Improve Engineering Productivity with Multi-Protocol Servo Drives

June 20, 2024
Alejandro López, the Electric Automation product manager at Festo Corp., demonstrates Festo’s agnostic approach to linear axes, ensuring compatibility with cobots from different manufacturers in a seventh-axis application.

In this demo, Festo’s Alejandro López demonstrates how system integrators and machine builders might utilize cobots from different manufacturers in a seventh-axis application.

Seventh-axis robots refer to robots on an electromechanical linear actuator that can move horizontally and vertically. The addition of a linear rail in effect extends the reach of a six-axis robot.

Lopez explained the productivity and cost advantages of moving the robot closer to the payload. The use of smaller six-axis robots means lower acquisition costs and a more compact footprint, he said.

READ MORE: Hannover Messe 2024: Festo’s Frank Notz on the State of the Automation Industry

The demo also showcased the Festo Motion Control Package (FMCP) panel controls turntables, automatic storage systems, conveyors and transfer tables. The FMCP is configured to allow wall mounting and supports future expansion.

Adaptive Grippers

The way parts are handled has a direct impact on productivity in automated manufacturing and assembly processes. Vacuum technology or gripper technology can handle a range of materials and parts. Festo’s picking and placing solutions include the adaptive shape gripper DHEF, the adaptive finger gripper DHAS and vacuum gripping solutions

In the demo, Lopez was able to control the gripper with a tablet. He said a VPPI actuated valve can be controlled via analog signal, which allowed him to adjust the pressure needed to handle delicate parts. The FDA-approved gripper can handle eggs and other food items as well as glass (including lightbulbs).

“This is very unique in the market,” Lopez said.

READ MORE: Optimizing Pick-and-place with Cartesian Robots

About the Author

Rehana Begg | Editor-in-Chief, Machine Design

As Machine Design’s content lead, Rehana Begg is tasked with elevating the voice of the design and multi-disciplinary engineer in the face of digital transformation and engineering innovation. Begg has more than 24 years of editorial experience and has spent the past decade in the trenches of industrial manufacturing, focusing on new technologies, manufacturing innovation and business. Her B2B career has taken her from corporate boardrooms to plant floors and underground mining stopes, covering everything from automation & IIoT, robotics, mechanical design and additive manufacturing to plant operations, maintenance, reliability and continuous improvement. Begg holds an MBA, a Master of Journalism degree, and a BA (Hons.) in Political Science. She is committed to lifelong learning and feeds her passion for innovation in publishing, transparent science and clear communication by attending relevant conferences and seminars/workshops. 

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