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Mike Likes:
Dynamic HP70 pick-and-place direct-drive module

The WEISS HP70 pick-and-place direct-drive component.



Industry-leading rotary tables and automation specialist WEISS North America, Inc. (Willoughby, OH) has introduced a pick-and-place direct-drive component that is thinner (60-mm wide) than any linear motor or pneumatic module on the market today. Despite its uniquely compact design, the company says that its HP70 unit surpasses all previous pick-and-place units when it comes to speed, achieving over 100 cycles per minute with repeat accuracy of 0.01 mm.

Key to the HP70's design is a new drive concept that works with two linear motor axes that feature a unique "knuckle" design on the y/z axis that virtually eliminates the need for another linear motor for the z axis. Essentially, two horizontal axes with 125-mm, 225-mm, or 325-mm stroke length are arranged in parallel above one another and then connected via a kinematic unit. This guarantees a vertical stroke of 70 mm.

Unlike most other units, the HP70's two axes do not run vertically toward one another. If a unit has one horizontal axis and one vertical axis fitted next to one another, it becomes wider. However, by arranging the horizontal axes in parallel above one another a more compact unit is achieved.

Alongside its extremely compact dimensions, the HP70 also impresses with other characteristics. Whereas other devices must start and stop two axes each time, the HP70 only brakes on one axis when transitioning from full-speed horizontal movement to vertical movement. The time-consuming start of a second axis is then completely eliminated. This allows the module to achieve over 100 cycles per minute with repeat accuracy of 0.01 mm.

Given these distinct design advancements, the customer's end-use advantages are pretty clear. The same machining processes are handled in a smaller area, and the floor space savings are immense: twice the number of work stations can be set up on the exact same rotary indexing table or linear assembly system.

Concurrently, output enjoys a dramatic boost as the transport times from one processing station to the next are reduced. In many cases, the optimization potential can reach as much as 50 percent.

WEISS' Product Sales Manager - Direct Drives, Josh Treter, says that during its development, great emphasis was placed on achieving the HP70 module's compact dimensions. At just 60-mm wide, the slimline configuration eliminates the size advantage previously enjoyed by a pneumatic modules' design.





The design also offers another key performance benefit: both motors are encapsulated in fixed casings. With the obvious exception of the grippers, no moving cables are required either outside or inside the housing.

The process for changing and retrofitting components has also been simplified, as customers can now easily fit additional valves themselves -- while the device remains in the installation. The fast and convenient procedure for setting up motion sequences has also been carried over from previous models.

Additionally, the new unit is even more user friendly because the manual teaching of positions has been further simplified. The module can be moved freely and have its respective position saved by the WEISS Application Software (WAS) at the push of a button. Utilized for fast, convenient, and secure commissioning of all freely programmable WEISS components, WAS features a highly intuitive and uniform graphic user interface.

Learn more about the HP70 and see a video of a companion unit in the line, the HP140, here: It makes a big difference to see this technology in action.

Source: WEISS North America

Published March 2014

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