Insights from industry

The Benefits of Micro-Linear Motors and their Industrial Applications

In this interview, AzoSensors speaks with Celera Motion's David Lancisi, Director of Engineering Integrated Solutions, and Rob Mastromattei, Solutions Specialist Director, about how integrating micro-linear motors benefits the medical industry.

Can you give a brief overview of Celera Motion and the work you do?

DL: My role as Director of Engineering Integrated Solutions is to lead a team that creates unique, cutting edge solutions for our customers.  These are typically electromagnetic based assemblies that are designed to enable our customers’ development of new products and solutions in their respective fields.

RM: I am a Solutions Specialist Director, or the technical sales leader, which involves meeting with key customers and helping them design mechatronic solutions using Celera Motion products. The role includes training sales engineers and assisting product marketing initiatives.

Which industries are currently benefitting most from your motion control solutions?

DL: We are able to help all industries that use motion due to the fact that we are electromagnetic experts. Celera Motion can integrate magnetics and mechanical components in unique ways to design better, higher performing, cost effective solutions for our customers.

Can you give me an example of how the medical industry has benefitted from your motion control solutions?

RM: We provide motor and encoder components that allow customers to highly integrate their mechatronic assemblies. One particular challenge involved integrating multiple linear motor actuators into a tight package, where the components could work together to focus a beam. Multiple motors needed to work within 1 mm of each other, without interfering with the adjacent motor. Benefits to the solution included a small form factor, direct drive simplicity and performance, high accuracy and reliability, and reduced complexity.

Image Credits:

DL: To follow what Rob said, an example of this would be the integration of micro-linear motors in the radiation therapy field. Our ability to design virtual any style of electromagnetic motor has allows us to integrate them into a high density array, in order to provide many motion axes in a compact form for beam collimation.  This has allowed our customers to develop machines that can radiate cancer tumors with a high degree of accuracy.

What was the main challenge when you were first asked to solve this?

DL: The main challenge for this application was creating motors with a high force constant without an interaction from one axis to the next.  Each axis has to be precisely controlled in order to get the desired overall system accuracy.

RM: Yes, this combination within a highly integrated design posed many overlapping challenges. We had to overcome thermal issues, magnetic cross coupling, encoder integration, electrical servo control issues, mechanical bearing fits, and vibration.

How did you solve this challenge?

DL: This was solved primarily through the use of 3D magnetic analysis coupled with a unique approach to magnet shaping.  This helped create required B fields in the device allowing the motors to perform as desired.

How does the Javelin™ Series linear motion work?

DL: The Javelin™ Series is an air core linear motor product family that has both double sided and single sided products, which serve the high precision positioning market.  These are micro-positioners that can easily be integrated into compact assemblies providing motion in a tiny package. These are three-phase motors that use high energy magnets placed on a stationary track.  When connected to a motor controller, the phases are energized to create motion.

RM: Typical applications for linear motion use lead screws and rotary motors, or air cylinders.  These technologies are larger in format, slower, less accurate, and have more parts, which reduces reliability. Javelin™ motors are unique because of their low profile and single sided magnetic design. They are also iron-less, providing zero torque ripple Javelin™ motors are easily nested in to a multi-axis array, allowing the closest spacing available.

Javelin™ Double Sided

Javelin™ Double Sided (Credits: Celera Motion)

How does this differ from alternative methods industries are using?

DL: Traditional systems that convert rotary to linear motion (lead screw or belt driven assemblies) are not as accurate and have undesirable component wear. Linear motors when coupled up with motor controllers and high resolution encoders provide a higher level of system accuracy.  

What’s next for Celera Motion?

RM: We are company that wants to continue to deliver customized mechatronic solutions for OEM customers. Our motor and encoder components are the foundation of these solutions. Our engineering knowledge and technology expertise continues to set us apart from the competition. The majority of motion control suppliers provide customers with an off the shelf product. This ultimately limits design options and reduces the customer’s ability to differentiate their product or machine. Celera Motion has the high tech components and engineering horsepower to solve critical motion problems with unique advantages, enabling customers to win in the markets they serve.

About David Lancisi

David Lancisi is the Engineering Director of Integrated Solutions at Celera Motion.  David’s main focus is creating and developing unique electromagnetic solutions for Celera Motion customers, allowing them to develop cutting edge products through innovation and advanced manufacturing processes.  David has been in the motion control industry for over 30 years and spent most of his career developing motors, motorized assemblies, and automation equipment for data storage, semiconductor, and biotech companies.   He also spent 4 years residing in Asia focused on high volume manufacturing of high tech components and assemblies.   As a founder of Applimotion, a company acquired by Celera Motion in 2015, David has helped develop many unique and cost effective solutions for customers.

These skills, coupled with an excellent engineering team and Celera Motion’s dedication to developing new and unique solutions for the motion control market, has proved to be a winning combination as the customer base continues to grow rapidly.

David Lancisi

About Rob Mastromattei

Rob Mastromattei is the Solution Specialist Director at Celera Motion and is focused on providing technical solution sales support. His career spans more than 25 years in motion control and is based on a MS in Engineering. As a founder of Applimotion, a company acquired by Celera Motion in 2015, Rob implemented strategy for building customized mechatronic assemblies based on frameless motor and encoder kits for customers needing unique designs, but also looking to outsource production. This strategy also allowed Applimotion to leverage its internal motor design capabilities, enabling the customer to further differentiate their product in their market segment.

Rob has held positions in design, product management, sales, and marketing - all within the motion industry. He is passionate about helping customers find and design the best electromechanical solutions for challenging motion control problems, and has done this thousands of times over the years.

Rob Mastromattei

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.


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