Curtiss-Wright Awarded Contract from Federal Equipment Company


Shelby, NCMarch 23, 2021

Curtiss-Wright Actuation Division today announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide Exlar® Electro-Mechanical Actuators to Federal Equipment Company in support of their weapons elevator systems for the Ford-class aircraft carrier program. Exlar actuators are used in several other mission critical areas on the Ford-class carriers, including the Jet Blast Defector, Integrated Catapult Control Station, and LSO actuation systems.

Exlar’s field proven Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) actuation products are used in a variety of industries and applications providing robust, reliable and energy efficient solutions. These COTS and Modified-COTS products and technologies are used in numerous naval and ground defense applications, as well as offering alternatives to fluid power options while providing lower total cost of ownership through energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and integration with automated control systems.

Federal Equipment Company (FEC) also uses the Exlar GSM Series integrated products as lock actuators for the weapons elevator systems they provide to the Ford carrier program on their CVN-78 and -79 ships. Phil Bowker, Curtiss-Wright Senior General Manager, Actuation Division stated, “We are proud to be able to continue to support both FEC, the US Navy, and its shipbuilder as the Navy modernizes its carrier fleet.”

Exlar is a business unit of Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division. For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Exlar business, please visit

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,200 people worldwide. For more information, visit

Originally posted at:

Curtis-Wright Launches Newest Sense and Control Actuator Model in the Exlar Actuator (SA) Series

Monday, 11 October 2021

Shelby, NC Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division today announced the release of its newest motor / actuators with integral controls, the Exlar® SA-R080 rotary and SA-L080 linear actuator. The SA-080 is the first frame size (80 mm) in the harsh environment control and sense family of industrial electromechanical actuators from Curtiss-Wright.

The SA series actuators offer force, precision, energy efficiency, and control while minimizing the additional cabling, external servo controls, and integration necessary with more traditional actuation solutions. The SA-L080 is capable of continuous force ratings up to 2330 lb-f (linear) and the SA-R080 is capable of torque up to 24.7l-in (rotary). Utilizing 18-32VDC input voltage, the SA series actuators’ compact form can be applied across a wide range of automation applications. In addition to integral controls, the SA series offers a corrosion resistant and sealed housing, a stainless-steel output shaft, and a wide operating temperature range, ensuring long life in rugged environments.

The SA-080 series’ features include: 

  • Integral power and control electronics optimized for high performance
  • Standard rear manual drive for emergency operation
  • Magnetic absolute encoder for closed loop feedback
  • Corrosion resistant epoxy housing
  • High pressure seal and rod scraper for ingress protection
  • Tested to MIL-STD-810G for environmental protection, corrosion resistance, vibration, and dust/sand ingress
  • RS-232 and CANopen communication protocol
  • SIL 3, Category 3 Safe Torque Off
  • Control I/O available to work in a variety of applications

The SA series actuators are suited for a variety of defense, industrial, and commercial applications where distributed precision motion control and the need to operate in harsh environments is required, such as in mobile equipment and other outdoor installations. In addition, electromechanical actuation offers better energy efficiency and less environmental impacts and maintenance compared to traditional fluid power alternatives.

Exlar is a business unit of Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division. For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Exlar business, please visit

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the Aerospace and Defense markets, and to the Commercial markets including Power, Process, and General Industrial. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,200 people worldwide. For more information, visit

Originally posted at:

Tri-Bot Linear Robots for Better, Faster Picking and Packing

May 20, 2020

Increasing demands for the rapid production of high-volume products have given rise to the popularity of delta robots in modern-day manufacturing. A delta robot consists of three lightweight arms connected to universal joints at the base. Macron Dynamics has innovated that design by utilizing our modular belt driven linear actuator components to provide the mobility required in a unique way. This solution is available as a kit with the belt-driven actuators and the connector kit and can be configured with various end-effectors.

A Brief History of Delta Robots

Animation of a Delta Robot

The delta robot was first introduced over 30 years ago. Inspired by a visit to a chocolate factory, Reymond Clavel and his team at the Robotics Systems Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne produced the first prototype of the delta robot in the mid 1980s. Having studied the production of chocolate pralines, Clavel and his team found the ideal high-speed robotic solution for repetitive labor applications.

