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In brief

01 February, 2003

In brief

Yaskawa is offering an enhanced version of its Mechatrolink motion control network for use by other suppliers. The network can be used to connect devices such as servo motors, AC drives and stepper motors, to motion controllers at data rates of up to 10Mb/s. Yasakawa has set up a Mechatrolink members club and support centre, and plans to offer conformance testing to ensure that products are interoperable. Omron, Mycom and Oriental Motor already support the network.

• Power transmission specialist Stephenson Gobin has supplied an electromagnetic tooth brake for use on a surface-to-air missile launcher being tested by the Swedish military. The brake, which has a torque rating of 400Nm, locks the launcher`s radar into position. The equipment is currently undergoing testing in temperatures from -50°C to +65°C, as well as extremes of humidity. Defence agencies across Europe have shown an interest in the launcher.

International Rectifier has joined forces with the DSP (digital signal processor) specialist Xilinx to develop a low-cost motor control design platform which, they claim, "achieves unmatched motor control performance" with a feedback control loop bandwidth up to 5kHz. The platform provides the bandwidth needed for torque control as well as the flexibility to work with many types of motion peripheral.

Allegro Microsystems has developed a low-cost stepper motor driver chip that cuts the number of control lines down from as many as eight to just two - step and direction. Operation of the A3967 chip simply involves inputting a pulse to the step input for the motor to take a microstep, without needing phase-sequence tables, high-frequency control lines or complex interfaces




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