Motorized and autonomous military and defense equipment relies on accurate motion control systems and components that can operate without fail under a wide variety of conditions. To ensure safety as well as compatibility with other devices and parts, motion control solutions like actuators must also comply with stringent MIL-SPEC and quality control standards. 

High-performance components within these systems, such as electromagnetic clutches and brakes, allow motion control systems to perform effectively and reliably. Learn more about motion control systems, their parts and applications, the factors that go into their design, and innovations in these markets.


Fundamentals of Motion Control Systems

Motion control systems convert energy into synchronized mechanical movement. Such systems are made up of interworking components like servo motors, controllers, drives, and feedback mechanisms like sensors. Using high-quality parts in motion control systems helps the military and defense industry achieve reliable, accurate movement and optimize equipment function and efficiency.

An actuator, one example of a motion control system, utilizes vital subcomponents like electromagnetic clutches and brakes. Using electromagnetic force to maintain the placement of a load, clutches and brakes enhance system maneuverability and hold equipment positioning with precision.


Specific Applications of Motion Control Solutions in Military & Defense Projects

A diverse range of industries rely on motion control components like clutches and brakes, and the military and defense sector is no exception. Specific applications for these systems include:

    • Robotic systems and unmanned vehicles. Equipment like robots, drones, and unmanned vehicles or watercraft benefit from efficient motion control systems to safely and accurately navigate, even when functioning autonomously. Bomb response robots that incorporate electromagnetic brakes achieve precision movement and load control, and power-off brakes can hold the positioning of robotic arms.
    • Weapon system platforms and components. Weapon systems require high-quality positioning and motion control capabilities to target, reposition, and discharge platform-mounted weapons accurately and safely. Electromagnetic brakes hold the positioning of such systems, and can also guide components like missile fins per an operator’s instructions for accurate weaponry guidance.
    • Weapon bay door drives. Power-off brakes in motion control systems like utility-type actuators can hold the positioning of weapon bay door drives and related defense components.
  • Stability augmentation systems. Another motion control solution in actuators, electromagnetic clutches, helps generate high levels of torque with low backlash. Such systems have applications in autopilot or emergency situations.
  • Primary and secondary flight control systems. Actuators are responsible for motion control in defense aircraft’s flight control systems. Electromagnetic clutches and brakes facilitate accurate positioning in applications like rudders, elevators, spoilers, and flaps while increasing a system’s maneuverability.
  • Cameras. Optics devices like cameras rely on motion control systems for stabilization and positioning. Electromagnetic brakes help steady the equipment to capture quality images without blurring.


Key Considerations for Engineering Defense Motion Control Systems

Compared to products for other markets, motion control systems and components for military applications face more extreme and variable environments. Manufacturers also have to factor in lethality and survivability, other considerations that are unique to this sector. 

Products should be rugged, reliable, efficient, and safe. To that end, manufacturers for the military and defense industries have to keep numerous factors in mind when developing designs and choosing materials. 

For example, clutches and brakes involved in motion control systems for aerospace applications must be able to withstand fluctuating temperatures of extreme hot and cold, as well as changing pressures. In general, military and defense components have to be capable of resisting corrosion through special coatings; withstanding vibrations, shock, and debris impact; and maintaining system integrity to continue operations under a range of current and voltage conditions. 

Along with the need for robust designs, military motion control solutions are subject to the requirements of rigorous manufacturing and quality standards. These industries demand precision parts that will be incorporated seamlessly into existing systems. 

The military’s MIL-SPEC requirements and defense regulations are only some of the safety, quality control (QC), and redundancy mechanisms in place to ensure proper performance and interoperability in the field. A reputable manufacturer, like SEPAC, Inc., will make nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) available, upon request.


Advancing the Field of Military & Defense: The Latest Innovations in Motion Control

Technology for military and defense applications is always evolving. Recent technological advancements in motion control for these sectors include:

  • Energy-efficiency enhancements for better system efficiency and operational range while reducing power consumption
  • Lightweight, compact designs to increase high-tech system portability
  • Autonomous control opportunities in optionally piloted vehicles (OPVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)


Building Motion Control Systems for Extreme Environments & Life-Saving Applications

At SEPAC, Inc., our expert team can help you select the optimal motion control engineering solutions for defense and military applications. Backed by decades of industry experience, SEPAC can meet even the most stringent ground, air, and sea motion control needs for clients in these sectors with high-performance clutches and brakes.

Our AS9100D-certified company specializes in serving government entities, complying with their contract requirements as well as MIL-SPEC standards. We also work closely with motion control system manufacturers like Moog, an industry leader in providing solutions for military, defense, and other critical industries. 

Our expert team designs and engineers each of our clutch and brake solutions to maximize performance; minimize weight, size, and current draw; and allow for reliable, precision operation in harsh environments. For optimal quality control, we utilize equipment ranging from coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and optical measurement devices to temperature chambers and dynamometers. The latter options enable our electrical and dynamic testing abilities, which evaluate for:

  • Temperature rise
  • Response time
  • Insulation resistance
  • Dielectric strength
  • Electrical bonding


Motion Control Solutions From SEPAC

Turn to SEPAC for high-performance motion control solutions applicable in ground, air, and subsea environments, manned and unmanned. Since 1984, our team has designed and manufactured high-quality electromagnetic clutch and brakes to meet the motion control needs of diverse industries. 

Contact us today to learn more about our military and defense industry solutions. You can also fill out our application data form or request a quote to start your project.

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