A printed linear motor

The new UPL series of printed linear motors from INA – Drives & Mechatronics AG & Co. KG (IDAM) – specialists in direct drive technology within the Schaeffler Group  – make a convincing case thanks to their high level of cost and energy efficiency. The innovative manufacturing technology, which IDAM has made ready for the volume production of linear motors for the first time, works by “printing” the coils of the motor layer by layer and is the reason for the motors’ outstanding performance. These coils are produced in a multi-layer design based on conventional circuit board material. Multiple layers of copper are applied and then wired together to form a “printed” coil. This type of motor, in which the forcer moves in a U-shaped secondary part, is known as an ironless linear motor.

The UPL linear motors are optimally suited to applications in which excellent path and positioning accuracy, outstanding dynamics, the shortest possible response times, and a compact design are key. They are available in lengths of 34 mm to 258 mm and with a force range of 10 N to 240 N.

The innovative manufacturing method ensures low costs for the linear motor and allows an optimized price/performance ratio to be achieved. The use of an ironless primary part that exerts no permanent forces of attraction on the secondary part also means that the current rise times are short. In addition, the force to mass ratio is balanced. The high feed force with a relatively small moving mass makes rapid acceleration possible while maintaining extremely high path accuracy. The new linear motors also display outstanding static and dynamic load rigidity, have no cogging forces, are extremely reliable, and have a long operating life. Machine-based manufacturing means that an outstanding level of quality is achieved. The printed linear motors have a small inherent mass, which makes them ideal for vertical mounting (z-axis) applications.

The UPL linear motors are easy to adapt and can therefore be optimally adjusted to suit individual customer requirements. Application examples include handling tasks in semiconductor manufacturing or electronics assembly, and measuring and testing systems. In medical technology, UPL linear motors are suitable for laboratory automation and pick-and-place applications, e.g. for dispensing medications.