Get better products to market more quickly with MICROMO
Let our motion experts solve your automation headaches with customized components, comprehensive testing, engineering design services, and program management.
As your custom solutions partner in North America, MICROMO delivers:
- Exclusive sourcing for all FAULHABER Group products and custom solutions sold in North America
- Express prototyping from its inventory of 800+ standard and semi-standard FAULHABER products
- Design, sourcing, and manufacturing of components, assemblies, and custom solutions in its Clearwater, Florida facilities
- Global project management for all FAULHABER design and manufacturing resources in U.S, Europe, and Asia
Successful OEMs stake their claim in the market by focusing on their core competencies, for example in application areas like biomedical, security and defense, environmental sensing, photonics, and more. Many products today need motion, however. Arriving at an economical, manufacturable solution that provides the necessary performance requires skills and, experience that you may not have in-house. One solution is to divert engineering resources to the problem when they would be better spent on product differentiation. Want a more economical, efficient strategy for fielding high-performance products while running lean? Leave the automation to the motion experts at MICROMO.
MICROMO offers more than just top-quality hardware and software—we deliver a comprehensive array of services and support designed to mitigate risk, add value, simplify innovation, and reduce cost. By partnering with MICROMO, manufacturers can streamline their design process and deliver better products to market faster and more easily than ever before.
“I’ve found MICROMO to be extremely easy and willing to work with us on custom projects."
—William Grenier, National Aperture
MICROMO is much more than just a hardware vendor. With over five decades of micro-motion expertise, we offer complete, full-service design, sourcing, and manufacturing capabilities on a global basis to deliver benchmark, custom micro-motion solutions.
The MICROMO advantage
Dedicated machine shop
|Machine shop equipment includes:
- Mori Seiki NTX1000SZM CNC twin spindle, high precision integrated Mill Turn Center(for more complex part requirements and gear hobbing).
- Two Mori Seiki CNC milling machines
- A twin-spindle Mori Seiki CNC lathe with c-axis capability
- A Micro Vu multi-sensor metrology machine
- A RAM optical coordinate measuring machine
|Our skilled machinists can make a range of modifications, including:
- Adding Flanges
- Injection Molding (via partner)
Although commercial off-the-shelf products provide economies of scale, they’re not suitable for all applications. At the same time, developing custom products from scratch can be both time-consuming and expensive. MICROMO offers a compromise between the two, courtesy of the on-site machine shop at our Clearwater, Florida facility. With the help of a staff of skilled machinists and an array of precision machine tools, the shop can address virtually every customer need ranging from modifications of existing products to fabrication of custom components like gears or pinions
When the Machine Lab Inc. (Fort Collins, CO) started buying components from MICROMO for its bomb-disposal robots, the company wanted to use up a supply of customized mounting hardware it had built to fit gearmotors from a previous vendor. The problem was that the MICROMO gearbox was 30 mm in diameter, while the clamps were sized for a product 2 mm wider. MICROMO's dedicated machine shop expanded the size of the motor by adding a sleeve, epoxying it into place, and anodizing the whole package. The subsystem arrived at the Machine Lab factory ready to fit into the product, saving the OEM both money and assembly time.
For skilled machinists with the right tools, it's quick and easy to modify motors and assemblies, for example adding mounting plates and brackets, pulleys and gears, even lead screws. They can drill cross holes into output shafts. If a planetary gear box suffers from pin walk, they can weld the pins to the carrier. To help Gyrocam Systems develop a new camera stabilization platform for air surveillance applications, MICROMO ruggedized the gearmotor with a specialized shaft, bearing, and keyway.
The benefits go beyond mere product customization. The machine shop also allows us to fabricate specialized tools and holding fixtures for testing and manufacturing, for both our components and yours. If your engineers can design it, we can make it. And if your engineers can’t design it, we can help there, too.
MICROMO’s services don't stop at product modification. With a 12,000 square foot, class 100,000 clean room, we can act as your manufacturing partner, allowing you to streamline your production process by offloading subassembly steps. Modifications allowed National Aperture to motorize one of their most popular ultracompact precision stages. To fit the desired form factor, the MICROMO team delivered a customized gearmotor that combined motor and lead screw to shorten the overall package.
Offloading even seemingly simple steps can dramatically improve yield and profit margin. Adding leads to motors, for example, requires care and skill. Done improperly, it can result in a broken off lead, turning the component into expensive scrap. Our experienced staff can connectorize motors at the factory, guaranteeing that each device delivered is functional and ready for use. The preassembled components save time in the production process and let your staff focus their time and expertise on your core value proposition.
“What we’re buying from MICROMO is a solution that allows us to drop it into our robot, plug it into the boards and be up and running very quickly.”
—Patrick McKinney, ReconRobotics
Surveillance-robot specialist ReconRobotics (Edina, MN) prefers to outsource whenever possible, saving its in house engineering efforts for value-added aspects like controls. To assist, MICROMO delivers an integrated package of motor, gearhead, and leads. In addition, the machine shop adds a pinion designed by ReconRobotics.
