Allied Motion's EPS power steering system provide all-in-one solution for steer-by-wire storage and retrieval vehicles

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As part of its distribution partnership with Allied Motion Inc., Heason Technology supplies and supports the USA motion control equipment manufacturer´s range of electric power steering systems. Allied Motion´s latest product offering, the EPS series, is aimed at steer-by-wire autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) as well as manually operated storage and retrieval vehicles. The EPS series cost-effectively replaces the several motion components required for power steering by integrating a precision brushless servo motor and planetary gear unit, an optional custom drive pinion and an advanced CANbus-equipped motion controller. This makes it a complete ready-to-run package with EN ISO 13849 PL d compliant safety.

For AGVs, an optional patent-pending feature for the EPS removes the need for time consuming homing routines at power-up or the need for external position sensors by integrating absolute position feedback for the turning wheel. The power steering system can also be used with Allied Motion´s SWS series steering wheel position sensor. With ´steer feeling´ feedback through a magnetic friction system, the ISO 13849 compliant sensor is directly mounted to EPS equipped steering wheels to complete the package for manually operated warehouse vehicles, such as fork lift trucks.

The EPS series covers a wide choice of power options to suit all sizes of manual or automated storage and retrieval system vehicles. Three frame sizes and 16 models are available with nominal flange mount dimensions of 75 mm, 102.5 mm and 128 mm, with overall length including the low backlash planetary gear unit from around 225 mm to 305 mm. With battery operation an important consideration, the units are available for 24, 36 or 48 VDC operation with other voltages available on request. Through the range output torque runs from 10 to 100 Nm over 60 minutes of continuous use. Higher output power, for instance available for short term intermittent use over 5 seconds, is typically more than four times the 60 minute use. As with the customisable pinion wheel, the mounting dimensions can be adapted to the customer´s exact requirements.

The EPS is complete with power and controller communications connectors for straightforward installation. With CANbus communications included for the standard range, other fieldbus protocols and/or wireless Ethernet communication is available on request. The EPS control system includes integrated sensors and calculates velocity and steering path commands for the drive electronics. Custom adapted motion software with specific algorithms built-in for all types of manual or AGV warehouse transportation vehicles can be included in the scope of supply.

Through its partnership with Allied Motion, Heason can also provide wheel traction drive solutions including powered caster wheels and transaxles that feature long-life brushless servo motor technologies similar to the EPS, for the most compact and advanced traction drives in the industry. Heason Technology has a wealth of resource information on these and other application areas for Allied Motion´s steering technology which is also well proven for other powered vehicles such as wheelchairs, carts, or for recreational vehicle steering, also with GPS for agricultural vehicles.

With its own in-house design and production capability Heason Technology works with a selected number of distribution partners, sourcing high performance servo and stepper motors, drives, motion software and motion controls as well positioning mechanics such as gear units, linear bearings, linear and rotary positioning tables. The West Sussex based system integrator supplies individual components, motion sub-assemblies and complete custom designed motion control system solutions. For more information visit www.heason.com or email sales@heason.com.
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