Engineering Notes by Oriental Motor

Welcome to Oriental Motor's "Engineering Notes" Blog:

Products and technology are only valuable when coupled with skilled people and services to support them. ORIENTAL MOTOR U.S.A. CORP. has dedicated over 33 years to establishing a service and support system to better serve customers. It is our goal to provide the best product and service from the design phase, through the sale and beyond.

Our blog will feature:

  • Introductions to New Products and Technology
  • Application Examples, Improvements and Problem Solving
  • Tips and Recommendations for Motor Selection, Installation and Use

Monitor Your Machine Like a Traffic Light System

Posted by Johann Tang on Jun 19, 2020 8:00:00 PM

For automated factories, motor failures mean lost production and lost revenue.  Being able to identify the specific issue in advance and its location is critical to maintaining production efficiency.  To be successful, extra sensors must be added to detect abnormalities.  There may be an easier way.

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Topics: Stepper Motors, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, VIDEOS, Network, Application Examples, Troubleshooting

Flexible Configurations For Hollow Rotary Actuators

Posted by Johann Tang on May 21, 2020 11:30:00 AM
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Topics: Stepper Motors, Robotics, Absolute Positioning, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, Gearheads, Rotary/Index Tables

Control Basics: The Difference Between Sink and Source Logic

Posted by Johann Tang on Apr 30, 2020 9:16:14 PM

For someone who has never had experience wiring I/O for motion control, it can be scary the first time.  If devices are not wired correctly, it can cause a range of issues from a motor simply not doing what's expected to irreversible product damage.  I still get that nervous feeling before I press the START button on a demo.  Murphy's Law, anyone?

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Topics: AC Motors, Stepper Motors, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, Speed Control, BLDC Motors, Servo Motors

The Proper Way to Use a Gripper

Posted by Johann Tang on Mar 5, 2020 5:11:16 PM

A gripper is typically an end effector that is installed at the end of a robotic arm or on a cartesian robot and can be used to grip parts in order to transfer them from one location to another.  However, there's more to it than just closing the jaws to pinch a part.  In this post, we will explain how to properly grip a load while preventing damage.

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Topics: Stepper Motors, Robotics, Absolute Positioning, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, VIDEOS, Application Examples

Motor Sizing Basics Part 3: Acceleration Torque (and RMS Torque)

Posted by Johann Tang on Feb 27, 2020 9:05:40 PM

Now that we understand the calculations behind load torque and load inertia, we're two steps closer to motor selection.  You might be wondering why I separated load torque and acceleration torque calculations.  That's because in order to calculate for acceleration torque, load inertia and speed must be calculated first. 

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Topics: AC Motors, Stepper Motors, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, Speed Control, Motor Sizing, BLDC Motors, Servo Motors

Motor Sizing Basics Part 2: Load Inertia

Posted by Johann Tang on Jan 17, 2020 7:51:53 PM

Other than torque or speed, another factor should be considered when sizing motors.  

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Topics: AC Motors, Stepper Motors, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, Speed Control, Motor Sizing, BLDC Motors, Gearheads, Servo Motors, Rotary/Index Tables

Motor Sizing Basics Part 1: Load Torque

Posted by Johann Tang on Jan 14, 2020 8:14:54 PM

Proper sizing of a motor requires that 3 criteria must be met: torque, load inertia, and speed.  For the first part of this Motor Sizing Basics series, I will be explaining what load torque is, how to calculate it for specific application examples, and how it fits into the torque requirement for the application.

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Topics: Conveyor, AC Motors, Stepper Motors, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, Speed Control, Motor Sizing, BLDC Motors, Servo Motors, Rotary/Index Tables

Incremental vs Absolute Systems

Posted by Johann Tang on Sep 12, 2019 3:57:57 PM

The terms "absolute" and "incremental" comes up frequently in the world of position control.  The exact meaning changes according to the context they are used in.  For example, absolute and incremental motion can refer to the type of motion done by the motor either by relating it to the absolute home position or the last known position.  Absolute and incremental feedback can also refer to the type of feedback device being used with the motor.  In this blog post, we will focus on the feedback system and hopefully clarify some differences for you.

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Topics: Stepper Motors, Absolute Positioning, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, VIDEOS

The Power of the AlphaStep Family

Posted by Johann Tang on Aug 28, 2019 2:37:43 PM

AlphaStep Logo

The word, "AlphaStep", describes Oriental Motor's patented Hybrid Control technology, which offers improved stepper motor performance by sensing the rotor position and automatically switching between open-loop and closed-loop operation when necessary.  First introduced in 1998 as the AS Series, the Alphastep Hybrid Control technology ushered in a new age where stepper motors can emulate servo performance at a lower cost.  Over the years, we improved the AlphaStep Hybrid Control technology with 2 major advancements to close the gap between stepper motors and servo motors even further.

This post explains the unique technologies offered within the AlphaStep family of products then summarizes the numerous integrated options available.  It also serves as a website navigation guide.  

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Topics: Stepper Motors, Absolute Positioning, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, VIDEOS, Gearheads, Software, Network

Understanding Preventive vs Predictive Maintenance: Which is More Efficient?

Posted by Johann Tang on Aug 20, 2019 2:58:24 PM

Along with the advancement of industrial technology, the method of maintaining motion control components of a machine, such as motors, drives, and sensors, has also evolved.  The most common method of maintaining a machine after a failure has occurred was the traditional method.  Realizing the need for improvement, maintenance personnel started to estimate life and replace motion control components before they fail.  More recently, with the advancement of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and real-time availability of status data, another method was born.  While the two newer methods have the same goal in eliminating machine downtime, only one does it efficiently.

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Topics: Stepper Motors, Linear & Rotary Actuators, VIDEOS, Network, Application Examples