Aspen has two categories of automated winding equipment. One type of equipment (flexible equipment) is designed to accommodate flexibility having very little set up time involved in changing from one design configuration to another. This equipment can wind both conventional designs having an inner rotor constructions as well as outer rotor designs where the winding is on the inside of the motor.
The second category of winding equipment (hard tooled equipment) is focused on high volume manufacturing. These designs are hard tooled for a very specific winding and require considerable time to changeover from one design configuration to another. However, this type configuration winds units much quicker than the flexible winding equipment.
Where volume can justify the tooling we can design and our winding processes can accommodate Insulation Displacement Connectors Systems (IDC's). These allow for quick, low-labor content connections of the winding phases for volume production. These systems require considerably more upfront tooling for the plastics insulator component as well as the IDC system to incorporate this into production. As a result we typically implement these systems only on applications where the volume can justify the upfront cost of the implementation.
Powder Coating Insulation
Aspen has established processes and uses materials that enable us to powder coat lamination stacks as part of our standard UL recognized insulation system. This process is very flexible and provides the underpinning for our motor insulation system. We have successfully used this system for system with voltage ratings over 400 volts.
We also have UL recognized plastics insulators as well for some applications which are used to reduce the labor content associated with the insulation process and/or provide additional mechanical features to the system (such as the IDC system).
In order to get products both prototyped and into production rapidly, Aspen relies heavily on our in-house machining abilities. Within our facility we machine parts for our on in house tooling (assembly fixtures, molds, test fixtures), as well as prototype components and some production components.
In cases where Aspen's customer needs to get a design into production quickly (before the design is fully tooled), Aspen can support limited volume production using fully machined components by utilizing our vast in house machining capability.
Within Aspen we have saws, mills, lathes and precision machining centers with demonstrated tolerance capabilities of 0.0001" accuracy.
In many cases either due to the design and/or the processing required, Aspen magnetizes magnets in-house. This enables us to provide quick prototypes as well as process optimization for maximum unit performance.
Aspen has the expertise to design and build molds in-house for our customer transfer molding equipment. This enables us to overmold windings and other components with a dimensionally stable/rugged epoxy than enables dramatically improved thermal conductivity for applications where characteristics of this nature are required.
While epoxy is not normally viewed as a good thermal conductor it is far superior to air that normally occupies the space around a windings. Encapsulating a winding with epoxy can increase the continuous operating torque of a design by as much as 25% without increasing the physical dimensions of the unit.
Aspen takes pride in final product testing. We 100% test each and every product we manufacture prior to shipping them out. This is accomplish by utilizing high automated testers which are tailored to each specific product we products. With these testers we can measure many parameters in a very short amount of time. An example of specific items we test are:
- Motor BEMF
- Motor Resistance
- Feedback Alignment Accuracy
- Duty Cycle (of A and B channel for encoders or hall phases for each hall)
- No load speed
- No load current
- Control Input/Output
- Controller communications
- Various faults (overvoltage, undervoltage, current foldback, overtemp)
- External Sensor inputs
The data acquired by these testers is tied directly to the unit serial number and stored on our network. This data remains available if needed for review at a later time.
Electronics Encapsulation (Potting)
Aspen uses an establish electronics encapsulation process for application where the electronics are placed into environments where contaminants may ingress onto the electronics. This encapsulation process seals the electronics into the encapsulant under vacuum to protect the electronics from such contaminants.
Much work went into developing this process to make it both highly reliable and easy to manufacture.
Coordinate Measurement Machines
Aspen has considerable Coordinate Measurement Machine experience to insure accurate inspection of critical, hard-to-measure mechanical features. We use both polar and X-Y coordinate measuring systems and have demonstrated measurement accuracies of better than 0.00005 inch resolution in all three coordinates.
Aspen uses a RAM Optical machine for high speed inspection measurements. This machine takes measurements visually instead of mechanically (as does a CMM) which enables measurements of features that are otherwise impossible to accurately measure. These machines have demonstrated measurement of better than 0.0001 inch resolution in all three coordinates.