In order to remain competitive in the global market, optimisation potentials within the process chain must be consistently utilised. There are also growing requirements with regard to process and machine safety, which pose new challenges for every company.
A faster throughput of parts with increasing quality requirements while always keeping the safety of the employees in mind – the future is demanding. If all these factors are then optimally implemented and adapted by redesigning a production machine and integrating a precise linear motor axis, considerable progress can be generated and real customer benefits created.
DynaMotion GmbH from Ilmenau in Thuringia, Germany, focuses on customised drive solutions. With their expertise, they plan and design special machines with individualised approaches that focus primarily on special drive technology. “You call DynaMotion when you need drive technology outside of the standard range”, says Stefan Schmitz-Galow, Managing Director of DynaMotion GmbH. “We redesigned a thermal forming machine for one of our customers and were able to significantly increase process and machine safety, as well as productivity”.
Linear motor axis as new machine centrepiece
A linear motor axis from the HT-L series from drive specialist HIWIN is used as the drive. When selecting the right drive element for the feed, the main focus was on the precision and synchronisation of the movement.
“The thermal forming process is a very sensitive procedure in which the smallest fluctuations in speed or temperature have a major impact on the end product. That is why it was important to find a drive that guarantees us absolutely smooth acceleration and constant movement. A stick-slip effect would destroy the sensitive end product”, explains Stefan Schmitz-Galow (DynaMotion GmbH).
The linear motor axis HT-L is based on an aluminium base profile in which the linear guideways are integrated. On the one hand, these absorb the weight and process forces, and on the other hand they ensure the exact guidance of the carriage. The axis is driven by an iron core linear motor. The induced current of the motor coils generate a magnetic field that varies with time and interacts with the constant magnetic field of the stator. The resulting force is used to generate a linear movement.
Due to the iron core linear motors used in the axis, our customer was initially sceptical as to whether the linear axis would even be accurate and smooth enough for the machine. However, thanks to the integrated high-resolution distance measuring system, I knew from the beginning that the axis from HIWIN could do exactly what we needed”, says Stefan Schmitz-Galow (DynaMotion GmbH) with satisfaction.
Thanks to the installed four-metre-long linear axis, it is now possible to manufacture significantly more product. Stefan Schmitz-Galow (DynaMotion GmbH) explains: “A shaft axis used to be installed here as the drive. To prevent the shaft from swinging open, the stroke was limited to a maximum of two metres and the travel speed was also limited by the drive element. By using the linear motor axis, we have been able to improve in several respects: the feed rate can now be kept extremely constant, we have adapted the speed perfectly to the process, and we can fully utilise the maximum speed of the linear axis during the return stroke. This significantly improves the ratio between set-up and production time. So by using the linear motor axis, we were able to achieve a 100% increase in productivity, so to speak”.
Drive technology: Specialists in their field
“We also see ourselves as specialists in drive technology, but in the design of special machines. It goes without saying that we are also familiar with HIWIN and its products, and knew it as a top manufacturer in the field of drive technology”, says Stefan Schmitz-Galow (DynaMotion GmbH). “Above all, the sealing concept of the linear motor axis was a key feature that impressed us during the selection process. It is unique and fantastically made”.
The steel cover strip is already available as an option as standard on HIWIN linear axes and prevents foreign bodies, such as accumulating dust or splinters, from entering the interior of the axis. An additional sealing air connection protects against contamination due to the overpressure created in the axis.
Stefan Schmitz-Galow (DynaMotion GmbH) says with praise: “We are totally impressed by the linear motor axis and its design. Especially because it is so well protected. We would certainly like to use HIWIN drive technology again and again”.
In times of digitalisation and Industry 4.0, a reliable and innovative flow of goods within production is the key to success. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are becoming increasingly important in intralogistics and can be optimally integrated into the overall automation concept of a factory.
The fact that Neumaier Industry GmbH & Co. KG was able to realise such an AGV solution, from conception to delivery, within a very short time is more than remarkable. The reason for this was a customer's request: to transport goods between production and warehouse in an automated and, above all, safe manner, that was the task set.
"Our customer approached us. He was looking for a partner who could offer him a holistic automation solution as a complete package," says Daniel Munz, Marketing Manager at Neumaier Industry GmbH. The driverless underride transport shuttles were on the project list for development anyway and were then brought forward without further ado. A total of five Factory Shuttle FS400s (the official name of the compact Neumaier AGVs) were developed within a very short time and successfully put into operation at the end customer. Added to this were several source sinks and special trolleys, a management system with touch display and graphical user interface, as well as a sophisticated traffic light control system for regulating the traffic of the automated and manual vehicles.
Uncomplicated, flexible, short delivery times – Drive technology from HIWIN was set
HIWIN drive technology is also installed in the smart and automated shuttles: Profile rail guides from the EG series are responsible for guiding the lifting movement of the load carrier safely and precisely. The integrated electrically driven lifting mechanism achieves a standard lifting height of up to 100 mm with integrated overload protection.
Not only can it move to the zero and end positions, but intermediate stages are also possible and can be individually programmed.
"At first we had designed the shuttle with ball-bearing guides. Towards the end of the design phase, however, we ran out of space, so we asked for linear guides after all," smiled Neumaier's designer. "The HIWIN field service responsible for us immediately suggested the right product for us. Years of customer service just pay off."
A conscious decision was made in favour of the flat EG version. The series is especially suitable for applications with limited installation space. With the four ball tracks arranged at an angle of 45°, particularly high loads can be accommodated equally in all directions, which is ideal for use in a driverless underride transport shuttle.
"The profile rail guides of the EG series were set. The previous configuration with the CAD configurator on the HIWIN website also supported us once again in our decision. We have been working with HIWIN for a long time. They already supply us with their products for our tugger trains and our narrow-aisle forklifts - we are very satisfied. The uncomplicated, flexible cooperation and above all the short delivery times have always convinced us. The quality and the price-performance ratio simply fit," praised Neumaier's design engineer.
The technology of the FS400
The driverless underride transport shuttle is driven by a 2-way drive/steering system (optionally also omnidirectional). A lithium iron phosphate battery (Li-FePo4) provides the necessary power. The shuttle charges itself, as the FS400 automatically connects to the stationary charging station when the battery reaches a certain level.
The navigation and orientation of the AGV is done by geonavigation / SLAM with a previously created virtual mapped map.
The shuttle's scanner scans its surroundings and transfers the mapping to the software supplied. There, the route of the shuttle can then be determined conveniently on the PC. Changing or adapting routes or sources/sinks can also be done directly by the user - this makes it extremely flexible and uncomplicated for the customer.
Compared to a classic, driver-guided floor vehicle, the FS400 offers many advantages. Internal material flows can be automated in the best possible way, costs can be saved and operational safety can be increased. "With the integrated PL-d laser scanner, the transport shuttle can detect obstacles such as people, vehicles or other objects in its lane at an early stage, thus enabling safe driving operations with maximum personal protection," admits Neumaier's designer. The scanner's warning and protection field is controlled by the speed and adapts accordingly - the shuttle regulates its driving speeds continuously and, if necessary, until it comes to a standstill. In addition, other safety features and lighting systems such as direction indicators and BlueSpot were taken into account.
Smart and individual – the right thing for every customer process
Compact, manoeuvrable and customised - thanks to its standardised modular principle, the FS400 is versatile and can be adapted to any customer process and load carrier. In a wide range of payload versions, the FS400 series transports loads from 400 to 3,000 kg at speeds of up to 1.2 m/s - indoors and outdoors. The AGV offers everything that is necessary for modern and efficient factory automation and can thus be established as an integral part of daily operations.
"We have already designed everything in such a way that the whole concept can easily be transferred to other loads, sizes and load carriers," interjects Neumaier's designer. "The first AGVs are now transporting pallets and boxes from the automotive industry. These are special sizes and dimensions that we had to take into account directly in the design."
Neumaier Industry GmbH: the full programme
Every production environment and every application has special features - which is why Neumaier Industry GmbH sees itself as a true automation specialist. "We can manufacture all the components of an automated device ourselves, or rather have the years of experience and the corresponding know-how - from component from component manufacture to electronics, programming and mechatronics. The whole package fits with us," emphasises Managing Director Bernd Neumaier.
"There are now many AGV manufacturers, but most are standard. We offer the advantage of focusing specifically on customer requirements. Efficient and custom-fit solutions as a full-range supplier - everything from a single source: holistic consulting, custom-fit machines, fully comprehensive commissioning on site and training of the customer's personnel. We and our products always adapt to the customer and their requirements. The customer does not adapt to the product.
The Factory Shuttle FS400 from Neumaier Industry GmbH is convincing - automated, smart and self-organised, it improves not only the internal material flow, but also the entire value chain. Just-in-time provision of goods with short throughput times and optimal utilisation speak for themselves. "To achieve such a performance within a very short time is only possible because we have the experience in machine and vehicle construction as well as our own component production and mechatronics in-house," notes Neumaier's managing director Bernd Neumaier.
We have moved to a new higher-performance server to guarantee short loading times for the operation of our online configurators.
