Turning, shaking and conveying
Changing hovering objects and setting them in motion
Superconducting automation modules can be implemented with a number of active drives. That enables them to perform even unusual motion sequences, positioning forms and handling processes whilst hovering.
SupraShaker: hovering vibration system with tilt option
On the SupraShaker, a plate hovers above a cryostat with superconductors. An electric motor with eccentric cam uses a magnetic coupling to start it to make a shaking motion. A magnetic force field transmission can also be used to tilt it in any direction.
The hovering gap between the plate and the automation system ensures the tool and machine are mechanically separated and prevents the vibrations from being transferred to the whole facility.
Quiet, efficient and clean work
Shaking processes, as are used with vibration conveyors, can be made much quieter and more efficient with such a construction. The plate can very easily be replaced and cleaned, which is particularly beneficial when using it in dusty environments.
Integrated products from Festo
SupraHelix: transport on a hovering conveyor shaft
In the case of the SupraHelix exhibit, two cryostats with superconductors are attached next to each other on a semi-rotary drive. Cooled down below their transition temperature, they cause a shaft suspended underneath with integrated permanent magnets to hover and hold this at a gap of eight millimetres. With the help of the semi-rotary drive, the shaft is made to incline by 40 degrees.
Contactless drive by means of superconductivity
An integrated, permanently energised stepper motor makes the shaft rotate without contact so that it is able to move individual metal rings upwards via its spiral-shaped thread. The exhibit shows how ring-shaped workpieces can be conveyed from one processing station to the next. Thus the spring-driven shaft could also be used to polish or sand non-ferromagnetic materials.
Integrated products from Festo
SupraChanger: transferring controlled movement across hovering magnets
With the SupraChanger, this is the first time an application can transfer a rotational movement onto magnets – which hover thanks to superconductivity – in a controlled and contactless manner. For this purpose, on the baseplate there are three different stations, on each of which a rotary application is attached: one centrifuge, one mixer and one rotary indexing table.
A superconductor module with a stepper motor is fitted underneath the baseplate. The baseplate automatically rotates through 120°, so that one of the three applications is always positioned above the module.
In each station there is a magnetic disc, whose hovering distance has been frozen above the actively cooled superconductor module. As soon as a station is over the module again, the disc reacts on the superconductor and begins to hover.
Superconductive control for quick tool change
The stepper motor and a magnetic coupling under the baseplate set the magnetic disc in the station, and thus the respective application, rotating in a specific manner. The applications therefore do not have to be electrically controlled or manually adjusted, which makes it easy for tool to be quickly changed.