Thursday, 26 January 2012 20:51

ServoBelt Rotary Gets Big

New model offers precision positioning for heavier loads


ServoBelt Rotary has become one of our most popular products, thanks to its combination of positioning performance, compact form factor and large through hole. Now even more applications will be able to reap these advantages.

We recently developed a new ServoBelt Rotary capable of handling far heavier loads than the ServoBelt 100, our next largest model.

Increased Heft. Called the SBR 200, the new rotary stage provides:

  • A 200-mm through hole, or twice the size of SBR 100.
  • Continuous torque to 38 N-m, or more than 5 times the maximum torque of SBR 100.
  • Load capacity of 25 kN (axial) and 21 kN (radial), or nearly double the capacity of SBR 100.
  • Max moment of 1050 N-m, or nearly three times that of SBR 100.
  • Bi-directional repeatability of ±100 arc-sec, slightly better than the SBR 50.
  • Uni-directional repeatability of ±15 arc-sec, slightly better than the SBR 50.
  • Accuracy of ±60 arc-sec, or one-third better than SBR 50 with a motor encoder.
  • Payload maximum 100kg, versus 25kg SBR 100.

Application Flexibility. SBR 200 can be used in any medium-duty rotary positioning application. It’s a natural fit for production and assembly machines needing to move loads too heavy for our previous products. Like other ServoBelt Rotary models, the SBR 200 has a huge through hole relative to its overall size. This feature makes it easy to bring utility connections, sensors and other functional components to the top of the stage.

True ServoBelt Drive. Looking under the hood of the SBR 200, it features a drive mechanism enhancement not available on our previous ServoBelt models. The SBR 200’s larger package size allowed us to integrate a full-fledged ServoBelt drive mechanism—essentially a round, stationary-motor version of the mechanism used in our linear ServoBelt. This high-stiffness symmetrical drive mechanism enhances stiffness and eliminates backlash, which contributes the the SBR 200’s tight positioning accuracy.

Check out SBR 200 at the upcoming Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calf. We’ll have it on display in Booth 4205 from February 14 to 16, 2012.

Published in Bell-Everman News
Monday, 03 January 2011 03:03

New ServoBelt Rotary and More At ATX West

The latest addition to our ServoBelt Rotary (SBR) line will debut at the ATX West 2011 Show in Anaheim, Calf., February 8 – 11. The new SBR 50 packs all the advantages of the original SBR100 into a smaller package that makes it a cost-effective alternative to direct-drive motors in precision, light-duty rotary positioning applications. The new SBR features a through hole of 50 mm, half that of the original SBR but still very large for its overall size. Like the larger SBR 100, which will also be on display at the show, the new model offers a geometric accuracy of 2.5μm TIR or better at any point on the stage and a resolution of 16 arc-sec with a repeatability of ±40 arc-sec. SBR 50 has a gear reduction of 2.68:1.

Other Bell-Everman automation products on display at the show will include:

  • ServoBelt Linear. Our ServoBelt linear axis technology will be on display in both a 3-meter dual-carriage version and a Cartesian pick-and-place robot built around a pair of ServoBelts. Read more about the ServoBelt Linear here or download the technical specs.
  • Direct Drive Rotary Stages. Our DDT rotary stages will be shown in sizes that highlight its low-profile, large through-hole and accuracy. The DDT100S, for example, measures just 50 mm high and 100 mm across, making it easy integrate into OEM machine designs. It offers a geometric accuracy of 1.5mm TIR or better anywhere on stage. Download the specs here.
  • KAOS OEM. Thanks to its low moving mass and inherent stiffness, this two-axis Cartesian servo stage offers fast accelerations–up to 2g continuous and over 5g peak–with a minimum investment in linear motor force. Read more about the award-winning KAOS here or download the technical specs.
  • LowBoy ServoNut. With a geometric accuracy of 10μm TIR or better at any point on the stage, this affordable low-profile ball-screw drive targets metrology and light- to medium-heavy mechanical processes. Axial repeatability is 2μm with 1μm encoder. The LowBoy ServoNut is highly configurable with a range of chassis and stage mounting options. Read more about the LowBoy Servo Nut here or download the technical specs.

All these systems and more are up and running under full power, so you can see them in action if you stop by our booth (#4544).

Published in Bell-Everman News

Avid Corporation makes good use of ServoBelt Rotary’s large through-hole and easy installation in a unique vision inspection system for the packaging industry.

In bottle manufacturing operations, inspection is about more than just quality control. It’s also a matter of productivity since technicians can spend hours collecting bottle weight and dimensional data to ensure that molding machines and tooling are running properly. Avid Corporation has been making that quality data a lot easier to collect for more than two decades.

The company builds a variety of automated and semi-automated vision inspection systems that increase the throughput and accuracy of quality operations. Some of these systems measure bottle wall thicknesses, neck profiles and weights. Others automate the volumetric measurements that help establish and monitor optimal fill heights. Still other systems inspect the dimensional parameters and weights of pre-forms, the plastic “blanks” that are blown up into bottles.

The gain in inspection productivity associated with Avid’s systems can be dramatic. Jonathan Strater, the company’s co-founder and president, estimates that measuring the output from a modern high-cavitation preform tool can take up to five days by hand. Avid’s most highly automated systems, which feature integrated conveyors and pick-and-place capabilities, can do the job in about six hours. “Just fire it up and forget it,” says Strater.

