FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What is the history of Island Components Group?

    We are management-owned and started in 1991 as a manufacturer of AC motors for the military. Over the years, we have diversified and currently, commercial and military aerospace and industrial applications such as medical, down-hole drilling and undersea research account for more than half of our total sales. We design and manufacture a broad range of brushless and brush type DC motors and controllers, induction, synchronous, hysteresis and other precision motors, electromagnetic brakes and clutches, sensored and sensorless drives, rotary and linear actuators and precision windings. We conduct ongoing applied research in the areas of flight control actuation, optical scanners, blowers, medical, robotic, textile, polishing and grinding, aircraft environmental control, utility traction and specialty products, including electrical power generation.

  • What are your quality and reliability standards?

    Aerospace and military applications require the highest quality and reliability. We are certified to ISO9001-2008 and meet MIL-I-45208 quality procedures. We have completed the initial stage of our continuing Lean Manufacturing journey. We perform soldering certified to the IPC-A-610 program and ESD (Electro Static Discharge) trainer and conduct our soldering and ESD training in house. Certifications and certificates are issued to persons who successfully complete the classes. We have a Parts Manufacturer Approval(PMA) for the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA). Aerospace contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Moog, Eaton Aerospace and others rely on our quality and reliability to provide solutions for their critical flight-control applications, radar, electro-optical drives and other control systems requirements.

  • Where are you located?

    Our engineering and manufacturing facility and administrative offices are located on Long Island, beside Islip’s MacArthur Airport. We offer design engineering, precision parts manufacturing, assembly, qualification testing, product support, administration, sales and marketing and applied research from our facility.

  • How do you differentiate yourselves from your competition?

    By our ability to find the optimal cost-effective solution, usually by modifying one of our existing designs or creating a new design.

  • How do your prices compare with manufacturers of standard products?

    An off-shelf design usually is less-expensive than a customized design, which typically involves one-time design and development costs. When we are in the production phase, however, our manufacturing efficiency, offshore sourcing of labor-intensive parts and management ownership enable us to offer pricing comparable to standard products. In addition, our optimal solutions often improve system performance and reduce system downtime, which creates considerable savings over the life of the system.

  • Which magnet materials do you use in your products?

    We use Alnico, Samarium Cobalt and Neodymium magnets, each of which has advantages and disadvantages depending on the application. Alnico, whose main advantage is temperature stability, was the best material available several decades ago but Samarium Cobalt and Neodymium magnets have emerged since then and are in widespread use today. Neodymium offers the highest possible energy; however, it is limited to 150 degrees C and can develop corrosion problems in some environments, if not coated. Samarium Cobalt is a stable high-energy magnet whose early stability problems have been resolved. There are also cost differences between magnet materials. Your best bet is to speak with one of our design engineers who can address your particular needs and discuss magnet choices with you.

  • Do you recommend embedded magnets or cemented magnets for motor design:

    An embedded magnet is easier from the manufacturing point of view, because the magnets are easily slid into the slots as the motor is assembled. Motor speed and performance is important to consider, as cemented magnets can sometimes fly off at high motor speeds if not encased in a sleeve.

  • What lubrication methods do you use in designing your products?

    Various lubrication methods can be used, depending on speed, temperature, range and performance requirements. Our bearings are normally used for the life of the product.

  • What are your capabilities in electronics circuit design, validation and software, and motor drive circuitry and controls?

    For a summary of our electronics capabilities, please visit our page on Electronics and Controllers.  In our most recent electronics application, we designed an extremely compact valve actuator for the U.S Navy, utilizing our computer-aided-design and proprietary modeling and motor-optimization software as well as various DSP and microprocessor development tools and electronic circuit auto-routing software.

    The actuator features:

    • A 24-volt system providing position and speed control.

    • A 36 slot, 42 pole concentrated winding brushless DC motor design offering exceptional mechanical stability, low manufacturing cost and low noise and vibration when excited with sinusoidal voltage drive electronics.

    • EMA output of 10,000 inch pounds over 90 degrees rotation in approximately two seconds with a gearbox ratio of 25:1 and minimum gearbox efficiency of 55 percent of torque.

    • An open loop controller, designed using C++ and the Metrowerks complier, with much of the software written and tested on a PC platform using the Unified Modeling Language to organize it into visual documents to be shared by the software design group. The design platform was then moved from the PC to development boards. The controller gives read-out of open/closed position and changes in rpm, acceleration, power variable and slope in speed and acceleration. Following a change of valve position, the controller can “power down” as active position control is not required.

  • What feedback devices do you use in your actuators, in-line packages and mechanisms?

    We use resolvers, synchros, encoders and sensors of various kinds. Our motors can also be slotless, depending on the controller.

  • What types of optical encoders do you use?

    We use the Hewlett-Packard HEDS and HEDM series of optical encoders as well as other makes when appropriate.

    Features:

    • Two channel quadrature output with optional index pulse

    • No signal adjustment required

    • Low cost

    • Small size

    • Resolutions up to 1024 counts per revolution

    • -40°C to 100°C operating temperature

    • TTL compatible

    • Single 5 volt supply Benefits

    • Feedback information may be used in conjunction with a position controller for precise motor shaft position.

    • Encoders used in conjunction with various controllers allow precise velocity control of brushless motors

  • Summarize your manufacturing, engineering and testing services?

