The challenges of manufacturing new products
extend beyond the capabilities of precise motion control
mechanics to include the control of environmental factors,
such as vibration and temperature. The processes needed
to meet the standards of modern manufacturing are so
exact that motion control systems must constantly remain
ahead of the curve.
Automation System Classifications
As both consumer and commercial technologies become
more compact, and need for the technology demands that
they be produced at larger scales, automation and motion
control becomes a manufacturing necessity. However, only
certain automation systems are capable of producing the
desired results. This is especially true in the electronics
industry, but also applies to medical device manufacturers.
Several automation systems cannot accommodate the
level of precision required to manufacture today’s electrical
devices. Pneumatics is a long-standing, common and
relatively inexpensive technology that doesn’t have the
precision capability for new and demanding applications.
Hydraulics uses oil instead of air, but is used primarily for
high-thrust and mobile industrial applications. Air leaks in
pneumatics and oil leaks in hydraulics also makes them
undesirable and inefficient technologies.
Electromechanics, which use electromagnetic motors
to generate thrust or torque, paired with mechanics to
provide linear motion, are common solutions for the current
generation of small electronics and medical devices.
Electromechanical solutions can achieve micron-level
precisions with repeatability into the fractional-micron range.
Pushing the Envelope
Below the micron range, a piezoelectric motor can be
used to manipulate electricity to make materials “twitch,”
thereby making motion in very small increments. This is
ideal for small motion, but is limited by reasonable stroke
lengths since moving a meter, for example, would take this
By Corey Foster, Application
Engineering Manager, Valin
As electronics and technologies designed by product engineers become smaller and more
intricate, manufacturing engineers
are running into new challenges in
automating manufacturing processes.
Meets Advanced Product