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Mecano: Design of a highly dynamic drive

In the Mecano project, a new type of drive system was specified and developed in close cooperation with an industry partner. Movements that were so far generated mechanically are now realised with a peripheral electric drive. The developed system has to provide extreme acceleration capabilities within very little space.

Electric drive engineering allows the creation of easily modulable movements. In order to realise complex paths, machines are usually equipped with cam discs. However, when several test series with different curve progressions are required, these purely mechanical solutions have shown to be inappropriate, since even slight changes entail complex system modifications.

This is why a new type of drive system with a peripheral electrical drive is being developed in the Mecano project. Based on an analysis of the existing mechanical system, different curve scenarios were modelled and tested for their dynamic properties. After that, the electric drive and the additionally required mechanical components were integrated into the model.

The main criteria for component selection were the component's performance characteristics, their thermal resistance, as well as their electrical and mechanical dynamics. The analysis showed that with the given space requirements, a direct drive lying in the axis could not be used. Thus, to solve the problem, only the solution developed by the IMS could be used. It has an optimally dimensioned transmission gear covering all required ranges. The suitability of this new solution has now already been confirmed in first tests.

Project details

Project start: 01.04.2013

Project duration: 15 months

Link to our project partner:

Contact IMS:

Prof. Dr. Alberto Colotti

ZHAW School of Engineering
Forschungsschwerpunkt Drive Engineering & Power Electronics
Technikumstrasse 9
8400 Winterthur

+41 (0) 58 934 65 41