Line production tech, E-CELLS, introduced by Eutect
Eutect presents a line production concept – E-CELLS automation cells – which offer flexibility, dynamics and sustainability. This is chiefly due to the technology's ability to transport each product independently through the individual process stations and cells, with the ability to take over the axis and robot handling systems that are necessary in many industrial processes.
Said Matthias Fehrenbach, managing partner of Eutect GmbH: "Eutect stands for finding a common and optimal solution together with its customers and partners for the respective task. ... With regard to flexibility, each mover and therefore each product can be transported separately and independently through the individual process stations and cells and positioned with the utmost precision.
"This means that the XPlanar can completely take over the axis and robot handling systems that are necessary in many processes, thus saving costs. With regard to dynamics and thus the often decisive cycle time, the accelerations as well as the general speeds of the movers moved in the XPlanar are more than impressive."
The choice, therefore, fell on the planar motor system for hovering 2D product transport and six degrees of freedom from Beckhoff. "The resulting E-ssembly solution offers maximum flexibility and efficiency for a wide range of process steps. In our first customer project, we were then allowed to implement palletising, assembling, testing, soldering and de-palletising in various production cells, all connected to the XPLanar," said Fehrenbach. Even non-Eutect systems and processes can therefore be easily and simply integrated into an existing production line and/or automation.
The XPlanar combines the advantages of conventional transport and kinematic systems and supplements them with the unique magnetic levitation technology. "The floating 2D product transport creates completely new possibilities for handling products inside and outside the machine as well as between the individual process steps. This means that we can take a completely new look at inline production, which has resulted in possibilities that cannot be implemented with conventional tape transport systems," Fehrenbach continues.
This gives the user the individual freedom of movement of automated guided vehicles on a small scale, because individual assemblies can be transported to any location within the production concept via any route. The XPlanar combines this flexibility with the dynamics of a linear motor and thus enables the cycle-time-optimised linking of individual production steps and machines. In addition, assemblies can be raised and lowered, which means that the XPlanar significantly supports and simplifies individual production steps. For the first time, the positioning of a product during processing becomes the task of the transport system, because the levitation effect replaces any mechanical guide component, thus achieving a new degree of flexibility.
The modular expandable production cell E-cell newly presented by Eutect in the summer of 2021 is designed, among other things, for the use of the XPLanar. "When developing the E-cell, we had the future integration of the XPlanar firmly in mind. That means that the planar tiles can be integrated into the new cell," Fehrenbach continues. Thanks to these possibilities, the Swabian special machine builder is able to offer new design solutions.
"Due to the free travel paths on which the mover is used with a repeat accuracy of 10 µm, different assemblies can be processed simultaneously in a production line, independent of sequence and station. At a speed of 2m/s, the movers transport assemblies intelligently and in a cycle time-optimised manner from process station to process station. "We can thus massively increase the output and thus the efficiency of the machines used for series production. In addition, the contactless transport minimises the need for service, maintenance and wear parts, thus making the step towards sustainability a reality," explains Fehrenbach.
Thanks to the high modularity achieved, different process cells can also be easily interconnected. "The effort required for process conversion and process integration as well as retrofitting is minimal. For example, process cells can also be easily exchanged for each other or expanded by these, should a different process and or soldering technology be necessary," says Fehrenbach. The managing director of Eutect GmbH goes on to explain that this means that high line utilisation can be optimally scaled. Since the process stations, which are dependent on the process and thus the cycle time, can be loaded independently of each other but optimally.
"We are firmly convinced that the demand for manufacturing solutions that can be freely designed and/or scaled in their expansion stage, arrangement and assembly, i.e. task, will increase strongly. And with the E-ssembly solution we want to offer our customers and partners this flexibility, efficiency and reusability", Fehrenbach looks into the future. Furthermore, the specialists of Eutect GmbH will also present a newly developed soldering process at the trade fair. This soldering process is cycle time optimised, reproducible and freely integrable as well as automatable.
For more information, visit EUTECT's page on E-CELLS here, and the sustained ring soldering process (or SRS), will also be presented by Fehrenbach and his team at Motek 2021 at the joint stand with Taktomat GmbH in Hall 5, Stand 5215.