Festo SupraMotion: levitating transport in all spatial positions

Transporting objects in all spatial positions

Moving and positioning levitating carriers

There are already various technologies for moving objects using levitation. However, with the amazing properties of superconductors – such as the stable levitating distance – totally new processes are conceivable in all spatial positions and directions.

SupraDrive: linear movement with high dynamics

In the case of SupraDrive, a levitating transport slide is moved with high dynamic response and accurately positioned. Three cryostats with superconductors on both sides of the travel section allow it to levitate a few millimetres above the surface. The drive from the Multi-Carrier-System MCS®, which is installed between the cryostats, takes care of the motion and positioning.

Alongside the smooth acceleration and the almost wear-free dynamic motion, this concept has the advantage that all drive components can be installed underneath a cover. The system can thus be easily cleaned, without even interrupting the transport process. As the slide levitates, it cannot be obstructed or contaminated by dirt on the surface of the system.

Festo SupraDrive: linear movement with high dynamic response

Easy cleaning during operation

The concept can be used in areas where systems have to be cleaned frequently or during operation, for example in laboratory automation, medical technology, the food or pharmaceutical industry, or packaging technology.

Festo SupraDrive: easy cleaning during operation

Integrated products from Festo

SupraDrive 2.0: smooth linear transport

Based on the SupraDrive exhibit, the SupraDrive 2.0 has two continuous 1.5-metre-long cryostats with superconductors that enable the transporting slide to move particularly smoothly and dynamically. The cryostats are tilted diagonally towards each other. They thus centre and stabilise the transporting slide from both sides. The drive from the Multi-Carrier-System MCS® also moves and precisely positions the SupraDrive 2.0.

SupraDrive 2.0: smooth linear transport

Like all SupraMotion exhibits, the SupraDrive 2.0 can be used, for example, in areas where systems have to be cleaned frequently or during operation. Its virtually silent movement, reliable operation and easy cleaning make the application particularly suitable for use in laboratory automation, medical technology, the food and pharmaceutical industries, and packaging technology.

SupraDrive 2.0: smooth linear transport

Integrated products from Festo

SupraCarrier: positioning and moving on levitating rollers

Two cryostats with superconductors are mounted on an electric axis, with two magnetic transport rollers levitating above them. A flat workpiece carrier lies on the rollers. The axis is used to move the superconductor elements in a horizontal direction. Between these and the levitating rollers is a cover with openings through which the rollers pass by lowering the cryostats; the workpiece carrier then rests on the cover.

SupraCarrier: positioning and moving on levitating rollers

Potential application with flat workpieces

Levitating transport rollers of this kind can be used to move flat, non-ferromagnetic products of any size. The transport unit is free of lubricants and very easy to clean – the cover protects the automation modules from contamination and the passive rollers can be easily removed from the system and cleaned separately. Other positive features of superconductor technology: it makes the application virtually maintenance-free, it is very sturdy, operates silently, and the air gap has an insulating effect.

SupraCarrier: potential application with flat workpieces

Integrated products from Festo

SupraHandling 2.0: contactless linear motion in three spatial planes

In the case of SupraHandling 2.0, a superconductor slide levitates along two magnetic rails steadily but without contact. At the same time, the whole system can be rotated around its longitudinal axis by up to 180°. This means that the slide glides horizontally along the ground, vertically along the wall and can be suspended overhead.

Festo SupraHandling 2.0: contactless linear motion in three spatial planes

Small plastic vials are also transported on the slide. Their mounting system has a flexible design. Even if there is a change of position, they always remain vertical with the opening facing upwards.

Energy-saving transport

Besides movement in all spatial planes, SupraHandling 2.0 demonstrates how objects can be transported in an energy-saving way without friction loss. The cooling system for the three superconductors only requires 36 W.

Festo SupraHandling 2.0: energy-saving transport

Integrated products from Festo

SupraLinearMotion: frictionless, linear gliding using gravitational force

Festo brings the characteristics of this technology to life with its rocker design: a person sits on the superconductive slide, which levitates at a specific distance above a magnetic rail thanks to the integrated cooling.

Festo SupraLinearMotion: frictionless, linear gliding using gravitational force

To set the drive in motion, the rocker is intentionally brought out of balance once. The rocker tilts and the passenger glides above the magnetic rail without friction or noise – just using gravitational force, carried by the superconductivity.

Festo SupraLinearMotion: bringing superconductivity to life

Integrated products from Festo

SupraHandling: unlimited positioning in a spatial plane without contact

The developers put gravitational force to work in the second exhibit, too. The principle of the one-dimensional rocker was applied to SupraHandling, an X/Y-table that moves objects in the X and Y direction.

Festo SupraHandling: unlimited positioning in a spatial plane without contact

The portal – consisting of four magnetic rails, two superconductive slides and a workpiece carrier – is mounted on the handling system’s base plate. The controller and two drives are housed underneath the plate. The two drives can tilt the plate slightly in the X and Y direction independently of each other; this sets the two slides in motion without contact as they levitate above the magnetic rails.

Festo SupraHandling: contactless motion in the X and Y directions

Integrated products from Festo