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Designer's Corner

Designer's Corner

Thermoplastic angular gripper

Angular grippers made of metal find it difficult to live in wet, nasty environments like that required when processing computer disks. To deal with the problem, engineers designed all parts in this pneumatically actuated gripper, except its stainless steel piston and yoke, from thermoplastic. Two side blocks form the housing. It contains two molded jaws attached to a metal yoke and a small piston that reciprocates in the gripper's 5/8-inch-diameter bore. An intermediate plate between the blocks forms a gland that surrounds the piston rod and seals it off. The gripper's housing is made of 6/12 nylon, and its jaws are glass-filled 6/6 nylon. Users can attach a reed switch or Hall Effect sensor to the block.

Douglas Moore, Tol-O-Matic, Inc., 3800 Country Road 116, Hamel, MN 55340, (612) 478-8000.


Belt loops

Rollers with machined crowns keep belts on conveyors, sheeters, or stackers in place. But machining crowns on multiple rollers for precise alignment adds to system costs and may not prevent lengthy assembly woes. Why not make the crowns adjustable? EZY CROWNS do just that. Their one-piece clamshell design snaps in place over rollers where needed, simplifying conveyor-system development and installation.

Made of Santoprene(TM) TPE, the crowns resist temperatures to 300F. They can be positioned and repositioned as needed, then locked in place with double-sided tape or contact cement for heavy-duty applications. Since the crowns accommodate shaft tolerances and reduce shaft machining requirements, their maker says they can reduce shaft costs as much as 25%.

Jerry Scrocco, Efson, Inc., 3100 Corporate Dr., Wilmington, NC 28405, (910) 799-8200.


Lightweight mixer

With a flexible dynamic mixer, integral pressure transducers, and non-circulating supply sources, the PluraFoam(TM) dispensing system reduces hose connections and eliminates the lead/lag problems typical of two-component-polymer dispensers. The aluminum dispensing head measures just 16x12x10 inches and weighs only 11 lbs--including its mixer motor and bearing. Its compact design makes it easily adaptable to robotic gasketing, molding, bonding, and sealing operations.

Dave Grgetic, Nordson Advanced Gasketing Technologies Corp., 555 Jackson St., Amherst, OH 44001, (216) 998-9411.


Dry-running seal

Environmental regulations limiting fugitive-gas emissions have many process industries scrambling for better seals. The Model 4550 [EB]-P seal promises leak prevention without magnetic fluids or inductive couplings. Instead, the seal uses inert-gas pressure and magnets to float rotating seals within a stationary face. Its split ring design locks in place around the rotating member. Inside, like-polar-aligned magnets push rotating face seals apart. Incoming air pressure pushes them together. The antagonism keeps the seals in contact with rotating pumps or shafts without contacting stators or housings from start-up to full-speed operation.

David Orlowski, Inpro Companies, Inc., 3407 78th Ave. West, Rock Island, IL 61204-3940, (309) 447-0524.


Integrated pneumatics

In this brick-conveyor application, pallets ride on air-bag supported roller chains. At a loading station, they trip a valve to deflate the bags and come to a stop. Brick dust proved the undoing of the original design. The custom-designed P1070B two-position, three-way valve shown here eliminated the problem by integrating the components in one body. Its large exhaust flow capability precludes the old design's need for a separate quick exhaust valve. An elastomeric boot covers the hardened-steel plunger assembly, and the diaphragm-protected valve provides over-stroke protection needed to ensure reliable operation.

Dale Dratt, Da Vinci Engineering, Humphrey Products Co., P.O. Box 2008, Kalamazoo, MI 49003, (616) 381-5500.

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