maxon’s ESCON Controllers

Roger Hess, Sales Engineer, discusses maxon’s line of ESCON motor controllers. These controllers were designed for dc brushed and brushless motors. You can configure the drive using maxon’s ESCON studio.

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MAXPOS 50/5 Wins Product of the Year

Medical Design Briefs - 2014 Product of the Year

Medical Design Briefs – 2014 Product of the Year

High performance positioning controller

Medical Design Briefs magazine, targeted to medical product design engineers and managers, provides readers with the latest advances in technology, materials, and regulatory issues.

Each month, Medical Design Briefs magazine publishes a Product of the Month deemed to have exceptional technical merit and practical value for its design engineering readers. At the end of the year, readers are asked to vote for one among the 12 Products of the Month that they feel was the most significant new product introduced to the engineering community in 2014.

“This year, maxon precision motors’ MAXPOS 50/5 high-performance positioning controller was a top vote-getter, earning this prestigious honor,” said Beth G. Sisk, Editor of Medical Design Briefs. “We are very proud to present the Product of the Year award to maxon precision motors for providing motion control technology that allows manufacturers to create the next generation of effective, efficient, and safe medical products.”

Integration made easy.

maxon's EPOS2 Positioning Controllers support additional Platforms.

maxon’s EPOS2 Positioning Controllers support additional Platforms.

EPOS2 Positioning Controllers support additional Platforms.

The maxon motor EPOS2 motion controllers for DC brushed and brushless motors are enhanced by even more possible fields of applications. Deployment of computer-based drive control rather than traditionally used PLC systems are becoming more and more prevalent in practice. To stay ahead of this trend, maxon has updated the EPOS2 libraries to support CANopen interfaces from Kvaser and NI-XNET, in addition to our existing solutions (NI, IXXAT, Vector). In additon, new opportunities unfold for computer platforms with serial communication via USB or RS232 under Windows or Linux. The existing libraries for Intel/AMD (Windows 32/64-Bit, Linux 32-Bit) are further extended with a Linux 64-Bit version. Additional support of 32-Bit ARMv6/v7 solutions allows the broad scale use of trend platforms, such as Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone. True to the principle “Easy-to-use POsitioning System”, simple and fast incorporation into a wide range of solutions with extended, no cost, libraries is supported.

With today’s controller architectures a variety of motion control components from various suppliers are used. Therefore, easy integration into the superior master system plays a crucial role in the success. By means of extensively documented maxon libraries, integration of EPOS2 slave drive controllers takes no time and makes elaborate interface programming obsolete. Customers can fully focus on their main task; the development of their application. A wide range of supported systems permit a selection of the ideally suited master.

For more information on EPOS, maxon motor’s modular positioning controller series, visit http://epos.maxonmotor.com.

ESCON Module 24/2 Servo Motor Controller

A miniature controller with maximum functionality.

maxon's ESCON module 24/2 servo motor controller

maxon’s ESCON module 24/2 servo motor controller

maxon motor expands its offering of miniaturized controllers with its latest OEM plug-in module. This high-performance 4-quadrant PWM servo motor controller is designed to command permanent-magnet-activated brushed and brushless DC motors with Hall sensors up to 48 Watt continuous output and 144 Watt peak output. Its features include: high usability, exceptional performance and power density in servo motor controller technology. It is unprecedented in functionality, protection, and performance.

In addition, the entire maxon ESCON servo controller line now offers new functionality: an RC servo signal evaluation for speed or current set values, current limiter and offset, or the option to predefine analog speed ramps.

The innovative OEM plug-in module features excellent controller characteristics. The drift-free yet extremely dynamic speed behavior enables speeds up to 150,000 rpm. It provides extensive functionality with free configurable digital and analog inputs/outputs and can be operated in various modes, such as speed controller (closed loop), speed controller (open loop), and current controller. A perfect match for maxon’s motor range, the miniaturized ESCON Module 24/2 suits even the highest-demanding applications and most dynamic drive solutions. Plus, it easily integrates into complex applications with little effort.

A detailed Motherboard Design Guide is available for integration to OEM PCBs and a suitable motherboard makes initial commissioning a simple task. This allows the OEM to focus on the development of their own device and simply rely on maxon’s expertise for the motor control part that is provided in the ESCON module.

