Festo SupraMotion: contactless rotating, shaking and measuring

Contactless rotating, shaking and measuring

Weighing levitating objects and setting them in motion

Superconductive automation modules can be implemented with a number of active drives. Thanks to levitation, this even enables them to perform unusual motion sequences, types of positioning and handling processes.

SupraSensor: contactless measuring and weighing

The SupraSensor consists of a closed tube filled with liquid, which is attached above precision scales. A cryostat with a superconductor is attached to the scales. Inside the tube, a float with a permanent magnet on the underside is coupled without contact to the superconductor on the outside and thus also to the scales.

Festo SupraSensor: contactless measuring and weighing

The exhibit works in accordance with the buoyancy principle: the greater the buoyancy of the float with the magnet, the lower its specific weight. This is demonstrated by air bubbles, for example, which collect on the float and push it upwards. The scales indicate this, as they are connected contactlessly with the float via the superconductor.

Separating working space and equipment

Because the density and thus the buoyancy in a liquid varies depending on its composition, this principle can also be used to determine the concentration of other soluble substances that are added. This effect can also be seen in seawater, for example: the more salt it contains, the greater the buoyancy and the less an object sinks. The SupraSensor is an impressive showcase of how separate working spaces and equipment, including sensor technology, can be coupled to each other without contact.

Festo SupraSensor: separating working space and equipment

Integrated products from Festo

During the development of the SupraSensor, another design emerged for contactless weighing with a levitating weighing plate.

Festo SupraSensor: contactless weighing with a levitating weighing plate

SupraShaker: levitating vibration system with tilt option

On the SupraShaker, a plate levitates above a cryostat with superconductors. An electric motor with eccentric cam uses a magnetic coupling to start a shaking motion. In addition, it can be tilted in any direction by the force of a magnetic field.

The levitating distance between the plate and the automation system ensures the tool is mechanically separated from the machine and prevents the vibrations from being transferred to the entire system.

Festo SupraShaker: levitating vibration system with tilt function

Working quietly, efficiently and cleanly

Shaking processes, as used in vibration conveyors, can be made much quieter and more efficient with such a design. The plate is easy to replace and clean, which is particularly advantageous when used in dusty environments.

Festo SupraShaker: working quietly, efficiently and cleanly

Integrated products from Festo

Terminal CPX with controller CEC

Operator unit CDPX

Power supply unit CACN

SupraHelix: transport on a levitating conveyor shaft

The SupraHelix exhibit has two cryostats with superconductors that are mounted next to each other on a semi-rotary drive. When cooled to below their transition temperature, they cause a shaft with integrated permanent magnets suspended underneath to levitate and hold it at a distance of eight millimetres. The shaft is inclined by 40 degrees with the help of the semi-rotary drive.

Festo SupraHelix: transport with a levitating conveyor shaft

Contactless drive with superconductivity

An integrated, permanently energised stepper motor causes it to rotate contactlessly, so that it can transport individual metal rings upwards along its spiral-shaped thread. The exhibit shows how ring-shaped workpieces can be conveyed from one processing station to the next. The levitating, spring-driven shaft could also be used to polish or grind non-ferromagnetic materials.

Festo SupraHelix: contactless drive with superconductivity

Integrated products from Festo

SupraChanger: transferring controlled motion to levitating magnets

The SupraChanger is the first application in which a rotary motion is transferred to magnets – which levitate thanks to superconductivity – in a controlled and contactless manner. To achieve this, the three different stations on the base plate are each equipped to carry out a rotary motion: one with a centrifuge, one with mixer and one with a rotary indexing table.

Festo SupraChanger: transferring motion across levitating magnets in a controlled manner

A superconductor module with a stepper motor is fitted underneath the base plate. The base plate automatically rotates 120° so that one of the three applications is always positioned above the module.

Each station has a magnetic disc that levitates at a distance that has been frozen above the actively cooled superconductor module. As soon as a station is positioned above the module again, the disc reacts to the superconductor and begins to levitate.

Superconductive control for quick tool changes

The stepper motor and a magnetic coupling under the base plate make the magnetic disc in the station – and thus the respective application – rotate in a specific manner. The applications therefore do not have to be electrically controlled or manually adjusted, which enables quick and easy tool changes.

Festo SupraChanger: superconductive control for quick tool changes

Integrated products from Festo