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02 A twisterchain

02 A twisterchain protects the cables from the base of the robot arm to the first axis. The energy chain allows 540 degree movements 03 From left to right: Francisco Martínez, Sales Manager e-chain systems (igus Spain), Unai Martínez Díez, Senior Sales Engineer, David Jimenez Gorricho, Electrical Engineer, Joseba Arzoz Alzate, Automation Leader, Mikel Arrese Arregui, Service Manager (all from LOXIN) MOTION AND DRIVES Challenge: cables have to withstand complex movements The engineers had to design the robots to be truly flexible. Six axes are used to move the head to any part of the fuselage. The issue of energy supply is equally complicated. The tools on the robot’s end effector are connected to numerous energy, pneumatic and data cables. And these cables must follow the contorted movements of the arm perfectly, even at high speed – without rubbing against each other or knocking against the sensitive surface of the fuselage. Otherwise, long downtimes due to cable breaks and damage to the aircraft occur. In search of a reliable energy supply system, LOXIN compared systems from several manufacturers. “However, for a long time we could not find a robust and reliable solution,” recalls Unai Martínez, Chief Engineer at LOXIN. “The number of cables and the weight was a problem.” LOXIN had experimented with corrugated tubes. Due to the rapid wear from friction, they break easily. In everyday life, material failure would have meant replacing the entire tube, including removing the cables on the heads. In the worst case this would have resulted in a shutdown for several days. Solution: 3D cable guides ensure freedom of movement LOXIN finally found what it was looking for in Germany. At igus, the motion plastics specialist from Cologne, which has been developing cable guides for decades! The range includes, among others, the triflex series. These are hose-like protective cages made of wearresistant high-performance plastic, which follow even the wildest three-dimensional movements of industrial robots. Inside, the cables for data, pneumatics and energy supply are securely fixed and protected against wear. “The cables are protected against mechanical stress due to tensile load, torsion and expansion. This protection is particularly important when the robot heads take their maximum position,” explains Unai Martínez. To ensure that the triflex energy chains mounted on the right and left of the arm move as close to the arm as possible and do not hit the aircraft, LOXIN uses the triflex RSE retraction system (Fig. 2). If the robot arm returns to its original position after a movement, the mechanical system retracts the chain – round brackets, which are mounted on the arm, ensure safe guidance. The robot arm has full freedom of movement, without having the parts of the chain rub against each other or form loops. “The igus energy chain also has a much better friction behaviour than the corrugated tube and will therefore not break and cause a stoppage,” says Martínez. And if a chain link reaches the end of its service life, it can be replaced in a few simple steps. By using the triflex chains in conjunction with the triflex RSE retraction system, LOXIN has also been able to achieve a better mobility of the robots, which can now simplify their work steps around the fuselage even more easily, which saves valuable assembly time. Energy chain allows circular movements of 540° Another product from Cologne is used on the robot arm: the twisterchain, an energy chain that protects the cables from the base of the robot arm to the first axis (Fig. 3). The chain moves in a guide trough. If the robot arm turns, the chain folds as the upper run of the chain rests on the lower run. The chain allows a circular movement of up to 540° at speeds of up to 1 m/s. Since it also consists of high-performance plastics, it is very wear-resistant. Tests in the igus test laboratory have proven that the service life of the energy chain is over one million cycles. “We are very satisfied with the solution, as our plants now have less downtime,” concludes Unai Martínez from LOXIN. igus is also pleased with this extraordinary reference. LOXIN was presented with the 2018 vector award for the challenging energy supply solution. This award is organised by igus every two years and its winners are chosen by an independent jury. 18 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 6/2019

For increased machine availability Drive and automation specialist Baumüller has extended its new SAF 002/003 safety modules of the b maXX 5000 converter series with a freely parameterizable delay time. The delay time is switched between a safety function and the associated error reaction Safe Torque Off (STO). This provides optimum protection for the machine mechanics against damage in the event of a fault and minimizes downtimes. For example, if during active Safe Performance boost through model-based control B&R has added three new model-based control functions for its ACOPOS P3 servo drive. The functions are available in B&R’s Automation Studio engineering environment and allow for more precise control performance that increases machine productivity and speed. Reducing vibrations and oscillations extends the service life of machine components and reduces maintenance costs. With model-based control and virtual sensors, elastic drive systems can be controlled more precisely. Both the motor mechanics and the payload being transported are taken into account in the control loop. A state controller reduces the resulting oscillations and quickly compensates for external disturbances. Positioning precision increases and the end position is reached faster. This increases both the performance of the machine and the product quality. background: fotolia Limited Speed (SLS) speed monitoring the previously parameterized speed is exceeded, the delay time is started. The safety module simultaneously sends a signal to the converter to perform a specific action. This action can be parameterized in advance; for example, the converter decelerates the drive in a controlled manner within the set time. Only when the machine has come to a standstill is the drive safely switched torque-free. Plug & Play robots for machine tools Faster time to market and increased production flexibility can be achieved using Mitsubishi Electric’s M8 Series CNC controllers with Direct Robot Control (DRC) functionality. Both the large touchscreen M800 and the M80 models offer DRC as standard. It allows machine tool operators to program and use robots quickly, direct from the CNC panel without specialist robot programming expertise. Mitsubishi Electric robots and models from Kuka will work seamlessly with DRC enabled controllers from Mitsubishi Electric. The CNC controller and robot are connected using high-speed Ethernet, which allows fast, convenient Plug & Play integration. Mitsubishi Electric is one of the top three CNC manufacturers, serving many of the world’s most successful machine tool companies, so these solutions are likely to appear soon on many shop floors. © KUKA KA Roboter GmbH Brake technology 4.0 for maximum demands ROBA ® -servostop —compact, high performance-density safety brake for robot joints your reliable partner MAYR.indd 1 09.10.2019 15:03:32 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 6/2019 19


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