their efficiency, increase order accuracy and fulfill customer demand. ...
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  • What is an LED Matrix Screen?

    What is an LED Matrix Screen?

    High-end LED Billboard Subversives. The dynamic ups and downs of each module of the fuyu LED matrix screen combine with the video screen to form different creative combinations. The terminator of two-dimensional plane advertising leads the epochal wave of media replacement and advertising apprec...
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  • How to estimate your linear actuator needs with minimal application data

    How to estimate your linear actuator needs with minimal application data

    Load, Accuracy, Speed and Travel. Choosing linear motion components during the development phase of a project has been a source of frustration for designers and application engineers for decades—especially when it comes to complex subassemblies such as linear actuators. Consider for a moment the...
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  • Which type of linear actuator is best for thrust forces?

    Which type of linear actuator is best for thrust forces?

    Electromechanical designs in motion control applications. When an application requires pure thrust forces, the best type of linear actuator is often a rod-style actuator. Also referred to as “thrust actuators” and (when a motor is integrated) “electric actuators,” these electromechanical devices...
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  • Linear Actuators: the Make vs. Buy Decision

    Linear Actuators: the Make vs. Buy Decision

    Business evaluation, Manufacturing and assembly requirements, Customer support needs. With the range of linear actuators on the market, it’s becoming easier for machine builders and end users to find a standard or “customized standard” product that meets even the most unique application requirem...
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  • Actuator Basics: Five Different Technologies Integrated into One Package

    Actuator Basics: Five Different Technologies Integrated into One Package

    Motive power source, means of transmission, bearing or guidance, frame or support structure, position feedback (in most cases). Another area of Mechatronics that is very confusing is the area of actuators. The problem is that you can buy actuators that are assemblies of several components, or yo...
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  • What are some considerations for linear actuators in contaminated environments?

    What are some considerations for linear actuators in contaminated environments?

    A typical contaminated environment is shown here. Reliable motion is often difficult to obtain when the operating environment is heavily contaminated with debris, or contains extreme conditions such as a wide temperature range or other environmental factors.The use of machinery for operations su...
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  • High speed linear actuators: What qualifies them as high speed?

    High speed linear actuators: What qualifies them as high speed?

    Screw diameter, length, or end bearing arrangement. Like many terms used in the linear motion industry – “heavy duty,” “miniature,” and “corrosion-resistant,” to name a few – there is no industry standard that specifies what constitutes a “high speed” linear actuator. Nevertheless, there are som...
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  • Can a Linear Actuator Provide the Rigidity and Accuracy of a Linear Stage?

    Can a Linear Actuator Provide the Rigidity and Accuracy of a Linear Stage?

      U-shaped linear actuators are constructed with an extruded steel base. Although there are no industry standards that define linear actuators and linear stages, generally accepted terminology indicates that a linear actuator is typically constructed with an aluminum extrusion or base, whil...
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  • What is ratcheting in synchronous belt drives?

    What is ratcheting in synchronous belt drives?

    Proper tension of synchronous belts is the tension at which the belt will transmit the required power without ratcheting when the drive system experiences full load. Synchronous belts (also referred to as toothed, cogged, timing, or high torque belts) use profiled teeth that mesh with a pulley o...
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  • 5 Keys to “Mechatronics Made Easy”

    5 Keys to “Mechatronics Made Easy”

    Structure, Components, Electronics Wiring, Maintainability. Bringing together mechanical, electrical, programming, and control engineering is not effortless. But integrating technology advances, and focusing on these five areas, can simplify the process and ensure that mechatronics is made easy....
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  • What You Need to Know About Corrosion-resistant Linear Guides

    What You Need to Know About Corrosion-resistant Linear Guides

    Especially for applications that require FDA or USDA compliance Recirculating ball and roller guides are the backbone of many automation processes and machines, thanks to their high running accuracy, good rigidity, and excellent load capacities — characteristics made possible by the use of high-...
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  • Five Steps to Linear Motor Integration

    Five Steps to Linear Motor Integration

    Typical Configuration of Motion System Design Linear motion is central to many moving machines, and the direct-drive nature of linear motors can simplify overall machine design in these applications. Other benefits include improved stiffness, because linear motors are fixed directly to the load....
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  • Automated linear-transfer tool trays

    Automated linear-transfer tool trays

    Getting high precision and repeatability from production lines Until recently, getting high precision and repeatability from production lines was difficult. But now new systems for automation are eliminating barriers associated with manual handling and assembly of high-quality product. Here we r...
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  • What is racking in gantry systems?

    What is racking in gantry systems?

    And how can it be avoided… Gantries differ from other types of multi-axis systems (such as Cartesian robots and XY tables) by using two base (X) axes in parallel, with a perpendicular (Y) axis connecting them. While this dual X-axis arrangement provides a wide, stable footprint and allows ...
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  • What causes synchronous belt noise and how can it be reduced?

    What causes synchronous belt noise and how can it be reduced?