For ScriptPro, which produces automated dispensing machines for pharmacies, MICROMO performs a number of assembly steps such as aligning the gearbox and servomotor, installing encoders, and attaching wire harness.
Between MICROMO's on-site machining and assembly facilities, and the options available in our standard product line, customers can choose from over 5000 permutations of custom and semi-standard products. We deliver motors with specialized bearing systems and lubrication, alternative brush materials and commutation approaches, a variety of coil voltages, extended temperature range operation, customized wiring harnesses, modified shaft configurations like thru-shafts and hollow shafts, modified motor geometries, and more. MICROMO routinely produces motors and gearhead assemblies for autoclavable handpieces and implantable devices. Our ruggedized components are built to survive a range of harsh conditions like washdown environments, vacuum operation, and punishing applications like down-hole drilling, industrial hygiene, geological monitoring, aerospace, and more.
Comprehensive test services
The 2500 sqaure foot test lab includes:
- A vibrations research corp. vibration testing controller
- A Pace Technologies PICO 150 precision cutter and Penta5000 grinder for metallographic studies
- A Magtrol Microdyne dynamometer, for evaluating the torque performance of extremely small motors
- A Joel Neoscope scanning electron microscope
- A Senis AG magnetic field mapper
- A Keyence video microscope
- A Nikon SMZ-10 microscope
- Test ovens capable of running from -73°C to 175°C (RH 10-90% from 10°C to 85°C)
Whether used for product acceptance, lifecycle evaluation, or failure-mode analysis, testing is a cornerstone of product design and manufacturing. MICROMO recognizes this, which is why we established the MICROMO Test Group in our Clearwater, Florida facility. With an experienced staff and an in-house facility equipped with an array of instrumentation, MICROMO delivers a comprehensive set of test capabilities ranging from product validation to troubleshooting.
Testing can power the product development process from the design stage on through final acceptance testing. A properly designed test program can speed commercialization by helping the engineering team optimize product design and manufacturing, controlling costs, reducing scrap, and improving the process to help you deliver the best possible product to market as quickly as possible.
Testing might take place in the laboratory but motors operate in the real world. To be effective, test programs need to be designed to deliver insight, not just numbers. When you add the MICROMO Test Group to your team, you gain access to seasoned motion control and test experts backed by MICROMO capabilities. We can develop test platforms tailored to validate whatever specific performance characteristics you require. Automating the process with Labview allows us to perform a sophisticated range of tests to ensure our products meet your needs and your products perform as desired.
Our test lab can characterize any of our motors, developing torque, speed, and power curves, or testing for parameters like back EMF. Trying to figure out what motor/gearhead combination will give you the optimum balance of performance and life? Let us produce efficiency curves for whatever gearmotor set you choose. If you prefer to do your own life testing, send the units to us for evaluation. We’ll break them down and perform a full analysis, sending you a detailed report with photos, data, and findings.
If you’ve had a unit fail and want to understand why, we can help. We combine a comprehensive testing program with a thorough understanding of all MICROMO products. We will perform a complete failure mode analysis, sending you a detailed report with photographic documentation, data, and cause.
Cosmetic laser manufacturer Cutera tapped the MICROMO test lab to discover why its new handset design couldn't survive shock and vibration testing. When the customer sent the subassembly back to MICROMO for analysis, the test team discovered that the unit had been stressed between the motor and the encoder—because of the way the motor was mounted, dropping handpiece cause the motor to hit the housing and break. Cutera engineers redesigned the stops on the product to prevent the problem from happening.
When aircraft window shade manufacturer MSA redesigned its corporate jet product to satisfy a new commercial-aviation customer, the initial prototypes could not survive life testing. MSA delivered a pair of the failed gearmotors to the MICROMO test lab for analysis. While conducting failure mode analysis, the team discovered that the source of failure was not the motor but a metal spur gear that could not survive the punishing duty cycles imposed by commercial aviation standards. Once they needed the source of the problem, it was easy to arrive at a solution of replacing the original gear for a planetary design that could guarantee longer life.
MICROMO services, from prototype to production
Engineering & Custom design
If you want help with more than just components, take advantage of MICROMO’s engineering services department. With decades of experience, our design engineers can outline a number of ways for you to accomplish your design goals, speeding development time and reducing failure rates in test and manufacturing. A good example is a customer who called MICROMO to discuss an encoder. When our design engineer looked at the exploded view of the encoder assembly in the context of the application, he realized that the parts lent themselves to being housed and shafted in a freestanding unit. The customer jumped on the idea and development began. The process is underway today and will eventually involve a gearmotor, as well, for a fully-integrated subassembly.
In these types of design projects, the team uses comprehensive design and drawing reviews to reduce risk in prototype builds and cut the time and cost involved in delivering final drawing package. Broad experience in manufacturing across a wide range of application areas allows our engineers to suggest design approaches that help OEMs achieve cost goals early in a development cycle, eliminating the need for expensive redesigns.
“MICROMO analyzed the assembly and told us what was wrong, which allowed us to home in on the root cause.”
—Scott Davenport, Cutera.
