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Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

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Accessories boost flexibility for machinery designers

Accessories boost flexibility for machinery designers
Aluminium frameworks provide a simple and versatile platform for machine building, and that flexibility is further enhanced by the various accessories that are also on offer, including a new line of screw actuated positioning sets, foot mounting brackets and ball-bearing hinges.

One of the latest additions to the Item aluminium profile machine construction kit from Machine Building Systems, is the Positioning Set 8 40. At its simplest, this consists of an M6 left-hand stainless steel screw of up to 1m long, which may be located in any Item 8mm T-slot. A threaded block which dovetails into the T-slot is driven by this screw, and at the end of the profile a bearing block is located, and a hand wheel attached to the screw. The block then moves similarly in direction to the cross-slide on a lathe - a full clockwise turn sends the block away from the operator 1mm. 

The moving block has an adjustment feature so that play between block and profile may be minimised. It is a simple matter to then incorporate an identical - but this time right-hand - threaded bar which may be attached to the end of the first screw. A similar positioning block is driven by this second thread, and thus contra-directional motion on the same piece of profile is easily obtained, where desired.

Also available, to be incorporated at the hand wheel position, are digital position indicators. These are either mechanical, or for more sophisticated applications, electronic with LCD readout. Thus reliable and repeatable manual positioning can be attained.
The positioning set is likely to prove useful in adjustable tooling, for example in carton-feeding systems or trackside equipment such as simple adjustment mechanisms for bar code readers, ink jet printers or proximity switches. They are also expected to find applications anywhere differently sized products are handled by the same equipment.

This is just one of a number of innovations from Machine Building Systems that all make the machine designer's life just that bit easier. Another addition to the Item aluminium profile machine construction kit is a backing plate for securing flat screens to any Item Line-8 aluminium profile frame. The Monitor Adapter 8 VESA 75-100 PA is as the name suggests, capable of securing any monitor which incorporates the industry standard VESA 75 or 100 mounting. It is made from ESD plastic, which permits a slow rate of discharge and so prevents potentially damaging electrostatic build-up. The plate also lends itself to securing directly to adjustable clamping hinges, allowing any viewing angle to be set and maintained.

Foot mounting brackets
In response to a customer requirement, Item has also introduced a new bracket which accommodates a central M16 threaded hole to suit any M16 knuckle foot with an 80mm base diameter. This die-cast aluminium bracket is bolted onto any suitable frame using four M8 bolts at 40mm centres, and allows the base frame to be installed within a few mm of the floor if desired, but yet provide full height adjustment. Used anywhere on the inside or outside of a frame (in contrast to locating feet at the bottom of the frame legs), this also allows more room for swivel castors to be fitted inside a frame, thus allowing easy movement of any machine where this is desired.  

Where floors are uneven, a further foot mounting option from Machine Building Systems is the die-cast Base Plate 8, 40x40 M10. The company says the idea behind it is that those customers with uneven floors, who wish to have a knuckle foot with a generous amount of adjustment on say a bench or conveyor, really need to use an M10 foot, to give the longer threads some resistance to the occasional but inevitable side loads which they will meet. However, this leads to two problems. Firstly, the 40x40 profile most commonly used for legs has a bore at the tapping size for M8, and must be drilled and re-tapped out where this is feasible (quite a long job). Secondly, permissible thread pitch deviations under DIN standards, common in the male threads, very often mean that the feet will bind in long tapped holes, no matter how accurate the tapping. 

The new base plate solves both these problems at low cost by having the M10 tapped hole for the foot not in the centre, but aligned with any of the T-slots in the leg. The centre hole is used for securing the plate to the profile with the usual M8 screw.

Finally, Machine Building Systems has news of a heavy duty Ball-Bearing Hinge 8 40x40 for the Item Line-8 aluminium profile machine construction kit. This complements an existing hinge, similar in appearance, but allows heavy dynamic loads to be applied, and to swing through up to 180 degrees, on a continuous basis. Each hinge incorporates two ball-bearings, thus permitting both radial loads of up to 2500N, and moment loads of 45Nm on the hinge. The existing plain-bearing hinge will continue to be available for less heavily loaded dynamic applications, or as a convenient means of attaching bracing struts.
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