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More innovation revealed from maxon

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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.

 

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DC motor drive systems at 30,000 feet.

The new look edition of maxon’s driven magazine discusses the role DC motor and drive systems play in passenger aircraft.

The new look issue of maxon’s driven magazine focuses on five exciting trends in the aerospace industry and poses the question, “what will travel look like in the future?”. Air travel usage has increased immensely over the years. Prices are at a record low and planes are becoming even more efficient – in part due to electric drive systems, which are replacing outdated hydraulic systems. Several hundred drive systems are installed in every modern long-haul aircraft.

Also discussed are critical features of high-precision insulin pumps and a technical report on sensorless control of brushless DC motors.

To download a free copy visit magazine.maxonmotor.com

driven, the maxon motor magazine, is printed twice a year in three languages and is full of interesting stories, interviews, and news from the world of drive technology. The current issue is now available online and can be ordered in print, free of charge.:

maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

New fast brushless DC motor with diameter of 6mm from maxon

Introducing the new configurable ECX SPEED 6 M brushless DC motor that accelerates from 0 to 100,000 rpm in 5 milliseconds.

The ECX SPEED 6 M is a new brushless DC motor from maxon. With an ironless winding suitable for speeds up to 100,000 rpm and available in 3, 6 or 12 V nominal voltage.  With the option of two power ratings, the High Power version delivers approximately 25% more torque than the standard version. The brushless motor is offered with Hall sensors or as a sensorless version. It is configurable and can be combined with matching gearheads and encoders.

This particular DC motor is useful in applications with space constraints that require high precision positioning tasks such as those found in medical and lab automation and robotics industries.

For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

maxon motor new Innovation centre is now open

In November 2018 after 2 years of construction, a new centre for the manufacture of microdrives in the medical technology industry officially opened in Sachseln, Switzerland.

To keep up with demand maxon motor built a new Innovation centre for continued collaboration of various R&D departments as well as state-of-the-art cleanrooms to produce microdrives for use in the medical technology industry. These DC motor drives are used in insulin pumps, medication delivery systems or surgical robots and the cleanrooms enable maxons’ continued fulfilment of highest quality standards.

The new building is the fifth building at maxon headquarters. A solar panel system on the rooftop provides up to 180 megawatt-hours of energy every year. More than 1200 employees currently work at maxon headquarters. The Innovation centre cost approximately CHF 30m and represents an important part of maxon’s growth strategy. “With this step, we are strengthening our Swiss headquarters and our ability to focus even more on individual markets worldwide,” says maxon CEO Eugen Elmiger. The measures include establishing a global R&D team and continuous expansion of the eight production sites. With more than 2600 employees worldwide, the company is set to focus on complete drive systems and their integration into a wide variety of applications.

For more information on drive system solutions particularly in the medical field please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Brushless motor with encoder and gear. Customised to perfectly match critical servo motor requirements

Requiring up to 22Nm of intermittent torque with only a tiny amount of available space, only maxon motor could custom build the perfect solution for this application. The brushless DC motor contains an internal 1024cpt encoder and is only 22mm long.

Outrunner style pancake motors have an external rotor which offers both advantages and disadvantages. The brushless DC motor has the rotor magnets mounted on the outside of the stator giving the motor more available torque via the additional distance between where the force is produced and the shaft. Essentially, more leverage. However, having an external rotor leaves the rotating mass exposed to the operating environment where it could potentially be impacted upon and create imbalances on the motor.

maxon motor were able to combine a unique combination of a flat brushless DC motor with an internal 1024 count per turn encoder with a ceramic planetary gearhead to meet a customers’ application requirements, though the exposed rotor was a concern for the engineer. By re-designing the front mounting flange of the motor, maxon were able to build a custom rear cover for the motor to protect it and stay within the maximum 43mm available diameter. This must be designed around the thermal requirements of the motor when working in the application environment under the specific loads and duty cycles.

Customisation processes like this for specific requirements then become available for other applications and eventually catalogue components. The motor is now available for system voltages from 12V to 48V with internal encoders from 256 counts per revolution to 2048 counts. There is a ventilated version for high power density, a standard version and an enclosed version.