As with any new technology, many manufacturers were hesitant to include the delta robot into their product line because they were skeptical about the return on investment (ROI) and how the tools would really increase productivity. However, today they are seen as an essential productivity-enhancing tool for many industrial manufacturers. With unparalleled pick-and-place, sorting, and other high-speed low-mass applications, delta robots are now a mainstream robotic solution.

While many manufacturers within the industry continue to rely on delta robots for faced-paced production of high-volume products, this automation often comes with steep capital investments and limited, inflexible capabilities that impact overall ROI. The Macron Dynamics Tri-Bot Linear Robot is helping manufacturers benefit from the fast, scalable, repeatable characteristics of traditional delta robots, but without some of the classic challenges of the technology.

Why Use a Tri-Bot?

  • Lower Cost: The Macron Dynamics Tri-Bot Linear Robot is a much more cost-effective option when compared to traditional delta robots. Often costing a fraction of the price, the Tri-Bot is affordable and the ROI for the purchase is realized sooner as a result.
  • Key Features: With payload capacity of 5kg and the ability to complete fast, repeatable movements of up to 125 picks per minute, manufacturers receive the same benefits of the traditional delta robot.
  • Flexibility: Compared to other competing linear solutions, our Tri-Bot can be configured to provide a larger range of work envelopes. Like all of Macron Dynamics’ linear robotics, this solution can be built on its own platform, engineered into your infrastructure, or outfitted with an array of end-effectors in order to meet the specific needs of your unique application.

Who Needs a Tri-Bot?

Many industries and applications can leverage the design of our Tri-Bot Linear Robot to increase productivity, worker safety, and overall capabilities.

According to National Sales Manager Michael Giunta, “Any application that can be improved with a reliable, repeatable, high-speed pick-and-pack solution for low to medium payloads is an excellent candidate for a Tri-Bot. Its ability to provide conveyor tracking and up to 125 picks per minute at a fraction of the cost of more traditional delta platforms is unbeatable.”

Learn more about Macron Dynamics’ Tri-Bot Linear Robot.

Originally posted at:

Automation Is Making The Fast Food Industry Faster

March 16, 2020 by Lisa Eitel

Recently Macron Dynamics’ National Sales Manager Michael G. Giunta was interviewed by Motion Control Tips: A Design World Resource about current automation trends burgeoning in the fast-food industry. This interview is excerpted here with permission.

To the relief of those who are indecisive at the drive through, McDonald’s Corp. will soon be ramping up its use of voice-activated order taking. That’s according to a Wall Street Journal report last year — which also details how designs coming to the restaurant also include automatic systems to operate the deep fryers for its chicken patties and nuggets, fish filets, and French fries. Of course, what we in the automation industry call machine-to-machine (M2M) networking already helps quick-service restaurants (QSRs) remotely monitor operational data related to food supplies as well as the status of restaurant refrigerators, security, and safes with many M2M functions even to levels qualifying as IIoT.

McDonald’s chief aim in applying automation and connectivity technologies is primarily to address wait times that have lengthened in recent years. Other fast-food chains and QSRs have begun using these technologies to boost safety and consistency. One company is using actuators to scoop up eggs and flip them over. Other companies are automating the process of placing items on buns, and all major chains are looking to automate tasks — even down to filling the beverages.

Macron Dynamics technology is helping Quick Serve Restaurants.

Fast-food automation deep dive with Macron Dynamics

In a recent conversation with Macron Dynamics national sales manager Michael G. Giunta about the quick-service restaurant industry, we learned more about how restaurant chains employ motion designs for physical tasks to optimize operations. Here’s what Giunta had to say on this growing industry for automation.

Eitel • Design World: When we think of fast food, we think efficiency. Of course, we’ve heard of self-operating dishwashers and semi-autonomous cook stations under testing in select pilot locations. How is automation already helping chains boost throughput of meals?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Efficiency is everything. After all, every restaurant is basically like a miniature factory … and the fact that there’s a menu means customers are essentially choosing from a catalog of options. QSRs face the same challenges as many U.S. factories in preparing products and getting them into customers’ hands with quality, consistency, accuracy, and quickness. This includes McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and Burger King. For example, most Panera Bread locations now have ordering kiosks. There are less front-counter staff as the kiosks are becoming a more efficient way of order taking.

