Archive | October 2014

MAXPOS Drive Controller – the success of dynamics

To succeed in your market, applications require an extensive range of functions and high reliability – two factors that currently allow very little scope for differentiation.

One large challenge for almost any project is the combination of several engineering disciplines, such as mechanical and electrical engineering, software development and perhaps even hardware development. All of these disciplines are required for an optimised system design. To reduce the development cost and risk, it’s advisable to select standardised components that match to each other and provide the required performance across the board. maxon motor as a drive and controller manufacturer provides high-quality products and offers the required consultation and problem-solving competence, based on in-depth expertise in thousands of industry-proven applications.

In order to succeed in the market there are two basic requirements that ultramodern machines, systems and devices must meet – an extensive range of functions and high reliability. However, these two factors currently allow very little scope for differentiation. With price becoming less of a factor in differentiation, machine and device manufacturers look to set-apart their product to achieve competitive advantage: commonly through product design, handling and user interface. In addition, “secondary features” beyond the actual functionality are gaining importance. It is the secondary features that make it possible for the machine or device manufacturer to once again achieve functional differentiation and to take on a leading role in the market. Another advantage of focusing on secondary features is that competitors can only copy the concepts and knowhow by investing heavily, and even then, the copied ideas can only be applied in the newly developed products. With this in mind, drive technology can play an important role from early on in the development process. The drive technology, including the control system, has a decisive effect on the achievable flexibility, dynamics and energy efficiency.

The MAXPOS provides top of the line dynamics in the field of drive technology. It offers machine and device manufacturers, leaders in their fields, to set new benchmarks for performance and efficiency of their systems. The MAXPOS fulfills all preconditions for performing dynamic, precise and synchronous mechanical movements driven by brush-type or brushless motors.

Above is an excerpt from an article “MAXPOS Drive Controller – the success of dynamics” written by Juergen Wagenbach, Head of Customer Support Electronics & Control Systems at maxon motor group AG.

To view the article in its entirety please view the PDF version.

For more information on the MAXPOS Drive Controller please contact +61 2 9476 4777.


24V Brushless motor – with a difference.

This example of a 24V brushless DC motor is fitted with a planetary gearhead, DC holding brake and optical encoder.



Normally you would say there is nothing unusual about a brushless motor and encoder assembly, or even a brushless motor and brake assembly. But it is not that common to see all four components, motor, gearhead, encoder and brake assembled together as a complete servo drive assembly. The brushless DC motor pictured is the 40mm 170W maxon EC (BLDC). From the motors relatively small dimensions there is a surprising amount of performance. It can produce 9840rpm at no load and slows down only a tiny amount to 9120rpm at full load. This is measured on the motors data sheet by the speed torque gradient and this is a very ‘real world’ method to evaluate a motors true performance. Manufacturers often quote peak torque figures and speed independently with no correlation to one another and this is something to be on the lookout for. The motor body is stainless steel that is laser welded to the end flanges for a very robust construction. The construction of the motor in this fashion is also a critical feature when using a dc holding brake as the engagement of a solenoid activated component will apply sharp axial forces to the housing. The AB32 holding brake is housed in an IP rated alloy enclosure which when combined with the gearhead ratio gives a holding capacity starting at 1.72Nm and going up to 518Nm. The brake housing doubles as a mount for the 500cpt optical encoder. The planetary gearhead ratio can be configured to suit the applications required speed or torque.

For more information please contact +61 2 9476 4777.

maxon motor now fully operational in France

Effective from 1 October, 2014 maxon motor merged with long-time French sales partner mdp sas.

mdp now operates as maxon motor France. The current employees will remain with the company including long-serving and experienced Managing Director, Alain Pontille.

This brings the global network of maxon offices to 14 sales companies and four production sites, employing more than 2000 personnel.

The addition of a maxon sales office in France further provides maxon the ability to efficiently and effectively meet customer needs in a timely and cost effective manner. Many of the French companies that already know the maxon name and trust the superior products will benefit from the additional global resources and vast experience of the Swiss engineers.

maxon motor is the world’s leading supplier of DC motors and high-precision drive systems. More than 40 years’ experience, constant innovation, top quality products and competent customer service make maxon a reliable partner in the fields of industrial automation, robotics and medical technology.

