Wednesday 22 October 2014

Intermediate position module with through-travel!

Freely positionable along the entire stroke length, the Festo intermediate position module, DADM, brings new flexibility and efficiency to pneumatic guided slides, rodless cylinders and ‘self-built’ drives. The module can be positioned anywhere along the actuator’s stroke length enabling stops to be created where they are required and the unique follow-through travel feature enables faster cycle times after an intermediate stop.

Saving machine builders time and money, the DADM module is targeted at handling, assembly and pick & place applications that require an intermediate stop. Easy-to-install, this off-the-shelf module is more compact and cheaper than the alternative methods to create a mid-position; either to ‘piggy back’ two cylinders on top of one another, which is expensive and bulky, or possibly choosing an electric drive, which may be more complex and expensive than required.
Cam design allows onward, through travel from a mid-position stop
“The travel-through feature of the DADM is unique, eliminating the need to ‘back-off’ to continue along the stroke,” says Steve Sands, product manager, Festo. “For high-speed production machinery, where the aggregation of marginal gains is a key focus, each fraction of a second saved makes a significant impact on the overall cycle time. Previous intermediate stops required the thrust of the cylinder to be reduced to enable the stop mechanism to be retracted before the movement could be completed. Through careful design of the geometry, we have been able to provide a robust stop cam that can be retracted under load, saving valuable cycle time and simplifying the controls and programming.”

Using the inherently simple technology of pneumatics, the DADM can be mounted at any position within the stroke and features position detection for safety and process reliability. The module is also very precise; shock absorbers cushion the stop with a metal to metal final position, assuring repetition accuracy to within ±0.02mm. Initially available in two sizes, 10mm and 16mm with a corresponding maximum impact force of 500N and 1000N, the DADM is reversible so it can be used for either the out or return-stroke.

“The intermediate position module has been designed and exhaustedly tested for an operating life in excess of 20 million operating cycles,” adds Sands. “This convenient, off-the shelf item has often been requested as it saves machine builders a phenomenal amount of design effort and expense, engineering bespoke mid-stop solutions. Now there is a ready-tested solution with guaranteed reliability.”

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