Linear Automation is helping the fast-food business deliver a better, safer experience for guests and staff..

Eitel • Design World: A lot of consumer coverage of automation in QSRs includes imagery of collaborative robots as well as SCARAs tending fryers and the like. Are there places where these and other automated motion designs are already in place?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Though I can’t say much, I can state we’ll see more of these installations in the future. Some franchises are fully owned and operated by franchisees … and some of these restaurants will ultimately make their own decisions about when to automate. In other instances, corporate mandates could spur the adoption of more technology by owner-operators.

In fact, European fast-food locations that face relatively high labor costs will likely lead adoption. It’s the job of motion-component and system suppliers such as Macron Dynamics to help these companies develop the technology … though a caveat is that the technology must be cost competitive.

Macron Dynamics Robotic transport units.

Eitel • Design World: The National Restaurant Association cites a labor shortage for quick-service chains. Where have you seen automation help address this issue?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: There’s definitely a shortage of labor in the workplace, so restaurants must often fight for whoever is left in the labor pool. Many QSRs keep business afloat by employing minimal staff at every location.

Reconsider kiosks: These mean workers aren’t forced to sit behind registers all day … which in turn frees these employees to help prepare food and assist customers with seating. Automation also helps prevent the biggest source of complaint customers have — orders that aren’t correct. Again, kiosks let customers enter orders how they want … and if the order is wrong, it’s kind of on them. They’re the ones who entered the field with the data.

Eitel • Design World: Most people probably aren’t aware of how much McDonald’s beverage fulfillment is automated.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: At most McDonald’s restaurants there is a machine with a carousel that drops cups onto an indexer with a small conveyor to the right of the beverage location. The system fills the cups with ice and the correct fluid volumes. Then the person working at the drive through just needs to put a lid on the cup and hand it to the customer. Soon we’ll see similar systems for coffee drinks.

Eitel • Design World: Labor unions warn that automation could eliminate jobs. If that’s not true, how can industry help assuage concerns? Give some examples of technologies complementing the efforts of employees.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Well, consider Chick-fil-A, which publicly advertises all the time about service and quality and consistency. McDonald’s touts these values as well. Both companies aim for continual improvement of efficiency and consistency … especially for their most popular items such as chicken tenders and nuggets. At McDonald’s, one of the most-sold products is actually chicken nuggets.

Eitel • Design World: What? I never would have guessed.

Automation powering the drink dispensing process.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: I didn’t always know that either. But chicken nuggets and French fries are top orders … I mean, everybody gets fries. So automation makes a lot of sense for these high-volume items because machines can completely prevent cross contamination. More specifically, there’s zero risk of an employee accidentally putting a fish filet into the oil vat meant for fries. Most people won’t know this, but those vats of oil are application specific — and you don’t want to cross contaminate.

Macron Dynamics has helped develop a linear robot for the industry to execute the accurate transfer of product in and out of the fryers for chicken nuggets, breaded chicken sandwiches, fish filets, and French fries. This delivery system includes an automatic way of getting food out of the freezer, putting it into a basket, putting the basket into the oil, taking the basket out of the oil at the exact amount of time, and dumping it into either a basket or tray — to let a person grab the items for garnishing and wrapping.

In practice, Cartesian systems for these settings install behind a shield to prevent any oil from splashing on employees.

Eitel • Design World: To be clear — when you say linear robot — is that another term for Cartesian robot?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Yes, that’s correct. Just consider the motion of a fryer basket going in and out of a fryer: It’s going up and going down and left and right — and that’s it. It doesn’t require a six-axis robot to do this simple linear motion. In fact, it’s our perspective that many of the repetitive processes associated with frying foods and delivering ice into a cup and so forth are very linear moves and not complex enough to justify the high-tech motions that a human or 6-DOF robot can do.

Linear-based motion technologies shine here, as they come at a price point that’s far more economical than collaborative robots.

Eitel • Design World: So does the equipment around the Cartesian robot require customization to accommodate the grippers or hooks or whatever end effector you are using?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Yes indeed. Everything is as low technology as possible in order to grasp the metal fryer basket. Of course, there are any number of ways to grab a product —but in the case of baskets, a hook or a simple gripper is basically all the application needs. A high-technology end effector would be overkill, because again — the job is to grab what is essentially a piece of tooling. All the handles on these baskets are the same exact size, and they don’t change — so the automated system is repeating the process over and over and over and over again.