Contact maxon motor Australia for application assistance. + 61 2 9457 7477.

maxon DC motors venture deep beneath the surface of Mars.

Landing on Mars on 26 November 2018 was NASA’s InSight mission to Mars. The InSight probe is used in the analysis of the formation of rocky planets, involving driving a measuring probe five meters deep into the ground. maxon engineers pulled out all the stops to make their motor fit for the job.

The robotic InSight probe landed on Mars on November 26. If all goes according to plan, the stationary lander will proceed to carry out various measurements over a period of two years and provide important insights into Mars and the formation of Earth. The mission is being conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA.

Motor rams penetrometer 5 meters deep into the ground

DC motors from the Obwalden-based drive specialist maxon motor are also on board. A compact motor-gearhead combination with a diameter of 22 millimeters is used in the HP3 probe developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). It is designed to determine the temperature profile of the planet. Specifically, the maxon drive is located in a rod-shaped penetrometer, nicknamed “the Mole” by the developers. This penetrometer is autonomously driven five meters into the ground. To achieve this, the motor tensions a spring with each revolution. The spring then releases with great force, executing a powerful downward punch. In this way, the “Mole” gradually burrows downwards – over a period of several weeks, pulling along a cable that is equipped with sensors to help the researchers determine the thermal state of the interior of Mars and draw conclusions about its origin. Since Mars is a rocky planet like Earth, the scientific results may also help gain a better understanding of our own planet.

Special solution for more than 400 g

Mars is not a very friendly environment for technology. Nonetheless, more than a hundred maxon drives have already proven their worth on the Red Planet. The current InSight mission, however, posed additional challenges for the Swiss engineers. To efficiently drive the penetrometer into the ground, the DC motor needs to withstand forces in excess of 400 g – and more than 100,000 times. It took a number of variations and failed tests to find the right solution. The result is a standard DCX 22 motor, greatly modified with additional welding rings, bearing welds and specially shortened brushes. The utilised GP 22 HD gearhead, on the other hand, only needed Mars-specific lubrication.

Say hello to an old acquaintance

The InSight probe is powered by two solar panels for the duration of its mission. To save costs, JPL repurposed designs from the successful Phoenix mission, using a maxon DC motor developed some time ago to extend the solar panels. This type of motor, an RE 25, has ensured that NASA’s Opportunity rover has been active on Mars for more than 14 years (even if it is currently in deep sleep due to a sandstorm). Thus, two generations of maxon drives come together in the InSight robot probe to jointly contribute to the mission’s success.

For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. + 61 2 9457 7477.

Brushless DC motor with integrated controller

Unique 5 wire Brushless DC motor with integrated BLDC controller provides a new and more conveniently packaged solution.

New from maxon motor is a brushless DC motor that takes a turn away from the Swiss motor company’s traditional designs. The EC-I 30IE motor features a five wire connection to simplify implementation and still give a wide functionality. An independent set speed value connection allows for a greater motor operating speed range over the common two wire approach to integrated brushless motor control. Additional features are a disable, direction and speed monitor output. It is an enclosed design that does not require any airflow through the body for cooling which makes it suitable for harsh environments typical of various industries such as food, packaging, manufacturing, mining & deep sea drilling and aerospace. Despite the internal motor control board the motor has still been designed with a shaft on both ends of the body for orientation convenience and is still part of the modular construction program allowing the addition of ceramic planetary gearheads (reduction gearboxes). The motor is 30mm diameter and 41mm long including the control unit. It has four quadrant control meaning it can control dynamic acceleration and deceleration in both directions. The controlled top speed is 6000rpm from a 24V supply and the 20W power rating indicates a high power density ratio.

For more information contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

2017: a year of record growth for the maxon motor group

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.

Nature inspiring robotics

For many, many years nature has inspired engineers in evolving and enhancing technology to create powerful and proficient robots. Here are some examples of current creative developments.

