– Oct. 28, 2015
– BEI Kimco has packed new functionality into its popular VCA Developer’s Kit. Enhancements to the kit include an upgraded controller with I/O Board and straightforward connections that eliminate soldering ‒ both changes make it easier and faster than ever for customers to start building voice coil actuator (VCA) prototypes.
The VCA Developer’s Kit is a simple ‘solution in a box’ for people that want to use a VCA but are reluctant to tackle figuring out which controller and software to specify to put together a working system. The kit answers all the questions needed to get a VCA system up and running, including where to source components, how to put components together, and how to program the parts to perform the desired motions. Users can easily develop an actuation system and demonstrate a working design concept without needing to separately specify the electronics for a complete control system.
Each kit includes a VCA with a built-in feedback sensor and a programmable controller with MotionLab Software that runs on the user’s local PC. The upgraded controller incorporates an Input/Ouput board that allows physical inputs and outputs such as push buttons (digital inputs), LEDs (digital outputs), and potentiometers (analog input), along with an over-ride for customers who wish to use their own. The controller can operate in open or closed loop modes, is internally compensated for high linearity, and supports coordinated multi-axis applications. Other improved kit functionality is more intuitive connectivity without soldering, which makes wiring prototype systems easier. The supplied connector simply screws into the leads of the VCA, thereby jump-starting builds.
“The improvements to our VCA Developer’s Kit make it easier than ever for customers to get started building VCA prototypes,” says Jim McNamara, BEI Kimco Senior Applications Engineer. “With the excellent feedback we’ve received on the original package design, we’re certain the new version will make it even more popular.”
The kit is available in three different configurations, each with a different VCA that is paired with the appropriate controller PCBA to drive the VCA being used. Sample programs for flow, motion, oscillation, timers, and memory are included. A flash drive provides all necessary links to software and set-up instructions and a configuration file that can drive the VCA for start-up. Part numbers kits are DK-LAS13-18, DK-LAS16-23, and DK-LAS28-53.
VCA prototypes built with the kit can be used in a wide variety of industrial and commercial markets such as Medical, Laboratory, Automation, Military, Aerospace and Education. Typical applications include actuation, position, force control, proof-of-concept, full-function prototypes, test bed for actuator system design, stand-alone use for single purpose actuation, live testing, vibration generator, bio tissue fatigue testing and student engineering projects.