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HepcoMotion technology has the X-factor in aerospace application

HepcoMotion technology has the X-factor in aerospace application
Milton Keynes-based Electron-X Ltd, a specialist in the design and manufacture of x-ray inspection machinery, has exploited the benefits of using various products supplied by HepcoMotion on a recent showcase project. The company has built a pair of custom-designed x-ray inspection cabinets for a leading aerospace manufacturing company, each of which features HepcoMotion profile driven units and linear ball guides to facilitate important axial motion. ZIMM screw jacks (again supplied by HepcoMotion) are utilised for scissor lift table and vertical carriage applications.

"The customer required new x-ray technology to replace its existing facilities and so we created two bespoke cabinets featuring XYZ manipulators to best position the parts in question under the x-ray source," explains Director, Mike Gist. "The systems essentially comprise three sections - a central radiation cabinet and two wings housing control electronics and HV generators, while Perspex guards at the front protect the operator from 25mm thick lead-lined inner doors weighing some 350kg. This has resulted in a new 320kV x-ray cabinet system known as the Electron 3000".

Electron-X had used HepcoMotion products before and, based on their proven reliability and the levels of support available, the company decided to utilise this successful route once more. The decision was bolstered further with the knowledge that HepcoMotion and SmartDrive have enjoyed creating successful customer applications together for more than 10 years. In fact, combining HepcoMotion's renowned mechanical expertise with the systems integration skills of its drives partner SmartDrive, provides complete electro-mechanical solutions for almost all automation requirements.

In terms of the x-ray system configuration, HepcoMotion PDU2 (Profile Driven Units) and LBG (Linear Ball Guides) are used in the X and Y axes on the component manipulation table. This entire arrangement sits on a novel scissor lift unit which features a ZIMM screw jack and a WEG motor at the rear (also supplied by HepcoMotion). The vertical carriage for the x-ray source utilises ZIMM screw jack and LBG products, while the radiation doors make use of the HepcoMotion DAP DU (double-action PDU). SmartDrive stepper motor drives are deployed on both the manipulator and guards.

"We wanted a one-stop supplier of linear motion technology and the partnership with SmartDrive ensured we received a full and integrated package," says Mr Gist. "Furthermore, we know what we're getting with HepcoMotion, while the field and technical support on offer is extremely useful for projects such as this. The two new x-ray cabinets are now at the customer premises and in full operation."

Electron-X was established in 2003 to provide cost effective x-ray inspection solutions for customers with specific quality requirements. Every senior member of staff at the company has a career background in the NDT x-ray industry as well as specialist experience in manufacturing, design and project management of radiation related equipment and facilities.

The company has designed and built a wide variety of x-ray inspection systems and enclosures, including: inspection cabinet systems for industries such as electronics, medical and pharmaceutical; walk-in rooms for automotive and aerospace component inspection rated up to 750kV; and concrete rooms for x-ray and gamma-ray inspection. Electron-X also provides rental options as well as in-house micro-focus x-ray inspection and radiation protection services.

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