Electric Motor Controlled Joint Simulator

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Reglerteknik


Tightening systems are used in several industries, including assembly in the auto- motive industry and installation of computer hardware. Both the company mak- ing the tools and the customers need to know the performance of the tightening system to ensure that the screw joints tighten as desired. This can be done using a test joint system.

High demands on safety as well as fast assembly speeds, puts high demands on the test equipment. The problem with the existing test joints is that they are hard to do repeatable tests on. The most common test joints are constructed us- ing mechanic or hydraulic systems. The mechanical systems have problems with wear of screws, changes in lubrication etc., while the hydraulic systems some- times are too slow.

This master’s thesis is a study of whether it would be possible to construct a test joint using an electric motor. The electric motor together with a controller should simulate a screw joint so that the tool would perceive it as a real one. All investigation has been performed by system modeling and simulations in MATLAB. Four different control structures have been evaluated: a PID controller, one combined controller which uses feedforward from reference as well as distur- bance, one which is based on the same structure as the second but with an added inner current loop and the last one is an LQ controller.

The conclusion is that it is possible to make a test joint using an electric motor and that the LQ controller seems to be the best choice. To prove the result, a few more aspects could be investigated more closely. One is to add a dynamic model of the tool, now only the reference to the tool is used. Another is to implement it on hardware. 

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