Canadian Manufacturing

Festo releases new heavy duty axis for safe movement of big payloads

EHMH combines a solid steel profile and recirculating bearing guide for rigidity and repeatability across all available stroke lengths.

March 22, 2021  by CM Staff

Festo’s EHMH heavy duty axis, shown here as the vertical (Z) axis, is rated for payloads up to 200 kg.

MISSISSAUGA — Developed with stacking or palletizing of heavy loads in mind, Festo’s new EHMH is a muscular cantilever axis with rack and pinion technology that handles payloads up to 200 kg. As a Z axis, EHMH can form the backbone of a complete, application-optimized handling solution. A gantry-style solution is usually more cost-effective than a six-axis articulated robot performing heavy loading/unloading functions typically required in the packaging and automotive sectors or in handling machine tools. EHMH also requires a smaller working envelope than an articulated robot.

EHMH is being released in two sizes. It combines a solid steel profile and recirculating bearing guide for rigidity and repeatability across all available stroke lengths – from 250 to 2,500 mm – with high feed force and speeds up to 1.5 m/s. EHMH also can be configured for enhanced safety protection up to Performance Level d (PL-d). A number of optional safety add-ons will also be available: a pneumatic locking unit for a positive, hard mechanical lock during maintenance or commissioning; a frictionally engaged clamping unit that acts as an emergency brake; and an external displacement encoder for additional position detection that can also be used as a second channel in safety applications. Among the protection options for the axis itself, users can add scrapers on both sides to guard it from external influences such as dust, dirt, particles or liquids. And the unit’s available lubrication features can extend the service life of the unit and reduce wear and tear.

In many cases, Festo gantries based on a cantilever axis like EHMH offer an alternative overall value proposition with commissioning for additional labor savings. The interpolation performed by multiple EHMH-based gantries (and their connected servo drives running in parallel) can be controlled from a single CPX-E motion controller. The CPX-E is a compact alternative to the larger controllers required to manage multiple articulated robots.

Festo is a supplier of automation technology and technical education, and is deploying its products and services to try and meet the challenges of digitization and smart production.

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