Eitel • Design World: Do automated systems perform jobs as well as actual employees?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Automation does indeed improve food quality. Picture a restaurant’s lunch-hour rush with employees running around and a drive through that’s going crazy. People in the restaurant’s front area are ordering off kiosks and from employees … and there’s a huge spike in food-order volume. All fast-food chains deal with this.

What happens? Employees rush to get meals to customers as quickly as possible — so in some cases, they may take French fries out of the fryer too soon. In other cases, if they become busy helping customers, they may take the French fries out too late. The whole situation makes for inconsistent French-fry quality. In contrast, putting oil-vat operations on exact timers is perfect every cycle.

Another factor that makes the automation of French-fry cooking so successful is that QSRs all standardize their potato cuts’ shape and size — so a preset cook time yields the same consistency … whether you’re in Chicago or South Carolina.

Eitel • Design World: Unfortunately, accidents and injuries such as burns do happen. That’s exacerbated by the fact that many fast-food restaurant workers are there for temporary work. One study found that Panera Bread loses 100% of its employees every year. How exactly does automation help boost safety for even inexperienced employees?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Fryers are especially dangerous because of the hot oil — and because a lot of times, the floor near the fryer can become slippery. So protecting humans from this immediate environment efficiently renders QSR working conditions safer. That’s especially relevant to restaurants that aim to provide empowering work to individuals with developing skill sets and learning disabilities. It’s absolutely a priority that no one gets hurt. So designs based on linear robots are already helping eliminate one of the most dangerous areas.

Eitel • Design World: When the product is a $3 sandwich, it’s got to be hard for some franchisees to justify the upfront cost of automating tasks.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Another challenge for QSRs besides cost is space. Just think about the land a restaurant uses and where these QSRs are usually located. The owner can’t just say, “I’m going to blow up the back of my McDonald’s and add an addition.” That’s because they’re usually landlocked and must accommodate a drive through … and some of these restaurants are in densely packed cities. So retrofitting for automation usually requires replacement of existing equipment with new automated equipment that’s identical in size. That’s a big problem for solutions based on collaborative robots and conventional 6-DOF robots … because even though they’re compact, the actual motions they execute takes up a lot of space.

Eitel • Design World: So Cartesian robots must shine here. What exactly do such linear-motion systems look like? Do they hang from above like a gantry? Or is the Cartesian setup mounted to the wall behind the fryers?
Giunta • Macron Dynamics: There are certainly different ways to automate these areas … though the solution must usually fit into an existing space. Few restaurants could mount robotics from above, because most cooking stations require large kitchen hoods to vent smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some Cartesian systems might mount from below or on the side of the cook station; it depends on the exact equipment type, model, and location. One thing to remember is that with Cartesian designs, the product orientation is irrelevant, as the design can run in any direction to satisfy specific applications.

Eitel • Design World: These new applications for motion systems and other automation seems to bend our regular industry definitions. For example, should we call kiosks HMIs? Does automation behind the counter count as bin picking and conveyance?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Most people probably couldn’t succinctly define the term automation anymore, because today we have automated designs that people never would have imagined 40 years ago. Automation is in entertainment — just think of Disney and Universal Studios virtual-reality rides — and now fast food and even in our homes. It is mind boggling that we can now open our cell phones with facial recognition to tell Google with our voice to adjust the thermostat. My own Nest doorbell tells me when packages are delivered. I define that as automation employing software and hardware.

Eitel • Design World: Right. Now we just need robots to shuttle our Amazon Prime orders to safety when the UPS guy can’t get into the garage. Or maybe one day we’ll see automated platforms complementing Ring doorbells to launch porch pirates away.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Just flip them onto the grass — very gently of course.

For your next automation system project, explore Linear Robots as an economical solution. For help selecting the right Linear Robot for your unique needs, please contact one of our expert representatives located near you.

Originally posted at:

Macron Dynamics is Growing. Grow with Us!

Macron Dynamics begins 2020 with growth in mind.

Strong demand for linear and mechanical motion components and systems is providing Macron Dynamics with a strong growth outlook for 2020. To manufacture the volume of components used in automation solutions for clients throughout the U.S. and around the globe Macron Dynamics plans to double its plant capacity and needs skilled team members to join its Croydon, PA manufacturing team.

