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

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

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

How Easy Is It to Make a Robot? (VIDEO)

Posted by Johann Tang on Jul 19, 2019 8:31:19 PM

Robot adoption is increasing in many industries due to global efforts in reducing long term costs, maintaining quality, and freeing up time for humans to do "human" tasks.  For example, by using a robot to clean floors or restock shelves in a supermarket, human employees can spend more time helping or selling to their customers.  A company can either tap into this robotic trend by buying ready-made robots, or by making their own with less cost.  If engineering resources are limited, selecting the right components can reduce the difficulty and time for the build.

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

Why Rack & Pinion Systems Should Be Considered for High Load, Long Stroke Applications (VIDEO)

Posted by Johann Tang on Jul 2, 2019 3:25:24 PM

There are many mechanisms that convert rotary motion of an electric motor to linear motion, such as belt/chain drives, screw drives, rack & pinion drives and even CAM drives.  Each mechanism offers advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right technology can help increase load, speed, travel distance, or positioning accuracy.

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Topics: Absolute Positioning, Alphastep Hybrid Control, Linear & Rotary Actuators, VIDEOS, Vertical Lifts, Application Examples

Introduction to MEXE02 Support Software (VIDEO)

Posted by Johann Tang on Mar 12, 2019 7:30:00 AM

The MEXE02 support software is a universal motion control and monitor software used with many products from Oriental Motor, such as the stepper motor drivers from AZ Series, AR Series, and RK2 Series, or brushless DC motor drivers from BLE2 Series and BX2 Series.  This post is useful for first-time users to gain a quick understanding of the software and what it can do.


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Topics: Stepper Motors, Linear & Rotary Actuators, Speed Control, VIDEOS, BLDC Motors, Software, Servo Motors