Our multi-talent for article definition
In the meantime, our configurators define articles, generate item lists, work schedules and data sheets, provide CAD models and also calculate weighs, prices and delivery times for your selected products. Our current server had reached its limits, which resulted in significantly longer loading times. By moving to the new server, we were able to increase the performance by 75% and drastically reduce the loading times.
Have you already noticed the difference? Here it's all about our configurators.
To ensure that the right lubrication connection is always in the right place, we at HIWIN are now offering our customers an extension of our configurator for linear guideways.
The right solution with just a few clicks
Starting now, each lubrication connection can be quickly and easily positioned on the block according to your own requirements. Our professional configuration tool helps you select lubrication nipples, lubrication adapters or push-in fittings and their placement. Try it out here.
Starting now, we will provide our customers with dynamically generated technical data sheets.
Relevant information in real time - fast and clear:
Whether individually configured linear guideways or ballscrews, you can create the associated data sheets in our online portal with just one click. In the near future, these will also be available for all products in the axis family.
From the initial idea to the finished product – we are at your side in every phase of the project!
With the DATORKER® shaft gear unit, we are expanding our wide product range – from simple gear components to finished gear units with integrated output bearings.
Shaft gear unit with coaxial gear unit input and output
High single-stage reduction ratios and the mechanically backlash-free design enable high positioning accuracies with small dimensions and low weight. Numerous applications, e.g. in the fields of robotics, automation and machine tools, rely on the advantages of this type of gear.
One shaft unit, multiple applications. Discover our DATORKER® shaft gear units here.
Offenburg – Drive technology specialist HIWIN is now offering all Universal Robots customers the HIWIN 7. Axis Kit, a quick solution for reach extension. The smart cobots can be used for numerous applications, but in many applications they require an additional seventh axis to increase their range. What inspired HIWIN to create this product? Guess!
As a partner in the UR+ ecosystem, HIWIN offers UR users certified "plug-and-produce" peripheral equipment: In addition to the mechanical axis including adapter for the UR, the customer gets a ready-to-connect switch cabinet. The heart of the system is the supplied software (UR Cap), which is used to control the axis via the robot teach pendant.
And what makes the product really special? "Using the HIWIN online configurator, our customers can quickly and easily put together the right axis for their application. This is exceptional". (Quote from Stefan Kollmannsberger, Universal Robots)
The idea of offering a seventh axis for robots originated in the production department at HIWIN. HIWIN wanted to use a robot to automatically load a CNC machining centre. However, the arm length of the robot was not long enough to load the machine with raw parts and simultaneously remove and neatly deposit the finished workpieces. A linear table developed in-house was the solution. HIWIN is now passing this benefit on to its customers.
Increase the range of your UR cobot. Discover the HIWIN showroom at UR+ at or visit the HIWIN online portal with configurator.
Offenburg - HIWIN, the specialist for drive technology, is now offering its customers an innovative way to learn about its wide range of technologies and products with the HIWIN Showroom.
A virtual tour with a detailed information package of clickable videos, graphics and texts, provides visitors to the online showroom with an interactive experience – any time, anywhere.
This innovative platform makes a completely new and targeted exchange between HIWIN GmbH and its customers possible.
Interested parties can navigate independently through the showroom and see the product variety of the drive technology specialist for themselves.
But this does not mean that visitors have to do without expert personal advice: A live chat function, along with the option of setting up a detailed consultation appointment by telephone as well as by video conference, is also possible.
In addition to the showroom, customers have the opportunity to experience the products of the drive specialist in the HIWIN online portal.
With the CAD configurator and the design tool on the website, customers are supported from the initial idea to the finished product – HIWIN has the right solution.
Alongside extensive documentation, such as engineering documents, assembly instructions, technical data sheets and CAD models are available to download around the clock in all common exchange formats.
“A modern way of accessing modern products. Drive technology has never been more enjoyable!” (Werner Mäurer, Managing Director).
Visit us now in the new HIWIN Showroom at www.hiwin.de/showroom and let our product specialists guide you through the exhibition.
Offenburg - HIWIN, the specialist for drive technology is an industrial partner of the Flitzmo lighthouse project.
Flitzmo is a cross-faculty project of the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg, which has been launched in November 2018 under the direction of the university laboratory Work-Life Robotics, by Prof. Wendt. Since then, an impressive cooperation from numerous students, professors and companies such as HIWIN has been developed. The goal of the project is to develop a production and transport system that can be used for various autonomous activities of a company. Above all, the production and transport system is characterized by its omnidirectional operation, its modularity and its low-cost approach.
