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Machine Design

Compact slide helps "board breaker" squeeze into cramped quarters

Thanks to compact RE-1 crossed-roller slides from Del-Tron Precision, a process cell from TSG Automation (not shown) completely automates the process of singulating ceramic snapstrate panels into individual parts used to produce hybrid components. The clamping and stripping units fit within the tight confines of other machine components

Clamping and stripping units on a ceramic panel singulator fit within tight confines thanks to an extremely compact crossed-roller slide from Del-Tron Precision Inc., Bethel, Conn. The slide also resists the high loads generated in the breaking operation.

The singulator, developed by TSG Automation, Ivyland, Pa., automates the process of breaking ceramic snapstrate panels into individual parts used to produce hybrid components. The machine features dual breaker units that both clamp and strip to insure a clean break on the scribe line.

At the first breaker station, a clamp holds the column that is being broken off and a mechanical stripper holds the rest of the panel during actuation of a breaking arm that pivots downward to singulate the columns. The design requires four linear slides that must fit within the four inches between the scribe line on the ceramic panel and the nest that constitutes the next position on a walking-beam conveyor. The slides are on the load path of the forces generated in the breaking operation.

Del-Tron RE-1 crossed roller slides, only just over one-inch long, make it possible to meet the space requirements. The slides carry higher loads than ball slides of equal size. The crossed roller slides also provide accuracy of 0.0001 in./in. of travel, and repeatability of 0.0001 in. to meet the accuracy requirements of the application.

A four-position walking beam conveyor indexes the four-up columns from the first to the second breaking stage. The second breaker stationbreaks the individual parts from the columns. A motor-driven pusher blade assembly indexes the column into position onto a pneumatic breaking bed precisely over the breaking fulcrum.

Mechanical strippers and clamps driven by linear actuators hold the columns in position as at the first breaker station. The columns being broken are smaller than the original panels. There is even less space for slides, making the compact footprint of the RE-1 units even more important.

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