Using sophisticated analysis techniques, we can help you optimize your product design and manufacturing. MICROMO’s engineering design team leverages design failure-mode effects analysis (DFMEA) to help you build the best possible product and process failure mode effects analysis (PFMEA) to ensure that you get your product to market as quickly as possible. DFMEA is essentially a critical design review that analyzes the system, focusing on the way the components interface in subassemblies. Done properly, DFMEA functions as both a planning tool and a risk mitigation tool that we can use to maximize the success of your project.
We can help you shorten your road to commercialization and guarantee success once you're there by avoiding design elements that may cause product failure or create manufacturing issues. We analyze your prototypes using finite element analysis. Because our engineers have XX years of experience in developing motion systems for a wide range of applications and conditions, our team can identify problems up front. We not only suggest alternative designs, we can fabricate them, characterize them, and verify their effectiveness with accelerated lifetime testing.
PFMEA applies many of the same techniques as DFMEA, but this time focusing on manufacturing. Building a new product means developing a new process, which requires fixtures, tooling, test protocols, and other elements. While that introduces opportunity, it also involves risks. Our team performs a detailed evaluation and analysis to isolate particular risks and failure modes associated with the new processes. Essentially, PFMEA is a risk assessment and planning tool that allows us to identify and solve issues in the mass production process. A subassembly that incorporates a delicate part may need a special handling fixture and series of assembly steps to guard against damage, for example. Our design team can analyze the issues and develop strategies to address them—and because of our in-house capabilities, we can also build that handling fixture and even perform the assembly steps ourselves so that your staff doesn't have to.
PFMEA encompasses more than actual manufacturing steps, however. We can perform full supply-chain analysis to make you confident of not only our ability to link to deliver but that of our suppliers. We can develop acceptance testing protocol for you, or deliver our parts pretested, with documentation. With our PFMEA service, you can be confident that you have a robust mass-production process in place before the first part ever begins assembly, which means that your customers can be confident of you.
When we first started working with MicroMo, I think we might have shipped one camera system a month. Now, we're typically shipping two systems a day.”
—Matt Kornblum, Gyrocam Systems
A program can’t be successful without proper testing at all stages. A well-designed test plan demonstrates requirements while minimizing test time and protecting equipment. As part of the engineering process, our team develops tests to help validate performance of prototypes and ferret out problems. Subsystem tests can be used to verify higher risk or critical components before full system tests are conducted, decreasing the possibility of failure. Based on experience, our engineering team can design the actual production system for easy test and establish the focus methodology to provide process feedback during manufacturing.
Today's products deliver ever more functionality courtesy of embedded intelligence and memory. For many embedded systems that leverage motion, the easiest way to robust functionality is via an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). Navigating the process can be complex, however, an expensive for those new to the process. Here, too, micromo can help with a comprehensive program for easy development. Our engineering team can walk you through chip development from beginning to end. We can integrate that chip into your motion platform, handling design, development, testing, and manufacturing to deliver a complete motion platform to you ready for integration into your product.
Time to market can dramatically affect the success of a product. A delay of even a few months can entirely change the competitive landscape. It can shorten product lifecycles, decreasing total revenues over the product lifespan and introduce engineering costs for product updates sooner than might otherwise be the case. MICROMO offers a full suite of project management capabilities to keep product development on schedule and on budget.
The MICROMO project management team can help develop a project plan and budget, creating schedule, complete with phase-gate processes, design reviews, and common milestones. Our experienced staff understands why and when projects fail, allowing us to identify potential trouble spots and pinch points. We not only deliver a schedule but also a comprehensive contingency plan to put into operation in case of unanticipated internal or external events prevent the project from proceeding according to plan.
At its heart, project management is about mitigating risk. The MICROMO program management team starts by working with the customer to draft a list of requirements. The process goes beyond just describing functionality. Each item on the list is carefully tailored to manage risk and complexity. Our team identifies sources of risk and develops a formal risk management plan that includes monitoring requirements to guard against the addition of unnecessary functionality that can increase cost, lengthen time to market, and potentially impact product production, performance, or exceptions.
“MICROMO has been a notably good partner to work with.”
—Howard Preston, Preston Cinema
Maintaining the schedule is essential to controlling cost. Schedule slippage in the design phase, for example, forces the compression of succeeding tasks like fabrication, assembly, and testing. That can drive up costs, both directly and by increasing the chance of errors at all steps along the process. Because fixing errors in turn introduces further delays, it becomes a vicious cycle. The obvious answer is slack time, but that has balanced to avoid either delays in receiving materials that can postpone manufacturing or tying up capital in inventory for an excessive amount of time. Our team monitors schedule performance and develops workable recovery plans to ensure the project remains on time.
In today's market, products need ever more functionality to remain competitive. That means that your engineering department needs to focus more and more of their time and effort on product differentiation. At the same time, the skill set demanded from them becomes increasingly broad even as budget pressures act to limit or reduce headcount. You can't do it all…and with MICROMO as your partner, you don't have to. We offer a comprehensive slate of products and services to support your efforts and make you successful in the marketplace.
MICROMO: Make our team your team.