Wednesday, 21 April 2010 02:04

A Smaller ServoBelt For Biomedical Machines

ServoBelt is shrinking. And for the makers of biomedical machines and lab automation equipment, smaller really is better.

While our full-sized ServoBelt linear axis has been put to work in larger biomedical machines, a customer who makes diagnostic equipment recently asked us to create a compact ServoBelt sized for “benchtop” machines. The result is a new ServoBelt built around 30-mm Bosch Rexroth aluminum t-slot framing and 15-mm profiled bearings–down from the 45-mm framing and 20-mm bearings used on our larger ServoBelts. The new “ServoBelt 30″ is sized for NEMA 23 and smaller motors, versus NEMA 23 and 34 motors for our larger ServoBelts. Working payload for the scaled-down ServoBelt will vary with length and motor size, but expect it to handle payloads up to 20 kg in benchtop machine applications.

Other than the differences in size and payload, the ServoBelt 30 performs just like our larger models (view all the specs here). For example, expect a repeatability of +/- 10 µm and accelerations up to 4 g in typical benchtop applications.

Though small, the new ServoBelt promises to have a big impact on biomedical machines. ServoBelt 30’s rigid profiled bearings and low moving mass allow the axis to be driven with a single small motor. That’s one less motor per axis than you’ll see on many biomedical machines, which tend to have round-rail bearings and a motor at either end of each linear axis. Compared to drives built around round rails and dual motors, ServoBelt 30 not only saves the cost of those extra motors and controls but also ups ante on speed, accuracy and resistance to moment loads.

Other than biomedical machines and lab automation applications, the ServoBelt 30 also fits nicely into a wide variety of small-scale fluid handling, testing, inspection, and prototyping machines.

Check out the images.

Published in Bell-Everman News

The DDT100 Series, our most compact rotary stage, now features new encoder options that can reduce its price by as much as one third. The optional encoders, which can be found on stages with the new DDT100LC designation, are optical code wheels offering either 20,000 or 40,000 counts/rev, or 0.3 and 0.15 mrad respectively.

Those resolutions are not as fine as our standard DDT100R models, which still ship with high-end Renishaw optical ring encoders capable of resolutions down to 2 μrad.

While some applications do need every bit of the resolution available on the DDT100R, the DDT100LC’s code wheels offer more than enough resolution for many motion jobs. For example, the first application for our new encoder option involves the positioning of a turret on a biomedical machine that had a low cost and small package requirement.

For more information on the DDT100, download the specs here.

Published in Bell-Everman News
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 16:33

Product Pipeline Revealed At ATX West

Here at the ATX Show, we’ve been fielding a ton of questions about our upcoming products and ways to push the envelope with our current products. So we thought we’d reveal a few things that we have in pre-production or testing.

ServoBelt Gets Heavy. A heavy-duty version of our ServoBelt linear axis is coming soon. Called the SB10, it’s capable of handling accelerated loads up to 750 lb, versus 150 lb for the original ServoBelt under typical load conditions. The extra load-bearing capability is evident throughout the SB10’s construction, right down to a beefier belt with a 10-mm tooth pitch–or double that of the original ServoBelt. SB10 opens up a bunch of new application possibilities for ServoBelt technology, including heavy-duty transport systems for SCARA robots and industrial gantries.

Moving In A New Direction. We’ve just completed design work on a new Z-axis drive, the DDZ, which features a unique bearing design. Prototyping of this new axis is just getting under way, so check back for updates and photos.

Running Colder. We routinely cycle test our motion stages in a range of thermal conditions, using our environmental test chamber. And from that testing, we know exactly how well our ServoBelts and other stages perform at temperatures down to a chilly 20 C. Some users, however, are up against much colder temperatures. One asked what happens to ServoBelt at sub-zero temperatures. We’re going to find out more in the coming months with a battery of temperature tests down to -40 C. Stay tuned for the results.

Published in Bell-Everman News