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Machine Design

Software sizes linear motors and drives

Sizing linear motors and drives for motion-control jobs can be done by crunching through a few dozen equations on a calculator, or in a lot less time with the Parker Linear Sizing & Selection Tool.

Parker's Linear Sizing and Selection Tool lets users consider applying linear motors anywhere from horizontal to vertical applications.

Motion profiles can be linear or made of S curves. A previous screen allows editing each segment.

Picking on any of the listed motors pulls up its speed versus force plot and other calculations. The Motion Profile button let users modify inputs for new searches.

The software works just as you'd expect, so the learning curve is relatively gentle.

Users start at the Load & Application screen by selecting a motor or table as the search goal. Motors can be selected to drive equipment that operates anywhere from horizontal and vertical positions. For the coefficient-of-friction entry, hit the Ellipsis button and the software suggests values for bearings that run on air, cross rollers, and square and round rails. A unit calculator helps juggle English and SI units.

The motion profile takes the most time, but it's still straightforward. Users build it segment by segment. The program needs only two of four possible parameters for each segment: a final velocity, acceleration, incremental distance, or a time. Users add segments until they describe the entire profile. It can have linear and S-shaped sections.

An edit function lets users backtrack to update or change segments. After finishing the profile, the Search button sends the software off to find and list motors and drives that fit the design. The list tells how well the selected motor meets design requirements and even provides a cost indicator.

The Linear Sizing & Selection Tool is part of a three-program package. One of the other programs selects rotary motors and drives, and the third defines part numbers for components and interconnecting cables needed to put systems together. All three are available at no cost from Parker Hannifin, 5500 Business Park Dr., Rohnert Park, CA 94928, (800) 358-9070,

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