Automation technology specialist Beckhoff UK, in collaboration with leading manufacturer of linear motion systems, HepcoMotion, hosted a mechatronics showcase at MK7, the home of Oracle Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes, with several innovations from both companies on display, as well as a brand-new product reveal – the GFX-r guidance system.
Surrounded by Oracle Red Bull’s F1 cars, attendees got the chance to listen to several different talks throughout the day, showcasing the best of what Beckhoff UK and HepcoMotion have to offer. The two companies have been collaborating for over nine years – what started as an aim to extend the capabilities of the XTS linear product transport system, turned into thousands of successful projects together.
Displays included the benefits of reduced machine real estate using products such as Beckhoff’s EtherCAT industrial Ethernet system and the MX system, which completely replaces a control cabinet, and HepcoMotion’s HGS heavy-duty gantry system.
Also on show was HepcoMotion’s driven track system, designed for higher loads requiring speed and accuracy in modern automation processes. Beckhoff UK also showcased its machine vision capabilities combined with a demonstration of its innovative Xplanar planar motor system. This transport system combines the advantages of conventional systems and supplements them with unique magnetic levitation technology.
Combining Beckhoff UK’s XTS linear transport system and HepcoMotion’s GFX guidance system, the two companies have gone one step further with a display of their track management system (TMS), which enables movers to be taken off a track and onto another, and the reveal of the XTS with the new GFX-r.
“Customer feedback revealed that curves on a track system are a limiting factor on the magnets that can be used within the system – too long, and they hang off the curve and drive will be impacted,” said Alec Dick, international sales manager at HepcoMotion. “By replacing corners with a track management switch, the length of the mover and magnets can be significantly increased, in turn creating an increased driving force of up to 400N and payloads of up to 30-40kg. Process loads can also be handled directly on the mover, at around 1500N.”
Chris Knight, XTS product specialist at Beckhoff UK, said: “On the software side, the beauty of this system is that nothing changes,” said “The design gives customers the ability to have a higher load on the system, and you would still control it the exact same way you would with the standard motion. This upgrade gives us the ability to take on that higher load that standard movers can’t achieve.”
The GFX-r is available now for manufacturers who want to level-up their product transport with higher payloads. To those who missed the event, a full reveal of the product can be found on the GFX-r product page.
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