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.
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.
Good point, Chuck. I was very surprised to see Festo's commitment to natural processes. Usually you only see that advanced R&D coming out of non-industrial organizations such as universities and the military.
Thanks Nadine. Innovative indeed. Makes me wonder whether this was an idea that came before the need was identified. It may seem odd, but we're seen some great technology in the past couple decades where the technology showed up before the need was apparent. Almost everything on the Internet came from this approach.
It has been my experience that Festo engineers often come up with brilliant ideas. Possibly there could be an interesting article about the culture and policies that promote such a steady stream of excellent ideas and inventions.
For close to the past 20 years, we have standardized on FESTO actuators, cylinders & control & accessories without having a single failure in that time. The ONLY non-FESTO pneumatic components used on the machines that process our products are items for which FESTO has NO close substitute. And, these items are VERY few.
The engineering assistance from FESTO is exceptional, and the sales engineers we've dealt with over these two decades are phenomenonly well-versed & capable.
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.
Great Post. I have used Festo equipment for the past 25 years. They have always provided excellent quality and great technical support. I did not realize their wave handling technology existed so I really appreciate the information. I can certainly understand the great need for providing conveyors used to move delicate materials. The video of their device transporting an egg really says it all. Many thanks Rob for the great information.
Since the only motion in the conveyor is the up and down of the actuators, that would mean that the delicate produce would have to advance by rolling. Produce is odd shaped so it would tumble down the conveyor bumping into other delicate produce and having a mind of its own as to its path, bouncing off the sides etc. Is the intent for the delicate produce to slide? But that would abrade its delicate skin and not keep it from tumbling. Perhaps there's no provision for programing the actuators as that would be an impossible task. Is there something I have missed?
Assuming that the product does reduce damage to delicate produce, perhaps they are talking about water conveying floating produce using waves generated by the actuators located on the bottom of an elongated tank. Their website however does show perfect spheres rolling down the waves created by actuators deforming the conveyor surface.
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Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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