As a long-standing partner of the university laboratory Work-Life Robotics, which has already equipped HIWIN with an articulated robot and its peripherals, it was an obvious step to become active for the lighthouse project Flitzmo. With a monetary donation and additional support from development engineers, HIWIN has been a cooperation partner of the lighthouse project since the end of 2018.
On November 6, 2020, the project started a new round in cooperation with HIWIN: the "Young Talents" of HIWIN were included in the project. The goal was to work out new future perspectives and development opportunities for Flitzmo. For this purpose, the Flitzmo was brought to the HIWIN trainee workshop for two weeks. The trainees provided food for thought for the further development of the project. Initial suggestions have already been made for the frame, the power supply and the existing Mecanum wheels.
Innovative and autonomous - a production and transport system that can be used for numerous activities in companies. As a long-standing partner of Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, HIWIN is happy to support the Flitzmo lighthouse project.
With efficient automation, competitive series production is also possible in Germany. König Automatisierungstechnik is currently proving this with an ingenious automation system for machining formed sheet metal parts. The heart of the automation solution is a three-axis system with linear axes from HIWIN, which makes a significant contribution to the high productivity and flexibility of the system.
A Cartesian three-axis system, a turntable, a stack magazine and a machining centre – these are the most important components of a new production cell from König Automatisierungstechnik GmbH. With only minimal conversion effort, the cell can be used for the series production of different parts and still achieve high throughput: The automation technology is designed so that the cell can operate with a minimum cycle time of 15 seconds. At this cycle speed, the processing machine does not slow down and high spindle running times can be achieved. In practice, the machining times per part are usually much higher, meaning that in these cases, the automation solution can even supply several machine tools with blanks at the same time or transport the finished parts away.
A Cartesian three-axis system at the core
The workpieces are fed and removed by a Cartesian three-axis system, which is made entirely of HIWIN components. This gantry retrieves the semi-finished products to be machined from an externally accessible stacking magazine secured by light grids and places them on a rotary table. In the following cycle, the rotary table transfers them to the loading system of the turning machine(s), which loads the turning machine and removes and returns the finished parts to the rotary table. Once there, the finished workpieces pass through several stations. First a cleaning station, followed by a measuring site in the next cycle. The data recorded there is not only used for gapless documentation, but also by the turning machine control system to correct trends. Statistical evaluation takes place separately for each interlinked turning machine. After measurement, the part can pass through another station, for example to apply a QR code. Finished parts identified as good are then taken from the rotary table by the gantry and placed in a washing basket or goods carrier in the palletiser. The goods carriers stacked on floor rollers are easily accessible for machine operators so they can remove full baskets and set up new empties in the shortest possible time. Bad parts are ejected via an ejection chute. They are then checked manually and the error patterns are analysed.
In operation around the clock
Six production cells based on this new concept are already installed in the production halls of König Automotive, a manufacturing service provider that produces serial parts for many well-known automotive suppliers on a subcontract basis and from which König Automatisierungstechnik emerged as an independently operating company in 2018. Components for a CVT gearbox of a well-known automotive supplier are currently being produced on the lines in four shifts. Thanks to the high degree of automation, one employee can operate three lines, each with two turning machines. "But we are still at the very beginning of the project. There is still potential for optimisation", says Tobias Hauser, Design Manager at König Automatisierungstechnik GmbH. "In other systems, we have used robots to make it possible for every machine operator to operate ten turning machines. This is our long-term goal here as well".
For handling of workpieces in the production cell, however, König Automatisierungstechnik decided against using a robot from the outset. For good reason, as Hauser explains: "A robot is heavy, takes up a lot of space, requires one robot expert per shift in case of problems and, last but not least, is expensive”.
Complete package reduces expenses for installation and commissioning
At the beginning of the project, Hauser still had a classic Cartesian system in mind for handling the workpieces within the production cell. In such a system, linear guideways are mounted on a stable machine bed and the linear movement in the X and Y direction is generated with ballscrews. As part of the process of selecting suitable products, Hauser discussed the proposed design with the responsible HIWIN account manager. However, he ultimately advised against it for several reasons: With the required stroke of 800 mm, the critical bending speed would have been exceeded at the targeted cycle time. In addition, the solution would have required a relatively large number of components with correspondingly high assembly and alignment expenses, which is why the HIWIN expert suggested using the three-axis system. Its core consists of an HD (X) double axis and two HT-B (Y and Z) linear tables from HIWIN. "Since HIWIN offers components as well as ready-to-install axes and multi-axis systems, I knew from the very beginning that they would recommend the best solution for me", says Hauser.
