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Rotary drive ‘sets new standards for performance’

20 August, 2013

Festo has announced a cost-effective semi-rotary pneumatic drive with twin pistons that, it says, offers good precision, stiffness and loadability. The DRRD actuator uses an innovative bearing system to handle high loads with high accuracy.

The actuator combines a bearing and flange into a single functional element, allowing larger bearing sizes that improve stiffness. The rotary drive provides up to 110Nm of torque and rotations up to 200 degrees. It can be stopped at any angle up to 90 degrees, thus increasing flexibility for machine builders.

Rotary actuators are often sized using torque rather than inertia, but this can cause premature failure in traditional designs with internal damping. The new actuator uses external damping, allowing users to turn higher loads and to stop more accurately, providing a longer-lasting, more robust and reliable technology.

The external shock absorbers increase the maximum mass moment of inertia by up to four times compared with previous technologies. As a result, engineers can move higher loads with greater dynamics or specify a smaller drive to move the same load, thus saving space and cost in their machines.

Festo's DRRD rotary actuator can save space on machines

A large range of variants allows users to choose the best drive for their applications. One option is an end-lock variant for safety-critical applications. The DRRD can be fitted with inductive or magnetic sensors to offer position feedback. An IP65-rated sealed variant is also available to protect against the ingress of fluid in harsh environments.

“At Festo, we have extensive knowledge of the challenges faced in handling applications and have developed the new DRRD rotary drive with an excellent price/performance ratio,” says Nigel Dawson, Festo’s product manager for the new actuator in the UK. “The high stiffness, precision, in-built shock absorbers and external damping options mean that the DRRD can turn higher loads than alternative drive systems and stop more accurately, bringing rotation function to a new high level of performance and flexibility.”

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