Penny + Giles develops sophisticated technologies and products for diverse markets, particularly focused on sensors and motion control applications.
Why were we needed?
The company needed to be able to simulate a wide range of motion profiles used in advanced airborne platforms in order to test feedback sensors. These tests are extremely difficult to carry out using mechanical linkages, so an integrated linear motor system was required.
What did we do?
Quin developed an integrated system based on the LinMot controller. This four-axis system allows motions to be programmed and stored, so that they can be selected as required. Two small and two large motors were needed to provide the required force, and the system was built to interface with Penny + Giles’ existing transducers, providing zero wear and simple mounting.
How does it work?
The small motors moved one potentiometer, whilst the larger ones moved up to four of the transducers, depending upon the frictional forces involved. Motors were mounted outside the environmental test chamber, where temperatures can reach 110°C, and isolated from the heat via nylon couplings and mounting blocks.
LinMot’s E400four-axis controller operated from a 240V AC feed, via a 48V power supply. Costs were kept low, because there was no necessity for costly and complicated three-phase supply; and no requirement for multiple contactors or relays which add further expense.
The servo controllers included a complete digital position-control system, completely eliminating the drift and offset problems encountered with analogue controllers. It was also possible to define motion profiles and follow adapted motion profiles.
Through the LabView software, Penny + Giles could construct motions within Microsoft Excel, with formulae for the both the ‘base motion’ and the vibration amplitude and frequency. These were then imported into the LinMot controller and saved.
What do they say?
“Using the Quin-developed integrated system based on the LinMot controller, we can provide stored motions as needed, then use a serial protocol to select and swap between these motions as required. We use industry-standard Labview software to set up test profiles, which are then downloaded to the LinMot controller to tell it which motion to run.” Terry Pontin, Penny + Giles.