    Slience means faster and longer lifetime. Synchronous belts are common in motion systems, providing smoother operation and better high-speed performance than chains and lacking the problems of slipping and stretching that can plague V-belts in precision applications. But one downfall of synchron...
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  • Take the burden out of managing misalignment in linear motion systems

    Take the burden out of managing misalignment in linear motion systems

    Guard against causes of bearing failure. No one wants a linear bearing to fail prematurely. While many factors can threaten a bearing’s expected life, designers of industrial machines must especially guard against alignment errors between the bearing rails and moving elements. Not only is misali...
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  • Different Drive Concepts For Different Machine Tool Motions

    Different Drive Concepts For Different Machine Tool Motions

    Main Drives Main drives are predominantly closed-loop controlled, electric synchronous, and asynchronous motors. Their applications include kit or housed motors for use in turning, milling and grinding machines as well as in machining centers. The traditional spindle drives with housed motors – ...
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  • Rules for Actuator and Guide Alignment in Linear Motion Systems

    Rules for Actuator and Guide Alignment in Linear Motion Systems

    Following a few simple guidelines for designing linear motion systems can improve system performance and actuator life. Many automated machines rely on linear guidance components, such as profiled rail, round rail or other rolling or sliding bearing structures, to guide and support the moving el...
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  • What types of motion can you create with multi-axis linear systems?

    What types of motion can you create with multi-axis linear systems?

    Point-to-point motion, Blended motion, Contoured motion. For many tasks, multi-axis linear systems — Cartesian robots, X-Y tables, and gantry systems — travel in straight lines to achieve quick point-to-point movements. But some applications, such as dispensing and cutting, require the system...
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  • Linear Motion Systems: Only as Strong as Weakest Link

    Linear Motion Systems: Only as Strong as Weakest Link

    Review five links in the chain of design elements so critical to precision operation. A linear motion system is only as strong as the most compromising links in its chain of mechanical and electromechanical elements. Understanding each component and feature (and its impact on design output) impr...
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  • 6 things small manufacturers need to know about Cartesian robots

    6 things small manufacturers need to know about Cartesian robots

    Load, Accuracy, Stroke, Controller, Driver and Supplier. 1. They handle heavier loads—A 20 kg payload is no problem for a Cartesian robot, which makes money savings possible by downsizing mechanics, using smaller components and less complex controls. 2. They fit tough orientations—A Cartesian ro...
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  • Doing the Heavy Lifting: When Cartesian Robots Make the Most Sense

    Doing the Heavy Lifting: When Cartesian Robots Make the Most Sense

    Terminator Size Robot is Ok? Compared to a Cartesian robot, a SCARA or six-axis system will generally deliver higher performance out of the box at a higher cost and with greater programming requirements, but with a smaller footprint, less weight and less rigid arm extension. On the other hand, a...
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  • What are the main types of linear actuators?

    What are the main types of linear actuators?

    Belt-driven/Screw-driven/Pneumatically driven/Rack-and-pinion driven/Linear motor driven 【Belt-driven and screw-driven actuators】 Although belt and screw drives are different technologies, it makes sense to put them in the same category because they are the two most common types of electromech...
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  • What’s the Difference Between Serial Kinematics and Parallel Kinematics in Multi-axis Motion Design?

    What’s the Difference Between Serial Kinematics and Parallel Kinematics in Multi-axis Motion Design?

    We are solving the positioning problem. Today’s positioning tables and stages include hardware and software that’s more customized than ever to satisfy specific output requirements. That’s made for motion designs that move accurately through even complicated multi-axis commands. Precision feedba...
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  • A Selection Guide for Linear Systems

    A Selection Guide for Linear Systems

    Multi-axis Stages and Tables Gone are the days when machine designers and builders had to choose between constructing their own linear system from scratch or settling for a limited range of pre-assembled systems that, in most cases, were an imperfect fit for their application. Manufacturers toda...
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  • Robotics or Motion Control? That is the question.

    Robotics or Motion Control? That is the question.

      10 Questions to Help Decide. Though the lines can often be blurred, robotics and motion control are not the same thing. They are closely related in many ways, but robots lean towards more “pre-engineered” solutions while motion control leans towards more modular solutions. This small but ...
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  • Tips for selecting pre-engineered Cartesian robots

    Tips for selecting pre-engineered Cartesian robots

    3 Steps to Design Your Linear Positioning System Cartesian robots operate in two or three axes along the Cartesian coordinate system of X, Y, and Z. While SCARA and 6-axis robots are more widely recognized, Cartesian systems can be found in nearly every industrial application imaginable, from se...
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  • What are Planar Errors and How Do They Affect the Accuracy of a Linear Motion System?

    What are Planar Errors and How Do They Affect the Accuracy of a Linear Motion System?

    Linear, Angular and Planar Errors. In an ideal world, a linear motion system would exhibit perfectly flat, straight motion and reach the intended position with zero error every time. But even the highest precision linear guides and drives (screws, rack and pinions, belts, linear motors) have som...
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  • Swiss Army Knife for Industrial Automation

    Swiss Army Knife for Industrial Automation

    Common Applications for Linear Rail Guides   Linear rails are the backbone of many industrial applications, providing low-friction guidance and high stiffness for loads that can range from just a few grams to thousands of kilograms. Their range of sizes, accuracy classes, and preloads mak...
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