From an accuracy standpoint, the systems also eliminate the gauging errors associated with hand measurements. Whether fully or partially automated, Avid’s vision systems typically offer accuracy and repeatability within 0.0004 inches on dimensional measurements and within 0.1 gram on weight.

Nowadays, inspection automation has something else going for it. It dovetails nicely with the packaging industry’s big push toward bottles that use less material. “Monitoring the wall thickness and profile is more crucial than ever as the packaging industry comes up with bottle designs that have to maintain their rigidity with thinner wall sections. There’s a lot less tolerance for variations in wall thickness,” Strater says.

Avid’s most recent measurement system looks at bottles in a whole new way–from the bottom.

While previous system focused on the wall thickness, the new WTS 1000 system shines a light up through the bottom of a bottle to measure its base thickness. An operator begins each semi-automatic measurement cycle by loading a bottle onto the WTS 1000’s rotary stage. The stage spins the bottle over the stationary thickness gauge, allowing multiple measurements to be integrated into a thickness map of the entire base.

Avid created the system for use with Amcor’s material-efficient PowerFlex bottle design, which eliminates the need for the structural panels and ribs found on traditional hot-fill PET bottles. “The thickness of the base is an important quality parameter with these bottles,” Stater points out.

Strater had a couple of motion system challenges to overcome when designing and building this unique test system. The first involved finding a rotary stage with a through-hole big enough to accommodate the bottle and the light source. And the second involved a short development cycle that ruled out the use of custom motion components.

ServoBelt Rotary from Bell-Everman helped on both scores.

According to Strater, finding a rotary stage suitable for this system didn’t turn out to be as straightforward as he expected given the number of companies making this type of motion component. A search on the Internet turned up many, many potential stages, yet he found that all of the traditional worm-gear-driven units didn’t have enough through-hole clearance to give the illumination an unimpeded shot at the bottle base. “Just about everything I found had a 3/4-inch bore through the center, which was too small for what we’re doing.”

Strater also looked at direct drive rotary motors, but found them to big, heavy and expensive for this application. “We’re spinning an empty bottle that weighs less than an ounce, not a tank turret,” he says.

Strater was getting ready to make his own custom rotary stage in Avid’s machine shop, when he discovered ServoBelt Rotary. With its low profile at only 2.39 inches high and big 4-inch through-hole, the ServoBelt Rotary gives the laser gauge a clear shot at the entire bottle base. The only machining Strater had to do was for a set of top plates that adapt the rotary stage to different bottle sizes.

ServoBelt Rotary also helped Strater stay on his development schedule. He and his son, Jonathan Jr., designed and built the new test system largely by themselves in less than three months. So finding motion components that worked right out of the box was critical.

ServoBelt, which features universal mounting features, simply bolted to the WTS 1000 frame in minutes. Strater likewise found it easy to connect ServoBelt with the motion platform Avid uses for all its machines–Animatics Smart Motor integrated motor, controller and amplifier. “We actually had the whole motion system up and running in an hour and a half,” Strater says.

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
Monday, 08 February 2010 00:00

Affordable Precision Motion At ATX West

This week at the ATX West Show in Anaheim, we’re showing a line-up of our latest automation systems, including innovative linear and rotary stages for precision motion applications that would otherwise require expensive linear or direct-drive motors. Here’s a look at some of the systems on display:

  • ServoBelt Rotary. ATX marks the first showing of our newest stage, which puts ServoBelt’s proven belt technology to work in rotary applications. With its large through-hole and geometric accuracy of  2.5μm TIR or better  at any point on the stage, the ServoBelt Rotary can take the place of  pricey direct-drive motors. Resolution for this new stage is 16 arc-sec with a repeatability of ±40 arc-sec. A ring encoder is optional. Full specs are available here.
  • ServoBelt Linear. We’re running our  ServoBelt linear axis technology in configurations that show the versatility of this cost-effective alternative to linear motors. Among the displays are a 3-meter dual-carriage version and a Cartesian pick-and-place robot built around a pair of ServoBelts. Read more about the ServoBelt Linear here or download the technical specs.
  • Direct Drive Rotary Stages. Intended for easy integration into metrology and light mechanical applications, our DDT rotary stages will be shown in several sizes that highlight this stage’s low-profile, large through-hole and accuracy. The DDT100S, for example, measures just 50 mm high and 100 mm across.  It offers a geometric accuracy of 1.5mm TIR or better anywhere on stage.  Download the specs here.
  • KAOS OEM. With the lowest profile and lowest moving mass in its speed and accuracy class, this two-axis cartesian servo stage offers fast accelerations–up to 2g continuous and over 5g peak–with a minimum investment in linear motor force. Its low profile makes this servo stage is easier to package in your system, and your payload is more closely coupled to the linear bearings for excellent stiffness and shorter settling times. Read more about the award-winning KAOS here or download the technical specs.
  • LowBoy ServoNut. This affordable low-profile ball-screw drive targets metrology and light- to medium-heavy mechanical processes and offers geometric accuracy of 10μm TIR or better at any point on the stage. Axial repeatability is 2μm with 1μm encoder. The LowBoy ServoNut is highly configurable with a range of chassis and stage mounting options. Download LowBoy ServoNut technical specs here.

All these systems and more are up and running under full power, so you can see them in action if you stop by our booth (#4550). Or check back this week for more updates from the show.

Published in Bell-Everman News