"I took the recommendation and decided on the two-axis system from HIWIN. The technically sophisticated and rugged construction as well as the high-quality design simply won me over", says Hauser. "An important aspect is that the HIWIN system has a particularly maintenance-friendly design. For example, this means we can easily replace the toothed belt on our own when it wears out. Another plus is the cover strip, which is available as a standard option on HIWIN axes. The rugged stainless steel cover strip reliably protects the inside of the axis from chips and cooling lubricant, which significantly increases the service life. In addition, unlike with a robot, which usually requires special know-how, shift supervisors are also able to perform axis referencing on their own if required, which in turn increases the availability of the system.
Short delivery times – but of course!
HIWIN has also considered the constructor: With an online configurator, the gantry can be set up in minutes. At the end of the process, CAD data can be retrieved. HIWIN also stands for fast delivery after the order is placed: It only takes about two weeks. "Even in the boom year of 2018, the promised deadlines were kept, even while we had to wait for up to 40 weeks for delivery from other suppliers", emphasises Hauser.
The drive specialist achieves short delivery times because core elements, such as guides, are produced in-house. The company also has its own production capacities for turned and milled parts such as housings and flanges. The short delivery times are also helped by the fact that HIWIN stocks supplier parts with long replenishment times. The purchase of spare parts is also quick and easy: Wear parts, such as toothed belts, can be easily re-ordered using the serial number of the axes.
In the case of König Automatisierungstechnik, the three-axis system consists of a size 3 HD double axis with two axes driven in parallel (profile cross section: 80 mm, stroke: 400 mm) as a base and is combined with one HT-B linear table each with belt drive (profile width: 150 mm, stroke: 800 mm) in the Y and Z direction. "I also like the fact that we can get complete packages from HIWIN, such as the gantry, but also individual parts that we assemble ourselves", says Hauser. Among other things, König Automatisierungstechnik ordered the drive components for the palletiser from HIWIN and set up the drive system itself.
Efficient automation solution for series production
The result has impressed Hauser and the customers of König Automatisierungstechnik: "Also thanks to the Cartesian three-axis system, with this machine we have succeeded in combining minimum cycle times with a high degree of flexibility and availability, enabling us to map production processes very efficiently. Due to the high adaptability of the basic machine, we were able to create a highly automated solution for competitive series production in Germany for our customers in the shortest possible time. Our customers’ interest in the new automation solution is very high".
Offenburg – Standardisation and individuality - two terms that normally contradict each other. But not for innovative linear guidance and drive technology manufacturer HIWIN. The new HS3 three-axis systems cleverly combine the advantages of both worlds.
These three-axis systems are based on a HIWIN HD double axis in X direction. This guarantees both quick and precise positioning. A linear table from the HT-B series is built into the Y-axis. Thanks to the integrated double guides, it can absorb high levels of torque and is exceptionally rigid. The HC cantilever axis with Omega belt drive and a particularly lightweight yet rigid cantilever ensures dynamic movements in Z direction.
As a standard HIWIN product, the HS3 is assembled ready to install in the company's Offenburg plants and can be delivered within just 2 weeks.
A further advantage: The entire system can be ordered conveniently via the HIWIN web shop. And this is where individuality comes in: every three-axis system can be configured with just a few clicks using the HIWIN configurator at https://www.hiwin.de/de/service/cad-konfigurator. Simply specify the desired size, enter the stroke for all three directions of movement, precise to the millimetre, and select from a wide range of options, for example limit switches, energy chains and drive adaptations. As soon as you have completed configuration, the three-axis system is available for download in all common CAD formats.
An individual multi-axis system at the touch of a button - machine and plant engineering solutions don’t get any more efficient than this.
Offenburg – Drive technology specialist HIWIN is expanding the functions, properties and areas of application of its linear guideways in the CG series with a modular building block system.
This opens up numerous options for tailoring rails and blocks in the CG series to different requirements.
The advantages are clear to see: The mechanical linear guideway can be quickly and easily turned into an intelligent guiding component with highly accurate, integrated distance measuring. Depending on the application, additional lubrication units can extend the maintenance intervals to achieve maintenance-free lifetime lubrication.
Thanks to the modular building block principle, HIWIN delivers in record time, whether it be the standard version or a customised linear guideway.
The CG linear guideways are generally characterised by their high precision and load-bearing capacity. As the four ball tracks are arranged in an O shape, the linear guideway is more rigid and can sustain much higher rolling moments. This is particularly beneficial for applications with single guides.
