SupraMotion: contact-free, quiet and clean
The requirements placed on the cleaning of production facilities and their purity are increasing – particularly in future-oriented fields such as medical technology, laboratory automation or biotechnology. Thanks to superconductor technology, these demands could easily be fulfilled in future. At the Hannover Messe 2019 trade fair, Festo is once more showcasing two new concepts in this field: with the SupraMultitool, several functions can be carried out with only one superconductor element; and SupraDrive 2.0 demonstrates smooth, linear transport of objects – with precise positioning. In both exhibits, superconductivity allows low-energy movement in suspension and facilitates cleaning.
In the future, many manufactured products will move quietly and cleanly through the production shops, with low energy consumption and without contact. Contact-free, frictionless handling beyond walls and in any spatial orientation, which will become possible thanks to superconductor technology, will yield entirely new solutions – especially in highly pure environments. Medical technology, laboratory automation, biotechnology and food production are decisive future fields of automation, which are showing great potential for growth over the coming decades. Reliable cleaning is essential for hygienically safe production in these applications.
Contact-free production of the future
The spatial separation of a product from its handling equipment in a vacuum, in a clean room, in gases or liquids ensures protected transport to meet the highest demands. “The special characteristics of superconductors open up great potential wherever contact-free storage or handling is required. Automation can thus make inroads into areas of application that until now have been regarded as not or only hardly accessible to automation,” said Georg Berner, Head of Strategic Corporate Development, Group Holding Festo and Project Coordinator for the SupraMotion concepts. “Our customers, and their customers in turn, benefit from this paradigm shift in automation. Festo has therefore been investigating and developing this technology for more than ten years. We are currently working together with customers on trendsetting pilot projects.”
What are superconductors?
Superconductors are materials which below a certain temperature can store the field of a permanent magnet at a predefined distance. This effect enables objects to be held in position and manoeuvred without contact. The levitation gap remains stable even beyond walls. Thanks to their restoring forces, the superconductive magnetic bearing components autonomously return to their memorised position even after one of them is temporarily removed – entirely without external control engineering.
At the Hannover Messe 2019 trade fair Festo is showcasing two new possible applications of SupraMotion:
SupraMultitool: performing several functions simultaneously with only one cryostat
The SupraMultitool demonstrates how different automation tasks can be simultaneously carried out flexibly and without contact, using only one system. On display are the stable, linear transport and secure, contact-free rotation of a workpiece carrier. This configuration clearly shows the advantages of superconductive storage in terms of stability and reliability as compared with electromagnetic solutions. At the SupraMultitool exhibit, a handling system positions a workpiece carrier on two different magnets in turn to demonstrate the flexible possibilities for application.
SupraDrive 2.0: smooth linear transport
Based on the SupraDrive exhibit presented in 2017, SupraDrive 2.0 is fitted with two integral 1.5-metre cryostats with superconductors, which make for particularly smooth and at the same time dynamic movement of the transport sledge. The cryostats are tilted at an angle to each other. By this means, they additionally centre and stabilise the transport sledge from both sides. With SupraDrive 2.0, the movement and precise positioning are likewise affected by the drive unit from the Multi-Carrier-System MCS®. Like all SupraMotion exhibits, these two SupraDrive concepts can be used for example in applications that require the equipment to be cleaned frequently or during regular operation.
Festo è sia un attore globale che un'azienda indipendente a conduzione familiare con sede a Esslingen am Neckar in Germania. Fin dagli inizi Festo ha stabilito degli standard nella tecnologia dell'automazione industriale e nella formazione tecnica, contribuendo così allo sviluppo sostenibile dell'ambiente, dell'economia e della società. L'azienda fornisce tecnologia di automazione pneumatica ed elettrica a 300.000 clienti dell'automazione di fabbrica e di processo in oltre 35 industrie. Il settore LifeTech con la tecnologia medica e l'automazione di laboratorio sta diventando sempre più importante. I prodotti e i servizi sono disponibili in 176 paesi del mondo. In tutto il mondo, circa 20.000 dipendenti in 61 paesi con oltre 250 filiali hanno generato un fatturato di circa 2,84 miliardi di euro nel 2020. Di questo, circa l'8% viene investito annualmente in ricerca e sviluppo. Nell'azienda che apprende, le misure di formazione e sviluppo rappresentano l'1,5% del fatturato. Festo Didactic SE è un fornitore leader di istruzione e formazione tecnica e offre ai suoi clienti in tutto il mondo soluzioni complete di apprendimento digitale e fisico nell'ambiente industriale.