• SupraMotion


    There are already various technologies for moving objects whilst hovering. With the amazing properties of superconductors, however, totally new approaches are conceivable.

  • SupraMotion 2016

    SupraMotion 2016

    With SupraJunction, SupraGripper and SupraTube, Festo is also presenting three new concepts in 2016 for the industrial use of superconductor technology.

  • SupraMotion 2015

    SupraMotion 2015

    Superconductors have huge potential for industrial applications. With the SupraMotion 2015 exhibits, Festo showcases three more possible applications.

  • SupraMotion 2014

    SupraMotion 2014

    Whether linear or rotating – in 2014 Festo shows how hovering objects can be transported and handled. In all directions and positions as well as in sealed spaces.

  • SupraMotion 2013

    SupraMotion 2013

    Under the heading SupraMotion, Festo presented initial potential and research fields relating to technology for industrial automation back in 2013.


Superconductors in automation 

Superconductors have huge potential for industrial applications. They allow objects to be held in position and moved without contact – with low power consumption and completely without control technology for the bearing. The way they work without dust and wear is ideal for transporting objects whilst hovering in very clean environments in a protected manner. Even handling through walls is possible.

What are superconductors?

Superconductors are materials with very special properties: if they are cooled below a certain temperature, their electrical resistance suddenly drops to zero. Below this so-called transition temperature, they can also freeze the field of a permanent magnet at a defined gap – meaning that either the magnet or they themselves start to hover.

Steady hovering with a constant gap

The superconductor also resumes its saved position if it has been temporarily taken away or moved. The air gap remains steady in any spatial plane and enables objects to be moved to the other side of walls without contact. The principle can even be used in liquid and gas media, even in a vacuum.

Electric cooling of superconductors

For SupraMotion 3.0, Festo relies on high-temperature superconductors made of ceramic material, whose transition temperature is around 93 kelvins (–180° Celsius). This means that the superconductors can be put into their fascinating state extremely efficiently. The Stirling coolers currently used have a maximum energy consumption of 80 watts per cryostat (cooling container).

What potential do they have for automation?

The use of superconductors in the field of industrial automation is still in the development stage. Yet even today, completely new and efficient processes are conceivable with the technology.

Various applications possible

There is huge potential wherever contactless handling is called for – for example from cleaning aspects when objects are spatially separated or when dealing with sensitive objects. Possible applications also include steadily hovering bearings, which can make do without a high level of energy and control.

Search for pilot customers and actual applications

This is why Festo has been looking intensively into superconductivity technology and its industrial use for years. A wide range of bearing and movement forms have already been specifically tested with the SupraMotion projects and turned into possible applications. Festo is now investigating with partners and customers, whose application ideas can be turned into pilot projects.