REDwire Festo to highlight new automation concepts at Hannover Messe

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With SupraShaker, a plate is suspended above a cryostat with superconductors.

Festo will be showcasing three new concepts for automation using superconductor technology at the upcoming Hannover Messe trade fair in Germany. Known as the world’s leading industrial show, Hannover Messe is expected to attract 200,000 visitors from April 24-28, making it the ideal venue for Festo to present its latest innovations.

What are superconductors?

Superconductors are materials which below a certain temperature can store the field of a permanent magnet at a predefined distance. This effect enables objects to be held in position and manoeuvred without contact.

“The special characteristics of superconductors open up great potential for them wherever contact-free storage or handling is required. Automation can thus make inroads into areas of application that until now have been regarded as not or only hardly accessible to automation,” explains Georg Berner, Head of Strategic Corporate Development, Group Holding Festo and Project Co-ordinator for the SupraMotion concepts.

Possible applications

The Festo exhibit at Hannover Messe will highlight three new possible applications for SupraMotion. Dynamic linear motion, which the company calls SupraDrive, is one. The SupraDrive exhibit will show how a suspended transport sledge, hovering a few millimetres above the surface, can operate dynamically and be precisely positioned. This concept can be used in areas where components must be cleaned frequently or during operation (i.e., in laboratory automation, in medical engineering or in the food, pharmaceutical and packaging industries).

SupraLoop, a combination of various transport systems, is another potential application. This exhibit is comprised of three individual transport systems — a classic conveyor belt, the Multi-Carrier System from Festo and Siemens, and a SupraMotion system — all operating on a circuit. In this application, a carrier can be transferred from the conveyor belt to cryostats with superconductors and then be coupled to them and transported in suspension. A possible application would be to remove individual transport sledges from a process, in order to transfer them to a clean room without contact.

SupraShaker, a suspended vibration system with tilting option, is the third concept. Shaking processes, as used with vibration conveyors, could be carried out much more quietly and efficiently with this type of apparatus. The plate can be very easily exchanged or cleaned, which would be an advantage in dusty environments.

To learn more, contact Festo Canada, or visit Festo at Hannover Messe, Hall 15, Stand D11.

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