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One heavy-duty linear axis can replace two

17 August, 2012

Festo has launched a linear axis which, it claims, has the highest load capacity for its size in the market. The EGC-HD heavy-duty axis can support loads up to 1,300kg and torque levels of up to 1,450Nm and, in some applications, can replace two separate, aligned axes and a coupling shaft.

The rigid aluminium axis with two guide rails is ideal for moving heavy loads accurately –  in palletising applications, transfer lines and pick-and-place installations, for example. It is available in three widths – 125, 160 and 220mm – with a choice of toothed belt or ballscrew drives. Stroke lengths are up to 5m for the belt versions and 2.4m for the ballscrew verions.

The belt drive versions can move at velocities of up to 5m/s and offer accuracies of 100µm, while the ballscrew versions can move at up to 1.5m/s with an accuracy of 20µm. The ballscrew versions are available in a choice of pitches from 10–25mm and use an innovative ballscrew support system that allows them to operate reliably at full rotational speed, regardless of the stroke length.
The axis has a flexible motor mounting, with the motor being mounted on any of the four corners. It can be moved at any time. Machine builders do not need to specify the position of the motor at the ordering stage. The axis can be mounted from the back or sides with slot nuts. Flush-mounted over-travel inductive sensors are an option.

According to Nigel Dawson, Festo’s handling and positioning product manager in the UK, the new axis “has been optimised for high force feeds, so it is capable of accurately handling heavy weights. It delivers excellent performance while being incredibly economical and it is easy to install, design-in and order.”
Users can size their axes by downloading Festo’s free positioning drives software and entering their load and speed requirements. The software calculates the size of all components, including drives, motors and gearboxes. The axes are custom-built and delivered in 7–10 working days

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