Special Issue on Precision Mechanism and Control
Professor, Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Kanazawa Institute of Technology, 7-1 Ohgigaoka, Nonoichi, Kanazawa-South,Ishikawa, 921 Japan
Research institutions have been aggressively working on the following issues in the world of precision machines: micromechatronics, aiming at super downsizing of mechanisms; optomechatronics, aiming at the technological fusion among light, electrons, and machines; and control technology to implement the precise motion or task of a machine. This special issue introduces the recent research activities in these fields in Japan. Micromechatronics suddenly began to receive attention since invisible micro-machines were realized in the latter half of the 1980’s. Initially, drawbacks were cited such as the available material limited only to silicon, the limitation to the planar structure, and no applications due to its small power. In recent years, these problems have been gradually overcome, and some applications can be viewed. Some articles in this issue introduce many examples to which micromechatronics is expected to be applied. Optomechatronics is a technology that aims at the fusion among optical, electronics, and mechanical technologies. It was originated early in 1980 and has been recently linked to micromechanism, attracting attention as the technology of integrating mechanism, light, and control. In particular, this issue contains the focusing mechanism for optical disc units, the actuator for microoptical heads, and the optical servo system. Control or mechanism technology plays an important role in the precision motion of machines. Even if this technology is common to precision machines, its problems must often be solved as topics specific to the system under the restrictions of whether or not sensors are present and of actuator performance. This issue discusses the table feed mechanism that is driven by the hydraulic motor for high-speed driving and the servo motor for precision driving, the servo motor driving system by cam curve entry to suppress residual vibration, and the paper feed mechanism by ultrasonic vibration. These approaches take the restrictions of the system into account and provide an effective means for solving actual problems. This issue will provide useful information to researchers and engineers who are interested in this field.