Bringing laboratory automation to life
How the Festo trade fair construction team showcases new applications
The new rotary gripper module EHMD from Festo will make its debut at Analytica, which runs from April 10 to 13. This will be the first time that this extremely compact solution has been seen in a laboratory automation application. A dynamic and impressive exhibit will demonstrate how all the components interact to handle small sample vials.
How do you clearly show customers the benefits of a new technical solution for their applications? The Festo trade fair department is constantly seeking convincing new answers to this question. A dedicated team of 16 people is responsible for the conceptualization and realization of trade fair exhibits. The team designs around 30 dynamic exhibits of varying sizes and complexity for all departments of Festo each year.
In December of last year, the developers and product managers responsible for the rotary gripper module EHMD met with the specialists from display construction for the first time to discuss the requirements for a new dynamic exhibit for Analytica. The basic idea was sketched out on a sheet of paper. The objective was to demonstrate the wide range of possibilities for handling various sample vials in the smallest possible space.
To meet these requirements, the exhibit builders were able to draw on their expertise and many years of experience gained in numerous projects. They know exactly how best to move the components and integrate them in a reliable solution with the right controller and software, while never losing sight of the application situation at the trade fair. The exhibits are designed so that they can be commissioned quickly and easily, even by laypersons. The experts can be contacted by telephone if needed and can connect remotely to the exhibit to provide assistance or resolve problems directly. Another important aspect to consider is the safety of trade fair visitors. Shielding moving parts with transparent covers, for example, eliminates the risk of injury while at the same time allowing visitors to see the technology.
Combined expertise in trade fair construction supports fast and lean processes. By the end of January – barely a month after the first meeting – the concept for the new sample handling exhibit had already been completed. Over the next eight weeks, the hardware was set up, the software was integrated and the operational reliability of the system was thoroughly tested. Visitors to Analytica will be able to see the finished product.
Rather than show individual components, the dynamic exhibits focus on processes and application steps. They demonstrate solutions for specific customer requirements. And they highlight the engineering added value that Festo delivers. Customers who opt for these perfectly matching system solutions can quickly set up their own products and reduce development effort for the handling system to a minimum.
The exhibit featuring the new rotary gripper module EHMD is a perfect example of this. The compact electrical components work together to perform many different tasks involved in the typical application steps of laboratory automation. These tasks include gripping, turning and transferring objects, opening and closing sample vials, and stopping and separating workpiece carriers on transfer systems. The rotary gripper module EHMD combines multiple functions in one extremely compact unit and is therefore very easy to integrate.
A unique module with Z compensation allows a wide variety of vials to be opened and closed, as the module can compensate for the different thread pitches of the covers and the Z-axis doesn't have to be moved. Why not come and see it for yourself in Munich from April 10 to 13?