Machine Armor: A combination of steel
plate shielding, shade-type covers, and bellows keep contaminants from the
inner workings of a machining center.
Hot or abrasive chips and material contaminants can ruin the dimensional accuracy and bearings in a machining center's axes of motion. The "face shield" protective system from A & A Manufacturing Co. protects a CNC machining center against such damage with three types of movable covers that accommodate X, Y, and Z axis motion. These shields protect components such as ball screws, linear slides, and electrical components from friction and wear-producing contamination. They also prevent hot chips from reaching the machine structure where they could cause thermal expansion that might affect machine accuracy.
A conventional bellows or shade style cover can only move in a single plane, so a combination configuration had to be designed to allow for three-axis motion at high speeds. A & A engineers started out on the vertical axis with the company's Gordillo way cover, which is a sewn-folded accordion arrangement of stainless steel plates covering each convolution in a hypalon nylon cloth bellows. To allow for side-to-side motion of the vertical axis, PVA-coated-belting shade-roller covers are mounted on both sides of the vertical axis cover to offer protection while taking up travel. Finally a contoured-bellows ram cover made of urethane nylon at the center of the way cover handles protection during out of plane (in and out) motion of the machining spindle.
According to A & A, the face shield not only offers protection for general-purpose CNC machines, but can be of importance in niche applications such as machining optics, ceramics, graphite, magnesium, and other materials especially hazardous to bearings.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.