Featured in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, Macron Dynamics is set to prosper supporting a diverse list of industries ranging from high-volume bakeries, pharmacies to e-commerce warehouses. “Right now the best markets are warehousing, moving products quickly through buildings and sorting food and beverage,” noted Craig Marshall, COO of Macron Dynamics.

If mechanical automation can be used to streamline a manually intensive process and help clients control their labor costs, Macron Dynamics has an answer.

Serving Alternative Needs With Automation

Material Handling & Packaging Automation might be a big market driving growth in 2020, but other higher-profile projects also drive growth, like the development of the three-dimensional Coca-Cola billboard in Times Square, which uses 1,760 belt drivers to create a visually distinctive billboard experience.

Originally posted at:

Macron Dynamics Releases New MRG Right Angle Gearboxes

Macron Dynamics, Inc. just updated and expanded its line of planetary gearboxes with the new MRG Right Angle Gearboxes. This product-line expansion complements the Improved MPG Inline Planetary Gearboxes.

Macron Right Angle Gearbox

Macron Dynamics’ gearboxes are designed to eliminate the need for motor mounts used in a typical linear actuator drive system setup. Similar to the MPG line of in-line planetary gearboxes, the MRG gearboxes offer a direct bolt-on installation for all Macron Dynamic linear actuators and gantry systems.

The lightweight design:

  • eliminates the need for couplings and large mounting brackets
  • makes the actuator and drive assembly a seamless integral unit
  • require little to no maintenance
  • offers a single screw clamping collar attachment for the pulley housing

The MRG line shares many similarities with the MPG in-line planetary gearboxes, including integrating with the same actuators and sharing the same max motor input shaft diameter. Output torque between the MPG and MRG lines does differ slightly.

MPG-084 Cutaway Diagram

Released in Fall 2018, the MPG inline planetary gearboxes were improved to have a single clamping collar attachment which matches the Macron pulley housing precisely. MPG gearboxes have gears designed for infinite life when operated at the rated torque. Bearings and lubricants are selected to achieve maintenance-free operation for long operating periods.

Both the MPG and MRG gearboxes are available for a wide variety of Macron Dynamics belt drive and screw driven actuators

Originally posted at:

How to Size a Linear Drive for Precision Positioning Applications

Reap the benefits of low noise and high precision with a properly sized linear drive system

If you design motion control systems, chances are you’ve worked with pulse width modulated (PWM) drives. Thanks to their stability, availability and familiarity, PWM drives are the default choice in most day-to-day motion control jobs. But PWM drives tend to be noisy, producing a degree of electromagnetic interference (EMI) that makes them less than ideal in some high- f idelity motion applications.

These noise-sensitive applications include advanced inspection and metrology tools used by the semiconductor industry as well as medical imaging and diagnostic systems. And that’s where linear drives come into play. Rather than the continuous voltage switching that defines PWM, linear drives scale an input voltage to arrive at a desired current or voltage output.

This constant gain approach results in fast, accurate current loops and also eliminates any deadband at the drive’s zero crossing, giving linear drives an edge in high precision motion control applications.

The price you’ll pay for the improved precision will mostly come in the form of heat. Linear drives typically maintain small amounts of power inside the drive circuits, increasing heat. Excess voltage not needed by the motor is also dissipated as heat. To manage these thermal conditions while meeting the application requirements, it’s crucially important that you size linear drives correctly. Here’s how:

1. Define System Requirements

Right-sizing a linear drive to match a motion control application is a multi-step process due to the many factors that influence system behavior. The most important system variables from a sizing standpoint are:

• Peak motor velocity in RPM

• Peak motor torque or force

• Average velocity and torque values

Load characteristics and friction effects are implicit in the motor, torque and force requirements. You’ll also need to take the motion profile into consideration when calculating both peak and average torque requirements. For example, a trapezoidal profile requires constant torque until peak velocity is reached. In contrast, an S-curve or parabolic profile requires gradually less torque as the move sequence approaches peak velocity. To obtain actual application values, torque must be calculated for each motion profile that will be executed—because average torque must be known in order to determine average power dissipation.

