Enhanced linear unit suits Cartesian pick-and-place machines

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Enhanced linear unit suits Cartesian pick-and-place machinesHepcoMotion is launching an enhanced version of its PDU2 Profile Driven Unit, known as the PDU2M, with much improved load-carrying capacity. It has been designed primarily for the Y axis in Cartesian pick-and-place machines where previously it was necessary to use a pair of PDU2 units in parallel to take the direct and moment loads. Alternatively the PDU2M units can be used in single-axis applications where higher capacities are required. As with the PDU2 from which it has been developed, the PDU2M features a cost-effective belt drive.

However, compared with the PDU2, the PDU2M delivers a 200 per cent increase in moment load capacity and 1000 per cent higher moment load stiffness. Direct load capacity is also 50 per cent greater. Key to this capability is the addition of high-performance HepcoMotion Herculane wheels that are mounted on adjustable eccentric studs outboard of the main body. These creep-resistant, low-noise wheels run virtually friction-free on channels on the sides of the extruded aluminium profile to provide better support for the carriage plate; felt wipers sweep debris from the wheels' path.

HepcoMotion is offering the PDU2M with a number of carriage designs to allow the quick and easy construction of multi-axis systems with a minimal requirement for brackets and other hardware. If required, the company can deliver the carriage with mounting hole patterns machined to customers' specifications to enable other components to be mounted directly.

Drive options

In common with the PDU2, the PDU2M comprises a rigid but lightweight aluminium profile with a toothed belt drive and carriage that effectively encloses the unit and minimises the ingress of dirt. It is rated for operating at speeds of up to 6m/s and is available with a choice of motors and gearboxes to deliver driving forces of up to 280N. Options include a SmartDrive Taranis stepper motor drive and control package for multi-axis applications, though almost any motor/gearbox format can be installed. Maximum length is 6m, with customers able to specify their required length. To give an indication of cost, a 1m unit is around £650 but longer lengths cost proportionately less per unit length.

Left-handed, right-handed or double drive shafts can be specified, together with a range of options such as brakes, encoders and mechanical or inductive limit switches. End-of-stroke protection is provided as standard at both ends by internal buffers.

To ensure a long, trouble-free operating life, the PDU2M units are lubricated for life, with large bearings for the belt pulleys and an input shaft that is integral with the pulley (to avoid any problems with a coupling).

The development of the PDU2M extends HepcoMotion ability to provide cost-competitive, high-performance and low-maintenance linear actuators for a wide range of applications. It is, of course, fully compatible with the company's MCS aluminium machine construction system and is said to be suitable as a replacement for ball-based systems that are unable to match its speed and reliability.

Follow the link to download a brochure for the PDU2M Profile Driven Unit (1.8MB PDF).

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