True to the original replicas of commercial vehicles not only gladden the heart of any model car collector but also find increasing use as simulation vehicles for high-quality industrial products – provided, that is, they match the form, function and technical specifications of the original as closely as possible. Producing a miniature version of the many complex functions and auxiliary devices requires the finest mechanical precision and expertise. Space in any model vehicle is just as tight as in the original, so designers are forced in both cases to come up with compact solutions. This is where brush-commutated microdrives come into their own. Their high, battery-saving efficiency ensures a particularly long operating time. The simple control system facilitates true to life, precise movements and allows them to be used as affordable training devices for drivers of the original vehicles.
High-quality, technically authentic vehicle models place special demands on material and technology. For one thing, the structural shape of the original has to be reflected as faithfully as possible in the model version, and for another the technical function often leads to compromises for logistical and physical reasons, in such things as the gear heads or hydraulic components. ScaleArt in the Waldsee district of the Pfalz region has risen to the challenge and produces trucks, front-end loaders and other models that not only look like the originals but perform the same way. In order to make these models move as realistically as possible in every respect, the precision experts work with microdrive specialist FAULHABER. Compact DC drives of various sizes and performance categories allow the models to move just like the originals.
In the field of drive technology, you have to focus on maximizing every millimeter and gram, without compromising the performance, high efficiency and simple operation of the model. FAULHABER drives are always the first choice for that. This is evident in the tracked loader: The chains are each powered independently of one another by a 200 W motor, which enables them to “turn on a dime” or rotate around its vertical axis on chains moving in the opposite direction.
Putting fun to practical use
As fascinating as the models are for hobby collectors and model car enthusiasts, there are other uses for these miniature vehicles. The industry is increasingly working with more and more complex machinery, which requires thorough training for the operators of such equipment. But training people on full-size versions of industrial equipment is very expensive and comparable with the cost of pilot training. Unlike training a pilot, however, on a very expensive simulator, the helmsman of a concrete pump, for instance, can be trained relatively inexpensively. Instead of positioning a 32-meter trailer with high fuel consumption on a suitably large site, a faithfully reproduced model can be used. All of the necessary processes can be operated via the original control unit. The model then performs the commands exactly as the original would to set the machine in motion.
The limited amount of power today’s batteries can deliver is a real killjoy radio controlled models. Real driving pleasure requires the longest possible operating periods. Graphite-commutated motors with 78 to 85% efficiency are an optimal way to translate that limited amount of power into the desired motion. Depending on the kind of drive required in the model, the large range of standard motors in the product portfolio of the Schönaich specialists allows the right drive to be selected every time. Power ratings of 1.5 to over 200 W and shaft diameters of 6 to 38 mm support the realistic operation of additional functions and allow the vehicles to make powerful headway via the main drive. For instance, the hydraulic pump installed in many models adds a system pressure of around 17 bar. In the case of a digger or grader, this allows the bucket of the vehicle to lift up to 50 kg. These “power minis” are ideal for ancillary functions like extending the semi-trailer ramps of a flat-bed trailer, where pure power is not what is called for but instead compact dimensions and precise control.
One thing all the motors have in common is simple control of torque and output power via pulse width modulation. This allows users to adapt the motor to their particular technical needs via their own control modules. In the case of the models, this is essential to ensure all movements occur in a speed range appropriate to the scale of the model. In addition, this type of drive is highly efficient, tolerates fluctuations in supply voltage and can be designed to be very robust.