March 16, 2023
Festo is highlighting several of its latest innovations in electric automation, including its unique Simplified Motion Series (SMS) at ProMat, the North American supply chain exhibition, held this year from March 20-23 in Chicago.
Electric automation with the simplicity of pneumatics
These machine-mounted SMS axes are an innovative engineering and manufacturing breakthrough, comparable in cost and ease of installation with pneumatics, while offering added advantages like low energy consumption and the data generation characteristics of servo electrics. SMS axes feature a motor with integrated servo drive and IO-Link. No other supplier offers simple electric axes with comparable capabilities, advantages, and such a low price.
Festo’s decentralized I/O integrates into the host PLC
CPX-AP-I decentralized I/O seamlessly integrates with Ethernet communications networks from Rockwell, Beckhoff, Siemens, and other leading PLC manufacturers to create unique customer solutions. CPX-AP-I modules accommodate over 80 digital and analog input blocks, valve manifolds, and IO-Link master modules for extensive control and data acquisition capabilities per interface. CPX-AP-I allows over 150 feet distance between modules, which is advantageous for Intralogistics systems covering sizeable areas.
Productivity tools for electric automation
Festo engineering productivity tools for electric automation motion include SMS solutions finder, Electric Motion Sizing for error free sizing of linear and rotary electromechanical systems, Festo Automation Suite for simplified commissioning, Festo configuration tool for the CMMT-ST motor controller, and PARTdatamanager – all CAD data in 2D/3D for 33,000 products. These tools are free and accessible online.
At ProMat, Festo features the Handling Guide Online (HGO) productivity tool for configuring 1D, 2D, and 3D linear planer motion systems. With HGO, engineers using operational parameters such as speed, torque, size, and load can specify a gantry robot in as little as 20 minutes and receive a CAD file, quote, parts list, and delivery information at the end of the design session. The HGO tool ensures components are appropriately sized for the application and interoperate. Gantries arrive as easy-to-assemble kits with a unique customer part number.
Gantry robots for small footprint pick-and-place applications
Also featured at ProMat, the EXCT linear gantry is rated at 90 picks/minute with an accuracy of + .004 inches (0.1 mm). Linear gantries, like EXCT, are specified using Handling Guide Online. These units excel at fast, flexible positioning, a low profile and low center of gravity – ideal attributes for smaller workspaces.
The ProMat demo pairs the EXCT with a Festo Motion Control Package (FMCP) designed control panel. The Motion Control Package auto-configures control panels based on HGO generated data. Festo ships these control panels fully assembled with components mounted and wired. OEMs simply connect power and communications cabling to the robot and use function block programming to teach the pick-and-place motion.
Through partnership with Festo, OEMS simplify their design and acquisition process for faster time to market; rationalize inventory for lower carrying costs; reduce risk because of interoperable, high-quality components; and improve customer support through Festo global logistics.
With Festo electric automation motion solutions, they not only gain design symmetry and a sleek, high-tech look for their Intralogistics systems, they can also manufacture more compact, flexible, and high-performance solutions.
With Canadian manufacturing suffering from a growing labour shortage, the participation of industry in skills development is emerging as a vital component in hiring and retention. The needs are stark: The Canadian Exporters and Manufacturers Association says almost 40% of its members have jobs they can’t fill. Five years from now, 60% expect to be short-staffed, especially when it comes to skilled trades. Statistics Canada forecasts the country’s labour force growth rate will remain below 0.2% for the rest of the decade, below replacement levels.