Bodine Electric Company Expands Mechatronics Motion Control

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Mechatronics, or combining electronic and mechanical devices into one integrated system, has become increasingly common. Complexity and economics are behind this trend: one recent survey of engineers showed that 71 percent of their designs include microprocessors, sensors, actuators, circuit boards, or other electronic products used to control mechanical components. However, 63 percent of the engineers who took the survey said their biggest challenge is to understand all the technologies that must work together. In today’s just–in–time environment, few companies have the time or budget to allow engineers to design entire systems from scratch. Taken together, this means that more than ever today’s engineers must rely on component manufacturers to build several elements of their design into one drop–in unit.

In response to this trend, Bodine Electric Company is expanding the INTEGRAmotor product line to include its larger brushless DC motors and gearmotors. The INTEGRAmotor gearmotors combine a speed control, a brushless DC motor, and a gearhead in one compact unit. Besides lowering engineering time and assembly costs, this integrated design reduces the wiring complexity and requires less panel space, and it minimizes the risks of electromagnetic interference (EMI). Like the smaller 22B frame INTEGRAmotors, the new larger frame sizes can be operated from a regulated 24VDC power supply, they are available with either analog or digital (PWM, or pulse width modulation) interface options.

These new models feature an onboard PWM control that accepts inputs from an external motion controller or Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The control also features amplifier enable, direction input and dynamic braking. The type “FV” models are supplied with a built–in 256 PPR, two-channel optical encoder. Parallel shaft, right–angle, and hollow shaft gearmotors are offered with output speeds ranging from 0.3-500 RPM, and rated torque of up to 310 lb–in.

These new brushless DC INTEGRAmotors are designed to be a lower cost alternative for applications that typically require more costly stepper or high–end servo systems. They are also an excellent choice for replacing traditional brush–type DC motors in applications that operate continuously, eliminating costly downtime for brush maintenance. They are an ideal choice for clean rooms and food manufacturing facilities where contamination with carbon dust from brush–type DC motors is not acceptable. These versatile products were developed for office equipment, packaging machines, conveyor systems, medical equipment, printing machinery, and factory automation applications.

“Our experience with custom engineered control and gearmotor solutions helped us a great deal when we looked at integrating motor and control elements into one enclosure,” says Mike Marhoefer, manager of brushless DC technology and control development. “For example, we already knew how to work within tight limits of power consumption and thermal performance. It also helps that we design and manufacture gearmotor, motor and control solutions in house.”

Bodine Electric Company’s rich engineering history reaches back to the early 1900s, when the Bodine brothers pioneered the development of the first fractional horsepower (FHP), integral gearmotors. In addition, Bodine Electric has been designing and manufacturing speed controls since the 1960s. Bodine offers over 1,000 standard products, and thousands of custom designed FHP (less than 1 HP) electric motors, gearmotors and motion controls (AC induction, brushless DC, and permanent magnet DC). Products are available via an extensive distributor network or sold directly to OEMs. Known for their reliability, long life, and competitive prices, Bodine products are found in many demanding industrial and commercial application. Bodine is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with manufacturing and assembly operations in Peosta, Iowa.

To learn more go to [www.bodine-electric.com].