Applications for custom linear track can range from use in precision manufacturing cells such as wafer manufacturing or clinical lab testing to end products such as operating beds, tables and stages for MRI and CT scanners. Linear systems are ideal for any application that relies on precision alignment and positioning like diagnostic sample transport, food processing, vision systems, industrial automation, and cobot/robot machine tools.
The definition of linear motion is to move an object in a straight line. Linear motion systems can include motors, drives, couplers, actuators, sensors, bearings, slides, tracks, and other hardware components. When tolerances on motion control and position are critical, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions are not viable. Linear tracks are one example where COTS tolerances fall extremely short for high performance systems.
Linear motion systems have a wide range of dynamic performance. By customizing the motor and direct drive systems; high speed and acceleration can be achieved with exceptionally smooth velocity regulation and low ripple. They can also be customized to handle heavy or bulky load applications. Overall, linear systems have a lower cost of ownership due to less moving parts, reduced mechanical wear and reduced system operating costs.
The problem is a cost versus performance trade off to design a custom system. COTS tracks are inexpensive but are limited to standard lengths, standard flat and U-channel sizes and set tolerances for position accuracy. Custom designing linear tracks requires design time, custom tooling, and custom manufacturing processes. If the volumes are small to medium, then the solution might not be cost effective unless you consider the total cost of ownership. Many high-volume contract manufacturers do not have the experience or the safety training to handle strong rare earth magnets that are part of the sub-assemblies. There are safety, training, and manufacturing consideration when working with rare earth magnets.
Allstar has been building complex magnets assemblies and systems since 1980. Allstar applies their experience and manufacturing knowledge to develop custom magnetic solutions using neodymium magnets and stainless steel. They have developed custom CNC tapping and use specialty grade steel backings for structural integrity. Starting with assemblies in either flat or u-channel linear magnetic designs, Allstar can fine tune a concept into a manufacturable design. They understand temperature and environmental effects on manufacturing processes. Adhesive specifications for exacting environmental conditions, such as humidity, heat, and outgassing plus temperature variation’s impact on machining tolerances. Their proprietary process is both cost effective and highly repeatable. Their unique approach gives customers on-demand custom built and staged linear motor tracks specialized for highly accurate motion control and positioning systems. For more information, visit allstarmagnetics.com.
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Filed Under: Linear motion • slides