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.
费斯托 (Festo)是一家全球性的独立的家族企业，总部位于德国埃斯林根。自成立以来，Festo在工业自动化技术和技术教育方面制定标准，从而为环境、经济和社会的可持续发展做出贡献。公司为超过35个行业的30万家工厂和过程自动化客户提供气动和电驱动自动化技术解决方案，其中生命科学和实验室自动化业务受到越来越多的关注。Festo产品和服务遍布176个国家。2022年，费斯托在全球61个国家的250多个分支机构拥有约20800名员工，实现销售额38.1亿欧元。每年约7%的销售额用于研发。在这家学习型企业，1.5%的销售额用于基础和进一步培训。Festo 教学培训 (Didactic SE) 是全球领先的技术教育和培训供应商，为全球客户提供工业环境中全面的数字化和常规学习解决方案。