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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 01/2018

WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 01/2018

Extremely reliable

Extremely reliable safety brakes for stage shows and concerts For decades, the superior braking technology from Mayr power transmission has been protecting people and systems, and even saving lives in cases of emergency. During his visit to Mauerstetten, Martin K., a systems technician tries to find out what makes these brakes so reliable. MOTION AND DRIVES For a moment, there is a pin drop silence in the hall. Spellbound, the audience watches as the young singer, Martin’s daughter, floats back to the ground over the heads of the other artists to land gently back on the stage. Then a thundering applause breaks out. Martin grips his wife’s hand. She smiles. He can see how proud she is: their daughter’s performance has once again received a big round of applause. Of course, Martin is also proud, but primarily he is relieved. Once again, the stage show equipment and in particular, the braking technology has operated smoothly. His daughter, the star of show, and the other performers were never in danger. Due to his vocation as a service technician, he is fully aware of what can happen when stage technology does not function properly. Only last September, he and his colleagues were conducting an operation in a football stadium in central america. Heavy stage elements, decoration and spotlights should have been moved, braked and accurately held above the heads of artists and spectators using winches in an exclusive but complex opening event. However, the safety brakes in these systems did not want to co-operate. Rescued at the last minute – reliable products save a great deal of trouble! With difficulties arising in the performance of the brakes, it then became clear, the safety brakes were not designed for the high humidity prevalent in tropical regions. So that the opening ceremony could still take place as planned, the brakes were eventually replaced at the last minute. Together with the system operator on-site, they had quickly come to a conclusion and decided to use safety brakes by mayr power transmission. After the failure of the original brakes, it was clear to everyone that it is not natural that brakes function reliably - and therefore the decision was made to use products from the German specialist in safety brakes. These brakes operate perfectly and without compromises, and fulfil all safety requirements. During a visit to Mauerstetten in the Allgäu region of Germany, the headquarters of the family-run company, Martin K. wanted to find out for himself what makes mayr’s brakes so reliable. Imagine you are travelling in an elevator and the safety brakes fail … Martin’s dialogue partners, Product Manager Bernd Kees and Philipp Kempf from the Product Development team, were waiting for him on his arrival. During the tour around the company Quality not only means the construction of a reliable brake, but also that every single brake must function reliably under the specified extreme values Bernd Kees, Product Manager at mayr power transmission campus, they explained to him why people can rely on brakes from Mauerstetten in their everyday lives. “Apart from stage technology, elevators are also a particularly easy to follow example”, says Bernd Kees. “Most of us use an elevator every day. No-one wants to imagine what would happen if the safety brakes were to fail. The same applies in hospitals with operation-support robots, for example. The robot joints are held in position using safety brakes. In case of an eye operation, for example, the robot arm must under no circumstances wobble or drop suddenly”. 28 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 1/2018

01 For many decades, brakes such as the Roba-stop-silenzio in stage technology around the world have reliably ensured the safety of artists and performers – without compromises “Our brakes are deployed in different machines and systems – anywhere where movements must be reliably braked and/or precisely held. The demands on the brakes – and primarily on the components that are the heart of these brakes, the friction linings – are also completely different. This starts with the environmental conditions, such as humidity or temperature. In case of machine tools, the presence of lubricants in the surrounding area must also be taken into consideration. The specific task of the brake should also be taken into consideration, for example, is the braking static, i. e. does it concern holding brakes ? Or do the brakes also have to arrest movements, for example in case of an emergency stop or power failure, i.e. dynamic braking ? How much load do the brakes have to carry, and how often ? How short must the stopping distances or times be so that no one is harmed”? “All these questions and many more have to be answered”, adds Philipp Kempf. “Only in this way can we ensure that a safety brake is correctly selected and designed for a respective application. We do not achieve this simply through data. Central components of our safety and quality claims are therefore the extensive tests and checks which are unique in their form. This is particularly the case in the field of friction technology. The company ensures that the values stated in the catalogue are also reliably achieved. This also means that we know the limits of the friction systems we use. And of course, the experience and knowledge from these tests flow into the development of our products”. In the meantime, the little group has arrived in Production, and enters the Testing Department. The typical smell of machined metal hangs in the air. A regular, muffled noise of brakes in service lifetime tests can be heard quietly echoing through the open door. Safety does not allow for compromises “We want to know what really happens in an application with the customer. Therefore, we test the static and dynamic braking torques as realistically as possible on various rotating mass and torsion test stands. In the process, we also subject our safety brakes to extreme climatic tests with a temperature range from - 40 to +180 °C, and a humidity range of almost 0 to 95 %. For this purpose, we enclose the safety brakes gas-tight in a thermally insulated chamber. The air conditioning unit then generates the required temperature or humidity in the chamber. During the tests, we determine parameters such as the braking torque, speed, temperature, friction coefficient and friction work, and check these under various conditions. Furthermore, we assess the coefficient of friction profile and the wear behaviour of the friction system, because in later application, the brakes must always function in the respective system – as safety does not allow for compromises” says Philipp Kempf. As the group continues its tour of the company, they pass by the partial lining test stand for the testing of friction linings and the sound measuring cabin for noisedamped safety brakes, right up to the final test stands. Functional reliability under extreme conditions through the life time “Every single safety brake which leaves the factory must pass a 100 % check after complete assembly and adjustment”, says Bernd Kees. “All the measurement values determined are archived, together with the associated serial number of the brake, in our electronic database. This ensures 100 % traceability”. By the end of 02 Comprehensive tests and inspections have always been a central component of Mayr’s braking technology. (Here: a final test stand for Roba- servostop safety brakes, which are used in the field of robotics) the tour, Martin K. is absolutely satisfied. The Product Manager and Developer have answered all his questions, and Martin K. discovers, as many visitors before him: “There is hardly any other manufacturer for industrial brakes who has such a vast and well-equipped, high-tech testing area as mayr”. Centre for application training and interaction with customers The visit ends with a detour to the construction site of the adjacent new communications centre ‘mayr.com’. Both mayr employees proudly show their guest how this modern, sophisticated round building is already taking shape. “Soon our meetings and seminars for dialogues with customers will take place here, but sometimes also cultural events, for example, concerts – perhaps a new stage for your daughter”, says Bernd Kees, winking! Photographs: Lead Photo Fotolia, Chr. Mayr GmbH + Co.KG www.mayr.com WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 1/2018 29

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