Offenburg – The linear technology expert HIWIN has now expanded its tried-and-tested linear axes of the KK series with the new KF series, the four-row guidance of which offers optimised synchronous performance when high demands are placed on the running behaviour of the axis. The axis is available as a ready-to-install complete axis and can be used universally. Through additional options such as a cover, limit switches and additional blocks, the axis can be flexibly adapted to different requirements.
High levels of accuracy and rigidity are achieved in the linear axes of the KF series through a linear guideway in the steel profile with integrated ballscrew. The axes made of steel are particularly compact because the ballscrew is integrated into the block. They are especially suited to applications requiring high feed thrust and precision combined with high rigidity. The axis is available in sizes 60 and 86 with stroke lengths of 50 to 800 mm.
Offenburg – The online and offline worlds are growing ever closer together. The linear technology specialist HIWIN has reacted to this challenge by relaunching its company website. In addition to the personal consultation customers are familiar with, the HIWIN online portal now acts as an additional source of support, from the initial idea right through to the finished product.
Thanks to the revamped web design, the site provides a whole new user experience. On the one hand users can select the product they’re after quickly and easily, and on the other adapt it to their individual needs in advance using the configurator. For more complex matters, the new calculation tool lends a helping hand and automatically identifies the suitable product solution based on customer-specific application data. Alongside extensive engineering documentation, assembly instructions, technical data sheets and CAD models are available to download around the clock in all common exchange formats.
Registered users enjoy an additional benefit: Items can either be ordered directly or saved in their personal customer area. Here, specific information on pricing and delivery times can be viewed. What’s more, individual projects and orders can be conveniently stored and managed with great simplicity. “A modern way of accessing modern products. Drive technology has never been more enjoyable!” (Werner Mäurer, Managing Director).
Seventh axis extends the range and increases efficiency in production
HIWIN – The Offenburg-based supplier for linear drive technology is paving new paths for robot users. The working radius can now be expanded quickly and easily with a seventh axis from the HX modular building block system.
Jointed-arm robots can be used in a wide range of applications thanks to their kinematic properties. By combining them with a seventh axis from the HIWIN linear axis family, their areas of use are greatly multiplied. Two or more machines running in parallel can be handled at the same time. Use in interlinked machines is also possible. The robot can unload a station, move linearly between parts of the plant, and transfer the workpiece to the next station. If the workpieces are located on a conveyor belt, the robot can process them on the fly.
The seventh axis should be just as versatile as the robot and its range of applications.
The HX linear axis family therefore offers the ideal solution with its modular building block system: tailored to your application, different sizes and drive types as well as the free selection of the working stroke in mm increments ensure unlimited performance of the robot.
On the HIWIN online portal at www.hiwin.de, you will find the right axis in next to no time: simply enter your required dimensions in the design tool and subsequently adjust the axis to your individual needs using the CAD configurator. The CAD data will then be available to download straight away.
HIWIN performs when it comes to the delivery time too because your axis will be ready to dispatch from Offenburg after just a few days.
HIWIN’s seventh axis for robots: not only a plus, but also a multiplier for versatility and functionality.
ThermProTEC manufactures equipment for the production of more lightweight tubular stabilisers for a leading German automotive supplier. The key task of each piece of this highly automated equipment is not only to thermally treat the pre-bent tubing blank, but also to glue on the rubber bearings and assure quality. Robots from HIWIN ensure the flexibility required at central points during the production of these sophisticated suspension components.
Stabilisers play an important role in a vehicle’s suspension system, as they prevent the vehicle from swaying on a bend or uneven road surface. They therefore contribute significantly to the comfort of modern vehicles. In the past, these stabilisers were exclusively formed from all-metal bars in a cold or hot process. What are referred to as tubular stabilisers are now becoming more and more popular due to the fact that they weigh up to 40 per cent less.
However, tubular stabilisers call for entirely different thermal production methods compared to all-metal stabilisers. ThermProTEC, a specialist in thermal process technologies, has developed the ideal method for this and has successfully broken into the market with it.
“Our in-depth understanding of thermal processes opens the door for us, even to companies that are much bigger than ourselves,” explains Dr. Rainer Gaus, founder and Chief Executive Officer of ThermProTEC GmbH based in Offenburg. “Here, like in other markets in which we are active, such as tempering equipment for heavy mining chains or gear racks, clients are increasingly requesting that, alongside the actual thermal treatment, we cover as many of the production steps required in the respective application as possible with our equipment.”
This entails end-to-end automation including necessary measurements for quality assurance as well as the handling of workpieces.
In this context, ThermProTEC has been increasingly implementing robots in its equipment for some years now in order to feed or withdraw heavy components. When it comes to the stabiliser production equipment, numerous robots also come into play. Robots from HIWIN have been involved in this from the very start.
