Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New economic linear axis for fast positioning of light loads

Festo, has launched a new cost-effective electric toothed belt axis with high feed forces and flexible motor attachments. The ELGA linear drive integrates a plain-bearing guided belt drive which is ideal for positioning lighter loads quickly and is easy to handle and fit, enabling machine builders to save installation time and associated costs.

Delivered ready-to-install, it is suitable for handling, feeding and conveying applications in the electronics, food and packaging industries, where end users require fast positioning with excellent feed force performance.

The belt drive is reliable and is protected by a magnetically attached stainless steel cover to guard against the ingress of dust. The plain-bearing guide is manufactured from a polymer which gives exceptional sliding performance. It runs dry, with no need for any lubrication, and as a result, it has minimal maintenance and can be used in environments where grease could cause a problem. Due to the magnets on the cover the drive is also ideal when mounted upside down.

ELGA linear drive is based on the proven technology of Festo’s EGC linear axes and is robust with excellent rigidity. The pinions are made from stainless steel to minimise wear from the belt, which gives the ELGA a long service life of up to 5,000 km. It is available in three profile widths – 70, 80 and 120 mm – and provides high force feeds of up to 1300N at high speeds of up to 5 m/s and accelerations of up to 50 m/s2. The axis can be specified in working lengths of up to 8.5m.

It has a flexible motor connection whereby the motor can be mounted on any of the four corners. As such, the position does not have to be specified when ordering, making it easy to handle and install. Users simply fit the drive and it is ready to go.

“ELGA is a new generation of electrical linear axes that have been developed to meet growing customer market demands for higher feed force, accuracy and speed,” says Nigel Dawson, product manager at Festo. “Customers expect axes and multi-axis systems that have been matched to their individual requirements, and this is achieved with the ELGA. It has exceptional flexibility, making it ideal for applications with low guidance needs or for use with an external guide, for example, for simple transport or positioning tasks.”

The ELGA linear drives are simple to size and order using Festo’s free Positioning Drives software. The software can be downloaded from Festo’s website and users enter their requirements, such as load and stroke length etc, to efficiently size electric drives, motors and gear units easily. Axes are custom built and delivered ready to install in 7-10 working days.

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