22 November, 2017

Festo whitepaper looks at the benefits of Cartesian handling systems

20 June, 2014

Automation equipment supplier, Festo, has published a new whitepaper ‘Cartesian handling systems – a technical comparison with conventional robots’ to help engineers and designers understand the advantages and disadvantages of various handling systems, so they can increase the productivity and efficiency of their processes. The whitepaper is free to download from www.festo.co.uk/handling-whitepaper and gives a simple overview of Cartesian and kinematic handling systems, outlining the functional differences between various robotic solutions, as well as highlighting key factors and aids for selecting efficient and economic systems. “It is important to understand when to select Cartesian, Kinematic and SCARA assembly and handling solutions,” said Nigel Dawson, product manager at Festo. “Cartesian systems may lose out on flexibility but they can be optimised for the application in hand, and importantly from a maintenance perspective, they can be assembled from standard parts making them a lot easier to maintain. Parallel rod, Kinematic solutions can be very fast but there are working envelope and payload restrictions. There is no one size fits all approach, each should be considered on their merits.” Energy-efficient 2D and 3D Cartesian systems can be engineered easily and efficiently to linear and rotational applications. They can also incorporate pneumatic, electric, servo-pneumatic or a combination of technologies, achieving optimum movement in terms of efficiency, dynamic response and function, enabling engineers to improve productivity. To download the new whitepaper on handling systems, visit www.festo.co.uk/handling-whitepaper. www.festo.co.uk


SMC launches new 2 port fluid valve range

20 June, 2014
SMC, provider of pneumatics, is proving to customers that it delivers a fluid, flexible and fast service with its universal 2 port fluid valve range. Recognising that automation occasionally requires non-pneumatic solutions, SMC has used its engineering and design expertise to develop a conventional range of fluid control valves. The broad range on offer – from compact and light designs to more complete solutions for medium flows and options for applications requiring zero differential pressure to large flows – is showcased in SMC’s comprehensive brochure with technical data and parts directory plus an online 2 port valve selector. SMC’s European fluid control project manager, Sebastian Fabio Agnello, commented: “We have an enviable global reputation for our pneumatics expertise but we do recognise our customers also require alternative, non-pneumatic options. Increasingly customers wish to work with one trusted partner so we’ve adapted our product lines to meet their needs and wrapped this up under the ‘USE’ concept; Universal valves for standard fluids, Specific valves, optimised for specific fluids and Expert valves for specific applications.” He continued: “We also recognise that speed of delivery is essential, so our European Central Warehouse is well stocked with our valve range, guaranteeing immediate shipping.” The universal range features two direct operated 2 port solenoid valves; the VDW10/20, is ultra-compact and ideal for air, vacuum and fluid handling and the VX2 series is suitable for high temperatures whilst being energy efficient and quiet to operate. Pilot operated solenoid valve options include the VXD series which is also highly efficient and the zero differential pressure, VXZ series. Alternatively, the robust air-operated VNB series is highly versatile and can handle large flows as well as retain reverse pressure. Supported by a range of specific and expert valves, SMC is now able to provide customers with a valve for any application in any environment. For more information about the 2 port fluid valve range, visit SMC’s Product Section on the company’s website. www.smcpneumatics.co.uk


Bionic Handling Assistant on show at London’s Science Museum

30 April, 2014
The Festo Bionic Handling Assistant made an appearance at the London Science Museum’s exhibition 3D: printing the future taking place in the Antenna – science news gallery during the Easter school holidays. The feature showcased innovation in this exciting field and explored future applications for products made through the additive manufacturing process. “The Science Museum is a fantastic place to visit for a family day out,” said Steve Sands, product management and marketing manager at Festo. “The 3D: printing the future exhibition is demonstrating how innovators are using 3D printers to turn computer data into physical objects and how that is changing our lives. Being part of this exhibit also supports our continuing Tomorrow’s Engineers work, where we network to help inspire young people into careers in engineering. Our designers developed the Bionic Handling Assistant concept using a selective laser sintering process to produce its complex bellow structures. The benefits of additive printing released the team from the restrictions of traditional manufacturing processes, enabling them to produce the complex but ultra-light weight handling arm.” High flexibility Everything about the arm is optimised, reducing the number of individual parts to the absolute minimum. Despite the relatively hard polyamide material used, the design achieves a high degree of flexibility which, when combined, enables 13 axis of freedom – a crude approximation of the elephant’s trunk that inspired the concept but a truly original idea for automation. “Why the focus on lightweight?” continued Steve Sands. “Because it explores the concept of people working closely alongside robotic arms reducing fatigue, increasing productivity or eliminating exposure to dangerous or harmful activities.” Further information can be found at: www.festo.co.uk/press/sciencemuseum and www.sciencemuseum.org.uk


AeroPro pneumatic power tools – new to the UK

29 April, 2014

As an integral part of its on-going exclusive brand development programme, Flowtechnology UK has launched AeroPro; a new range of Pneumatic Power Tools available to the UK market.


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