2. Select a Motor and Drive

Once the required motion parameters are defined, it is time to make the initial motor and drive selection. First, choose a motor family capable of satisfying peak torque and speed requirements. Next, calculate the required voltage and current for each motor in the system and look for a matching drive that can handle these voltage and current values. Note that the required voltage is based on the voltage constant (Ke) and peak speed, while the required current is based on the torque constant (Kt), peak torque and resistive losses. Consult the lookup chart or specification sheet of the linear drive being considered to see if there is a match. If not, either another motor or a different drive will need to be selected.

Consider the following example. From the desired motion profile, we know that:

Peak velocity = 400 mm/s (0.4 m/s)

Peak torque = 1344 N

Stage mass = 280 kg

Motor Properties:

Voltage constant (Ke) = 163.5 m/s/V

Torque constant (Kt) = 141.6 N/A

Winding resistance (r) = 9.5 Ω

Voltage and Current Requirements:

Peak current required (Ipeak) = Peak torque/Kt Ipeak = 1344 N/141.6 N/A = 9.5 A

Peak voltage (Vpeak) = (Ke × peak velocity) + (winding resistance (r) × Ipeak ) + drive overhead (10 V safety margin for the Trust Automation TA330/333 linear drive used in this example)

Vpeak = (163.5 m/s/V × 0.4 m) + (9.5 Ω × 9.5 A) + 10 V = 165.6 V

Bi-polar power supply requirement = 1/2 Vpeak = 0.5 × 165.6 V = 82.8 V

In this example, the calculated voltage and current values of 165.6 V and 9.5 A are within the TA333’s capability. (TA333 = 25 A and 200 V; TA330 = 18 A and 150 V). The voltage is slightly higher than the TA330’s capability (150 V), so the TA333 is necessary to meet the 165.6 V requirement. Note that this calculation exercise can be done to check the suitability of any linear drive.

3. Determine Safe Operating Area (SOA)

Once you’ve made the initial linear drive selection, the safe operating area (SOA) for the application must be calculated to ensure that the power does not surpass the drive’s capacity.

Although certain linear drives feature a reactive safety capability, if the SOA is exceeded significantly and quickly, the drive may not be able to shut down in time to prevent damage. Basically, a linear drive acts as a large variable resistor in the supply-motor-drive circuit. Supply voltage is divided between the motor and drive with the current in series, using a pair of power devices and the motor. It is important to be aware of two of the most common danger conditions—stalls and dynamic breaking and deceleration.

Following are examples and calculations of these two danger scenarios, one involving a stalled motor and the other illustrating a dynamic stopping motion. Note that the TA330 and TA333 used in these examples calculate wattage per power device. At least two power devices are on at any time, so the individual worst case wattage is half the total wattage.

Safe Operating Area (SOA)

Supply Current 500 ms max @18 A 18 10 6 1 400 W, 25 ms @ 70ºC the TA330 and TA333 used in these examples calculate wattage per power device. At least two power devices are on at any time, so the individual worst case wattage is half the total wattage. 600 W, 25 ms @ 25ºC 1 10 75 100 Drive Voltage

Danger Scenario I—Stalled Motor

Consider that the motor is stalled and pushing against a hard stop while the controller is commanding 9.5 A. Known values are as follows:

Vsupply = 192 V (total supply voltage)

Icommand = 9.5 A (commanded current)

Winding resistance = 9.5 Ω (motor impedance)

Temperature = 30°C (heatsink temperature)


Vmotor = 90.3 V (motor voltage = 9.5 A × 9.5 Ω)

Vdrive = 101.7 V (remaining voltage = 192 V − 90.3 V)

Wdrive = 966.6 W (total wattage the drive must dissipate)

W per device = 483.3 W (wattage for use in SOA chart; half of total wattage)

According to the TA333 SOA chart that covers wattage, time and temperature, 483.3 W at 30°C is within the continuous operation zone. Be sure to ask your linear drive manufacturer for the SOA chart or spec sheet that corresponds to the drive you are considering.

Danger Scenario II—Dynamic Stopping

Whenever motion is involved, wattage calculations become much more complex. This complexity is due to the kinetic energy involved in moving the load. When the controller sends a command to stop moving, kinetic energy must be dissipated. In a traditional PWM drive setup, kinetic energy is pushed back onto the power supply bus and a shunt regulator is typically used to dissipate this energy. With a linear drive, the kinetic energy is absorbed by the drive itself, but must be dissipated as heat. This energy must be added to the energy required by the drive to stop all motion.

