Many people turn to suppliers in the marketplace for precision motors to deliver rotary or linear movements. Many of those suppliers deliver varying quality of their products both in the initial specifications and, more importantly, over the life of a particular product line. That consistency is of great concern to OEM’s.
Nippon Pulse Example
One such situation involved an OEM using linear step motors requiring a very high degree of accuracy. The motors the OEM was using initially met their strict requirements. Eventually, however, they were receiving products that experienced a very high failure rate. As many as 50% of the delivered motors were not meeting the specifications. The ability to consistently deliver high precision products over a period of time is critical.
The motor that was specified with sufficient resolution but did not meet the accuracy requirements. Having exhausted trying to successfully resolve this issue with the current supplier, the OEM looked to Nippon Pulse for a possible solution. A sample motor was provided for testing which was within the resolution and accuracy requirements by a good deal. In order for this motor to physically fit the OEM’s application, it needed to be customized from the standard configuration. Nippon Pulse was able to achieve the changes without compromising performance and delivered a sample for their testing. Nippon Pulse customizes motors for both large and small-batch customers.
There were several major modifications required for this motor to fit the product and retain the specifications. Changes to the motor included a redesigned mounting flange, relocating the lead wire exit location, and a custom lead screw thread pitch. Nippon Pulse factory engineers worked with the customer’s engineers to design the required changes. Also improved were the Motor Step Error (Accuracy) and Cyclic Error (Precision). All of these changes to the standard motor resulted in a higher quality and more consistent solution for the OEM customer.
This customization demonstrates a couple of noteworthy concepts for stepper motors and precision automation components in general, pointed out in this excerpt from Brian Scott, Ph.D. Nippon Pulse America:
Quality can be discerned by the magnitude of part tolerance, with a lower tolerance indicating lower quality. While a production component may start out with a high tolerance and quality at the beginning of a production run, this decreases as time and the quantity of parts made increases. If the process isn’t monitored and corrective action isn’t taken to address the source of the change, the degradation of part quality will continue. This is, in part, due to wear associated with the tooling in the manufacturing process. As each part is produced, the tooling will wear some. No matter how well-designed or how hard the tooling material, the wear occurs and erodes part tolerance. Since tooling has a definitive capital cost for its creation, a greater profit can be realized by not replacing the tooling, though extending the lifetime of the tooling will cause part tolerance will become steadily worse. Nippon Pulse prides itself on the quality of their motors and replaces tooling at specified intervals so that motor tolerance maintains its high tolerance. This can, at times, show up as a cost difference between our motors and those of our competitors. A cheap motor is a cheap motor. The second item to note in this example is that Nippon Pulse is able to design and manufacture a motor to fulfill OEM needs, as long as it doesn’t violate the laws of physics. With this customer, we essentially redesigned our motor to solve a very important problem that was the result of a lower quality motor from another manufacturer. The other manufacturer was unable to offer solutions to the customer. Nippon Pulse hasn’t changed ownership since its founding in 1953, and the design documentation process is meticulously done as a component of the corporate culture. If we build you a motor today, we will be able to support and modify that motor for many years to fit your needs.
Nippon Pulse designs and manufacturing motors for small as well as large batch requirements. The linear stepper motors are designed to provide a simple, tin-can linear actuator at a fraction of the cost of a conventional rotary-to-linear stepper system and have multiple customization options available. Nippon Pulse’s linear hybrid stepper motors feature superior response characteristics and include an integral lead screw or ball screw for converting rotary motion into linear motion.