Drives and Control Solutions

Motors, Control Solutions, Power Transmission and Advanced Motion Technology                                                                 

January 24, 2019
 
At the Hannover Messe 2019 trade fair, Festo is once more showcasing two new concepts for SupraMotion.
 

The requirements placed on the cleaning of production facilities and their purity are increasing – particularly in future-oriented fields such as medical technology, laboratory automation or biotechnology. Thanks to superconductor technology, these demands could easily be fulfilled in future. At the Hannover Messe 2019 trade fair, Festo is once more showcasing two new concepts in this field: with the SupraMultitool, several functions can be carried out with only one superconductor element; and SupraDrive 2.0 demonstrates smooth, linear transport of objects – with precise positioning. In both exhibits, superconductivity allows low-energy movement in suspension and facilitates cleaning.

In the future, many manufactured products will move quietly and cleanly through the production shops, with low energy consumption and without contact. Contact-free, frictionless handling beyond walls and in any spatial orientation, which will become possible thanks to superconductor technology, will yield entirely new solutions – especially in highly pure environments. Medical technology, laboratory automation, biotechnology and food production are decisive future fields of automation, which are showing great potential for growth over the coming decades. Reliable cleaning is essential for hygienically safe production in these applications.

Contact-free production of the future

The spatial separation of a product from its handling equipment in a vacuum, in a clean room, in gases or liquids ensures protected transport to meet the highest demands. “The special characteristics of superconductors open up great potential wherever contact-free storage or handling is required. Automation can thus make inroads into areas of application that until now have been regarded as not or only hardly accessible to automation,” said Georg Berner, Head of Strategic Corporate Development, Group Holding Festo and Project Coordinator for the SupraMotion concepts. “Our customers, and their customers in turn, benefit from this paradigm shift in automation. Festo has therefore been investigating and developing this technology for more than ten years. We are currently working together with customers on trendsetting pilot projects.”

What are superconductors?

Superconductors are materials which below a certain temperature can store the field of a permanent magnet at a predefined distance. This effect enables objects to be held in position and manoeuvred without contact. The levitation gap remains stable even beyond walls. Thanks to their restoring forces, the superconductive magnetic bearing components autonomously return to their memorised position even after one of them is temporarily removed – entirely without external control engineering.

At the Hannover Messe 2019 trade fair Festo is showcasing two new possible applications of SupraMotion:

SupraMultitool: performing several functions simultaneously with only one cryostat

The SupraMultitool demonstrates how different automation tasks can be simultaneously carried out flexibly and without contact, using only one system. On display are the stable, linear transport and secure, contact-free rotation of a workpiece carrier. This configuration clearly shows the advantages of superconductive storage in terms of stability and reliability as compared with electromagnetic solutions. At the SupraMultitool exhibit, a handling system positions a workpiece carrier on three different magnets in turn to demonstrate the flexible possibilities for application.

SupraDrive 2.0: smooth linear transport

Based on the SupraDrive exhibit presented in 2017, SupraDrive 2.0 is fitted with two integral 1.5-metre cryostats with superconductors, which make for particularly smooth and at the same time dynamic movement of the transport sledge. The cryostats are tilted at an angle to each other. By this means, they additionally centre and stabilise the transport sledge from both sides. With SupraDrive 2.0, the movement and precise positioning are likewise effected by the drive unit from the Multi-Carrier-System MCS®. Like all SupraMotion exhibits, these two SupraDrive concepts can be used for example in applications that require the equipment to be cleaned frequently or during regular operation.

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Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) was recently pleased to announce that Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel solutions partner for electronics, industrial and automation customers and suppliers has joined the association as a global member, along with its subsidiaries Allied Electronics & Automation (Allied), a distributor of automation and control, electronic, electrical, mechanical, and maintenance products in North America and RS Components (RS), a global distribution partner for industrial customers and suppliers involved in designing, building or maintaining industrial equipment and facilities.

Electrocomponents will be represented on the ECIA by Chris Beeson, Senior Vice President of Electronics at RS. Peter Malpas, EMEA Regional President for RS; Sean Fredricks APAC Regional President for RS; and Ken Bradley President of Allied in the Americas will represent their respective regions.

“We recognize the importance of partnering with other industry leaders in electronics manufacturing and distribution to stay on the cutting edge of technology for the wide-ranging benefit of our customers,” said Beeson. “Membership in ECIA allows Electrocomponents, Allied and RS to have a seat at the table with other global distribution and manufacturing leaders to solve problems and advance our industry.”

“We are excited to work alongside our distributor peers and suppliers as ECIA tackles critical industry issues and global technical standards,” said Bradley. “This is an excellent opportunity to focus our collective power on customer-facing challenges we can solve together.”

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New Product

DCS-23-Pilz-PSENoptIISafetyLightCurtains-400.jpg

The second generation of safety light curtains, PSENopt II, provide safe access to the production process and provide finger, hand and body protection, depending on the requirement. The first Type 3 safety light curtains are specifically designed for applications up to PL d of EN/IEC 61496-1. Type 4 light curtains are also available for applications up to PL e of EN/IEC 61496-1/-2.

As the units are so robust, PSENopt II sensors provide protection against shock, collision and vibration and so are suitable for use in rugged industrial environments. The operator can evaluate the essential causes and system defects responsible for the machine stop by means of the LEDs. Downtimes are reduced as a result.

The safety light curtains are available in lengths from 150 mm to 1800 mm. In combination with the configurable control system PNOZmulti 2 you have a safe, complete, one-stop solution. Compatible accessories range from installation assistance through to mirror columns.

New: Accessory for the light curtain PSENopt II to prevent restart

With our new accessory PSENopt II lockout for the PSENopt II range of light curtains you can prevent the machine restarting. This is necessary, for example, when carrying out maintenance work within the danger zone. PSENopt II lockout consists of an assembly unit that is attached to the side of the light curtain like a swivel arm. If the danger zone is accessed, the swivel arm can be folded out in front of the light curtain’s field of vision and fitted with a lock. As a result the light curtain no longer has a free field of vision, so start up is prevented.

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