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Component Roundup: New Grippers, Motors and Drives Hit the Market

Elmo Motion Control's Gold-Twitter has been tested for underwater environments. Source: Elmo Motion Control

January 24, 2019      

Component makers big and small have released new products or versions of existing offerings, ranging from servo drives to end-of-arm grippers. This component roundup should get you caught up on some of the product announcements that have entered our in-box in recent weeks.

Miniature servo drive from Elmo

Elmo Motion Control: The company recently announced a new single power source miniature servo drive – the enhanced Gold-Twitter version with single source up to 95VDC. Elmo said this allows users to have a single power source for both the drive and logic power.

Elmo Gold Twitter component roundup

Source: Elmo Motion Control

“The Elmo R&D team was able to integrate a higher voltage internal supply into the ultra-small Gold Twitter,” Elmo said in its release. “Gold Twitter 80V and 100V versions denoted with a new P/N suffix can now operate from a single power supply. VL (Control Supply) and VP+ (Power Supply) operating from a single source is a huge benefit for machine builders. The single control supply topology contributes to lower EMI, and reduced sensitivity to poor external wiring.”

Elmo said despite the changes, the new enhanced version will be completely F3 compliant (fit, form, and function), ensuring transparent usage for customers that currently use G-TWI.

The company also announced that it successfully tested the Gold-Twitter servo drive in “extreme underwater pressure”, for use in underwater applications such as remotely operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles, “which don’t always allow for a fully controlled pressurized vessel for the servo drive.”

The company said it modified a G-TWI to match the needs of deep underwater applications with pressures up to 700atm (atmospheric pressure), the equivalent of 7,000 meters below sea level. “Operation verification was executed at a dedicated facility lab used for testing high-pressure oil & gas technologies,” Elmo said. “The new solution required both R&D expertise in designing special components, as well as the know-how necessary for the implementation of a specialized production process.”

Gecko-based gripper begins shipping

OnRobot: The maker of end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robots announced it began shipping pre-orders of its newly available Gecko Gripper, which uses millions of micro-scaled fibrillary stalks that adhere to a surface using van der Waalls forces, similar to the way that geckos climb. The company said the gripper “lets robots pick up flat, smooth objects with significant energy savings over existing grippers such as vacuum grippers, which require compressed air that is costly, power-intensive, and bulky.”

OnRobot Gecko Gripper component roundup

OnRobot’s Gecko Gripper is now shipping its pre-orders. Source: OnRobot

The Gecko Gripper began as a Stanford research project and then evolved to a project at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and then to the industry through multiple collaborations, OnRobot said. “The original NASA use case was for salvaging and repairing satellites such as solar panels, given the Gecko Gripper’s unique ability to operate in a vacuum.” Perception Robotics, the creator of the first industrial grippers that increased gripping strength by 5X, was acquired last year by OnRobot, which is now developing and commercializing the design.

The company plans to display the Gecko Gripper at next month’s ATX West show in Anaheim, Calif., Feb. 5-7, along with Futura Automation. The company also plans to show its RG2-FT gripper, which now has built-in force/torque sensing, supporting work in piece detection and centering. OnRobot sais the RG2-FT is “the first intelligent gripper on the market that can see and feel objects, thus ensuring faster deployment of collaborative applications and ultimately higher productivity.”

Motors designed for hygienic applications in food industry


AKMH Motor Kollmorgen component roundup

Source: Kollmorgen

Kollmorgen: The maker of motion systems and components announced it would feature its latest innovations designed for the meat, poultry, and feed industries at the International Production & Processing Expo, being held Feb. 12-14, in Atlanta.

The company will exhibit its new AKMH Hygienic Servo Motor, a stainless steel AKMH motor designed for splash zones and food contact. The motor features a rugged design, corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and IP69K rating can “withstand the most rigorous washdown environments.” Visitors at the show will also be able to see a demonstration of an AKMH retrofit, Kollmorgen said.

Other technologies include the AKM2G Servo Motor, the AKM Synchronous Servo Motor, and the AKM Washdown and Food Grade Servo Motor.