In France’s Bordeaux region, robots autonomously eliminate grass and weeds between the vines, making pesticides unnecessary. To enable the robots to navigate the hilly terrain, the developers looked to the Mars rovers for answers.
The wine region around Saint-Emilion in France is world famous and steeped in tradition. Winemaking here goes back to the Roman age. These days, robots help with the laborious care of the vines. The Vitirover, developed by the eponymous company in Saint-Emilion, is one of these robots. It is a fully autonomous lawnmower powered by solar energy. About twenty of these robotic mowers are in use in the vineyards. This year, Vitirover will deliver 200 more robots, for example for use along railway tracks or in photovoltaics plants. The main benefit of the robot is that it is environmentally friendly and helps to make organic wine. The use of the robot in the vineyards makes pesticides like glyphosate unnecessary. In addition, the robot protects the soil by avoiding the compaction that may be caused by tractors or horses.
The development of the robot, which is able to mow more than two hectares of land, wasn’t an easy task. As it turned out, the unstable soil in the vineyards is quite similar to the surface of Mars. This is why, when drafting the first design specifications, Vitirover collaborated with the European Space Agency (ESA) to review the designs of all of the robots that were developed for Mars missions. “This really helped us, because we couldn’t find any terrestrial robots that came as close to our specifications,” says Xavier David Beaulieu, CTO at Vitirover. He started the company in 2010, together with Arnaud de la Fouchardière. After taking over the Château Coutet winery in Saint-Emilion, he faced the challenge of controlling the growth of grass and weeds between the vines.
The robot negotiates rocky, often steep terrain and is exposed to mechanical stresses every 12 seconds, on average. The requirements for its motorisation were accordingly high. The mechatronic solutions are the result of a partnership spanning more than eight years between Vitirover and MDP (maxon France). The robot is driven by four DC motors, one per wheel. They are brushed DCX 22 L drives that offer maximum power density in a very small installation space. They are highly efficient, which is important in battery operation. Combined with a GP 32 C gearhead, this solution enables the mower to absorb the load on the wheels and deliver the torque required for traction. “In terms of the drive, the problem of the radial load on the wheel axle wasn’t an easy one to solve. However, in the end we did it,” says Xavier David Beaulieu.
The greatest challenge however was elsewhere, namely the three blades that are driven by DCX 32 L series DC motors. The high load tended to damage the ball bearings of the motors, which led to failures. The engineers at maxon finally developed an aluminium bell housing for sustainable protection. Kevin Schwartz, in charge of the Vitirover project at MDP: “Our role is not limited to delivering electric motors. Instead, we supply complete solutions that fulfill the needs of the customer.”
For further information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
maxon have modified their EC90 flat DC motor.
The EC90 flat (pancake) 400W DC motor has been upgraded to allow a continuous current of 14.9 A. The re-design of the connector to a mega-fit version is suitable for up to 23 A current and the cable cross-section changes from AWG 16 to AWG 14. The open rotor supports cooling during operation, which allows for greater continuous torques.
The flat design of the brushless EC flat motors makes them the perfect solution for many applications, particularly those requiring high torque and control electronics. The considered, simple design makes it possible to largely automate the manufacturing and this is reflected in the DC motors economical price.
maxons brushless EC90 pancake motors range from 9.2mm to 90mm, 0.2 to 90w. For further information please contact maxon Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
From July 1, 2019 maxon dropped the word “motor” from its name.
maxon is evolving from a manufacturer of motors and components into a specialist for precision drive sys-tems. Known simply as maxon from 1 July, the company is changing its corporate structure to position it-self as a powerful group with a worldwide presence and the capability to respond to specific local de-mands. With a focus on five core markets – medical technology, aerospace, industrial automation, trans-portation & e-mobility and robotics. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high, for example, in NASA’s Mars rovers, surgical power tools, humanoid robots and in precision industrial applications. maxon’s expertise beyond drive technology consists of mechatronics, battery management systems and software & cloud services. At maxon Australia, a fully integrated service is on offer with the introduction of Dr Carlos Bacigalupo who is an expert in controller integration, system analysis and configuration assistance.
For further information please contact maxon Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
From two to eighty axis – maxon motor release a revised, versatile multi axis motor position system.
Need an eighty axis position control system? Well let’s face it, not everyone does. Though more often than not, in today’s increasingly sophisticated world of motion systems three and four axis systems are required. The trouble for motion control suppliers is being able to meet customer demands for motor position control systems with seemingly infinitely variable requirements.
