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Automated tester puts the squeeze on tennis balls

18 July, 2013

The pneumatic ball-handling mechanism locates and positions the tennis balls on the force-testing platform, a weighing scale or a carousel that carries up to 12 balls. When testing is completed, a test report is generated, including pass and fail criteria that make it easier to interpret the results. The results can be stored in the system, or exported to other software for storage.

When developing the ball-testing machine, Mecmesin worked with Festo,which supplied various components including pneumatic cylinders and grippers, linear actuators, valve terminals, a rotary table and its CPX automation platform.

The PLC-based CPX system was programmed by Mecmesin. It has remote I/O capabilities which will allow Mecmesin to add further modules in future without needing to redesign the entire control structure.

The tennis ball tester was delivered to the ITF in the summer of 2012 and has been used heavily ever since. Mecmesin is now working with Festo on other projects.

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