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Festo SupraMotion: contactless rotating, shaking and measuring

Contactless turning, shaking and measuring

Weighing levitating objects and setting them in motion

Superconducting automation modules can be implemented with a variety of active actuators. This makes it possible for them to perform even unusual motion sequences, suspension operations and handling processes by means of levitation.

SupraSensor: measuring and weighing

The SupraSensor consists of a closed pipe filled with liquid media which is attached above a precision scale. A cryostat with a superconductor is mounted on the scale. Inside the pipe, a float with a permanent magnet on its underside is coupled to the external superconductor, and thus to the scale as well, without making contact.

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 representatively by means of air bubbles that collect on the float and push it upwards. The scale indicates this change, because it’s connected to the float via the superconductor in a contactless manner.

Separating workspace and equipment

Due to the fact that the density of a liquid, and thus buoyancy within it, changes depending on its composition, this principle can also be applied to determine the concentration in which other soluble substances should be added. This effect is also demonstrated by seawater, for example: the higher the concentration of salt the greater the buoyancy, and thus the smaller the tendency to sink. The SupraSensor thus impressively demonstrates how workspaces and equipment (including sensors) which are separated from each other can be coupled to one another without contact.

Festo SupraSensor: separating workspace and equipment

Integrated products from Festo

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

Festo SupraSensor: contactless weighing with a levitating weighing plate

SupraShaker: levitating, tilting shaker

In the SupraShaker, a plate levitates above a cryostat with superconductors. An electric motor with eccentric cam converts this into a shaking motion via a magnetic coupling. Beyond this, it can be tilted in any direction by generating a magnetic field.

The gap between the plate and the automation system ensures that the tool and the machine are mechanically separated, and prevents vibrations from being transmitted to the entire system.

Festo SupraShaker: levitating shaker system with tilt function

Quiet, efficient and clean work

Shaking processes, as used in vibration conveyors, can be made much quieter and more efficient with the SupraShaker. The plate is very easy to replace and clean, which is a real advantage, especially when used in dusty environments.

Festo SupraShaker: quiet, efficient and clean work

Integrated products from Festo

CPX terminal controller with CEC

Operator unit CDPX

Power supply unit CACN

SupraHelix – levitating conveyor shaft

The SupraHelix exhibit features two cryostats with superconductors mounted next to each other on a semi-rotary actuator. When cooled to below the transition temperature, the superconductors cause a shaft equipped with permanent magnets hanging underneath to levitate and maintain a distance of eight millimeters. The shaft is inclined to an angle of 40° with the help of the semi-rotary actuator.

Festo SupraHelix: transport with a levitating conveyor shaft

Contactless drive by means of superconductivity

An integrated, permanently energized stepper motor causes the shaft to turn without making contact, so that it can transport individual rings upwardly along its thread. The exhibit shows how ring-shaped workpieces can be transported from one processing station to another. This levitating shaft can also be used to polish or grind non-ferromagnetic materials.

Festo SupraHelix: contactless drive by means of superconductivity

Integrated products from Festo

SupraChanger: motion transfer to magnets

The SupraChanger is the first application to transfer rotary motion to magnets, which levitate thanks to superconductivity, in a controlled and contactless manner. There are three different stations on the base plate to this end, each of which is fitted with a rotary application: a centrifuge, a mixer and a rotary indexing table.

Festo SupraChanger: transferring control motion to levitating magnets

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

There’s a magnetic disc in each station, whose levitation gap above the actively cooled superconductor module is frozen. As soon as a station is once again located above the module, the disc reacts to the superconductor and starts levitating.

Superconductive control for quick tool changeovers

The stepper motor and a magnetic coupling under the base plate cause the magnetic disc in the station, and thus the respective application as well, to rotate in a targeted fashion. And thus the applications don’t have to be electrically controlled or manually adjusted, which permits quick and easy tool changeovers.

Festo SupraChanger: superconductive control for quick tool changeovers

Integrated products from Festo