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Stator eliminates air gaps in rotary actuator.

A new rotary actuator (also called a rotary solenoid) promises to boost speed, precision and response while slashing costs by one third, thanks to a new stator design. Developed by Pangolin Laser Systems, a producer of laser show software and control hardware, the VRAD-1510 costs $99.

Although Pangolin developed the VRAD for high-speed laser scanning and lighting gear, the company's chief technology officer, William Benner, said it could be used in other electromechanical applications. These range from automotive systems, machinery, and robots to HVAC, valves, and vending machines.

The key to the new rotary stator is Pangolin's patent pending stator design, which eliminates the air gaps that interfere with a motor's magnetic field. It uses a series of asymmetrical, interleaved laminations that are inexpensive to make and that assemble easily.

"VRAD is a game-changer," Benner claimed. "By rethinking the stator design, we've developed a more versatile, compact, and durable rotary solenoid that we are manufacturing at much lower cost than competing products."

The new design has two separately accessible coils that may be driven in series, in parallel, or separately. "This opens up many options in how the device can be employed. For example, instead of using two coils to produce torque, one can be used for velocity sensing or dynamic breaking," Benner said.

The new design precludes the need for mechanical stops on shaft rotation, which vastly reduces noise, wear, and vibration. Shaft rotation is greater than 120 degrees from the neutral position. The actuator comes with front and rear shafts, allowing multiple points of attachment or the use of an encoder or position sensor for closed loop operation.

Customers can configure all key parameters, including torque factor, magnetic spring stiffness, coil resistance and inductance, shaft diameter and length, bearing preload, and temperature operating range.

This section was edited by Associate Editor Alan S. Brown.

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Title Annotation:TECH FOCUS
Comment:Stator eliminates air gaps in rotary actuator.(TECH FOCUS)
Author:Brown, Alan S.
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2012
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