The exact amount of kinetic energy to be absorbed is challenging to calculate, because system efficiency and friction are large variables that must be considered. For example, an ultra-low friction air bearing stage may retain close to 100 percent of this energy, while a high friction lead screw stage might only retain 5 percent of this energy.

In the following example, linear deceleration is assumed. Average kinetic energy over the stopping time is used in these calculations and is applied at the point when the motor stops, but the command current is still going:

Kinetic energy (KE) = 0.5 × mv2 (KE is expressed in joules)

Wattage = (KE/2)/time (assuming linear deceleration)

Adjusted wattage = wattage × friction factor


m = mass (Kg)

v = velocity (m/s)

KE units = joules (J)

t = time to stop motion

Friction factor % = estimated energy lost to friction (ff)

Known Values:

Mass = 280 Kg

Velocity = 0.4 m/s

Time = 0.1 s

f f = 90%

Calculated Values:

KE = 0.5 × 280 Kg × (0.4 m/s)2 = 22.4 J

W = (22.4 J/2)/0.1 s = 112 W

W adjusted = 90% × 224 W = 100.8

The kinetic energy value should now be added to the stalled wattage equation to obtain a rough estimate of the wattage the drive will need to dissipate when stopping. This energy must be added to the individual power device wattage because it is not shared energy. From the stalled motor calculations in the previous example, we take the 483.3 W and add the KE wattage of 100.8 W. The result is a 584.1 W thermal load on the drive. Not all linear drives are designed to measure kinetic energy. Nevertheless, it is extremely important for system designers to consider these calculations when setting up a motion system.

4. Calculate Continuous Dissipation

As the final step in choosing a correctly sized linear drive, it is important to calculate the continuous operating limits to ensure that average wattage is not exceeded, which could damage the drive and degrade overall system performance. Keep in mind that average velocity and torque are calculated in relation to time. To keep things simple, assume a trapezoidal motion profile and use half the torque and velocity during acceleration and deceleration.

Using these values, generate a timetable with the system’s torque and velocity for the move profile. Be sure to include all cycle times and dwell times. Multiply the time value by the torque value and sum all steps, then divide by the total time for the average torque value. Repeat with velocity to obtain the average. Next, use these average numbers to calculate wattage in the same manner as the first example described previously.

Average current required (I) = Average torque/Kt

Average voltage required (V) = (Ke × average velocity) + (winding resistance × average current required)

Average wattage dissipated = (Supply voltage – average voltage) × average current


Supply voltage = 192 V

Average torque = 247.1N

Average velocity = 0.18 m/s

Using the Selected Motor Properties:

Voltage constant (Ke) = 163.5 m/s/V

Torque constant (Kt) = 141.6 N/A

Winding resistance (r) = 9.5 Ω

Average current required (I) = Average torque/Kt Average voltage required (V) = (Ke × average velocity) + (winding resistance × average current required)

Motor I = 247.1 N/141.6 N/A = 1.74 A

Motor V = (163.5 × 0.18) + (9.5 Ω × 1.74 A) = 46.3 V

Total drive W = (192 – 46.3) × 1.74 = 254.2 W

The final step is to verify that the average heatsink wattage does not exceed 400 W with the heatsink at 20°C (for the TA330 and TA333 linear drives discussed here). Calculated results must be evaluated against the drive’s SOA chart. In the example used here, calculated peak wattage is 584.1 W for a duration of 0.1 s (100 ms).

According to the TA330 SOA chart, 584.1 W in continuous operation corresponds with a heatsink temperature up to 29°C. At 30-34°C, the controller would allow 61 ms prior to generating a fault. Note that the allowed time decreases as temperature rises. Therefore, if the heatsink temperature is allowed to climb above 29°C, driving for 100 ms, the drive could be damaged.

Studying the TA333 SOA chart, 584.1 W in continuous operation corresponds with a heatsink temperature up to 49°C. At 50-54°C, the controller would allow 84 ms prior to generating a fault. In this case, if the heatsink temperature is allowed to climb above 49°C, the drive could be damaged.

