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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited
Festo at Motek 2000
Festo at Motek 2000
Keywords: Automation, Exhibitions
Automation world leader, Festo, took advantage of the Motek 2000 event to unveil an extensive range of products addressing motion control, handling and positioning.
Key among the Festo exhibits was the innovative Fluidic Muscle – a flexible and pneumatic actuator constructed from polyamide fabric with internal silicon tubing. The "muscle" offers an order of magnitude increase in initial contraction force over a conventional cylinder at about one-tenth the weight. The contraction length is precisely adjustable and repeatable by adjusting its internal air pressure. The muscle has been demonstrated supporting Festo's Airtecture pneumatic exhibition building.
Also on show at the Festo stand was a further expansion of the company's latest range of handling and positioning products designed to provide a modular one-stop-shop for precision handling units. The highlight was the mini handling axis (type HMPL) designed to complement Festo's acclaimed larger sized, robust high-speed modules (type HMP) (see Plate 6). Other products unveiled at Motek included:
New SEC smart servo-electric controller that offers complete servoelectric motor driven solutions for linear axes, with lengths from 8mm to an impressive 4.5 metres.
New DGEA electric boom axis, ideally suited to vertical motion applications.
New DGE mounting components designed to provide modular assembly for cantilever and portal gantry systems.
Plate 6 The HMPL handling axis was on display during the Motek 2000 event
In addition, Festo displayed its SPC point-to-point multi-position servo-pneumatic and stepper axes, plus its extensive valve terminal range in support of all the handling components. On the control front, the FEC range of feature-laden compact PLCs was joined by the latest IPC (industrial PC) controllers, continuing evidence of Festo's commitment to connectivity and integration by addressing all major fieldbus protocols. For the first time Festo demonstrated a vision of the future, using palm held PCs to provide a low cost HMI for basic programming of positioning axis, optimising and fault finding diagnostics.
As if to further demonstrate the power of integrating pneumatic and electronic control technologies, Festo showed its Checkbox system – a remarkable high-speed in-line sorting unit for components. Checkbox utilises advanced digital imaging and profiling technology to determine the precise characteristics of passing components on the fly, regardless of orientation. It then either accepts the part, allowing the belt drive to deliver it to a hopper (or onwards downstream in the production process) or ejects non-conforming parts by compressed air jet or pneumatic actuator.
For further information, contact Iain Burgess, Festo Ltd, Automation House, Harvest Crescent, Ancells Business Park, Fleet, Hampshire GU13 8XP, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1252 775000; Fax: +44 (0) 1252 775001; E-mail: Iain_burgess@Festo.com