The demands on the cleaning and cleanliness of production facilities are increasing – especially in future-oriented fields such as medical technology, laboratory automation and biotechnology. Floating automation solutions, such as superconductor technology, could easily meet these requirements in the future.
The resulting products will move quietly, cleanly, energy-efficiently and contact-free through the production halls in the future. Contactless, frictionless handling through walls and in any room position, as made possible by superconductor technology, allows completely new solutions – especially in ultra-clean environments. Medical technology, laboratory automation, biotechnology and food processing are decisive future fields of automation which have great growth potential for the coming decades. Reliable cleaning is a basic requirement for hygienically safe production.
Contactless production of the future
The separation of product and handling in a vacuum, in a clean room, in gases or liquids enables protected conveying for the highest requirements. Its particular properties open up enormous potential for superconductors wherever there is a call for storage or handling without contact.
What are superconductors?
Superconductors are materials that can ‘save’ the field of a permanent magnet below a certain temperature at a defined gap. This effect allows objects to be stored and moved without contact. At the same time, the hover gap remains stable even through walls. Thanks to their resetting forces, the superconducting magnetic storage components reassume their saved position even when one of them has been temporarily removed – all without external control technology.
In 2019, Festo is presenting two new application concepts for this hovering technology of the future:
SupraMultitool: simultaneously carry out several functions with only one cryostat
The SupraMultitool illustrates how different automation tasks can be simultaneously implemented with a single system flexibly and contactlessly. The stable, linear conveying and the safe, contactless rotation of a workpiece carrier can be seen. In the SupraMultitool exhibit, a handling system places a workpiece carrier one after the other on two different magnets in order to demonstrate the flexible applications.
SupraDrive 2.0: jerk-free linear conveying
The SupraDrive 2.0 has two continuous, 1.5-metre-long cryostats with superconductors, which enable a particularly uniform and dynamic method of the transporting slide. The cryostats are tilted diagonally towards each other. This way, they additionally centre and stabilise the transporting slide from both sides. Even with the SupraDrive 2.0, the drive from the MCS® multi-carrier system ensures movement and precise positioning. Like all SupraMotion exhibits, both SupraDrive concepts can be used, for example, in areas where systems have to be cleaned frequently or during operation.