Festo SupraMotion: levitating transport to any spatial plane

Transporting in all spatial planes

Moving and positioning hovering supports

There are already various technologies for moving objects by means of levitation. But thanks to the astonishing properties of superconductors – such as their stable levitation distance – totally new processes are conceivable in all spatial planes and directions.

SupraDrive: highly dynamic linear travel

In the case of the SupraDrive, a levitating transporting slide is advanced with high dynamics and accurately positioned. Three cryostats with superconductors on both sides of the path make it possible for the slide to levitate several millimeters above the surface. The drive from Festo’s Multi-Carrier-System MCS®, which is installed between the cryostats, takes care of movement and positioning.

In addition to smooth acceleration and virtually wear-free, dynamic motion, this concept also has the advantage that all drive components can be installed beneath a cover. The system can be cleaned very easily, without even interrupting the transport process. Due to the fact that the slide is levitating, it can’t be obstructed or become contaminated by dirt from the surface of the system.

Festo SupraDrive: highly dynamic linear travel

Easy cleaning during operation

The concept can be used in areas where facilities have to be frequently cleaned or cleaned during operation – for example in laboratory automation, medical technology, the food and pharmaceuticals industries and in packaging technology.

Festo SupraDrive: easy cleaning during operation

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SupraDrive 2.0: Jerk-free linear conveying

Based on the SupraDrive exhibit, 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 stabilize 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.

SupraDrive 2.0: Jerk-free linear conveying

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 suited for use in laboratory automation, medical technology, the food and pharmaceutical industries and end of line packaging.

SupraDrive 2.0: Jerk-free linear conveying

Integrated products from Festo

SupraCarrier: suspension and motion

Two cryostats with superconductors are mounted on an electrical axis, over which two magnetic transport rollers are levitated. A flat workpiece carrier lies on the rollers. The superconductor components are moved by the axis in the horizontal direction. Between these and the levitating rollers is a cover with openings through which the rollers pass by lowering the cryostats. The workpiece carriers then lie on the cover.

SupraCarrier: suspension and motion

Potential applications with flat workpieces

Levitating transport rollers of this kind can be used to move non-ferromagnetic workpieces of any desired 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 easily be removed from the installation and cleaned separately. Amongst other positive characteristics of superconductor technology is the fact that the application is virtually maintenance-free, very robust and silent in operation, and the air gap has an insulating effect.

SupraCarrier: potential applications with flat workpieces

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SupraHandling 2.0: 3-plane linear motion

With SupraHandling 2.0, a superconductor slide levitates along two magnetic rails without contact, but nevertheless steadily. 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 on the ground, vertically on the wall or can be suspended overhead.

Festo SupraHandling 2.0: contactless linear motion in three spatial planes

Small plastic vials are transported on the slide unit. Their mounting system is flexibly designed. Even if there’s a change of position, they always remain vertical with the opening facing upwards.

Energy-saving transport

Besides motion within all spatial planes, SupraHandling 2.0 demonstrates energy-saving transport of objects without frictional loss. The cooling system for the three superconductors requires a total of just 36 W.

Festo SupraHandling 2.0: energy-saving transport

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SupraLinearMotion: linear gliding

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

Festo SupraLinearMotion: friction-free, linear gliding by means of gravity

In order to set things into motion, the rocker is intentionally brought out of balance one-time only. It tilts and the passenger, carried by the superconductor, glides over the magnetic rail noiselessly and friction-free – thanks alone to the action of gravitational force.

Festo SupraLinearMotion: making superconductivity come to life

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SupraHandling: positioning in the plane

The developers put gravitational force to work in the second exhibit too. The SupraHandling system, an X/Y-table for moving objects in the X and Y directions, works on the principle of the one-dimensional rocker.

Festo SupraHandling: unrestricted contactless positioning within the plane

The portal – consisting of four magnetic tracks, two superconducting slides and a workpiece carrier – is mounted to the handling system’s base. The controller and two actuators are attached underneath the base plate. The two actuators can tilt the base slightly in the X and Y direction independently of each other. This sets the two slides into motion without contact due to levitation above the magnetic tracks.

Festo SupraHandling: contactless motion in the X and Y directions

Integrated products from Festo