Image Credit: Aerotech, Inc.   Linear motors generate force only in the direction of travel. A linear motor applies thrust directly to a load, and does not require any intermediate mechanism to convert rotary motion into linear motion. Linear motors are capable of extremely high speeds, quick acceleration, and accurate positioning.   Types of Linear Motors
  Choices for linear motors include:   Moving coil - In a moving coil design the coil...
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Q & A on Linear Motors

We asked our users for their input on Linear Motors. Here are the results of 67 users familiar with Linear Motors.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing linear motor design?
11 answers
Answers:
New magnetic compounds (SMCs), alternative magnetic structures, balanced designs, efficient cooling,... Advances in drive electronics. Integration of linear motor within the machine's structure: "integral design". Planar designs.
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland
Magnetic coupling design. Frequency oscillation motor design.
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
Guide precision systems, motor control, Permanent magnets.
~Engineering, Design, Mataró, Spain
Vector control of torque, multi phase design
~Amarendra A, Engineer, Hyderabad, India
Software to analyze the proposed design
~Vanmathi K, Faculty/Staff, Coimbatore, India
Sensorless brushless control
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA
Magnetic materials science
~Norm B, Builder/Contractor, Townsville, Australia
Size and thermal efficiency
~Glenn B, Manufacturer, Somersworth, NH
Machine tooling.
~Technical Support/Services, Harrison, OH
Ironless
~Engineering, Design, Daegu, Korea (South)
Simplicity to machine built and kinetic accuracy (linear servo motor)
~Ricardo K, Research & Development, São Paulo, Brazil

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative linear motors?
10 answers
Answers:
Smaller independent companies seem to be working on the most innovative designs. I was particularly interested in KUNDEL Magnetics. They seem to have a rather solid design that would fit into many situations/needs/variations. Though for some of the applications I am working with, PI also has some innovative ideas.
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
Parker Copley controls
~Engineering, Design, Bucharest, Romania
Airex, aerotech
~Glenn B, Manufacturer, Somersworth, NH
Magnemotion and Linmot
~Engineering, Design, Mataró, Spain
Tecnotion, Airex
~Research & Development, Roggwil, Switzerland
Global sources, phase motion control ningbo ltd
~Amarendra A, Engineer, Hyderabad, India
Ck design technologies
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA
Trilogy
~Engineering, Design, Daegu, Korea (South)
LinMot
~Ricardo K, Research & Development, São Paulo, Brazil
ETEL
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used linear motors for?
19 answers
Answers:
Wire-bonder, die-bonder, pick & place machines, SMT placement machines, machine tool, motion simulators, lithography equipment, inspection equipments, high speed printers, CMM, vibration control, diesel injectors, textile machines...
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland
Variable high velocity reciprocating simulation of insect wings on a macro scale. (Scaling up dragonfly wings)
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
To move a gantry system for laser cutting machines in the x and y directions. (two motors for x and one for y)
~Technical Support/Services, Harrison, OH
Linear Positioning Stages for Semiconductor, Flat Panel, Electronics and Solar Energy industry.
~Research & Development, Roggwil, Switzerland
High speed take out mechanism for glass industry; Servo press machine for stemware production.
~Ricardo K, Research & Development, São Paulo, Brazil
Semiconductor and solar inspection platforms. Genetic analysis platforms.
~Glenn B, Manufacturer, Somersworth, NH
Design / Motion Control of CNC Machines.
~France B, Engineer, Bedford, UK
On many emergency transfer switches.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, New Orleans, LA
None. examined for use in printers.
~Engineering, Design, Spokane, WA
Machine tool. Semicon machines.
~Engineering, Design, Malleray, Switzerland
Still looking for the right one
~Design Engineer, Green Cove Spring, FL
Machine control, UAV control,
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA
CNC, pick and place machine.
~Engineering, Design, Bucharest, Romania
Home built CNC machines.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Veszprém, Hungary
Automatic doors system.
~Engineering, Design, Mataró, Spain
Component conveyor
~Norm B, Builder/Contractor, Townsville, Australia
Trains, elevators
~Amarendra A, Engineer, Hyderabad, India
Laboratory
~Vanmathi K, Faculty/Staff, Coimbatore, India
Machining
~Engineering, Design, Daegu, Korea (South)

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that a linear motor has been used for.
7 answers
Answers:
Ropeless elevator, stirling engine, tide-powered electrical generator, camera traveling axis to follow divers as they dive at the Olympics...
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland
Scalable replication of insect wing dynamics.
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
Pallet gun, missile launcher
~Amarendra A, Engineer, Hyderabad, India
I have seen an interesting solution where the shaft was used as an incremental encoder. I do not know any exotic application.
~Engineering, Design, Bucharest, Romania
Lift, sliding doors.
~Vanmathi K, Faculty/Staff, Coimbatore, India
DNA genome analysis
~Glenn B, Manufacturer, Somersworth, NH
Tire changer.
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of a linear motor?
5 answers
Answers:
A company forced to replace >1'000 motors in the field because of improper selection of magnet's coating material.
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland
Thermal meltdown and catastrophic machine failure in vacuum costing 1,000,000$ to fi.x
~Glenn B, Manufacturer, Somersworth, NH
Phase to phase faults may lead dangerous situations.
~Amarendra A, Engineer, Hyderabad, India
I know of nothing disastrous, but then I use all my motor designs in a controlled lab environment. I have pushed motors to catastrophic failure, but it was intended to test the limitations of the device.
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
Product failed/crashed
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
8 answers
Answers:
Very strong force output with higher speed oscillations possible with minimal heat/friction. Maximum power efficiency from fuel source to motor output would of course be desired.
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
For a pick and place machine, I would appreciate a motor which would integrate linear movement and rotation around his axis.
~Engineering, Design, Bucharest, Romania
Linear and rotational movement at the same time, accuracy not very important. Quickness and silence is important.
~Design Engineer, Green Cove Spring, FL
Smart motor that does not require external feedback IP67 Wireless
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland
High force, high speed, energy efficiency, economical
~Amarendra A, Engineer, Hyderabad, India
More compact/more power
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA
Highest motor constant
~Glenn B, Manufacturer, Somersworth, NH
High goodness factor
~Vanmathi K, Faculty/Staff, Coimbatore, India

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of a linear motor?
4 answers
Answers:
Be very careful when comparing suppliers' datasheets! Parameters definition can be quite misleading. Peak force, for instance, may vary by a very large factor if it is defined for 0.1 seconds or 2 secconds...
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland
Get a very cheap model first and familiarize yourself with the mechanics of that particular type of linear motor in a real world sense. Simulations and graphs only tell you so much until you actually try to fit the device into your project. Then you can look to the more expensive or specialized version of that motor.
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
Proper earth fault protection should be taken for every installation.
~Amarendra A, Engineer, Hyderabad, India
Don't buy from China.
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using linear motors?
3 answers
Answers:
Look for the motor you wish to purchase in action. If you can see it functioning in a video, it will tell you much about the product in a practical sense, often better than any lines of written specs or numbers can (pay attention to the numbers too, of course). Just don't let them get in the way of your practical use of the device.
~Shane M, Engineer, Colorado Springs, CO
Linear motor selection is just one part of the process: Feedback device selection, drive electronics, bearings, mechanical design are key to archive performance.
~Nicolas C, General Management, Lausanne, Switzerland
Buy ck linear actuators
~E I, Research & Development, Ventura, CA


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