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Automate 2022 Highlights Advancements in Automation Technology

June 9, 2022
New mechatronic technologies, robots, software and more will be among the technologies featured during Automate 2022.

Automate 2022, which is being held June 6-9, is considered North America's leading trade show for automation and related technologies. The event is hosted by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) and will be held in Detroit's TCF Center. 

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend and more than 500 exhibitors will cover close to 300,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space. In addition to exhibits highlighting new technologies, conference sessions will be held throughout the week to provide further insights into automation solutions and trends. 

Conference tracks include: 

  • Autonomous & Mobile Robots
  • AI & Smart Automation
  • Collaborative Robotics
  • Courses for professional development.

Be sure to follow our colleagues at Machine Design who will be attending Automate for more updates throughout the event.

Automate will return to its biennial schedule in odd years in 2023; future show dates are May 22-25, 2023 and May 12-15, 2025, in Detroit. 

As automation is a key technology area of focus for the fluid power and motion control industries, we've collected—and will continue adding to—news coming out of Automate 2022. 

Moog Animatics Launches SmartMotor Range

Moog Animatics, a sub-brand of Moog Inc. focused on the development of integrated automation solutions, has launched a new Class 6D SmartMotor range. The new SmartMotor is a fully integrated unit featuring: 

  • motor, 
  • multiturn absolute encoder
  • amplifier, and
  • controller. 

Communication options for the SmartMotor include USB, dual port Industrial Ethernet (EtherCAT, PROFINET, Ethernet IP) as well as traditional RS-232/RS-485, and CAN connections.

The new SmartMotor also extends the company's power range options to 1 kW; the new motor features a wider temperature operating range as well of -4-212 F (-20-100 C). These design aspects help to increase the range of applications in which the motor can be used to include autonomous guided vehicles, agriculture automation and broad range of industrial automation applications the company said in its press release announcing the launch of the new SmartMotor. 

Bosch Rexroth Exhibiting Factory Automation Solutions

During Automate 2022, Bosch Rexroth is showcasing its various products for factory automation and robotics. These will include a combination of advanced manufacturing hardware and software as well as engineering expertise. 

Interactive displays and system demos will be part of the company's booth, providing attendees with a first-hand look at how Bosch Rexroth's technologies can be utilized.  

Per the company's press release announcing its presence at the show, the following technologies will be demonstrated: 
  • MP1000R Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR): Using the RoKIT Locator Software, the MP1000R is able to navigate autonomously in highly dynamic environments without additional infrastructure. The MP1000R is a flexible and scalable solution that can replace manual forklifts and tuggers in manufacturing spaces, leading to improved efficiency and helping to protect workers from potential injury.
  • Flexible Transport System (FTS): This working system demonstrates a magnetically propelled pallet transport system for high transfer speeds and precise pallet positioning that allows for independent and synchronized pallet movement, as well as integration into a traditional conveyor system.
  • Smart Function Kit for Handling: The kiosk includes a presentation that highlights the features and benefits of the Smart Function Kit for Handling, combined with a working Cartesian multi-axis system, whose configuration output can be created by booth visitors using adjacent Bosch Rexroth eTools software demonstration. The exhibit will present how predefined multi-axis combinations can be easily sized, configured and ordered as one part number. In addition, the Smart Function Kit for Handling software app running on ctrlX allows fast commissioning through auto parameterization of the servo drive.
  • ctrlX AUTOMATION Cube: This unique four-sided demonstration exhibit showcases the key capabilities of the ctrlX CORE automation controller. The exhibit uses a working ctrlX CORE controller to highlight the system’s connectivity through various automation and IT networks. Along with details about new ctrlX AUTOMATION apps from third-party suppliers, booth visitors will be able to see how the ctrlX CORE communicates with other demos in the booth and be able to program motion sequences for the Smart Function Kit for Handling demo system.

Kollmorgen Introducing New Frameless Servo Motors for Robots

Kollmorgen will exhibit its newly launched TBM2G series of frameless servo motors for robots. The motors can be used in various types of robots including collaborative, surgical, aerospace and defense, and more. According to the company, the new motors help to simplify the design of robots while providing the performance necessary in a lightweight and compact package. 

The TBM2G series motors offer: 

  • high-performance torque 
  • higher load-carrying capacity
  • improved energy efficiency, 
  • lower thermal rise, 
  • faster and smoother movements. 

Inclusion of advanced windings and materials enable the motors to provide the torque and efficiency necessary for various battery applications across a wide range of speeds. The motors can work at high speeds while not exceeding 80°C to ensure safety of those working around the robots. 

Seven frame sizes with three stack lengths each are available for a total of 21 standard motor options. 

