From configurable components to component sizing and selection, the wheels and slides of change are in motion. And while electromechanical components continue to gain traction, pneumatic still has its place.
“The main advantage of electromechanical vs. pneumatic components is the ability to be flexible and more energy efficient,” explains Andy Urda, Yaskawa Electric America (www.yaskawa.com). “Pneumatic has low initial cost but no flexibility of motion and higher long-term energy costs.”
Technology advances in pneumatics have come a long way to bridge the gap, and electromechanical motion has dropped significantly in price, believes Bob Eisele, technical support representative, Amacoil (www.amacoil.com).
Pneumatics’ benefits include its ease of use, low initial costs and easy two- and sometimes three-position motion, says Ben Furnish, Electromechanical Automation Division, Parker Hannifin (www.parkermotion.com). The downsides are maintenance issues that mean higher total cost of ownership. “Electromechanical has its upsides — multiple stops along the travel, higher precision, more controlled motion, more flexibility in production and more energy efficient,” says Furnish.
Configurable products provide users with the flexibility to meet their demands rather than force them to select other components to be compatible with the product, adds Chuck Russell, C.O. engineering manager, Dodge Tigear-2 & Quantis, Baldor (www.baldor.com).
Prior to the existence of linear stages, machine builders had to size, model, test, procure and assemble individual electromechanical drive components such as rotary motors, electric drives, couplings, ballscrews, gear boxes and linear bearings, reminisces Steven Feketa, global product manager, linear motors and stages, Rockwell Automation (www.rockwellautomation.com). “With the introduction of stages, particularly those that are packaged with a motor, suppliers are able to characterize their stages to allow selection via software tools,” he says. “This software greatly reduces the time to market by helping eliminate the time spent up-front on engineering, assembly and testing for the OEM engineer.”
Electric actuator EGC is designed for high dynamic speeds and high rigidity. This modular actuator can be used as an individual component adapted to third-party motors or as a complete system provided by one source. The unit is available in toothed belt and ball screw designs, as well as different screw pitches.
|SIMPLIFIED MACHINE DESIGN
MP-Series integrated multi-axis stages have a flexible design that accommodates positioning the stages from above or below. The pre-engineered stages offer an out-of-the-box solution for precise two-dimensional positioning and velocity control. They carry a payload to 25 kg at an acceleration of 1 g at maximum payload.
|NO ELECTRONICS NEEDED
Model RG linear drive has mechanical control over travel direction and linear speed, eliminating the need for electronic controls. Reversal of direction is automatic regardless of the speed or rotational direction of the shaft. Length of travel is increased or decreased using manual-set end stops. Travel speed can be regulated using a manual control on the drive unit without requiring changes to motor speed or gearing.
|WORM GEAR REDUCERS
Ultra Kleen right-angle, worm gear reducers are available in quill and three-piece coupled input and with solid or hollow output. Made of stainless steel for washdown protection, the units are available in ratios of 17, 21, 23, 26 and 30 with center distances 1.75-3 inches and a factory-filled H1 food-grade lubricant.
Sigma Trac Plus Series integrated linear positioning slides offer peak force ranges of 220–600 N and stroke ranges of 70 mm to 1.8 m for a range of general automation applications. They can provide accelerations to 5 g and velocities to 5 m/sec.