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Superconductive technology adapted for the future

07 April 2016

Extending the spectrum of storage and movement capabilities, Festo will introduce its SupraMotion range at the Hannover Show 2016.

SupraJunction: horizontal transfer of suspended carrier plates

SupraJunction demonstrates the contactless transport of objects across enclosed surfaces and through sluice gates. Two carrier plates hover over the superconductors by means of a magnetic rail fixed underneath. In an industrial application, this product can transport small glass containers through a round circuit by being transferred from one superconductor to the next. 

Throughout the process, the carrier system and the automation mechanism are separated, as the plates hover over a flat basin of water. This protects the components against contamination and facilitates an efficient cleaning system, making this ideal for the food industry, medical technology and laboratory automation.

SupraGripper: mechanical gripping despite spatial separation

The SupraGripper hovers freely above two semicircular plates, enabling objects to be grasped and transported within enclosed spaces. This is a practical solution for clean rooms or for working in liquids, gases or in a vacuum.

The SupraGripper hover technology is generated by three cryostats, which are installed underneath the plates and can be moved up or down. The plates can be rotated and precisely positioned by means of two rotary drives, so the grippers can be transported from one plate to the next, easily. 

Electrical spools fitted to the cryostats emit an impulse when an object needs to be grasped. This impulse causes the individual finger elements in the gripper to open or close.

SupraTube: rotation within an enclosed tube

This new product demonstrates how a controlled movement can be executed within a tube without direct intervention from the outside. 

A round cryostat with superconductors is attached to the outside of each end of a liquid-filled glass tube. Inside the vertically oriented tube is a magnetic puck that is virtually tethered to the two cryostats with a levitation gap of around five millimetres and is initially suspended beneath the upper cryostat. A magnetic ring surrounding the cryostats is set into rotation by means of a stepper motor, which transfers this motion to the suspended magnet. The magnet is repelled from the cryostat by an electrical impulse and drifts downwards in a spiral motion. At the lower end, it is captured once more and centred by the superconductor in the other cryostat. 

For a modified configuration, drive units with superconductive magnetic couplings can be fitted along the longitudinal axis of the tube. This allows a cleaning unit to be drawn through entirely free of contact. 

More information can be found here.

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