To help customers get started with Voice Coil Actuators (VCA) and the sometimes confusing electronics needed for building a system, BEI Kimco Magnetics has introduced the VCA Developer’s Kit – the first of its kind on the market. The completely self-contained kit includes a VCA with a built-in position feedback sensor and a programmable controller with MotionLab Software that runs on the user’s local PC.

The innovative new tool is designed for customers who want to try a VCA for their application, but are unsure where to begin. The virtual how-to 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 motions needed. Using this invaluable device, customers can quickly develop an actuation system and demonstrate a working design concept without needing to separately specify the necessary electronics for a complete control system.

“For someone unfamiliar with putting together VCA systems with electronics, the project can seem somewhat intimidating,” says Scott Orlosky, Manager of Business Development and Marketing. “The kit overcomes this by providing a complete and simple ‘solution in a box’ for people that want to use a VCA but don’t want the burden of figuring out which controller and software to specify to put together a working system. The kit makes it extremely easy to do that.”

The VCA Developer’s Kit is suitable for use in many industrial and commercial applications for actuation, position and force control in industries such as Medical, Laboratory, Automation, Military, Aerospace, and Education. Typical application examples include proof-of-concept, full-function prototypes; test bed for actuator system design; stand-alone use for single purpose actuation, or student engineering projects.

Customers can choose from three different kits, each with a different VCA that is paired with the appropriate controller PCBA to drive the VCA being used. The controller can operate in open or closed loop modes, is internally compensated for high linearity, and supports coordinated multi-axis applications. Also included is a flash drive that provides all necessary links to software and set-up instructions as well as a configuration file that can drive the VCA for easy start-up.

The controller’s customized MotionLab software is designed in a simplified programming environment with example programs for flow, motion, oscillation, timers, memory and I/O access. An oscillation motion test is also available for simple built-in self-testing capability. VCA Developer’s Kit part numbers include the DK-LAS13-18, DK-LAS16-23, and DK-LAS28-53.

BEI Kimco’s voice coil actuators feature all the inherent advantages of voice coil technology including direct-drive, hysteresis-free operation for highly accurate motion. Other advantages of this technology include high acceleration, absence of commutation, and excellent resolution.