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Electromechanical Systems
The main objective of this Special Column is to bring together the new and innovative ideas, experiences and research results from researchers and practitioners on all aspects of Electromechanical Systems.
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  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Zongxia JIAO,Tianyi WANG,Liang YAN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2016, 11(4): 351-362. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-016-0407-9

    A linear oscillating motor is an electromagnetic actuator that can achieve short-stroke reciprocating movement directly without auxiliary transmission mechanisms. It has been widely used in linear pump applications as the source of power and motion. However, because of the demand of high power density in a linear actuation system, the performance of linear oscillating motors has been the focus of studies and deserves further research for high power density. In this paper, a general framework of linear oscillating motor design and optimization is addressed in detail, including the electromagnetic, dynamics, and thermal aspects. First, the electromagnetic and dynamics characteristics are modeled to reveal the principle for optimization. Then, optimization and analysis on magnetic structure, resonant system, and thermal features are conducted, which provide the foundation for prototype development. Finally, experimental results are provided for validation. As a whole, this process offers complete guidance for high power density linear oscillating motors in linear pump applications.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Muzhi ZHU,Shengdun ZHAO,Jingxiang LI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2016, 11(4): 344-350. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-016-0406-x

    Researchers have investigated direct drive valve for many years to solve problems, such as fluid force imbalance and switching frequency. The structure of the rotary valve has received considerable research interest because of its favorable dynamic properties and simple structure. This paper studied the high frequency double-servo direct drive rotary valve (DDRV), and proposed a novel structure and drive method satisfying high reversing frequency and adequate quantity of flow. Servo motors are integrated into the valve by the innovative structure, which is designed to equilibrate the unbalanced radial fluid force with the symmetric distributed oil ports. Aside from the fast reversing function of the valve, the DDRV presented high performance in linearity of the flow quantity and valve opening as a result of the fan-shaped flow ports. In addition, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method based on Fluent was conducted to verify the flux regulation effect of the height change of the adjustable boss.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Hua LIU, Xin XIE, Ruoyu TAN, Lianchao ZHANG, Dapeng FAN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(2): 265-278. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0453-y

    Most of the XY positioning stages proposed in previous studies are mainly designed by considering only a single performance indicator of the stage. As a result, the other performance indicators are relatively weak. In this study, a 2-degree-of-freedom linear compliant positioning stage (LCPS) is developed by mechatronic design to balance the interacting performance indicators and realize the desired positioning stage. The key parameters and the coupling of the structure and actuators are completely considered in the design. The LCPS consists of four voice coil motors (VCMs), which are conformally designed for compactness, and six spatial leaf spring parallelograms. These parallelograms are serially connected for a large travel range and a high out-of-plane payload capacity. The mechatronic model is established by matrix structural analysis for structural modeling and by Kirchhoff’s law for the VCMs. The sensitivities of the key parameters are analyzed, and the design parameters are subsequently determined. The analytical model of the stage is confirmed by experiments. The stage has a travel range of 4.4 mm× 7.0 mm and a 0.16% area ratio of workspace to the outer dimension of the stage. The values of these performance indicators are greater than those of any existing stage reported in the literature. The closed-loop bandwidth is 9.5 Hz in both working directions. The stage can track a circular trajectory with a radius of 1.5 mm, with 40 mm error and a resolution of lower than 3 mm. The results of payload tests indicate that the stage has at least 20 kg out-of-plane payload capacity.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Guozhen CHEN, Pinkuan LIU, Han DING
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(1): 55-65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0545-y

    When a fast-steering mirror (FSM) system is designed, satisfying the performance requirements before fabrication and assembly is vital. This study proposes a structural parameter design approach for an FSM system based on the quantitative analysis of the required closed-loop bandwidth. First, the open-loop transfer function of the FSM system is derived. In accordance with the transfer function, the notch filter and proportional-integral (PI) feedback controller are designed as a closed-loop controller. The gains of the PI controller are determined by maximizing the closed-loop bandwidth while ensuring the robustness of the system. Then, the two unknown variables of rotational radius and stiffness in the open-loop transfer function are optimized, considering the bandwidth as a constraint condition. Finally, the structural parameters of the stage are determined on the basis of the optimized results of rotational radius and stiffness. Simulations are conducted to verify the theoretical analysis. A prototype of the FSM system is fabricated, and corresponding experimental tests are conducted. Experimental results indicate that the bandwidth of the proposed FSM system is 117.6 Hz, which satisfies the minimum bandwidth requirement of 100 Hz.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Ning CHEN, Jieji ZHENG, Xianliang JIANG, Shixun FAN, Dapeng FAN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(4): 585-599. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0577-3

