With a reputation for reliability, the Maxon range of high-precision drives and systems is fast becoming as familiar in aerospace development as it is in so many other endeavours where component failure is simply not an option. Artificial hearts, race car engines, satellite navigation equipment, surgical tools, subsea welding machines and numerous other applications all benefit from Maxon's technology.
In the highly competitive world of commercial airlines it is essential that passenger comfort features can be counted upon to operate reliably at all times. Success depends heavily on providing passengers with a pleasant, comfortable flying experience – every time. Motorised features such as a TV screen that descends from the ceiling, and blinds that can be raised and lowered effortlessly, all add to that experience. So, too, does efficient and reliable valve control for the toilets, and the motorised adjustment mechanism in a growing number of airliner seats.
One recent issue of concern to airline designers has been that cabin air can be contaminated by oil that has seeped past the engine seals. A new solution to this problem is to draw air through inlets on the wings, separate from the engines. The control valves for that system are operated by motors that need to be dependable even at temperatures as low as -50degC. For Maxon, whose motors on the NASA Mars rovers work at temperatures as low as -120degC, that is not a problem.
While reliability is top of the designers’ list of priorities, low noise and low weight are two other important considerations. Smooth, quiet motor performance is all part of ensuring comfort, while lightweight design in all systems contributes to fuel economy. And when it comes to systems involved in actually flying the aircraft – the autopilot equipment, for example – high precision is essential. Needless to say, Maxon drives and systems meet all of those demands.
New products at Farnborough
Maxon Motor is introducing a completely new development in the design of planetary gearheads, which will go on display for the first time ever at this year’s Farnborough Airshow (14-20 July 2008). It is said to be incredibly quiet in operation.
On stand E12, Hall 4 Maxon will also exhibit a representative sample from its massive current range of 147,000 dependable precision motors, gearheads, encoders, controllers and other components. Visitors can also request free copies of the latest Maxon catalogue. Designed not just as a sales catalogue but as an essential reference work that should be on every engineer’s shelf, each copy also contains a free CD-ROM that holds the same information plus the Maxon electronic selection program.
In most cases it should be easy to choose the most appropriate components for any particular system by referring to the data presented. Useful advice, diagrams and formulae are given to help in this process. The Maxon selection program takes this further by automatically identifying individual products and combinations of products that closely match the design’s requirements – with no need for laborious manual calculations. It is even possible to take CAD images of Maxon components and drop them straight into the design.
But while information technology is a vital tool, Maxon recognises that some problems require the help of a human being. CEO Keith Ellenden states: "At Maxon Motor UK we have a team of highly qualified and experienced product engineers, ready, willing and able to work with designers on their projects – and they will be on our stand at Farnborough. They are all engineers, just like our customers, and they really love a challenge. They will come out to look at the project, do the calculations and present the solution. And if the answer does not lie within our 147,000 off-the-peg solutions, we can create one that is tailor-made.”
For a copy of the free Maxon catalogue and free Maxon selection program call +44 (0)1189 733 337 or visit www.maxonmotor.co.uk.