A robot instead of a gantry system
“We have a large number of HIWIN linear guideways installed in our equipment and have experienced very positive results with them over the years,” says Gaus. “I therefore followed HIWIN’s plans to develop its own robots with a great deal of interest and ordered three of the RA605-710-SL model for test purposes as soon as these were available. I already had our stabiliser production equipment in mind as a potential area of application.”
Once the compact 6-axis robots had been successfully tested, the design engineers at ThermProTEC suggested using a robot with a 5 kg load capacity in a Pick&Place application conventionally solved with a gantry system. By means of a dual gripper, the robot picks up a clamp and a counter-piece from an infeed belt and places them in the two receptacles of a pressing station. The station then presses the clamp pieces onto a rubber bearing previously glued on by the equipment.
Flexibility cuts costs in terms of construction and tools
Thanks to the flexibility of the robot, the equipment can process different clamp designs without any problems, which isn’t the case with a gantry system. A 2D smart camera of the Inspector PIM 60 model detects the type and orientation of the clamp fed in by a conveyer belt and forwards this information in XML format to the HIWIN robot control system via Profinet. The robot learns the different gripping positions depending on the clamp type via teach-in.
“Despite the higher entry price compared to a gantry system, the customer opted for the robot solution as a result of its flexibility,” reveals Gaus. “In the long term though, robots are less expensive for us, especially if the production of variants is to be possible or product changes are to be expected.” Whereas, for example, an extra tool has to be produced for every new product when using a gantry system, usually only a few standard grippers are enough to handle a whole product portfolio when using a robot. What’s more, the construction effort is generally lower with a robot solution in contrast to conventionally arranged Pick&Place systems because the latter have to be individually adapted to the equipment and task each time. ThermProTEC also chose not to have the clamps taken directly out of a provided crate by the robot. “Depending on its implementation, this concept would have required at least one 3D camera or an additional sensor and would have therefore simply not been worth it. We decided to place the clamp on the infeed belt using a magnet. That is much more cost-effective and reliable,” according to the CEO of ThermProTEC.
All-in-one control system
HIWIN robots also offer users added investment security and plannable costs. When users purchase the modular RCA605 robot control system developed in collaboration with KEBA, they get access not only to comprehensive hardware comprising an integrated safety controller, a configurable real-time Ethernet interface, a sequence controller (PLC) and extendable I/Os, but also to wide-ranging function libraries.
As a result, functions for palletisation or conveyer belt tracking, for example, do not have to be licensed or paid for separately. They can be used without additional costs when upgrading or converting equipment. A scope analysis software program is also supplied as standard for optimising movement sequences.
Programming is carried out in a consistent engineering environment for PLC, motion and robotics.
Wide range of applications through high repeat accuracy
The robot proved its worth in the first piece of delivered equipment, leading ThermProTEC to expand the area of application of HIWIN robots. In the second piece of equipment realised by the company and delivered at the end of 2018, two of these little helpers place clamps in a pressing station. Another RA605-710-SL additionally works in a measuring cell. In this application too, the robot cooperates with a 2D smart camera of the Inspector PIM 60 model. However, this time the camera is mounted on the flange of the robot. A distance sensor is also located here. The trio allows the stabiliser to be measured in 3D at nine positions within 15 seconds.
The RA605-710-SL has the best prerequisites, even for tasks of this kind: Alongside the simple handling of small parts, its high repeat accuracy of +/-0.02 mm also makes it suitable for applications such as assembly, deburring and polishing or even for quality assurance, as Gaus confirms: “Owing to the high repeat accuracy, we were able to achieve absolute overall measuring accuracy of 0.05 mm with the measuring cell.”
Outlook: more HIWIN robots
In light of all this, the HIWIN robot has performed impressively in this application too, and the CEO is therefore already considering other ways in which it could be used, such as for placing rubber blanks in mould cavities, which has been carried out manually up to now. “We have to take each day and each application as it comes though and weigh up whether a robot solution ultimately makes economic sense. But in general, we will certainly be installing even more HIWIN robots in our equipment in future,” proclaims Gaus with optimism.
Offenburg – HIWIN is expanding its range of drive technology. The HM linear modules with a square cross-sectional area and the HT linear tables with an integrated double guide – for applications with high torque loads – have now been joined by the cantilever axis from the HC series. This axis has been specially developed for use in vertical applications, and combines tried-and-tested quality, high power density and precision with an outstanding design.
