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US trio develops assembly platform using linear motors

23 October, 2015

Three US engineering companies – the conveyor system manufacturer, MagneMotion, the automation specialist, Tek-Matic, and the engineering designer, Accelerated Machine Design & Engineering (AMD&E) – are developing a flexible platform for assembling products that is powered by MagneMotion’s QuickStick linear synchronous motor (LSM) technology.

The precision, customisable platform is said to offer a fast, efficient and low-cost alternative to traditional pallet conveyors, while delivering higher production capacities. It adapts the QuickStick conveying system to support a variety of payloads, cycle requirements and track layouts. Straight sections are combined with curved sections with radii as tight as 500mm.

The non-synchronous system is also claimed to cut tooling costs, and to boost reliability by reducing the number of moving parts and tooling stations needed.

Programmable acceleration and velocity control allows the parameters on curved sections to be fine-tuned to ensure that payloads stay on their pallets with minimal or no restraining hardware. The pallets can be custom-configured for users, and the modular control system is compatible with leading PLCs and CNCs.

The platform can be expanded easily by adding pallets and track sections to meet future product and production needs. This will allow users to expand their installations to keep up with production demands.

The assembly platform’s chassis has been optimised using finite element analysis to provide a rigid, vibration-free foundation. A precision-machined top deck provides a flat surface on which users can mount process equipment directly, thus saving floor space, and cutting capital costs by eliminating the need for a framework to support items such as automation stations and process equipment.

The flexible assembly platform is a fast, low-cost and high-capacity alternative to pallet conveyors

AMD&E is contributing its Precision Under-Pallet Support (Pups) system, which provides precision location for applications that need tight repeatability, and allows heavy process loads and shock loads at each station. The modular Pups system can be positioned anywhere along the linear travel sections. It is equipped with pallet-presence sensors.

“Our precision assembly automation platform provides a simple and elegant solution for conveying material in an oval arrangement,” explains AMD&E president, Mark Tingley.

The new production platform is the latest application for the LSM technology that MagneMotion has been developing for more than two decades. “We are excited to work with AMD&E and Tek-Matic to help manufacturers improve their operations by providing a flexible alternative to traditional fixed-chassis indexers to improve efficiencies, reliability, and productivity,” says MagneMotion CEO, Todd Webber.




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