Fire, Pressure & Ice – Oh My! Motion Control in Hostile Environments


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Some of the most challenging and rewarding motion control applications are not made difficult because of the complexity of the machine but rather due to the hostile environments in which the application must succeed. From arctic conditions in biomedical cryogenic laboratories to the low pressure, high altitude skies that most commercial aircrafts operate, learning the particular nuances of harsh environments is a necessity to many manufacturers, machine builders, and system integrators.
Join Hack Summer of Moog Animatics as we explore some of the common (and most underestimated) hostile environments for motion control applications. Get application examples along with expert tips for designing motion control systems for hostile environments, a brief first look at Moog Animatics’ new extended range integrated motion control systems and best practices learned from over 20 years’ experience in military and commercial motion control design.
Watch this webinar to learn:
- What explosion proof really means for motion control systems?
- Which hostile environments benefit from integrated motion control systems vs. conventional motion control systems?
- Why temperature isn’t the biggest concern for aerospace applications – and what is?
- What questions to ask when buying ‘extended temperature range’ products?

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Fire, Pressure & Ice – Oh My! Motion Control in Hostile Environments

  1. 1. Fire, Pressure & Ice – Oh My! Motion Control in Hostile Environments
  2. 2. Before We Start  This webinar will be available afterwards at & email  Q&A at the end of the presentation  Hashtag for this webinar: #DWwebinar
  3. 3. Moderator Presenter Miles Budimir Hack Summer Design World Moog Animatics
  4. 4. Moog Animatics • Founded 1987 • Acquired by Moog Components Group in 2011 • Moog Animatics’ is a harsh environment expert in motion control
  5. 5. How Fully Integrated Motion Control Solutions Are the Secret Weapon of Wet Processing and Washdown Environments.
  6. 6. Integrated motion control systems save design time and money for machine builders in any industry, but provide a special set of benefits for those machines built for wet processing and washdown environments.
  7. 7. What’s the best way to protect against condensation in an application? • Apply heat, internal or board level heating • Completely sealed motors. (consider shaft seal) • Positive pressure, force clean air into enclosure
  8. 8. Washdown Environments • Washdown: machinery rinsed, usually with water or chemicals or a mixture o Medical manufacturing, semiconductor, packaging, food & beverage • Naval: Fresh, brackish & salt water o Rain, sleet or other outdoor environments • Entertainment: Water shows (Seaworld, Vegas) o Shock hazard with OSHA voltage
  9. 9. Common Washdown Environment Problems • Cabling • Temperature and Humidity • Component Connection Points • Machine and Machine Replication Costs
  10. 10. Tips for Wet Environments • Properly identify IP rating o Incorrect identification could lead to production downtime & high equipment replacement costs • IP ratings table
  11. 11. IP Ratings • • • • The IP code consists of the letters IP followed by two digits or one digit and one or two letters. The IP code helps to give concrete specifications to vague terms such as ‘waterproof.’ The first number indicates protection against solid particles. The second number indicates protection against ingress of liquid. The larger the digit, the greater the protection offered.
  12. 12. Why temperature isn’t the only concern for aerospace applications – and what is? • High Altitude means low pressure • Low Pressure means low density atmosphere
  13. 13. High Altitude • Aerospace – military & commercial • High altitude locations often overlooked (Colorado for example) • Issues arrise usually not because of temp but because of the low pressure. • Think of a racecar at sea-level and need high octane gas. At Denver, gas can be a lower octane at this elevation because it burns faster. • Same with a motor, dielectrics don’t work as well when you’re in a lower pressure environment.
  14. 14. Tips for High Altitudes • Consider if the application is within the pressure hull or external • If it is external, consider larger capacitors for power supplies • Also consider board mount heaters. Be aware the controller for the heat-up may need to be inside pressure hull.
  15. 15. What is the normal operating temperature range for motion control products? • • • • • Motor Electronics are liomited to 85C Many are at 70C Some at 40C Motors are typically limited ot 125C. Integrated motors with drive electronics are thermally limited by the electronics
  16. 16. Low & High Temperatures • Locations – high and low temp o o o o • Biomedical/Cryogenic Semiconductor Oil + gas industries – topside and downhaul, pipeline exploration Environment near furnace – carpet placing example with motor sitting by open furnace Condensation/humidity issues – caused by rapid change in temperature? o o o Steam from hot washdown machines to kill bacteria Cold temps – juice filling machines that cannot rise above a certain temp post risk of condensation. Deadly for encoder. Water vapor ingress – motors and drives create heat when they run, warming and expanding air inside component. When powered off air cools and creates negative air pressure that can pull in latent water vapor inside unsealed crevices.
  17. 17. Tips for Low & High Temperatures • Air flow: If the install location is near a heater, consider adding airflow to shield form the heat • If transitions occur form high to low and back, consider dried air force feed to keep condensation from occurring • If Low temperature normally occur, consider constant heat source to prevent mechanical binding.
  18. 18. What explosion proof really means for motion control systems? • Explosion proof mean, if volatile gasses within the void of the product are ignited, the product will contain the possible explosion and prevent it’s spread to other components. • It does not mean the product will still be usable after this occurs!
  19. 19. Tips for Explosion Proof Environments Look at the regulations for the are in question Is it volatile gases, powder, or dust? Is it all volatile gases and no oxygen? If the environment is oxygen free, then no detonation can occur if the product does not have oxygen producing metal combustibles. • See if positive force fed air may meat specifications • See if the motors may be coupled through protective barrier to load. • • • •
  20. 20. Which hostile environments benefit from integrated motion control systems vs. conventional motion control systems? • Wet environments where reduced cables and components lower system cost • Low Temp, high altitude where no additional drive or controls would need to meet specification's. • Wet environments where voltage should be below 50V to prevent shock hazard.
  21. 21. What questions to ask when buying ‘extended temperature range’ products? • • • • What is the actual environment? What is the duty cycle? What is the total expected change in temperature? What is the humidity, worse case?
  22. 22. Download Integrated Solutions for Harsh Environments white paper for free at
  23. 23. Questions? Design World Miles Budimir Twitter: @DW_Motion Moog Animatics Hack Summer Phone: 843.761.0840
  24. 24. Thank You  This webinar will be available at & email  Tweet with hashtag #DWwebinar  Connect with  Twitter: @DesignWorld  Facebook:  LinkedIn: Design World Group  YouTube:  Discuss this on