Motion systems

That’s no simulation here

That’s no simulation here

That’s no simulation here

That’s no simulation here

That’s no simulation here

That’s no simulation here

Moog, a manufacturer of innovative drive solutions with international operations, presents new Gen3 motion system which features advanced energy management for excellent energy savings.

Simulation platforms by Moog are viewed as an essential tool in aviation and aerospace pilot training. There is also heavy reliance on their technology for motorsports and vehicle development suitability testing for everyday use. As a general rule, the faster and more precise the movements are executed, the more the simulation resembles reality. Considering that the simulator cabin sitting on the motion system weighs up to 14 tons, it is not difficult to imagine what the motion system must achieve.

Taking into account the different framework conditions and the necessity to save resources, both in terms of energy as well as materials and space consumption, we are faced with the challenge of developing new systems.

The Moog development team, with over 1,000 simulator motion systems installed worldwide, can confidently say that they know their way around the subject and are turning every screw in order to establish future-proof technologies, especially with regard to energy consumption.

Energetics: Peak savings instead of peak load

Moog has managed to reduce surge power by 65% (!) without sacrificing any quality. This is possible thanks to the innovative and smart DE2020 drive control. In the past, the supply of electrical power was always designed for peak loads of a drive system, even if these peaks only rarely occur, this energy provision is linked to considerable electrical losses and costs in terms of cable design and connection power at the supplier's premises.

Would it not be possible to absorb short-term loads within the system and possibly recharge it from power excesses, akin to the energy recovery system behind the power boost in a Formula 1 race car?

This problem has been addressed during the development of the DE2020 energy management system. It is obvious that the normal operation of a motor or motion system generates the regular load. During acceleration processes, more energy is required in the short term, while the release of energy from mechanical inertia or braking processes has mostly been converted into heat without being used (cf. “braking resistor”).

The DE2020 offers a different solution: During the regular load phase, a capacitor bank is pre-charged carefully and a certain remaining capacity is retained. The DE2020 meets peak loads by drawing power from the capacitor bank, while it uses energy gains from braking processes and mechanical inertia to recharge the capacitors by means of recuperation. Thus, the capacitors are prepared for the next peak load.

This means that the connection values for the simulator motion system can be made much smaller and close to the regular load. Essentially, this approach can be applied to all electric drives. This system can also be used to compensate for mains fluctuations using a pre-filter and in combination with the capacitor bank, or in the event of a power failure, it can still supply the system with energy to reach a fail-safe position. Moog has defined the target to deliver exactly the power needed at precisely the right moment

As a result, the compact design of the control cabinet, now half the size of its predecessor (less space required), and the reduced cable cross sections required to allow the currents to flow (saves copper or aluminium as a raw material, and thus costs), are significant benefits of the entire redesign.

Control: olympically differing – more flexible, more compact, more savings

The same compact control cabinet houses the DM2020, a cutting-edge servo drive for controlling the actuators. Right from the start, it was designed for the control and supply of several axes. It ensures high speeds and faster cycle times by means of a powerful control board and software and can address a wide range of motor and actuator types. Thus, maximum synchronisation between the axes is obtained thanks to the implementation of the dual axis layout within a single module and the connection between the modules via CANopen.

In combination with the DE2020 energy management system, it can play to its strengths particularly well, thanks to a common DC bus configuration, a direct energy exchange between the axes is realized, which additionally reduces energy consumption. Only after immediate energy redirection between the axes, the energy reserve from the DE2020 is accessed or surplus is stored in the reserve.

Actuators: less is more – precise, heavy-duty, high-dynamic

Gen3 makes use of the latest and fastest planetary roller screws with the advantage that, despite its small size, the technology can carry high loads and accelerate or brake precisely.

For this usage, especially regarding the actuators, every component has been re-examined to ensure that the Gen3 actuators now consist of fewer individual parts and focus on worn parts that can be repaired on site. For damping elements, for example, this can even be done during operation without stopping or removing the actuator. The same goes for plug-in connections and encoder assemblies.

As previously mentioned, it is important to understand that the actuators shift a total weight of about 15 tons, ranging from 1.07 to 1.59 m according to the type, tilt the entire object by about 18° to 32° according to the axis, and move it at a rate of about 70 cm per second. These movements are not running iteratively, but in a coupled manner. Not exactly low demands!

Through advanced technology and components, Moog engineers expect Gen3 systems to reduce unplanned maintenance stops by around 22% and to provide worldwide customers with over 99.5% uptime availability of the respective simulator.

Naturally, such simulators require some of the highest standards of electromechanical drive technology. Many other areas such as industrial automation, test benches, handling, and robotics can benefit as well, in fact the entire field of electrical drive technology can benefit from Moog expertise. Finding efficient solutions of energy, raw materials, space consumption and costs, collectively with the customer is the central part of Moog's corporate culture.

If drive technology tasks are involved, whether for simulators or the replacement of hydraulic or pneumatic systems, Moog engineers are happy to assist.

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