HepcoMotion Precision Ring Track PRT2 system
RING AND TRACK MOTION – THE NEXT GENERATION
For many years HepcoMotion® has been the technology leader in the field of circular and continuous motion and with its Precision Ring Track PRT2 system, the company is again striding ahead of its competition.
The PRT2 system comprises a comprehensive range of ring slides, ring segments, bearings and ancillary components to suit the majority of rotary and track system applications. It has a substantial range of sizes, with the added benefit of across the range load capacities being increased by a typical 50% or more, and includes stainless steel availability as standard. In fact it extends customer choice by a massive 45%. This friction-free, debris-tolerant system also adds several options that allow innovative and highly reliable technical solutions to be engineered.
The extended choice of ring slide types - double edged, single edged, internal/external Vees, gear cut or plain - in various diameters, is available in both steel and stainless steel with hardened Vee edges for maximum wear resistance. They provide circular motion control at the periphery where it is needed and a large hollow centre to accommodate other components, services and even people in the case of an MRI scanner.
Track systems combine ring segments and straight slides to achieve an almost limitless variation of open paths and closed circuits. Both left and right hand bends can be negotiated depending on the carriage selected.
In addition to 90° and 180° ring segments customers can specify straight slides up to 4 metres long that can be butted together to achieve track systems of unlimited length. A keyway alignment feature facilitates easy installation and adjustment of joins between straight and curved sides, overcoming minor inaccuracy in positioning.
HepcoMotion® bearings are available in a range of five popular sizes and various formats in both twin and double row configurations to suit most design requirements. The special raceway conformity and low radial clearance make these bearings particularly suited to ring slide applications. All are lubricated for life internally and are available with metal shields to exclude dust and swarf or nitrile seal to prevent the ingress of liquids and debris. An addition to the range is the floating bearing whose outer race axial float accommodates Vee position variation.
In addition to the double edge Vee ring slides and segments, single edge versions are also available within the PRT2 programme. Datum faces on both types are provided both internally and externally for ease of location and gear drive options are available with teeth machined into the appropriate register face. The number of teeth is divisible by 4 and 12 in order to provide maximum choice of pinion size for exact ratio requirements.
A precision ground ring disc is now available for turntable applications. This provides a large precision mounting surface that can be easily customised to accommodate customer’s components.
A carriage clamping brake and also a high moment load carriage system are also additions. The latter provides extra support and rigidity in applications where high downward or offset loads are anticipated, typically at work stations. Two types of workstation support are available, static and dynamic.
Customers can also specify bogie carriages with adjustable connecting rods to create a linked carriage system, typically for ‘S’ bend configurations. They are based on high performance swivel bearings that are lubricated for life and provide both precision movement and extreme rigidity.
Lubrication on all HepcoMotion® products is simple and effective but an option for the track systems is bleed lubrication. This continuously doses lubrication through holes, direct into the Vee contact faces to eliminate the need for servicing downtime.
The application potential of the PRT2 system is extensive and HepcoMotion® has therefore designed the PRT2 product catalogue to work in parallel with its website to provide greater scope for detail. This allows readers to download additional data sheets on different features as well as access more information on the options in .pdf and 2D/3D formats.
SPECIAL LABELLING MACHINE FOR MULTIPLE BOX SIZES … HepcoMotion® linear motion provides the flexibility
SPECIAL LABELLING MACHINE FOR MULTIPLE BOX SIZES … HepcoMotion® linear motion provides the flexibility
York-based, Sessions Label Solutions likes a challenge. It is a company that takes on labelling projects that most of its competitors reject. However, thanks to its considerable design and applications know-how Sessions is immensely successful at what it does. For this reason the company was the obvious choice for a special purpose labelling machine for a confectionery company of international renown.
A single machine was required to apply security labels to all four sides of a box of sweets and also to accommodate a range of pack sizes. And that meant designing a system whose labelling heads and parallel conveyors could be moved in unison to pre-determined positions to accord with box dimensions. Having used HepcoMotion® linear motion products for many years, Sessions once again put its trust in this brand for this application too.
The basis of the resulting system is two pairs of parallel conveyors mounted on linear slides that are coupled together to form an ‘L’ shape. These parallel conveyors on each leg of the handling system provide the means to adjust the width to suit the different box sizes. For the maximum box width of 400mm the conveyors are at their widest apart and for the smallest, 100mm, they are brought together and almost touching.
This has to be precisely accomplished as the customer requires L-clip labels to be applied. To achieve this, the box has to overhang the 30mm wide conveyors on two opposing sides, so that label can be affixed to the side and bottom faces of the box. The linear speed of the conveyors is 30m/per minute with a maximum product throughput of 60 boxes per minute.