For more information please contact +61 2 9476 4777.



DC motor and gearhead – but not your standard selection.

Why would you select a spur gearhead over a more popular planetary design for a DC servo system? Answer: back drivability.

More often than not a DC gear motor specified for an application with even modest space constraints will utilise planetary gearboxes. The fact is there are simply more teeth in a smaller space to spread the load.

However, many high ratio planetary gearhead designs have floating stages that when back driven will give irregular feedback torque characteristics. Even in some cases with dynamic inputs the planetary gearmotor can jam. It is in this instance that a spur gearhead can be a better solution. It must be said that not any spur gearhead will work. The automation market is flooded with low cost spur gearhead products that are often of such low quality that they would not be recommended by maxon motor for power transmission in either direction although the unit pictured is an exception. This 45mm spur gearhead features a very robust all metal construction with large output bearings capable of up to 190N radial load and 60N of dynamic axial load. Reduction gearing efficiency of 87% and a hardened stainless steel shaft. The shaft in this instance has been modified with a transverse bore directly alongside a milled flat to suit the customers load affixation method. A 60W 30mm diameter motor is being used which in itself required the machining of specialised adaptor flanges. Custom modifications such as these particularly suit the diverse and changing requirements of the robotic and haptic control fields.

Contact maxon motor engineers to “spur” your robot into motion. +61 2 9476 4777



DC motor linear actuators – soaring forces on a tiny scale.

Advancements in brushless dc motor technology are transforming linear actuation.

Shown here is an example of an 8mm diameter brushless DC motor fitted with an 8mm diameter planetary gearhead. The gearhead output flange contains not only the standard set of preloaded radial ball bearings, but also an additional set of bearings mounted between the radial bearings configured as an axial thrust block. By mounting the gearbox thrust bearings between the radial set, it provides additional separation and increased radial capability.  The importance of this bearing system is intrinsically related to the shaft. Close scrutiny of the shaft on this tiny gearmotor reveals its true function – linear movement. The ceramic thread is manufactured with tight tolerances on runout and pitch and with extremely smooth surfaces.

On this example a thread of only 3mm diameter provides up to 27N. This, combined with the precise position control capabilities of DC servo motors, is what enables this device in a world of miniaturisation and automation. All combinations of motor gearhead and actuator are meticulously customised to suit the application and avoid any unnecessary size or weight compromises.


Contact maxon motor Australia for engineering and design assistance on +61 2 9476 4777.


Cost Effective IP rating of brushless DC motors.

Often the cost of IP rated brushless DC motors is not justifiable in an application.

A full IP rated brushless DC motor is often required for open operation in a food or pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. When all of the factory automation equipment is mounted in an open environment with the manufactured product, a full washdown capability, sealed or even motors with full food grade lubricants is required. However, there is a current trend to over specify a motors IP rating requirement when designing an automation device for use in these environments. For example, a brushless motor might only be a single part of a complex device being used in the environment. It could be a Gripper, automated guide, check weighing device or even a complete robotic arm. All these devices usually contain their drive motors in a casing that is itself a sealed housing. The only exposed part of the motor outside of its protective mounting flange is the shaft and the bearing. This is where this new style of brushless motor excels. A brushless DC outrunner style motor taking full advantage of a conventionally cooled winding that gives unprecedented power per volume characteristics combined with a completely sealed flange, rubber sealed bearing and stainless steel shaft. This style of brushless motor construction can provide an effectively sealed unit at a fraction of the cost of a full IP rated motor and also provide a much higher power to volume ratio.

Pictured here is a version of this style of brushless DC motor in 90mm diameter achieving up to 0.5 Nm with a custom configured winding to suit the speed requirements of direct drive joint actuations. Contact maxon motor Australia for assistance specifying a motor to suit your application. Sydney +61 2 9476 4777.


EC 90 flat, 90 Watt  DC motor

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