Three axis controller systems in the past were very common but when you needed to control four motors there were two servoamplifiers paid for but not used. What made this industry standard even more inefficient was that inside the box for these motion controllers was simply three separate motor control units connected on a Bus system. This describes the problem that maxon multi axis system has solved.
Developed as an eleven axis motherboard with snap-apart individual drive segments. The exact number of motor axis can be easily configured simply by separating the required number of drives and jumping both the power and communications along the board. It is an incredibly simple though effective solution that has now been tested and proven in every combination. The most notable application is an eighty axis motor control system for a complex food handling production line.
Technical features include: CANopen control, Interpolation Position Mode, 6 digital inputs and 2 analogue inputs per axis, current regulation and a wide voltage input.
For more information contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
From 1st to 5th April maxon will be at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest technology fair showcasing the latest in innovation, technology and industry. maxon will unveil new powerful DC motor drives as well as a larger DC and new AC motor offering, with the addition of UK manufacturer Parvalux.
maxon are excited to announce a new modular drive system, the IDX compact drive, consisting of a motor and integrated EPOS4 motor controller. These systems are of particular use in applications within industrial automation or logistics automation. The IDX compact drives are configurable online.
Making a special appearance is UK motor manufacturer Parvalux. The established company has been part of the maxon group since January 2019 and expands the product portfolio with DC and AC motors up to 1.5 kW as well as suitable angular gearheads. These are used for a wide variety of applications, from stair lifts to transport systems and industrial robots. maxon CEO Eugen Elmiger comments: “We will no longer have an upper performance limit in the future.”
maxon has also boosted the performance of its brushless pancake motors (with diameters of 60 and 90 mm). Suitable for applications where space is limited but high drive power is required, such as logistics applications like belt drives or autonomous vehicles. A new design has resulted in performance increases of up to 100%. Both the EC 60 flat and the EC 90 flat drives are available as power-up versions, either with an open rotor or with an attached fan. As a result of optimal motor cooling, the EC 60 flat now delivers 200 W of power, while the EC 90 flat reaches up to 600 W.
In addition, maxon will present further innovations such as the ENX EASY XT encoder for use in harsh environments, or the tiny brushless ECX Speed with a diameter of 6mm, which can be configured online like all X drives.
For more information contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Global DC motor and drive specialist maxon motor has recorded growth across innovation, markets, revenue and production in 2017.
Sachseln/Obwalden (Switzerland) – The maxon motor group accomplished record revenues in 2017reporting a rise by 8.6% to CHF 459 million (up from CHF 422.5 million in the previous year). All markets contributed to the growth. Cash flow increased to just under CHF 50 million (up from 41.7 million). The number of employees globally increased to 2577. At a 40% revenue share, medical technology continues to be the strongest sector, followed by industrial automation at 28%. With R&D investments of CHF 34 million and more than 360 employees in our R&D sites worldwide, maxon has succeeded in bringing more than 20 new motors and gearheads to market and expand the company’s position as a leading manufacturer of high-quality drive components and systems. maxon looks to the future with confidence.
The impetus of growth behind maxon is mainly from the innovative precision DC motors and drives with high efficiency as well as the matching electronics for controlling complex motion sequences. The company produces in Sachseln/CH, Sexau/GER, Veszprém/HU, Cheonan/South Korea, and soon at its new factory in Taunton near Boston/USA. In addition to the sites above, R&D facilities are also located in China, France, and the Netherlands.
Growth in all markets worldwide
The biggest market in Europe is Germany, followed by Switzerland and the UK. Italy and the Iberian peninsula also grew markedly. After some years of stagnation, a strong growth has also picked up in the US. In Asia, maxon achieved new records in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In China, maxon has seen double-digit growth over the past years. “The revenue increase by 100 million over four years has posed a great challenge to us as a company in regard to quality and service. Owing to our highly trained employees, we have been able to master this challenge successfully,” says majority shareholder Karl-Walter Braun.
20 + new products released in 2017 alone
One in seven maxon employees works in research and development. As a result of these steadily expanding capabilities, maxon launched more than 20 new electric motors, gearheads, encoders and controllers in the past year. In aerospace, the motors work at temperatures as low as -130°C, while ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter space probe has to withstand temperatures of more than 350°C on its flight toward the sun. In 2020, high-performance maxon motors will be used in two rover missions by ESA and NASA, after having run for more than 15 years in the hostile Mars environment despite a scheduled service life of only a few weeks.
