Pneumatics assure smooth, safe lifting
Digital pneumatics bring a new level of sophistication to an innovative roll handling system from Dotec.
For companies where the manual handling of drums and rolls is burdensome, but where the investment in full robotic systems is not yet warranted, an intriguing option is the Dotec LiftAssist roll handling solution. Since its launch, the LiftAssist has been developed around pneumatic cylinders to provide a simple and effective lifting aid. Now, for 2019, the LiftAssist has been improved through the integration of the Festo Motion Terminal.
The virtually silent pneumatically driven lifting aid has been designed to make lifting of loads up to 250kg manageable, with the LiftAssist providing characteristics that are based on ease of operation, speed and good posture of the operator. Users report that the learning curve has always been short, and that the system is a pleasure to work with.
With the addition of Festo’s Motion Terminal, a new level of sophistication has been added to the LiftAssist. Not only has the handler become lighter, faster and smoother, with even greater levels of safety, but it is also simpler to set up and maintain. Users have the ability to set up the system using a smartphone or tablet, and faults can be traced remotely.
Much of the development work for the upgraded LiftAssist was done at Festo’s Experience Centre in Delft, Netherlands, with the Motion Terminal not only improving the handler’s capabilites but also eliminating “a spaghetti of cables between numerous components.”
Festo’s Motion Terminal is the pinnacle of pneumatic development today. Using piezo-electric controlled valves tied to software-driven motion apps, the motion terminal is able to change the functions of its valves in much the same way an electric drive can. Each valve can effectively replicate the functionality of up to 50 separate pneumatic components, allowing operating pressures to be changed digitally to suit a particular product type, with cylinder travel times and stroke lengths adjusted for different product formats.
The upgraded version of the LiftAssist incorporating the Festo Motion Terminal is scheduled for launch early in 2019, meeting the roll handling needs of users in areas such as slitting, converting, printing, packaging processes for food packaging, label and narrow web, sleeves, flexoprint sleeve handling and more.
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