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16 November, 2018

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Linear axis is ‘as easy to set up as making a cup of coffee’

07 December, 2015

The German clamping and gripping specialist, Schunk, has developed a compact linear axis with a 24V linear motor drive which, it claims, is as easy to commission as making a cup of coffee and will revolutionse automated assembly.

The ELP module incorporates the drive, a controller and an auto-teach technology. Schunk says it can perform pick-and-place and feeding tasks as easily as using pneumatic modules.

To commission the module, all you need to do is connect the axis using standard (M8/M12) plugs, and set the end position mechanically using an Allen key. The speed of retraction and extension can be regulated using two rotary switches to suit any add-on weight. You do not need mechatronic knowledge, or control cabinet space, to use the module.

A built-in LED display indicates the status of the teaching process, which usually takes two to five strokes to complete. The module’s operation is then monitored constantly and adapts flexibly to any changes.

The module is actuated using binary signals, allowing it to replace pneumatic mini-slides directly. Because there is no need for hydraulic shock absorbers, commissioning and maintenance are almost eliminated. This also minimises worries about potential damage or downtime caused by defective shock absorbers.

Schunk says that its all-in-one electric axis is as easy to set up as a pneumatic axis

Other benefits of the electric axes are said to include long lifetimes, lower operating costs than pneumatic modules, and a high level of process stability. They have a repeat accuracy of 0.01mm and a maximum nominal stroke of 200mm.

Schunk previewed the linear axes at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany. They will be available from the third quarter of 2016 in three sizes (25, 50, 100), each with three stroke variants.




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