    We provide advanced design capabilities, cost-efficient manufacturing and superior customer service. We have all the engineering disciplines required for designing complex small actuation systems. We provide prototype modeling to a fully functional prototype. We maintain a prototype system and dedicated model shop to provide you with a complete understanding of your electromechanical actuator prior to production commitment. We have long-established relationships with offshore windings suppliers. We are a valuable resource during the early stages of design development.

    Environmental Testing

    • Temperature, Altitude, Humidity, Vibration

    • Thermal Vacuum

    • Salt Fog/SO2 Shock

    • Waterproofness

    • Structural/Performance (Load, Endurance, etc.)

    Concurrent Engineering

    • Common Modules

    • Research & Development

    • Reliability & Maintainability

    • AutoCAD Design

    • Electronic Interchange

    • Program Management Coordination

    Manufacturing

    • Precision Machining

    • Fabrication

    • Sub-Assembly

    • In-Process Testing

    • Functional Testing

    • Stress Screening

    Prototyping Process

    • Mock-Ups

    • Dedicated Model Shop

    • Assembly

    • Testing

    • and More

  • What types of motors do you make?

    Brushless DC motors:

    • Limited rotation motors

    • Linear motors

    • Outside rotor motors

    • Toroidally-wound motors

    • Sinusoidally-wound motors

    • Explosion proof motors

    • Low-noise motors

    • Frameless motors

    • Motors with integral drives

    • IP68-rated motors

    • Slotless motors

    • High Performance motor with unique stator design

    • Stepper motors

    Brush-type motors:

    • DC motors

    • Universal (split field) motors

    AC motors:

    • AC 50/60/400/800Hz

    • Induction

    • Synchronous

    • Hysteresis

  • What are the benefits of a brushless motor design:

    Not having brushes to wear out, brushless DC motors offer many benefits:

    • Greater reliability, longer life and less downtime;

    • Elimination of brush arching and brush bounce;

    • Higher speeds(because there is no brush resistance);

    • Better heat dissipation(the winding is typically on the outside element) and quieter operation acoustically and electrically;

    Advances in electronics and power semi-conductors permit cost effective control of a brushless DC motor, which also offers the response and linearity over a wide speed range that is needed for today's applications. Brushless DC motors are usually a bit more expensive and there are many applications where brush motors do a great job and are the smarter choice. It's always best to discuss your particular requirements with one of our engineers.

  • What are the main differences between brushless DC motors and wound field DC brush motors?

    No electrical energy is absorbed by the permanent magnet field excitation system of the brushless DC motor, resulting in substantially increased efficiencies compared with the wound field motor due to losses in the lagging wound field.

    The elimination of the arcing of the sliding contact and wear of the brushes and commutator of the DC brush motor greatly improves reliability and reduces motor maintenance and RFI with the brushless DC motor.

    Heat generated in the stationary windings of the brushless DC motor is removed easily through the high thermal conductivity of a metal to metal contact while heat generated in the moving coils on the rotor of the brush DC motor winding is removed with difficulty through the low thermal conductivity of the gas in the air-gap. Thus brushless DC motors operate at higher efficiency and lower temperatures or offer higher power density than brush DC motors.

  • What are the reasons for using an outside rotor vs. inside rotor?

    Inside rotor designs provide lower rotor inertia, outside higher rotor inertia.

  • Do cube-shaped motors and cylinder-shaped motors perform differently?

    Cube shaped motors lend themselves better to the size of the envelope and offer a high torque to size ratio.

  • Do you use asbestos in the friction pads in your brakes and clutches?

    We have never used any friction material that contains asbestos. We use different types of proprietary materials depending on the type of application.

  • Are your brakes able to slip continuously?

    It depends on energy (heat loss) dissipated. Normally, our brakes are used as holding brakes or dynamic applications where we bring an inertia load to a rest. Contact us to discuss your continuous slip application.

  • All your clutches use 24 VDC. Can you design one with 48 VDC?

    We can wind the coil for any voltage, 3VDC to 120 VDC.

  • Do you offer brakes mounted on the back of a motor:

    Because of the different types of motor designs, it’s not practical to have a standard design. We will take any motor from any manufacturer and design a brake for it.

  • What applications are your actuators used in?

    We supply rotary and linear actuators for aerospace, defense and industrial applications. Our high performance actuators are used in aerospace flight control applications, commercial and military aircraft, military ground equipment, missiles and munitions and industrial equipment. We design and manufacture all actuation hardware, electronics and software to provide closed loop servo control for a diverse range of applications. For more information on our actuators, click here.  Also, see Question 9 for a summary of our recently-designed extremely compact valve actuator and electronics for the U.S. Navy.

  • When do you incorporate gearheads in your packages?

    When we need to control a large load inertia with a comparatively small motor inertia.  The gearhead allows greater control of acceleration or velocity of the load, and without the gearhead, the motor torque, and thus current, would have to be as many times greater as the reduction ratio which is used. Each combination of motor and gearhead offers unique advantages.  We offer a selection of windings in each frame size which, combined with a selection of reduction ratios, offers a range of solutions to output requirements.

  • I need your GHD-022 gearhead but my load is 30% higher than you specify and I don't have any space for the next size unit.

    With different processes, we can meet your higher loads within the same size unit.  Call us to discuss.

  • Your catalog shows only one size planetary gearhead. Do you have another catalog with a complete line of gearheads?

    Because we are a specialty house, we can design any planetary gearhead to your specifications.  Call us to discuss.

  • I'm using your GHF gearhead series and sometimes my equipment jams and breaks the teeth in the gearhead. What can I do?

    If there is no major design problem and this happens occasionally, we can design a fail-safe slip clutch right into the gearhead without changing the external dimensions.