To move the conveyors in and out, Sessions chose the HepcoMotion® double-acting PSD80. This linear actuator is perfectly suited for this duty, with drive from a stainless steel lead-screw operating with a bearing polymer nut. It employs HepcoMotion®’s Herculane ultra-high performance wheels mounted in an adjustable carriage body for zero play linear motion. The double-acting version of this unit proved ideal for Sessions as it allows the adjustment of both conveyors from the operator side.
“The ability of the PSD80 to run dry was an important factor in our choice,” explained Sessions Sales Director, Gary Hall. “So too was its neat design, especially the enclosed screw on the linear adjustment.” Indeed one of the most popular features of this product is its stainless steel cover that effectively seals the unit from debris. It is therefore a natural choice for many food handling applications that require a space-saving and hygienic drive.
The labelling heads of this special purpose machine are fixed to the carriage plates of HepcoMotion®’s flagship GV3 linear motion system that easily provides the required positioning accuracy of ± 1mm. The entire machine is mounted on the HepcoMotion® MCS aluminium machine construction system. “We like this product because it looks smart, it’s easy to build and versatile to accommodate changes,” Gary Hall adds. “Quick delivery and good price are important factors too.”
In operation, the conveyors and label heads on both sections of the machine are manually adjusted to suit the dimensions of the next batch. On leaving the packaging line, the boxes then travel down the first pair of conveyors to the label heads where the L-clip labels are applied to the first two opposing sides of the box and secured underneath. They are then turned through 90° by the cross over unit and steered along the second pair of conveyors for the application of L-clip to the two remaining faces.
Gary Hall concludes, “The system and the HepcoMotion® products are working very well. We have successfully fitted HepcoMotion® to many of our systems over the years and have always found them to be good value and good quality products.” Both are very important factors in an industry where cost- and production efficiency are vital ingredients.
HepcoMotion® SBD Sealed Belt Drive
HEPCOMOTION® SEALED LINEAR ACTUATOR FOR SMALL & COMPACT SYSTEMS
The HepcoMotion® SBD Sealed Belt Drive has certainly carved a niche for itself in high duty applications. It has proved to be more than equal to the high loads and demanding duty cycles that often compromise the operating efficiency and life of other linear actuators.
With an addition to the SBD range, HepcoMotion® is able to provide these performance advantages at an attractive cost to a wider range of automation systems. It is ideal for inclusion in high volume and high speed systems that manufacture or handle small components.
The SBD 15-60 extends the HepcoMotion® range to three sizes and has been developed at customer request. The company has secured significant export business with the SBD product and the smaller sized addition is expected to prove particularly popular in the Far East.
The product shares the key features and benefits of the existing SBD range but incorporates a HepcoMotion® LBC15 Linear Ball Guide. It is a compact and extremely clean linear solution as it incorporates a flush, metal cover strip that runs the length of the unit and houses the ball guide. This prevents the ingress of dirt and debris, preserving the longevity of the product.
Units are supplied in increments of 60mm up to 6000mm in one piece and unlimited lengths can be achieved by joining the beams. The SBD 15-60 is also available with a long carriage. This option has two LBG bearing blocks in the carriage and has greater load capacity. Re-lubrication of the ball guide carriage blocks is via an access point in the side of the beam that is re-sealed by a threaded plug.
In common with all HepcoMotion® products, the SBD 15-60 is available in stainless steel as a standard option. And naturally, the product is fully compatible with the HepcoMotion® MCS Machine Construction System enabling it to be incorporated into any bespoke automation system or machine.
HepcoMotion® Profile Driven Unit (PDU2)
HEPCOMOTION® PDU2 : DRIVEN TO PROVIDE MUCH GREATER CAPACITY
Multi-axis and more demanding single axis applications can take advantage of the design, performance and cost benefits of Profile Driven Unit (PDU2) technology from HepcoMotion®. This belt-driven linear motion system has proved a popular and cost effective choice for many designers seeking a high performance, standard precision solution to fit into a compact space envelope. And in common with all HepcoMotion® products PDU2 has been the subject of continuous development, the result of which was the introduction of PDU2M.
The PDU2M delivers a 200% increase in moment load capacity and 1000% uplift in moment load stiffness compared to a standard PDU2. Direct load capacity is also 50% greater. In practice this means, for example, that designers can use a single PDU2M unit as a horizontal axis in an X-Z system, where previously two PDU2 units working in parallel would have been required to provide the necessary rigidity and strength.
Key to this capability is the extra ultra-high performance HepcoMotion Herculane® wheels that are mounted on adjustable eccentric studs. These wheels run virtually friction-free on the inside of the profile providing stable support for the carriage plate; felt wipers sweep debris from their path. The unit is available with a number of carriage designs to allow the quick and easy construction of multi-axis systems with a minimal requirement for brackets and other hardware.