The tips and calculations described here are intended to help you make an informed choice when selecting a linear drive. Once the actual system is up and running, however, these values should be analyzed again to optimize drive performance. To learn how linear drives can improve positioning in your next motion control application, visit

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Trust Automation to Provide Cybersecurity Solutions for Legacy Industrial Control Systems

Trust Automation Inc., a leading supplier of automation technology for defense and industrial applications, has announced it will offer a novel new cybersecurity solution for industrial control systems (ICS).

Working through the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, Trust has obtained an exclusive license to the Autonomic Intelligent Cyber Sensor (AICS) technology developed by Idaho National Laboratories.

AICS brings autonomous, real-time cybersecurity measures to the legacy ICS networks that still control much of the United States’ critical energy, water and transportation infrastructure. “AICS is a key enabling technology in the protection of aging, yet still critical, infrastructure that wasn’t designed to withstand cyberattacks,” says Trust Automation CEO and CTO, Ty Safreno.

At its core, AICS technology employs autonomic computing techniques and a service-oriented architecture to discover ICS network entity information, deploy deceptive virtual hosts and identify anomalous network traffic with high accuracy. AICS is compatible with SerialTap™, a patented sensor that passively monitors the serial communications employed by most legacy ICS networks.

The exclusive license enables Trust Automation to use AICS to upgrade the cyber defenses of vulnerable legacy critical infrastructure systems—including natural gas distribution, water distribution and management, electrical grid systems and transportation. The move builds on Trust Automation’s extensive experience with control and power-management systems for semiconductor, defense and green technology applications.

For more information, visit

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Partnering with Cynash on Advanced Industrial Cybersecurity Platform

We’re excited to announce our recent partnership with Cynash on a next-generation cybersecurity platform that can detect and mitigate cyberattacks on the industrial control systems that run energy, water, transportation and industrial infrastructure.

The platform builds on Cynash’s SerialTap™ sensor that passively monitors the serial communications used by many of the world’s industrial control systems. SerialTap™ can now pass the monitored traffic to our AICS machine learning system—enabling us to solve more extensive security challenges using advanced techniques in anomaly detection and behavioral analysis.

Both technologies separately won prestigious R&D 100 Awards—SerialTap™ in 2017 and AICS for 2018.

They also started as applied research and development efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories. Their commercialization is the direct result of the Transition-to-Practice (TTP) Program—an initiative run by Dr. Nadia Carlsten at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that identifies emerging technologies that have national security applications.

To learn more about, read our latest press release.

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Trust Automation Contributes to the Development of Life Saving Drones Delivering Vital Medical Supplies to Rwanda

Trust Automation, Inc., known for standard and custom high efficiency motors and controls as well as support system solutions, today announced that it has designed and manufactured a custom system that contributes to the successful flights of drones that deliver lifesaving medical supplies to people who live in isolated territories of Rwanda. The drones have been developed by Zipline an autonomous robotics company based in San Francisco.

In Rwanda, medical supplies such as blood transfusions, antibiotics, vaccines, or antivenoms that are needed by patients in difficult to access areas take hours to deliver and sometimes can’t be delivered at all resulting in a significant amount of lost lives.

The founders of Zipline, are responding to this dire humanitarian need by developing a small launching hub and a fleet of 15 autonomous drones. With their pioneering aerospace solution; medical personnel can send Zipline a text message and a drone will respond with an airdrop containing the critical supplies within 30 minutes. The drone will send a message to the health center when it is two minutes away and the package, equipped with a parachute, will carefully float to the ground without the drone landing. The aircraft then returns to the launch site.

Trust Automation, known for inventing systems to meet complex challenges contributed to the Zipline system by collaborating with the team of engineers at Zipline with our motor control and system expertise.

“With the success of this project in Rwanda, we are looking forward to the many future possibilities this technology will offer,” said Ty Safreno, CEO and CTO for Trust Automation. “People in more countries can be saved, quality of life can be improved, and economic development opportunities can be supported with the expansion of this unique drone system providing access of materials to otherwise isolated areas.”

The Zipline drones will use GPS receivers to navigate and communicate via the Rwandan cellular network. They will be able to fly in inclement weather and winds up to 30 miles per hour. They are the most agile airborne alternative to automate supply chains.

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