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Cost-cutting linear motors use ‘printed’ coils

09 April, 2013

Schaeffler’s direct-drive division, INA Drives & Mechatronics (Idam), has developed a technique for producing ironless linear motors in which the motor’s coils are “printed” layer by layer. The pioneering technique will allow the motors to be manufactured in volume at lower costs than before.

The coils are produced by applying layers of copper to circuit boards and then wiring them together to form the printed coils.

The compact UPL motors are ideal for applications where good path and positioning accuracies, high dynamics, and rapid response times are needed. They are available in lengths from 34–258mm and cover a force range of 10–240N.

The innovative manufacturing technique cuts motor costs and optimises the price/performance ratio. The ironless primary (forcer) exerts no permanent forces of attraction on the U-shaped secondary, reducing current rise-times. In addition, the force-to-mass ratio is said to be balanced.

The high feed force with a relatively small moving mass makes rapid acceleration possible, while maintaining high path accuracies. The linear motors also display good static and dynamic load rigidity, generate no cogging forces, and have long operating lives. They have a low inherent mass, making them ideal for vertical mounting (z-axis) applications.

The motors can be tailored to customer requirements. Potential applications include handling tasks in semiconductor manufacturing and electronics assembly, as well as measuring and testing systems. The motors are also suitable for laboratory automation and for pick-and-place applications, such as dispensing medications.

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