Since the early 1990’s, Rupert Cruise, founder of Linear Motion Technologies (formerly Texchange), has viewed linear motors as the key emerging technology that will transform transportation systems and industrial processes. Advances in permanent magnet materials and power electronics have speeded up the transformation and linear motors (in particular linear synchronous motors) are now finding widespread use in many different industrial applications. Rupert first began exploring the use of linear motors for mining applications in 1994. Over the next 16 years he led a team of fellow researchers and worked with the world’s largest mining companies developing linear motor prototypes for hoisting applications in deep-level mines, including:
· single-sided buried permanent magnet linear motors
· double-sided surface mounted permanent magnet motors
· tubular motors
· superconducting linear motors
Research areas explored during this period included:
· braking characteristics of linear motors
· performance characteristics of aluminium shields
· techniques to reduce cogging forces
· sensorless motor control strategies
In 2004, we were approached by a large defence contractor to design and manufacture test linear motors for a US Navy aircraft carrier hoisting application.
We continue to invest in intellectual and human capital. This aggressive inward investment has resulted in numerous technological breakthroughs and subsequent patents. These technological breakthroughs, together with the retained tacit knowledge and experience of the team, have established Linear Motion Technologies as a driving force in linear motor development.