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Festo Uses Natural Waves to Convey Delicate Items

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TJ McDermott
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Wear Item
TJ McDermott   1/22/2014 1:06:32 PM
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Suction cups used in vacuum handling systems frequently have a bellows component to them.  Suction cups contacting the product being handled are a wear point and must be replaced periodically.

Replacing the large quantities of bellows on this type of conveyor will be an interesting scheduled maintenance task.

Charles Murray
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Festo
Charles Murray   1/22/2014 8:39:02 PM
Festo is an amazingly clever and innovative company, as we've seen previously from concepts like the pneumatic jellyfish (AquaJelly) and the SmartBird.

Amclaussen
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Platinum
Re: Wear Item
Amclaussen   1/23/2014 11:42:30 AM
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It depends, T.J.

Bellows can be made to endure if the design is correct. I've seen many bellows failing when the geometry or materials were inapropriate. Stress concentration in the creases or pleats is a frequently seen cause of failure. On the contrary, properly made Speaker cone suspensions usually operate for many more cycles than bellows without developing cracks or ruptures, and those that fail are frequently because of poor material selection (foam speaker surrounds come to my mind).  but I concour that it can be a source of maintenence nightmares if design or execution is not correct.  Amclaussen.

Amclaussen
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Re: Festo
Amclaussen   1/23/2014 11:49:50 AM
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Good point, Charles.  I've worked in the past (about 20 years ago) with some Festo engineers  with very positive results. It was an implementation of a Pneumatic fire pump engine controller panel, meant to replace an improperly selected electrical panel that would never comply with the hazardous area requirements.  Even when Festo in Mexico didn't had that specialty area in their line at that time, they were supported from Germany and were able to supply the panels on time and working as desired.  The fact  in that case was that the company personnel had the attitude to proceed to tackle the job.  Other companies would simply had declined.  Amclaussen.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Wear Item
TJ McDermott   1/23/2014 11:51:18 AM
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I missed the link to the Festo PDF.  I thought the bellows were in direct contact with the product being conveyed.

With a flexible sheet between the bellows and the product, only the sheet need be replaced - a much simpler maintenance task.

TJ McDermott
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Video Link
TJ McDermott   1/23/2014 11:54:20 AM
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http://www.festo.com/cms/en_corp/13136.htm

This page has a video of the conveyor. 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Wear Item
Rob Spiegel   1/23/2014 12:31:23 PM
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Good point, TJ. It would be intersting to know how often the bellows would need to be replace. My guess, not very often.

GlennA
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Gold
transport / tumble ?
GlennA   1/23/2014 12:49:12 PM
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The conveyor belt is stationary, but the 'delicate' fruits or vegetables will move with the 'wave' ?  I have an image of apples going in one end, and after a distance of rolling, tumbling, and bumping into the other apples, exiting as apple sauce.  I think delicate produce may be better off with a moving belt.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Festo
Rob Spiegel   1/23/2014 12:54:36 PM
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Yes, Chuck, Festo has a Bionic Learning Center devoted to learning from nature:

http://www.festo.com/cms/en_corp/9617.htm

 

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Video Link
Rob Spiegel   1/23/2014 1:13:49 PM
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Thanks TJ, I really apprecaite the link. Good video.

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