On September 23-25, the first edition of the new 3-days training 'Actuation and power electronics' (APE) was organised. The training was a great success with an overall score > 8.6.
Life without motion is unimaginable. This statement is also valid in the production industry. Electro mechanic actuators, driven by highly efficient and accurate power electronic circuits, are the working horses within the industry. They determine the performance and quality of many industrial processes. In high-end industrial applications the accuracy of the production systems is increasing steadily, enabled by ever more powerful, precise, efficient and cost-effective actuation systems. Several questions can be asked about dynamic mechanical systems that are related with the actuation:
- How can mechanical systems be kept silent (free of motion) in a vibrating environment?
- How can an object of 100 kg be moved over a distance of 1 meter with sub nanometer accuracy with 30 G acceleration?
- How is a low energy consumption level accomplished when having a constant alternating load?
- How can one generate a constant force without exhausting the batteries?
- When are permanent magnets applied and when not?
- Is it possible to make strong actuators without rare earth materials?
- How can a hybrid car achieve such a high overall efficiency?
- How do power electronics play a role in the usage of actuating systems?
These and many other questions will be elaborated in the course. For that reason the fundamentals of electro-mechanics including electro magnetism, piezoelectric actuation and power electronics will be covered. Detailed attention is given to the challenging task of choosing the right actuator for a certain application from an overwhelming diversity in actuator types. The impact of different principles of electronic power conversion will be unraveled, ranging from linear, switched mode to resonant power circuits, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Especially aspects of element selection and/or development for short stroke or long stroke high precision linear actuation will be treated and a special multi-DOF actuator will be discussed as challenging example. Participants will acquire a mix of theoretical background, dos and don'ts and practical insight that is useful when designing mechatronic systems with different actuation systems.