In common with its forerunner, PDU2M comprises a rigid but lightweight aluminium slotted profile into which fits the toothed belt drive and carriage, an arrangement that effectively encloses the unit. It is rated for operating at speeds of up to 6m/s and available with a choice of motors providing driving forces up to 280N. The options include a Smart Drive Taranis stepper motor drive and control package for multi-axis applications.
Left, right or double drive shafts can be specified together with a range of options such as brakes, positioning encoders and mechanical or inductive limit switches. End of stroke protection is provided as standard at both ends by internal buffers.
The development of PDU2M extends the scope of HepcoMotion® to provide cost competitive, high performance and low maintenance linear solutions for an even wider range of applications. It is of course fully compatible with the company’s MCS aluminium machine construction system and is expected to find its niche as a replacement for failing ball-based systems that are unable to match its speed and reliability.
CORROSION RESISTANCE – A STANDARD SOLUTION FROM HEPCOMOTION®
Corrosion resistant linear motion systems are a must in many industries. Whilst most manufacturers make provision for this need HepcoMotion® goes one important step further. The company’s policy is not just to offer a stainless steel or corrosion resistant option, it is to provide this choice within its standard range. From a specifier’s point of view this brings important benefits. Instead of being a ‘special’ subject to long lead times, popular sizes of the HepcoMotion® corrosion resistant linear motion systems are available ex-stock.
The HepcoMotion® range also provides technical advantages too. There is of course a trade-off between corrosion resistance and long life. Non-magnetic stainless steel is obviously the most corrosion resistant type but it is also basically soft and is generally unsuitable in linear systems under load or subject to high duty cycle. In designing its various systems HepcoMotion® has therefore been highly selective in the materials it chooses to achieve the best compromise between corrosion resistance and wearability.
Although many components are naturally made from AISI 400 series stainless, HepcoMotion® also uses other materials too. For example it offers lightweight aluminium carriage plates and flange clamps that have a special anodising surface treatment that provides an equal corrosion resistance to stainless steels.
This process is approved by the US Department of Agriculture for use in food processing machinery. Various coatings are also available for applications that allow the consideration of alternatives to stainless steel.
The slideways in HepcoMotion®’s corrosion resistant systems will typically be machined from martensitic stainless steel conforming generally to AISI 420 but here too HepcoMotion® has the edge on corrosion resistance. The company has invested heavily in capital equipment to provide a superior surface finish. Quite simply, the better the finish, the less likely surface corrosion will be evident. Slideways ground all over for maximum corrosion resistance are also highly durable; V-edges are typically hardened to 52 HRC.
For those seeking maximum corrosion resistance in a linear motion system HepcoMotion® offers its SL2 Stainless Steel range. This product programme uses many of the standard slide options in the company’s flagship GV3 Series for general automation but in ground stainless steel. The system is designed to be maintenance free and is therefore ideal for use in arduous conditions.
The proven Hepco ‘V’ concept and the quality of the manufacturing process provide the SL2 system with its inherent smooth running and low friction characteristics. These qualities allow it to be operated dry, without lubrication, for sensitive applications. In most circumstances however, the system can be equipped with cap seals that prevent the ingress of dirt, provide positive lubrication and extend service life. Greases used can be high temperature resistant, food compatible or to a suitable nuclear engineering application spec.
All bearing assemblies are of stainless steel construction and available in either twin bearing or double row format. They are hardened and precision ground to special tolerances and raceway conformity to suit the application. The double row assembly has a high radial load capacity and is eminently suited to harsh environments and high speed conditions where extra long life is required. Both types are supplied lubricated for life but for applications where low level radiation is a consideration they can be supplied with special grease lubrication internally. Special bearing greases for high temperature and food compatibility can also be provided similar to the lubrication products used in the cap seals.
Of course the corrosion resistant options are not just restricted to basic X-Y linear systems. HepcoMotion® offers standard ground rings up to 1.6m diameter. The choices extend from small sizes for light load applications to high capacity rings for heavy indexing requirements. Complete ring and track systems with multiple carriages are available for packaging, medical device manufacture and for filling lines. Heavy duty single and double edge systems complete with stainless bearings up to 95mm in diameter may be specified for high load applications where corrosion resistance is required.
There are also various driven options too. Corrosion resistant products are contained in the standard DLS belt driven product programme for high speed applications in hostile conditions. And consistent with the company’s commitment to integrating corrosion resistance within all its new product programmes there is also an appropriate version of the recently introduced, small and highly cost-effective, belt driven system the PDU Profile Driven Unit.
For HepcoMotion® corrosion resistance is as much a standard consideration as load or speed and its products can be supplied as individual elements or complete assemblies and systems. The choice is extensive but it allows the company to provide the optimum requirements for both the application and the budget. For this reason HepcoMotion® has become the standard choice for many companies involved in the production of food, pharmaceuticals, electronics and medical products as well as nuclear engineering and research & development.