Motion System Design
Design by Objective: Quiet Operation

Design by Objective: Quiet Operation

Noisy work environments can take a toll on both equipment and human operators. Quelling the impacts of shock, vibration, and loud sounds takes careful design strategies and the right arsenal of specialized components. Showcased here are several new products, a marine-friendly ISO initiative, and a case study about those comfortable airline seats most of us walk by on our way back to coach.

Solution snapshot:
Engineers tackle seat systems and stowage bins in pursuit of quiet comfort

If you ever wish that airline travel were more comfortable and less annoying, you’re not alone.

Creative engineering is attempting to tackle some issues, at least. ITT Enidine and ITT Enivate of ITT Corp., White Plains, N.Y., have developed power seat actuation systems and load-sensing stowage bin controls to make airline travel less stressful.

The image 3D rendering of the design shown here illustrates the quiet-operating SkyMotion seat actuation system under a premier-class seat. Included are the master control unit as well as brushless dc motors and actuators in the background.

ITT Enivate’s new SkyMotion power seat actuation system, which includes all the devices that control the motion of premium-class seats, is quieter than other designs. It consists of rotary and linear actuators in a range of output forces, a master control unit with integral power supply, a pneumatic high-flow lumbar system with active deflation, and a positive lock.

The latter replaces friction brakes and addresses airline industry guideline ARP 5526C without external latches. What’s more, the overall actuation system is 10% lighter weight and up to 5 dBA quieter than prior designs. The SkyMotion system also includes auto-calibrated actuators that mechanics can replace in minutes:

Three-color LED indicator lights on seat actuators alert mechanics to operating conditions without the need for external diagnostic readouts. The stowage bin controls from ITT Enidine are telescoping hydraulic dampers that regulate bin speed and angle during opening and closing by regulating flow through the control’s piston head, to continuously adjust to baggage weight. “A stowage bin equipped with our technology deploys at the same speed regardless of the weight inside the bin,” says Tim Boerschig, engineering specialist.

The controls allow aircraft makers to raise the height of overhead bins and increase capacity to 181 lb. These rugged rate controls are industry standard on the 787 Dreamliner, 747-8, and Next-Generation 737 with the Boeing Sky Interior. Aircraft makers also use the technology for controlling the deployment of large stowage ceiling compartments that hold life rafts and other items.

For more information, visit

Rubber mountings damp shock and vibration

Bell-shaped rubber mountings from Advanced Antivibration Components damp shock and vibration for static loads of 432 to 1,956 lb-ft.

The V12Z55M062M Series mounts are made from a combination of natural rubber and a styrene-butadiene rubber compound for superior pliability and elasticity. Of the 12 isolators in the series, two have four-hole mounting and 10 have two-hole mounting. All feature a welded steel-plated nut at the top of the housing. Typical applications include use under controllers, motors, compressors, and other medium-load equipment.

Advanced Antivibration Components
(516) 328-3662

Cable carrier redesign features quieter operation

The System E6 Energy Chain cable carrier is known for its low-vibration, low-noise operation. Now the redesigned System E6.1 is easier to assemble and weighs 37% less than its predecessor. Carriers are also abrasion resistant, suitable for cleanroom applications up to ISO Class 1 - IPA. The elastic polymer spring elements that connect the carrier's side parts prevent relative movements between the joints. Because the classic bolthole connection is no longer used, friction and abrasion are significantly reduced, even after millions of rolling cycles.

igus Inc.
(800) 521-2747

Right-angle drives feature quiet spiral bevel gears

Quiet-running Crown gear drives incorporate heat-treated AGMA Class 10 gears, stainless-steel shafts, and precision-hardened ground ball bearings capable of speeds to 2,000 rpm. Hand-shimmed and assembled for bearing and gear alignment, the drives are also pre-lubricated and then enclosed in an anodized aluminum housing to ensure that gears stay permanently aligned, lubricated, and free of contamination. Crown drives are suitable for use in food processing, packaging, and material handling systems. Standard models are available with 1:1 and 2:1 speed ratios in shaft diameter combinations of 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 in.

Zero-Max Inc.
(800) 533-1731

ISO standards help measure noisy seas

Noise generated by human use of oceans and other waterways can be harmful to the marine environment. Sound sources include commercial and cruise ships, military ships and submarines, air guns used for minerals exploration, water sports, active sonar, offshore energy sources, and construction projects. To help quantify this noise, and establish standards for the generation and transmission of underwater sound, ISO has formed a new subcommittee, SC 3, within technical committee ISO/TC 43, Acoustics. The committee has already developed its first standard, ISO/PAS 17208-1:2012, Acoustics - Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater sound from ships. The document can be used to demonstrate compliance with contract requirements, enable periodic assessments, and support research and development. For more information, visit

Quiet-running ball rail system resists corrosion

The new NFRG ball rail system is suitable for use in humid or wet production environments, and includes an optimized ball rail and recirculation design that results in smoother, quieter operation. The profiled rail and ball runner block are made of corrosion-resistant steel according to DIN EN 10088 and of certified plastics according to EU Directive 2002/72/EC and US Regulation FDA21CFR. Systems are offered in five sizes and are compliant to corrosion resistance class 2 and hygiene class 3.

Bosch Rexroth AG
(847) 645-3600

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