Birds, Dogs, Snakes and Elephants are just some of the animals inspiring mechatronic engineers to design state of the art robots. Here maxon takes a closer look.

The bionic bird A French company has developed a bionic bird toy that can be controlled with a smartphone. A lightweight 9 grams, the bird can achieve speeds of up to 20 km/h and has a range covering more than 100 metres. The bird presents an alternative to propeller drones.

bionic bird

ANYmal Engineers at ETH Zurich developed a four-legged robot that was made for very harsh conditions and can move autonomously. Since its inception in 2009, ANYmal has evolved into machine that can conquer inclines, run, jump and press elevator buttons. Using laser sensors and cameras, the robot continuously creates a map of its terrain, knows where it is and navigates through the changing landscape. Weighing around 30 kg it can carry a payload up to 10kg and run for 2 hours on a fully charged battery. The future use for the ANYmal is expected for inspections, rescue operations or the entertainment industry.

anymal

The underwater snake

A modular underwater robot snake has been developed for use in inspections, maintenance and repair work reaching distances and places that conventional underwater robots are unable to reach. The robot is flexible and has moving connecting parts with the option of mounting tools. Inside the connecting modules are maxon brushless DC motors with customised gearheads. The underwater robot has been in constant development for 10 years with the current model reliant on a cable. Future versions include keeping the robot on the bottom of the ocean indefinitely at a docking station from where it can launch into action when needed.

underwater snake

SnakeBot

This robot was named so because it moves like a snake. With a diameter of 6cm it can fit into narrow spaces making it suitable for inspection in unstable environments such as after earthquakes. With independent modules the SnakeBot can also climb up plant legs and posts. There are approx.. 20 maxon EC20 flat brushless motors in the snake, selected for both their high torque and ability to withstand short periods of overload.

snakebot

BionicMotionRobot

This robot is modelled on an octopus’s tentacles and elephant’s trunk. With skin made of innovative fibre technology this robot offers flexible movement that can bend in three different directions at the same time. The robot is pneumatic and lightweight with 12 degrees of freedom and can carry up to three kilos of payload.

octophant

For further information on any of these examples please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Design considerations for an exoskeleton for children

Developing Exoskeletons for children present their own engineering challenges simply because children are still growing.

Exoskeletons were largely developed for people that have sustained paralysis or suffer muscular dystrophy. For adults who have stopped growing there is no risk of outgrowing the exoskeleton. However for children their growth and ability present a multitude of challenges for design engineers. An exoskeleton that fits a six-year old perfectly may be much too small by the time the child turns seven. For a child with spinal muscular atrophy an exoskeleton is designed to recognise users are not completely paralysed but are able to move their legs to a certain extent. Sensors within the frame detect weak leg movements and respond immediately to provide support. As a result, the child is able control the exoskeleton directly with the legs.

Spanish company, Marsi Bionics, manufactures exoskeletons mainly for adults but have developed two exoskeletons for children, the Atlas 2020 and Atlas 2030. Weighing approximately 14 kgs it is made for children from 3 years up who have a neuromuscular disease. The exoskeleton can be adapted to various leg lengths and hip widths, so that it also fits teenagers up to about 14 years of age. The “Atlas 2030 is an upgrade of Atlas 2020”, explains Elena García, creator and co-founder of Marsi Bionics. “The main difference is that Atlas 2020 is intended for use in hospitals for gait training and rehabilitation, while Atlas 2030 is designed for use in private homes as an integral part of the patient’s everyday life. Both devices are ready for industrial production and until then, Atlas 2020 will continue to be used in hospitals for clinical research.”

maxon motor have five drive systems in each leg of the children’s exoskeleton. Brushless flat EC45 motors deliver very high torque in a compact design, coupled with inductive MILE encoders that act as sensors. The motors are controlled by servo controllers from maxon’s ESCON series.  “EC flat motors provide the best power-to-weight and power-to-volume ratio”, explained Elena García. “This is a variable of paramount importance, as gait exoskeletons require high power but a very low weight and volume.” The exoskeletons will be made available commercially once CE certification marks have been received.

For more information contact maxon motor Australia Tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

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