“Our ‘Mission 2020’ strategy for growth, which we launched years ago with the goal of achieving forward integration of drive systems, is showing some initial success,” says Eugen Elmiger, CEO of maxon motor group. “For example, we’ve been able to secure a large order for pump systems to reduce nitrous gas emissions in Diesel cars in the highly competitive automotive market. We also drove forward the development of complete surgical power tools, as well as micro-pump systems used in minimal invasive cardiac surgery.” Eugen Elmiger also expects healthy growth for the user-friendly and efficient high-performance multi-axis controllers made by zub, a company acquired by maxon last year.
Looking ahead: a strong start
The first months of the new year were characterised by strong growth across the group. Pending orders and revenues exceed the figures of the previous year. Due to the overall economic development, the company expects growth to slow down somewhat in the second half of the year. “We will approach further expansion with the necessary caution,” says Karl-Walter Braun.
For further information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Maxon’s miniature high speed electric DC motors align perfectly with German manufacturer KAGs larger BLDC and Brushed DC motors.
maxon motor works closely with Hannover based, German manufacturer KAG motors. KAG produces heavy duty, innovative, reliable EC and DC motors for off-the-shelf or customisable drive system solutions to the transport sector. The industry is heavily legislated with regards to access rights for the general public. KAG DC motors can be found in automatic bus and train doors, sliding steps, access ramps, doors for WC facilities in trains, switchgear, sanding systems, mirror adjustment and auxiliary compressors. The designs are vandalism-proof, vibration-resistant, cogging-torque and noise optimised, and have a slim design where needed. For more information on DC motors for transport systems please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477. Visit http://www.kag-hannover.com/en/ for more information on KAG DC motors.
Close inspection of the gear motor combination reveals the extent of motor customisations possible, normally for niche hand built servo motor and gearhead combinations that the Swiss engineers have become famous for.
Completely configured by the end user, maxon motors new micro DC motors system of online motor design and fully automated construction is set to change the future of motor manufacturing technology. Without human interference the tiniest of microdrives can be tailored to the application via an online tool. From the shaft length, diameter and flat features to the mounting method, gearhead reduction, winding characteristics, cable length and connector type. All direct from the motor design portal to the automated manufacturing line. Laser welded steel construction, dual stainless ball bearings and integral strain relief on a motor with only 6mm outer diameter beguiles Australian engineers. Over 17,000rpm at much lower noise levels than previously attained and torque levels to 200mNm make the new 6mm and 8mm servo gear motors incredibly power dense.
The ultra-small DC servo motors have linear control characteristics, zero magnetic detent (cogging) making them suitable for applications such as micro pumps, medical and laboratory dosing devices and robotics.
Contact maxon motor Australia for application, engieering or project assistance.
Ph: +61 2 9457 7477.
A year of highlights: maxons involvement in technology and innovation throughout 2016.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia on tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
|maxon introduced MARS (Maxon Advanced Robotics & Systems) a new facility dedicated solely to DC motors in mechatronics drive systems|
|300V brushless DC motor for use submerged in oil and designed specifically for Australia’s increasing ROV and subsea market http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_300V_Brushless_DC_motor_Australia|
|maxon released the very popular ROV Thruster Range, with modified control units available for use in water. Including subsea motors, gearheads, thrusters and compensators http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_ROV_Thruster_subsea_motors|
|Brushless frameless flat motors (pancake motors) are available on request in a frameless form. Suitable for high torque and low speed applications http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_Brushless_Frameless_DC_motors_from_maxon_motor_Australia|
|A tiny brushless flat DC motor with a diameter of 10mm that achieves speeds of up to 22,000rpm was used in a Space application http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_Very_small_brushless_DC_flat_motor|
|maxon Australia delivered a company first – a right angle spiroid and planetary inline gearhead fitted either end of a brushless DC motor http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDREL_Brushless_DC_motor_with_two_2_gearheads|
|Sydney’s Iconic Harbour Bridge received a climbing robot that inspects areas of the Bridge for disrepair or damage http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIAREL_maxon_DC_Motors_in_climbing_robot_Sydney_Harbour_Bridge_Australia|
|A new DC motor position controller was released. With tiny dimensions of 60mm x 62mm and able to drive both brushed and brushless DC motors up to 1500W with 98% efficiency http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_New_DC_motor_Position_Controller|