The compact servo controller is controlled by an analog set value. It can be specified by means of analog volt-age, by external potentiometer, by defined value, by means of PWM signal, or with RC servo signal with variable duty cycle. Other key features include the ability to enable or disable the power stage depending on the direction of rotation as well as acceleration and deceleration by employment of defined speed ramps. The speed can be controlled by means of digital incremental encoder (2 channel, with/without Line Driver), DC tacho, or Hall sensors.

Startup in no time

Top performance should not be a matter of trial and error. For that reason the servo controller has been designed to be user friendly and with easy startup functionality. No in-depth knowledge of drive technology is required for operating.

When connected to a PC via a USB port, it can easily and efficiently be parameterized with the graphical user interface «ESCON Studio». A variety of functions and user-friendly wizards as well as a well-designed automated fine-tuning controller procedure assist during commissioning, for configuration of inputs and outputs, and diagnostics.

Protection at its best

The ESCON Module 24/2 features protective circuitry against overcurrent, excess temperature, undervoltage and overvoltage, voltage transients and short-circuits in the motor cable. It also is equipped with protected digital inputs and outputs and adjustable current limitation to protect motor and load. Motor current and actual motor shaft speed can be monitored by means of analog output voltage.

Pure flexibility and top efficiency

The wide range of both input voltage and operating temperature of +60°C (140°F) and a surplus derating allow flexible use in almost all drive solutions, such as small electronic appliances and equipment engineering or robotics. With its exceptional efficiency of 92% and miniature dimensions, the ESCON Module 24/2 is a number one choice for mobile, highly efficient yet consumption-optimized applications

For more information on the ESCON servo motor controller range, visit http://escon.maxonmotor.com

Robotic Rib Spreading Tool to help patients hurt less and heal faster.

Detail of a motor housing assembly of a Physcient prototype. © 2012 Physcient

Detail of a motor housing assembly of a Physcient prototype. © 2012 Physcient

One advanced technology company is taking on the challenge of developing hand-held, robotic surgical instruments to help patients hurt less and heal faster. High torque maxon motors ensure jerk-free movement of the tool.

It may sound unbelievable, but some tools that physicians use to perform invasive surgery were originally developed in the 1930s and have gone through minimal updating since. Most often, these tools have been efficient enough to do the job, even if patients took a long time to heal. This is especially true when a surgeon has to enter the chest cavity for heart or lung operations. To date, there are two primary methods used to open a space large enough for a doctor to work inside the chest: a thoracotomy or a sternotomy.

The thoracotomy is where an incision is made between two ribs to gain access. For a sternotomy the surgeon saws through the sternum and then spreads it apart. In both cases, the surgeon pries apart the ribs or sternum using a hand-cranked, stepping mechanical jack called a thoracic retractor. Large forces are needed to spread the ribs. In fact, the Physcient team discovered that the forces necessary to separate the ribs are roughly equal to the weight of the person being operated on, which means that using a thoracic retractor can result in broken bones, crushed nerves, wrenched joints, and torn ligaments. All of these factors offer adverse post-surgical effects that can be ongoing.

Physcient (Durham, NC) has developed technologies that are expected to greatly reduce the damage of thoracic retraction. “Two of the concerns we ran into,” said Chuck Pell, co-founder (with Hugh Crenshaw) of Physcient, “were that we had to maintain the same footprint as other thoracic retractors being used in the operating room today, plus we had to be able to sterilize the tool repeatedly, to be used for literally hundreds of cycles.” The company’s Assuage™ Smart Retractor™ was designed to apply technology to solve a longstanding problem without changing surgeons’ procedures.

According to Mr. Pell, “We both [he and Dr. Crenshaw] studied biomechanics, and it is that understanding of how creatures move that we use to translate into technology. We recently turned that knowledge to surgical tools, and are finding it very interesting. Many of the tools used in surgery today were invented prior to biomechanics becoming a mature science.”

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that over half a million heart surgeries are done every year. Add to that number another hundred thousand lung surgeries, and the need for better tools quickly becomes apparent. Because of the antiquated design of thoracic retractors being used today and the number of surgeries being performed, the incidents of rib fractures has continued to increase.