    Micro-stepping motion of ultrasonic motors satisfies biomedical applications, such as cell operation and nuclear magnetic resonance, which require a precise compact-structure non-magnetization positioning device. When the pulse number is relatively small, the stopping characteristics have a non-negligible effect on the entire stepwise process. However, few studies have been conducted to show the rule of the open-loop stepwise motion, especially the shutdown stage. In this study, the modal differences of the shutdown stage are found connected with amplitude and velocity at the turn-off instant. Changes of the length in the contact area and driving zone as well as the input currents, vibration states, output torque, and axial pressure are derived by a simulation model to further explore the rules. The speed curves and vibration results in functions of different pulse numbers are compared, and the stepwise motion can be described by a two-stage two-order transfer function. A test workbench based on the Field Programmable Gate Array is built for acquiring the speed, currents, and feedback voltages of the startup–shutdown stage accurately with the help of its excellent synchronization performances. Therefore, stator vibration, rotor velocity, and terminal displacements under different pulse numbers can be compared. Moreover, the two-stage two-order model is identified on the stepwise speed curves, and the fitness over 85% between the simulation and test verifies the model availability. Finally, with the optimization of the pulse number, the motor achieves 3.3 µrad in clockwise and counterclockwise direction.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Qiang GAO, Yuchuan ZHU, Changwen WU, Yulei JIANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2021, 16(2): 420-434. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-020-0622-2

    Pilot two-stage proportional valves are widely used in high-power hydraulic systems. For the purpose of improving the dynamic performance, reliability, and digitization of the traditional proportional valve, a novel two-stage proportional valve with a pilot digital flow distribution is proposed from the viewpoint of the dual nozzle-flapper valve’s working principle. In particular, the dual nozzle-flapper is decoupled by two high-speed on/off valves (HSVs). First, the working principle and mathematical model of the proposed valve are determined. Then, the influences of the control parameters (duty cycle and switching frequency) and structural parameters (fixed orifice’s diameter and main valve’s spring) on the main valve’s motion are analyzed on the basis of theory, simulation, and experiment. In addition, in optimizing the value of the fixed orifice’s diameter, a new design criterion that considers the maximum pressure sensitivity, flow controllability, and flow linearization is proposed to improve the balance between the effective displacement and the displacement fluctuation of the main valve. The new scheme is verified by simulations and experiments. Experimental results of the closed-loop displacement tracking have demonstrated that the delay time of the main valve is always within 3.5 ms under different working conditions, and the tracking error can be significantly reduced using the higher switching frequency. The amplitude–frequency experiments indicate that a −3 dB-frequency of the proposed valve can reach 9.5 Hz in the case of ±50% full scale and 15 Hz in the case of 0%–50% full scale. The values can be further improved by increasing the flow rate of the pilot HSV.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Linlin LI, Sumeet S. APHALE, Limin ZHU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2021, 16(2): 331-339. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-020-0619-x

    Typically, the achievable positioning bandwidth for piezo-actuated nanopositioners is severely limited by the first, lightly-damped resonance. To overcome this issue, a variety of open- and closed-loop control techniques that commonly combine damping and tracking actions, have been reported in literature. However, in almost all these cases, the achievable closed-loop bandwidth is still limited by the original open-loop resonant frequency of the respective positioning axis. Shifting this resonance to a higher frequency would undoubtedly result in a wider bandwidth. However, such a shift typically entails a major mechanical redesign of the nanopositioner. The integral resonant control (IRC) has been reported earlier to demonstrate the significant performance enhancement, robustness to parameter uncertainty, gua-ranteed stability and design flexibility it affords. To further exploit the IRC scheme’s capabilities, this paper presents a method of actively shifting the resonant frequency of a nanopositioner’s axis, thereby delivering a wider closed-loop positioning bandwidth when controlled with the IRC scheme. The IRC damping control is augmented with a standard integral tracking controller to improve positioning accuracy. And both damping and tracking control parameters are analytically optimized to result in a Butterworth Filter mimicking pole-placement—maximally flat passband response. Experiments are conducted on a nanopositioner’s axis with an open-loop resonance at 508 Hz. It is shown that by employing the active resonance shifting, the closed-loop positioning bandwidth is increased from 73 to 576 Hz. Consequently, the root-mean-square tracking errors for a 100 Hz triangular trajectory are reduced by 93%.