|The new catalogue was released in May with an unparralled number of new DC motors, gearheads and controllers available http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/maxon_launches_unparalleled_number_of_new_DC_drive_systems|
|A custom long ball screw linear actuator, driven by a DC servo motor and gearhead, showed maxon motor’s ability to provide tailored solutions http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_DC_servo_linear_actuation|
|The first ECX DC motor was delivered to an Australian University. The motor has extremely low noise at very high speeds http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MR_New_line_of_high_speed_brushless_DC_motors|
|Doctors are able to assess a patient up to 1,000km away thanks to an Australian University and robotics haptic technology http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_DC_motors_in_robots_as_an_extension_of_doctors_arm|
|An ROV that takes live video and underwater pictures and streams them directly to your smartphone, tablet or laptop http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDREL_ROVs_with_maxon_DC_motors_controlled_from_your_smartphone|
|Australia’s defence industry received a robust right angle DC servo gear motor, for a very demanding application http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/medias/sys_master/root/8820826144798/MEDIARELEASE-Custom-DC-gear-motor-solution.pdf|
|An ROV fitted with maxon DC motors found the largest submarine built in WWII, lying 190 metres below the ocean. These special DC motor combinations can reach depths up (down!) to 6,000m http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_DC_drives_exploring_depths_up_to_6000m|
|An Israeli company, ReWalk Robotics, developed an Exo-skeleton specifically helping quadriplegic people to walk again. Maxon motors control the movement of the hips and knees http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_DC_motors_in_Exoskeleton|
|drive.tech a new site for innovation by maxon motor was announced! http://drive.tech/|
|maxon announces a system that tracks and records every component manufactured in maxon DC servo motors http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_DC_servo_motors_tracked|
|Try before you buy: the maxon motor BIKEDRIVE rental facility opens in Giswil, Obwalden http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_BIKEDRIVE_test_facility|
|New sizes of DC motor and Planetary Gearheads available for configuration through maxon’s online tool http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_new_sizes_of_DC_motor_configurable_online|
|A unique DC motor and gearhead combination was developed for an Australian customer providing solutions for robotic rehabilitation http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_DC-motor-with-right-angle-gear-and-planetary-gear|
|For use in subsea applications, maxon’s MT-30 thruster is pressure tolerant up to 6,000 meters with oil compensation. The propeller is modified for low noise operation. Other features include: Maximum bollard thrust of 10kgs, Voltage of 27 and weighs slightly over 900gms http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_thruster_with_DC_motors|
|A surgical robot gives surgeons the ability to perform microsurgery from thousands of kilometres away, with an added sense of touch http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE-HeroSurg-Robot-with-maxon-DC-motors|
|maxon motor updated their subsea thruster – three sizes received updated performance levels, being the 20, 30 and 40mm diameter units http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE-Brushless-DC-Subsea-thruster-update|
|maxon motor added sterilisable brushless DC motors and gearheads to their online configurator http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/More-to-choose-from-with-maxons-online-custom-design-tool|
|maxon released driven, their bi-annual magazine that focused on developments in the medical industry http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/DC-motors-in-medical-technology|
|Maxon release two new varieties of brushless DC motor – the ECX SPEED 16 and ECX SPEED High-Power DC motors http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/New-high-speed-brushless-DC-motors-from-maxon|
Maxon brushless DC motors, gearheads and encoders are at work in a laser system for CT-guided procedures.
Doctors rely upon high-resolution CT images, for example, to guide biopsies, make diagnoses or for pain relief therapies. After identifying an area for biopsy, surgeons ascertain how to reach the area, where to place the needle tip, what angle to follow and how to minimise damage to healthy tissue. To combat these issues with pin-point technology, a German company designed an automated laser-guided system consisting of a ceiling mounted arc-shaped rail on which a motorised laser positioning unit is affixed. The laser guides the entry point, depth and angle for a needle that is 0.7mm thin.
A brushless maxon DC motor combination, selected for the small size and reliability of operation, meticulously drives the unit on the arc’s rail, which holds the rotary laser. The brushless flat EC motor with a diameter of 45mm is fitted with a planetary gearhead and MR Encoder. Two more brushless maxon DC motors control the rotation of the laser mirrors, the EC-max 16 fitted with a GP 16A planetary gearhead and MR encoder. These brushless DC motors allow for exact positioning of the laser beam and are controlled using three EPOS2 Modules.
For more information on medical application technology speak to a maxon motor Engineer on Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
The EC 45 flat brushless flat motor Ø45 mm, GS45 planetary gearhead and EPOS2 Module 36/2 © maxon motor