The HC cantilever axis is equipped with an Omega toothed belt, which is integrated into the drive block in order to save space. With this axis, the drive block with the motor and gearing remains stationary and it is the lightweight cantilever that moves. Thanks to the sophisticated structure of the aluminium profile, the cantilever features high torsional rigidity despite its low weight and is therefore suitable for dynamic applications.
The use of high-quality HIWIN linear guideways inside the axis enables the compact linear axes to achieve high power density and outstanding performance.
With a whole host of individual configuration options available even in the standard version – including a pneumatic clamping element, limit switch, distance measuring system or drive adaptation for all standard motors, plus free selection of the stroke in millimetre increments – the HC cantilever axis is a true all-rounder. The product can be configured in just a few clicks using HIWIN's user-friendly configurator at www.hiwin.de.
Design engineers tasked with designing and developing robots, rotary tables, machine tools and many other types of automation system come up against the same challenge time and time again: the need for a rigid precision bearing in the tightest of spaces.
HIWIN has come up with the ideal solution in the form of its CRB series of crossed roller bearings.
The crossed arrangement of the rollers at an angle of 90° means that the bearings are able to absorb not only axial forces from both directions but also radial forces and tilting moment loads, as well as any load combinations they might be exposed to.
The secret behind the bearing's load capacity is hidden deep inside it. Thanks to their specific geometry, the spacers located between the rollers save a great deal of space, enabling more rolling elements to be packed into the bearing compared with similar models. The special design of the spacers also minimises the points of contact with the rollers and, as a result, friction losses.
The advantages over angular ball bearings or bearings with two bearing positions are obvious: HIWIN crossed roller bearings are much more compact and can therefore be installed in the tightest of spaces. They also score highly where rigidity is concerned. The linear contact of the rolling elements makes the crossed roller bearings three times more rigid than conventional ball bearings.
HIWIN offers its crossed roller bearings in five different models, two preload classes, three accuracy classes and with or without an optional seal – providing the perfect match for any application.
Offenburg – The precision delivered by HIWIN's LMX linear motor axes and their long service lives have established them as a popular choice among manufacturers. Now, the Offenburg-based specialist in linear technology is setting the bar higher than ever before in bringing its new generation of LMX axes to the market, with even more powerful motors and a more compact axis structure.
These axes represent the second generation of the equipment and use a new type of motor technology with a higher force density. This has made it possible to reduce the height of the system by some 40 % compared with the previous generation, allowing users to take advantage of more compact structures for their machines and pack more functions into the same amount of installation space.
All of the key components in the system are produced by HIWIN in-house, and this has given the manufacturer freedom to introduce new production processes and boost the mechanical precision of the axes even further.
The positioning measuring system and its sensors have been relocated to the protected axis interior, making the system more resilient as a whole. This also means that the axis can last up to 50 million cycles before requiring maintenance, if the operating conditions allow it.
With all these features, the second generation of LMX axes is continuing to set new standards in straightness, flatness and precision. It is the perfect choice for even the most demanding positioning applications, such as 3D measurement systems, laser processing machines or semiconductor production facilities.
The new linear motor axes are available now.
Offenburg - Two and more axes can now be combined quickly and easily with HIWIN adapters to form cross tables and multi-axis systems...
Offenburg – Linear movements involving ballscrews can now be completed even faster and more dynamically than ever thanks to the new flanged single nuts from HIWIN's DEB-N series. The Offenburg-based electromechanical drive technology specialist has achieved these great advances by overhauling its successful DEB series. A key feature of the DEB-N product family is an innovative ball guideway which allows the load to be distributed to a larger number of balls, significantly increasing the resilience and service life of the ballscrew. A ballscrew featuring these new flanged single nuts can last up to twice as long as the previous generation – yet not a single change has been made to their external geometries. At the same time, HIWIN's engineers were able to improve running performance with the new ball guideway, enabling the nuts to run much more quietly and increasing the maximum permissible speed.
Every detail of the new nuts has been carefully considered: as the wipers can be replaced, design engineers can tailor the ballscrews to the environmental conditions of their application. NBR wipers are included as standard. The material is highly resistant to oils, greases and hydrocarbons, and its low rate of wear enables it to achieve a long service life. Alternatively, felt wipers or additional finger wipers are available as an option.
As a result, the new DEB-N nuts are suitable for universal use and are ideal for conveying and positioning tasks in the plant and mechanical engineering sectors, as well as in transport and logistic systems, to name but a few examples. They are also particularly suited to applications which require highly precise, dynamic and reliable linear movements.
Ballscrews with the new flanged single nuts are now available from HIWIN and, on request, can be produced with machined ends and matching bearing units.