Performance Motion Devices: High-Performance Motion Control Solutions
“You do not want to find yourself in an unpleasant situation where an electronic component for a device that is about to receive FDA approval is unavailable or has ceased production,” says Peter Vandermeulen, VP of sales and marketing, Performance Motion Devices (PMD), an embedded motion control solutions provider. PMD takes pride in its capability to offer long-term product availability, service, and support to protect a client’s product design from undesired changes, which is particularly critical for medical devices. Founded in 1992, PMD—as the name suggests—was built on a powerful idea to provide high-performance motion control on integrated circuits (IC). PMD eliminates the need for product developers to develop their own motion control technology and offers unprecedented design and packaging flexibility, addressing the issues around reduction of electromagnetic interference, noise, and heat generation in motion control systems and motors. “PMD offers various form factors to meet the complexity of motion control technology ranging from motion control modules, integrated circuits, boards, and digital drives,” adds Chuck Lewin, president and CEO of Performance Motion Devices.
PMD’s breakthrough products pair the advantages of IC packaging with sophisticated PC-based motion control functions, previously available only in programmable logic controllers. This helps medical devices become small by reducing the size of electronic equipment while improving efficiency and decreasing power consumption, noise, and vibration—significant improvements, especially important for battery-powered devices. Utilizing a common motion architecture, PMD provides a single interface and platform for motion control development, whether the final solution uses PMD ICs on a custom board, or a turn-key PMD board, the interface to the customers’ system does not change, which helps streamline engineering cycles and reduce learning time for new applications. Additionally, PMD Developer Kits help speed up prototyping with concurrent software and hardware development, facilitating a seamless transfer of the finished prototype to the client’s custom circuit board.
“PMD helps manufacturers overcome motion control challenges across multiple industries and applications,” states Lewin. While the company’s strength lies in lab automation and medical systems, it also handles 3D printing, robotics, and semiconductor manufacturing, essentially any device that relies on precision control of motors.
Sophisticated devices like surgical tools demand more comprehensive functionality, reliability, portability, and efficiency. PMD’s intelligent motion control solutions track performance data and the effect of external factors on the motor, providing warnings for issues. A smart approach to motion control technology through programmable ICs is at the core of PMD’s capability to meet the dynamic demands of various industries and their applications. Lewin describes one such challenge involving ventilators that the company has been helping clients overcome: “Ventilators need to mimic the airflow patterns of human lungs using a complicated mechanism that involves motors accelerating and decelerating rapidly. The variations in the speed of the motor must be regulated precisely to minimize any harmful effects on the patient’s physiology. For 25 years, PMD has been delivering motion control solutions that not only meet the development challenge of life-saving equipment such as ventilators but also increase their efficiency and reliability.”
As one of the top motion control solution partners in the market for lab automation and medical devices, PMD’s set of development tools, software and firmware, allows companies to utilize a standard motion control solution across multiple designs and systems. This is especially useful for business entities that have been involved in mergers and acquisitions and need to deal with disparate motion systems acquired as part of inherited products. While PMD offers its services globally, it plans to expand its geographic footprint further in Europe and Asia. The company actively participates in trade shows and conferences to stay on the leading edge of the industry. “We are a partner committed on an essentially never-ending basis, developing next-generation compact motion technology solutions,” concludes Lewin.
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