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A Mechatronics Experiment: Introduction to Linear Motors

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Laboratory Exercises for Energy, Power, and Industrial Applications

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.64.1 - 25.64.10

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Paper Authors


Nebojsa I. Jaksic Colorado State University, Pueblo

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Nebojsa I. Jaksic received a Dipl.Ing. degree in electrical engineering from Belgrade University in 1984, a M.S. in electrical engineering, a M.S. in industrial engineering, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Ohio State University in 1988, 1992, and 2000, respectively. From 1992 to 2000, he was with DeVry University in Columbus, Ohio. In 2000, he joined Colorado State University, Pueblo, where he is currently a professor and the mechatronics programs director. Jaksic's interests include manufacturing processes, automation, robotics, and nanotechnology education and research. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SME, and MRS.

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Experiment: Characterization of a Linear MotorAbstract Most textbooks on electrical machines for undergraduate engineering students either donot cover linear motors or provide only a cursory coverage of the topic. Linear motors are usedwith increased frequency in CNC machining, robotics, and transportation. As direct drivemachines they do not require rotary-to-linear motion conversion to achieve linear motions. Inaddition, with recent advances in power electronics, their position, velocity, and accelerationaccuracy far surpass their rotary equivalents. In railway transportation linear motors are used inmagnetic levitation (maglev) train systems allowing achievement of high speeds unattainable byconventional trains.At our institution, Electromechanical Devices is a required course for second-year studentsmajoring in mechatronics engineering. In this course, students are exposed to the theory of linearmotors in one-hour lecture. Students are further exposed to linear motors through a two-hourlecture and a two-hour lab in Introduction to Mechatronics three credit-hour junior-level course.The laboratory setup consists of a three-phase linear motor with an 8 inch track by TrilogySystems, a Renishaw position sensor (linear encoder), and Parker Automation GV6 Geminiservo controller with an associated software package, Motion Planner. After setting theappropriate parameters in Motion Planner for the given linear motor students control the motorvia software and measure commanded vs. actual position in either direction, force and powerconsumption. Then they compare the results with data obtained in one of the previous labsdealing with conventional motors. Students appreciate theoretical simplicity of linear motoroperation and their high precision applications.

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