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Electro Mechanical Systems has supplied Precistep micro-stepper motors to Life Optics to allow it to develop a compact, reliable and light-weight head-mounted microscope.

The result was high-precision technology in the smallest possible space.

Each system has two motors, one 8mm diameter and one 10mm, which provide dynamic zoom and focus controls, delivering the high precision and accuracy required for this demanding application.

In the basic microscope version, available as Varioscope AF3, users can move freely in a working distance of 300 to 600mm.

The foot-operated zoom function allows infinitely variable magnification from 3.6 to 7.2.

The field of vision is 30 to 144mm and the pupillary distance can be individually adjusted to each user.

The Varioscope M5 provides an extendible modular optical system; changeable oculars extend the magnification range and integrated lighting addresses shadows.

With an optional video camera, procedures carried out by the user can be precisely recorded.

Unlike DC motors, stepper motors move on per pulse at a step angle dependent on their specific design so the number of digital pulses output always corresponds to a defined rotation.

As a result, additional linear or angular position sensors are not required.

The Varioscope requires two motors for each eye: the AM 1020 at a diameter of 10mm for the focus setting and the AM 0820 at a diameter of 8mm for the zoom.

The focus drive operates continuously as it has to compensate for every movement of the head.

Inaccuracies due to ‘play’ in the mechanics were corrected using a spindle with microtoothing.

With a pitch of 0.2mm and in conjunction with the built-in motors, it allows a resolution of 10um.

Focus and zoom are set absolutely backlash-free and without jolts at high resolution, and the spindle shafts are given an additional fine polish.

In conjunction with a lubricant, the level of friction is reduced, as well as the initial breakaway torque.

An additional pre-tensioning on the precision ball bearings by disk springs facilitates zero-backlash movement at torques of up to 1N.

The miniature units can accelerate up to 1200rpm in one step and without overshooting.

The use of high-quality NdFeB magnets with superior temperature resistance is the key to their performance.

The motors are able to provide continuous problem-free operation at 70C housing temperature for a period of several days without interruption.

In this case, the coil may actually reach a temperature of 120C and the magnet up to 100C without any limitation on service life or effectiveness.

A special lubricant that is particularly stable against temperature and aging supports these properties.

The micromotor has a 3V operating voltage and the miniatures can be supplied for operating voltages up to 12V.

EMS (Electro Mechanical Systems)

EMS was founded in mid-1985 and quickly established itself as the leading supplier of high-quality precision small DC motors and linear actuators. We are sole UK distributors for the whole Faulhaber Group, including Minimotor, Precistep, MPS and Piezomotor; manufacturers and suppliers of precision micro-drives, including DC motors; brushless motors; stepper motors; linear motors and associated gearheads and encoders.

EMS was founded in mid-1985 and quickly established itself as the leading supplier of high-quality precision small DC motors and linear actuators. We are sole UK distributors for the whole Faulhaber Group, including Minimotor, Precistep, MPS and Piezomotor; manufacturers and suppliers of precision micro-drives, including DC motors; brushless motors; stepper motors; linear motors and associated gearheads and encoders.

Complementary products include iron-core DC motors from KAG, stepper motors and brushed DC motors from Nidec Servo and brushed and brushless gear motors from Nidec Motors & Actuators. In addition we distribute high quality linear actuators and telescopic columns from SKF and Mingardi, used extensively in medical; healthcare; agriculture; building automation and many other industries.

With sustained growth we looked to diversify our product offering and in 1990 established our own manufacturing facility. Growth has been maintained with repeated expansion culminating in the acquisition of an eighth unit in 2010 resulting in an overall floor area to 2,200m². We have a large capacity machine shop equipped with the latest CNC machine tools and a dedicated gear cutting suite, as well as substantial assembly area. EMS offers design engineers a complete service; our scope of supply stretches from the supply of proprietary motors, gearheads, encoders and actuation devices, right the way through to added value in the way of pinions and wiring looms, to bespoke design and manufacture of complete drive mechanisms and actuation systems to meet your exact applications needs.

Located across two sites, our Head office, design and manufacturing is based in Poole, Dorset and sales, order processing, administration and warehousing located in Aldermaston, Berkshire.

Our commitment to quality and service remains as strong as ever and is reflected in our management system and strong emphasis on continuous improvement, resulting in our accreditation to EN ISO9001:2008 at both sites.

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