Heavy machining tools such as grinders, cutters, and drills can be hard to access because of their proximity on the shop floor. In addition, because of their location, it can be difficult to perform routine maintenance on them.
This issue was recently resolved when design firm Equipois created the zeroG product that can lift and suspend heavy equipment in mid-air for easier access and operation. For one of their latest applications, Equipois approached PBC Linear for a compatible linear guide system to the zeroG to be installed into a grinding work-area.
Successful linear guidance rested on two factors: ease of movement and load handling. The application required a linear system to support the wide working envelope of the grinding area. Fitted with the grinding tool, the zeroG weighs 100 lb. The linear guide system needed to support the heavy moment load of the grinding arm while smoothly traveling along the guide rail at the hands of the operator.
Integral V Technology (IVT) is designed for heavy load support, precise guidance, and smooth travel. Each IVT linear guide aluminum extrusion is precision-machined using PBC Linear’s SIMO process. This process creates a stronger, more rigid extrusion that matches the strength of steel—allowing IVT to easily handle high static/dynamic loads. The SIMO process machines all critical sides of an aluminum extrusion in one pass, creating a straight surface (tolerances held within ±0.—1-in.). Such tolerances eliminate the need for fasteners, and reduce alignment/installation time while ensuring accuracy.
Equipois needed a guide system to support a high roll moment load (the zeroG suspends tools using an extendable/moveable arm attached to the linear guide). Once installed, the linear guide system held the required static/dynamic loads (IVT Double Bolt-on tested for roll moment loads of 338 N-m static and 374 N-m dynamic). Gothic arch dual row bearings provided smooth, hand-operated travel of the linear guide; allowing the zeroG to be freely used throughout the grinding area.
Easily adapted into the Equipois system, IVT worked well with the zeroG. The grinding tool operator could bend, pull, align, and grind with ease, and IVT gave enhanced movement and freedom to the tooling area.
Filed Under: Factory automation, Linear motion • slides, Motion control • motor controls