Transferring hovering objects
Contactless transport beyond system limits
The hovering transfer of objects beyond system limits not only makes longer process chains without contact possible. It also enables low-maintenance use in surroundings with strict cleanliness requirements.
SupraLoop: a combination of different transport systems
The combination of different transport systems using superconductor technology is demonstrated by the SupraLoop exhibit. For this purpose, three different systems are installed on a circular route: a classic conveyor belt, the Multi-Carrier-System MCS® and a superconducting system.
Several carriers are transported on the SupraLoop. The magnetisation on its underside is used both for coupling it with the contactless drive of the Multi-Carrier-Systems MCS® as well as for the hovering effect on the SupraMotion system. A deflector can be used to transfer a carrier from the conveyor belt onto the cryostats with superconductors and then move it by hovering whilst coupled to these – even beyond separating elements and walls.
Potential uses for working in a clean room
One possible application of this principle is to decouple individual transporting slides from a finishing process in order to move into a clean room with them without contact or to process the objects on them with gases or liquids in a sealed area.
Integrated products from Festo
SupraJunction: horizontal transfer of hovering support plates
With SupraJunction, Festo demonstrates the contactless transport of objects beyond enclosed surfaces and through locks. Two support plates hover above the superconductors thanks to magnetic rails fitted underneath them. They transport small glass containers on a circuit, whereby they are transferred from one superconductor element on a transport system to the next element on another handling system.
During the contactless transfer from one cryostat to the other, an electromagnet, which is fastened to an external axis, pulls the support plate to the next cryostat in the working direction of the magnetic rails. For the first time, Festo thus achieves the automatic transfer from one system to another on the horizontal plane and enables hovering transportation in long process chains and beyond system limits.
Simple cleaning and protected transport
During the whole process, the plates hover above a flat pool of water. The support system and automation technology are therefore completely separated from one another, which protects the components against contamination and enables very easy cleaning – ideal for an application in the packaging industry, laboratory automation, medical technology, food or pharmaceutical industry.
Integrated products from Festo
SupraCycle: contact-free transfer of hovering magnetic pucks
The SupraCycle shows the active transfer of a hovering permanent magnet from one superconductor automation module to anotherfor the first time. Three cryostats with superconductors, which can be rotated by 360°, are installed on a baseplate. Two magnetic object supports are frozen in the cryostats with a levitation gap of a few millimetres to the superconductors and then transferred in turn from one cryostat to the next. A device on the cryostats provides the necessary integrated intelligence in this case.
Possible applications can also be derived from the SupraCycle: it is conceivable to transfer the object support without contact between two systems or beyond system limits, as is shown on the exhibit by the example of glass vials. This makes process chains of any length possible for the first time.