SupraMotion 3.0 Automation modules

 

Superconductors and their potential for industrial automation

 

Superconductors have huge potential for industrial applications. They allow objects to be held in position and moved without contact – with low power consumption and completely without control technology for the bearing. The way they work without dust and wear is ideal for transporting objects whilst hovering in very clean environments in a protected manner. Even handling through walls is possible.

As the first provider of automation technology, Festo is research- ing this potential and will demonstrate three new possible appli- cations at the Hannover Messe 2015: the bearing and movement of an object on hovering rollers, a hovering rotating conveyor shaft with a contactless electric drive principle, and finally how to transfer a hovering magnetic puck from one superconductor element to the other in an active and controlled manner. For the first time in this case, the superconducting bearing will take place across the peripheral surface of a magnet instead of its full surface.

SupraHelix

SupraHelix

SupraHelix: Festo AG & Co. KG

In the case of the SupraHelix exhibit - a hovering conveyor shaft, two cryostats with superconductors are attached next to each other on a semi-rotary drive. Cooled down below their transition temperature, they cause a shaft suspended underneath with integrated permanent magnets to hover and hold this at a gap of eight millimetres. With the help of the semi-rotary drive, the shaft is made to incline by 40 degrees.

Conveyor shaft with contactless drive

An integrated, permanently energised stepper motor makes the shaft rotate without contact so that it is able to move individual metal rings upwards via its spiral-shaped thread. The exhibit shows how ring-shaped workpieces can be conveyed from one processing station to the next. Thus the spring-driven shaft could also be used to polish or sand non-ferromagnetic materials.

Specifications

Dimensions             1000 mm x 1000 mm
Inclination angle40 °
Levitation gap8 mm
Cooling power per cryostat2 x 3,0 W @ 80 K, 160 W power consumption
Controls + Drive Festo system
SupraCycle

SupraCycle

SupraCycle: Festo AG & Co. KG

The SupraCycle shows the active transfer of a hovering permanent magnet from one superconductor automation module to anotherfor the first time. Three cryostats with superconductors, which can be rotated by 360°, are installed on a baseplate. Two magnetic object supports are frozen in the cryostats with a levitation gap of a few millimetres to the superconductors and then transferred in turn from one cryostat to the next. A device on the cryostats provides the necessary integrated intelligence in this case.

Levitating hand-over – Cross-system conveying

Possible applications can also be derived from the SupraCycle: it is conceivable to transfer the object support without contact between two systems or beyond system limits, as is shown on the exhibit by the example of glass vials. This makes process chains of any length possible for the first time.

Specifications

Superconductor cryostats

3 x YBCO with Stirling-cryocooler

Cooling power per cryostat1,5 W @ 80 K, 80 W power consumption
MagnetsNdFeB magnets in Halbach-arrangement
Controls + Drive Festo system
SupraCarrier

SupraCarrier

SupraCarrier: Festo AG & Co. KG

Two cryostats with superconductors are fitted on an electric axis, above each of which two magnetic transport rollers hover. A flat workpiece carrier lies on the rollers. The axis is used to move the superconducting elements in a horizontal direction. Between them and the hovering rollers is a cover with openings, through which the rollers disappear by lowering the cryostats; the workpiece carrier then rests on the cover.
 
Such hovering transport rollers can be used to move flat, non-ferromagnetic products of any 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 and cleaned separately from the installation. Added to this, there are other positive properties of superconductor technology: the application is almost maintenance-free, very robust, works silently and the air gap has an insulating effect.

Specifications

Dimensions             1000 mm x 1000 mm
Superconductor cryostats2 x YBCO cryostat with active Stirling-cooler
Magnetic assemblyRing-shaped magnets
Cooling power per cryostat3,0 W @ 80 K, 80 W power consumption
Controler + Drive Festo system