06/23/2005 • Automation • Drive Tech

Exemplary plug and work

The trend is clear: for the manufacturers, handling and assembly technology is rapidly transforming into a systems business, in which component suppliers are increasingly becoming system suppliers. What systems builders want are ready-to-install handling subsystems that significantly facilitate engineering and commissioning. In focus: Festo Systemtechnic.

The staff at Festo Systemtechnic spend their days working on automation solutions in the field of pneumatic and electrical handling. They focus on tasks from the most varied of sectors in which all forms of handling movements are to be performed in all directions using linear drives. In cooperation with the user, a modular system that has yet to be adjusted to the super ordinate system is created on the basis of CAD designs. In this scenario, the quantities can extend from single lot sizes up to larger production series.

The handling subsystem is equipped with components from Festo’s catalogue range, which includes not only drives but also high-performance valves, valve terminals and service units. One foundation pillar for the systems to be designed is the multi-axis modular system, which is increasingly being considered along with the electrical counterparts of the tried and tested pneumatic drives. Depending on the application, more suitable drive variants are being offered such as, for example, the highly dynamic electrical toothed belt axis with roller bearing guide or DGE-RF for short. With its integrated drive system, it can reach speeds of 10 m/s.

Advantages of ready-to-install handling subsystems

Costs are key: Special machine and system builders can save a great deal of time and expense in their engineering and design processes, when compared to developing their own handling systems in-house. Tested in advance, supplied with all design data and circuit diagrams as well as comprehensive operating and fixed-price guarantees – the ready-to-install Festo Systemtechnic handling subsystems shorten the distance from idea to machine. These systems are delivered directly to the machine – assembled, tested and ready to go. Complete solutions relieve the pressure on the technical personnel, while keeping design work and expense low. Ready-to-install handling subsystems facilitate the procurement process and reduce process costs, thanks to single sourcing and order processing using one part or project number.

Crystal clear system solution

One example of a pure-bred mechatronic solution with electrical, pneumatic and electronic components from the Festo modules involves a picker for spectacle lens production. A handling system removes the grinding tool from a high-bay warehouse, places it on a tray and transports it to the grinding machine. After grinding the spectacle lenses, the system conveys the tool back to the storage system. According to the customer, P @ P Pickingssystems, all that is required on their part is the product-specific assembly of the gripper needles, as well as precision adjustment and function tests.

Thanks to the mechatronics, picking takes place very quickly – barely two seconds. Plug and work guarantees vertical positioning by means of an electrical roller guide axis (positioning) combined with a purely pneumatically driven axis (DGP-L). The pick-up is handled by the pneumatic long-stroke gripper HGP-L 25, as, with its maximum stroke of 80 millimetres, it can also transport grinding tools of various sizes. In addition, an electrical toothed belt-linear drive (DGE-L) serves as the basic drive for the lower guide. This area is also where you will find the only third-party manufactured part: an Engel motor, which is assembled by the user himself. All I/Os are bundled together in a sensor box, which, like the valve terminal type CPV, is located on top of the picker.

Another plus: As all of these components are standard parts from the Festo modular range, expert technicians succeeded in bringing the picker to series production level within two weeks. The user also receives the appropriate CAD drawing including multilingual documentation on the components, which are then used to integrate the latter in his electronic design. Even an experienced, external designer would require approximately six to eight weeks to complete a comparable development project.
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Festo AG & Co. KG

Hauptstr. 15
73726 Esslingen

Phone: +49 (0) 711/ 347- 0
Fax: +49 (0) 711/ 347- 2071