So much happened at this year’s PackExpo Las Vegas, here are some additional thoughts and sights from this year’s very crowded show:
The AMK Automation booth was focused on flexible machine automation solutions, both centralized and decentralized. AMK showed a centralized single-cabinet design as well as a working decentralized machine, where a single cabinetless controller from the company’s AMKASMART series is supporting multiple axes. The AMKASMART line includes servo controllers, servo drives and integrated motors and drives.
“With the AMKASMART drive system we’ve taken what is typically a complex and costly product design and have simplified it, combining the power and motor requirements into one powerful decentralized machine controller that can support the most demanding machine designs,” said Tom Jensen, General Manager.
Jensen, who has been involved with industrial automation for decades, has an interesting approach to designing machines that work for nearly every application. “I like to think in abstract ways, and create answers to problems that customers don’t even realize they have,” he said. “For example, if they’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on spare parts and services for their current machines, my approach is to provide a solution for them to save some of that money to invest elsewhere. The motor and drive solutions from AMK help them do just that.” See him talking about their technology in the video below:
Earlier this year, Festo Corp. made a lot of headlines with its new VTEM Motion Terminal, which it said was the world’s first cyber-physical pneumatic-motion-control system. The VTEM’s digital valves change functionality based on various combinations of downloadable motion apps. The capabilities of the terminal enable:
- Higher machine utilization
- Better energy efficiency
- Greater flexibility
- Faster time to market for both machine builders and end users, and
- A reduction in the number of components to purchase, install, and maintain.
The components of the VTEM Motion Terminal include digitally controlled flexible valves, an integrated processor, Ethernet communications, electrical inputs for fast control of specific analog and digital applications, and integrated pressure, stroke, and temperature sensors for data analysis. The VTEM Motion Terminal, in development for three years, will be sold in either four-valve or eight-valve platforms. Product shipments will begin in December.
DENSO Robotics unveiled its latest HSR four-axis SCARA robot, which uses advanced vibration control, a newly designed, highly rigid lightweight arm and improved heat dissipation in the base unit to achieve new levels of continuous high-speed performance and repeatability.
“Our new HSR robot represents the culmination of 50 years of experience in developing industrial robot arms to meet our own manufacturing needs in the highly competitive automotive sector,” said Peter Cavallo, robotics sales manager, DENSO Products & Services Americas Inc. “What sets the HSR apart is that it can run at its maximum speed and maintain its highest repeatability without interruption, not just in short bursts. That translates into more cycles per minute, which in turn means higher throughput.”
Reduced shaft whip and settling time, along with a lighter-weight arm and an optimized arm structure, make the HSR more efficient than previous models, enabling it to accelerate faster, run continuously at its highest rated speed and stop more precisely.
Standard cycle time—with a 2-kg weight—is from 0.28 to 0.31 sec. and repeatability is from ±0.01 to ±0.12 mm. Maximum payload capacity is 8 kg, with available reaches of 480, 550 and 650 mm.
Check out the robot in action at the DENSO booth: