Rigid, sealed linear drive guides extraction system on a diamond lathe

With the need to equip its Ultra-Precision diamond lathe with an effective swarf extraction system, the Ultra-Precision Structured Surfaces (UPS2) Department at Cranfield University sought the help of Glyndwr Innovations. The result was the development of a bespoke, stand alone system whose extraction head is guided by a HepcoMotion® Sealed Belt Driven linear actuator (SBD), specified for its accuracy, rigidity and suitability for use in hostile environments. Glyndwr Innovations was originally one of the Welsh Government Technium Optic centres set up to develop and promote high technology  It retains a close association with Glyndwr University but is now an independent company that undertakes a wide range of opto-mechanical project work. This is sourced from both commercial companies and other research-based centres of excellence such as Cranfield University. The lathe in the UPS2 Department at Cranfield is used to cut highly accurate patterns into very high value copper drums or discs, which become the master patterns for the manufacture of optical films for advanced display screens and other optical films.  Swarf from the process had been compromising the quality of the turned surfaces so the introduction of an extraction system became imperative. Working in partnership with the UPS2 Department, Glyndwr Innovations proposed a stand alone system whose construction was initially based on off-the-shelf components for both the extraction process and the linear motion required. Ultimately however, to achieve the performance required, the majority of system elements were custom designed and locally manufactured. One exception was the SBD linear actuator, a standard modular product from HepcoMotion®. The SBD linear actuator was needed to enable the system’s extraction hose and nozzle to...

Norgren’s new integrated valve and actuator control cylinder offers OEMs and end users dramatic reduction in energy and operating costs

Norgren, an international market leader in pneumatic motion and fluid control technologies, has announced the launch of an innovative, high-performance range of cylinders, designed to significantly reduce energy usage and operating costs for OEMs and end users in a range of processing applications by way of IVAC (integrated valve and actuator control) Conventional pneumatic control involves an arrangement of valves or valve islands, actuators, flow controls and sensors, along with connectors and accessories. In typical applications, up to 13 different components can be required for each actuator function. This complexity presents some intrinsic disadvantages and performance constraints. Following close collaboration with customers to offer a solution which would overcome these shortcomings and satisfy individual requirements, Norgren has developed IVAC (integrated valve and actuator control) – an integrated unit which delivers Engineering Advantage by combining the valve, flow controls, cushioning and sensors in a single actuator package. IVAC (integrated valve and actuator control) is a weight and space optimised actuator, suitable for a range of bore sizes from 40mm to 80mm, featuring integrated valve and magnetically operated switches for complete actuator control. Able to be retrofitted or integrated within new systems, each unit requires only one pneumatic and one electrical connection, eliminating the need for multiple valve islands, components, tubing and accessories. This integrated platform lowers costs for users in many ways. Because it is easier to install, maintain and replace a single unit, scheduled and unplanned installation, commissioning and maintenance time and costs are reduced. Less downtime for maintenance also means higher productivity. Meanwhile, eliminating air piping between valves and actuators minimises ‘dead’ volume, reducing air consumption by up...

igus linear actuator speeds up pick & place processes by 30%

Linear drive specialist igus has developed a new type of linear actuator, drylin GRW-0630, which is ideal for use in highly dynamic linear applications with low loads, particularly found in the pick & place sector. The motor is integrated into the carriage, rather than the end block, in this new linear drive system (linear actuator).  As a result, the carriage and motor are static, allowing the rail to move vertically up and down extremely quickly – up to one metre per second! Instead of power being transmitted via a traditional toothed belt drive, drylin GRW-0630 has been designed with a lightweight plastic rack that eliminates deflection and pretension, and allows for smooth strokes up to 150mm based on loads up to one kilogram. The profile material of drylin GRW-0630 is aluminium, so combined with the plastic drive rack makes for a very lightweight complete linear actuator system. drylin GRW-0630 is a modular system complete with adaptor plates and connecting angle accessories that can be fitted with additional two or three linear gantries. As with all igus linear drives, it is completely lubrication free, dirt and dust repellent, and provides a reliable service over a long life.  Furthermore, because the product is made mainly from plastic and aluminium, is a very cost effective...
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The one leading voice for the Fluid & Power Transmission Industry - Saturday, December 16th 2017
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