Festo demonstrates SupraMotion technology at Hannover Messe

  • April 25, 2016
  • Festo Corporation
  • News

April 25, 2016 - Festo is introducing its three potential SupraMotion applications at the Hanover Messe 2016. All three objects have electrically regulated coolers with a maximum power rating of 80 watts.  

SupraJunction: horizontal transfer of suspended carrier plates

With SupraJunction, Festo is demonstrating the contactless transport of objects across enclosed surfaces and through sluice gates. Two carrier plates hover over the superconductors by means of magnetic rails affixed to their underside. They transport small glass containers through a round circuit by being transferred from one superconductor element of a conveyance system to the next element on a different handling system.

In the contact-free transfer from one cryostat to the next, an electromagnet attached to an electrical axis draws the carrier plate onto the next cryostat in the direction of attraction of the magnetic rails. SupraJunction makes suspended transport possible in long process chains and across system boundaries.

Throughout this process, the plates hover over a flat basin of water. The carrier system and the automation mechanism are thus entirely separated from each other; this protects the components against soiling and greatly facilitates cleaning – ideal for applications in the packaging industry, laboratory automation, medical technology, or the food and pharmaceutical industries.

SupraGripper: mechanical gripping despite spatial separation 

With the SupraGripper, two grasping elements, each with three fingers, hover freely above two semicircular plates. This technology could enable objects to be grasped and transported within enclosed spaces – a practical solution for clean rooms or for working in liquids, gases or in vacuum.

The hovering effect is generated by three cryostats in all, which are installed beneath the plates and can be driven upwards or downwards. The grippers thus either hover above the plates or are set down onto them. In addition, the two plates can be rotated and precisely positioned by means of two rotary drives, so that the two grippers can be transported from one cryostat to the next.

To grasp an object, electrical spools fitted to the cryostats emit an impulse, which either severs the stored connection to the magnetic gripper elements or restores them, as required. This impulse causes the individual finger elements to fold upwards or downwards, which makes the grippers open or close.

SupraTube: rotation within an enclosed tube         

A round cryostat with superconductors is attached to the outside of each end of a liquid-filled glass tube. Inside the vertically oriented tube is a magnetic puck that is virtually tethered to the two cryostats with a levitation gap of around five millimetres and is initially suspended beneath the upper cryostat. A magnetic ring surrounding the cryostats is set into rotation by means of a stepper motor, which transfers this motion to the suspended magnet. The magnet is repelled from the cryostat by an electrical impulse and drifts downwards in a spiral motion. At the lower end, it is captured once more and centred by the superconductor in the other cryostat.

This exhibit shows how a controlled movement can be executed within a tube without direct intervention from the outside. In a slightly modified configuration, drive units with superconductive magnetic couplings could be fitted along the longitudinal axis of the tube in order to draw a cleaning unit through it, entirely free of contact. Alternatively, the contents of a closed container – such as hazardous substances or explosive gases – could be set in rotation.

About Festo

Festo is a manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components, and controls for process and industrial automation. For more than 40 years, Festo Corporation has continuously elevated the state of manufacturing with innovations and optimized motion control solutions that deliver higher performing, more profitable automated manufacturing and processing equipment.

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