Crenshaw and Pell recognized that there had been little research pertaining to the forces generated by rib spreaders in the past, and brought together a team to measure the effects and produce the technology to greatly reduce damage. Bones can flex quite a bit before breaking, often due to the rate at which the spreader moves—a sudden bend like that delivered by a hand-cranked thoracic retractor can cause a rib to snap. Bone fibers need a little time to adjust. By placing sensors in the Assuage™ rib spreader, it’s easier to detect if fibers begin to break down. This information is then fed back into the tool so that it responds instantly to tissue events. This closed-loop feedback to the motor must have a high degree of precision and be completely reliable to be used inside medical devices.

Physcient designed a prototyped rib spreader around a motor manufactured by maxon motor. One of the more important specifications for the motor was the lack of cogging that often occurs at very low speeds. The rib spreader has to be able to move smoothly without jerking motions that can cause undue damage to the patient. DC brushless motors easily operate from a battery, and an on-board controller and sensor system helps to maintain a controlled spreading process. In order to handle the high forces necessary, Physcient selected high-torque motors. “The motors we use from maxon not only have to handle the greatest retraction forces ever measured in the medical industry, they also have to be precise in order to reduce damage to ligaments and soft tissues,” Pell said.

maxon provides a complete line of motors and motor controls for the medical market including their EC brushless series, which is particularly suited for use in medical devices

maxon provides a complete line of motors and motor controls for the medical market including their EC brushless series, which is particularly suited for use in medical devices

Powerful drives for soft movements
maxon manufactures a complete line of motors from 4mm motors to 90mm motors for a wide variety of applications. They are electronically commutated for minimal electrical noise. The company’s DC brushless motors have no mechanical brushes to wear out, which allows them to provide extremely long motor life. By being designed using high-grade, preloaded ball bearings an additional benefit in longevity is added to the motor. maxon motors provide a low profile design ideal for applications requiring a small footprint.

The Physcient Assuage™ Smart Retractor™ takes into consideration the physics of bone and tissue. As with most cardiothoracic research, tests were run on pigs, which are biomechanically similar to humans. The Physcient team built a prototype that used two rows of curved metal fingers, meant to cradle a single rib. As the retractor automatically spreads the ribs, sensors provide feedback to the maxon motor, providing smooth opening. In the experiments, Physcient’s retractor greatly reduced tissue trauma, reduced pain, improved breathing, and resulted in better overall recovery.

Once the team at Physcient produces the Assuage™ rib spreader, they plan to look into other medical equipment that hasn’t changed over many years. Their aim has always been patient-oriented through offering the right tools for the surgeons, and plans to automate and upgrade the entire surgical toolkit. Physcient plans to bring Assuage™ Smart Retractor™ to market in 2013.

NEW maxon ESCON Sensorless Controller

 

 

maxon’s New servo motor controller – The ESCON 70/10

PIC-MEDIARELEASE-ESCON70-10High performance, easy to commission, outstanding motor control characteristics, and top performance.

maxon motor’s new range of servo controllers continues to expand. Just like the existing motor control units in the range, the new maxon motor ESCON 70/10 possesses incredibly easy usability and peak control properties. The high power density 4-quadrant pulse width modulated (PWM) servo motor controller gives efficient control of permanent-magnet brushed DC motors (PMDC) and brushless DC motors (BLDC motors) using Hall sensors with a power rating to ~700 W.

The ESCON 70/10 servo motor controller features exceptional motor control qualities. Additionally it has very fast digital current control with a huge bandwidth for precise motor torque and current control. The speed behaviour is fluctuation-free and extremely dynamic with a motor speed range from 0 to 150,000 rpm. It has a broad range of functionality with completely configurable analogue and digital outputs and inputs. It can be used in numerous motion control operating conditions from current controller to speed controller in both open and closed loop. Being a compact servo motor controller it compliments maxon motors range of PMDC and BLDC motors giving dynamic motor drive systems which meet vigorous application requirements.

It is controlled with an analogue set value input that can be given from either an external source or using an internal potentiometer. Alternatively, the motor can be controlled via PWM input signal. It features direction oriented enabling if desired and the user can define the feedback mode using an encoder, tacho or hall sensors.

Designed specifically with easy startup and user-friendliness in mind. When connected to a PC via a USB port, the servo motor controller can easily be configured with the graphical user interface «ESCON Studio». A large variety of functions, software wizards, and a well-designed automatic procedure to fine-tune the controller come in handy during startup and configuration.

For more information, go to: http://escon.maxonmotor.com

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