Digi-Key Showcasing Electronic Products

Digi-Key Electronics will demo products from the various companies whose products it supplies including: 

  • Banner Engineering, 
  • Siemens, 
  • Schneider Electric, and
  • Sensata - Crydom. 

"We're looking forward to showcasing leading automation & control products from several of the top manufacturers at this year's Automate show," said Eric Wendt, director – automation and electrical at Digi-Key, in the company's press release announcing its presence at the show.

"Digi-Key carries products and solutions for virtually every application possible," he added. 

NSK to Exhibit Mechatronic and Linear Motion Technologies

Motion and control technology provider NSK plans to exhibit a range of integrated mechatronic and linear motion technologies. 

"In applications including mechatronics for medical equipment, lab automation, factory automation and multi-axis solutions for semiconductor, machine tool or 3D printing requirements, these pre-built and pretested solutions will save valuable internal resources and development time," said Scott Harmon, Automation Segment manager at NSK, in the company's press release announcing it will exhibit at Automate 2022. 

Per the company's press release, the following technologies will be exhibited: 

  • MOTORIZED BALL SCREW ACTUATOR, MBSA: The MBSA-Series Motorized Ball Screw actuator directly integrates a precision-ground ball screw with a high-accuracy stepper motor into a remarkably compact and space-saving form factor. It's high positioning accuracy and low noise performance is ideal for a range of life-critical medical and lab equipment applications.
  • MOTORIZED LINEAR ACTUATOR, MONOCARRIER™ MCE: The MCE – Electrified Monocarrier integrates ball screws, linear guides, support bearings and stepper motors into a turnkey mechatronic solution: a preassembled and pretested single-axis actuator that delivers outstanding precision and accuracy in a lightweight, compact form factor.
  • ENCLOSED LINEAR ACTUATOR, ROBOT MODULE: NSK Robot Module is a linear actuator that utilizes high precision NSK linear guides, ball screws and Monocarriers, fully integrated into a machined extruded aluminum housing. They are available in a variety of standard sizes and lengths and can be combined to create custom multi-axis systems. Ideal for industrial and pick-and-place applications, the modules include NSK's K1 integrated lubrication unit for years of maintenance-free operation.
  • LINEAR STAGES: NSK combines a range of proprietary machine components including linear guides, actuators, ball screws, motors, and mounting interfaces to create multi-axis stages customized for a broad range of application types and payload capacities.
  • LINEAR GUIDES: With the capability of moving multiple-ton industrial loads with millimetric accuracy, the NH/NS series linear guide combines NSK expertise in materials engineering with decades of advances in tribology and precision machining. They can be combined with high-performance seals and lubrication units for long-lasting performance in contaminant-prone environments. Miniature guide series PU and PE are ideal for smaller automation applications. Exhibiting very low dynamic friction resulting in smoother motion with reduced noise, the new design supports a wide variety of applications. Martensite stainless steel is the standard material providing excellent corrosion resistance, and K1™ Lubrication units extend product life.
  • BALL SCREWS: Widely acknowledged as the world leader in ball screw technology, NSK offers precision-ground units in standard and custom configurations for a vast array of applications. From heavy industrial manufacturing to life-critical surgical robotics, these units deliver superior positioning accuracy, repeatability, and durability.
  • A popular choice for automation is the Compact FA series ball screw. It is a cutting-edge component that delivers high-speed positioning with extreme rigidity and low noise performance from one of the most compact designs in the world. With a dramatically reduced ball nut diameter and the availability of low-profile support units, it is a compelling solution for space-saving design of equipment and devices.
  • DIRECT DRIVE MEGATORQUE™ MOTORS: Featuring remarkable positioning resolution of over 2.6 million pulses/revolution, the NSK Megatorque Motor Series is ideal for a range of indexing, automation, and robotic applications where speed, compact size, and accuracy are paramount. They feature precision-machined crossed roller bearings for outstanding dependability and maintenance-free running.

Epson Robots Introducing New SCARA Robots

Epson Robots has introduced a new line of SCARA robots, the GX Series. They will be shown for the first time during Automate 2022. 

The new GX4 and GX8 robots feature smooth motion control and can be used for heavy payloads through use of Epson GYROPLUS technology. They also feature: 

  • multiple arm configurations
  • 250-350 mm reach (GX4) and 450-650 mm reach (GX8)
  • ultra-high precision
  • higher throughput
  • battery-less encoders
  • built-in Ethernet cables

Larger motors are included integrated into the robots to better enable them to handle heavy loads at faster speeds. The GX4 has a payload capacity of 4 kg and the GX8 of 8 kg. 

The robots are small in size, aiding use in space-constrained environments. They can also be used in various applications including Cleanroom (ISO3). 

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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Table of Contents

Motor leakage variations

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