Modules stop rodless cylinders mid-stroke

Paul Boughton

Hoerbiger-Origa is introducing a range of intermediate stop modules to complement its heavy-duty, precision-guided rodless pneumatic cylinder. Designated the ZSM, the module enables precise intermediate positioning of the guide carriage at any desired point along the stroke of the cylinder, using simple pneumatic technology.

The module is a mechanical device that extends and retracts a physical stop, which provides for a high level of accuracy and repeatability, the simple pneumatic operation of which can readily be sequenced using either a PLC (programmable logic controller) or pneumatic logic.

Unusually, the ZSM allows movement to the next position without the need to initially reverse the cylinder's piston. (When using retractable mechanical stops with pneumatic actuation, it is typically necessary to momentarily reverse the actuator from the mechanical stop prior to retracting the stop).

Shock absorbers integrated into the guide carriage guarantee a smooth linear deceleration to eliminate shock loading and to optimise cycle times.

As a standalone module the ZSM can be factory fitted to new cylinders or retrofitted in the field to upgrade a machine.

Multiple modules can be fitted to a single cylinder, the only restriction being physical size, so that various stop positions can be realised. This is useful in many applications, such as cut-to-length machines and multi-station assembly machines.

By itself the ZSM, with its inherent accuracy, provides open-loop accurate positioning. It can also be used in conjunction with an Origa Sensoflex Incremental displacement measuring system to provide a feedback signal of actual position for applications where positional certainty is required.

The ZSM is said to provide a cost-effective means of achieving accurate mid-stroke positioning compared to servo/stepper drive alternatives. The twin-rail guide systems using multiple-race recirculating ball bearing carriages ensures high rigidity and precision, enabling the system to compete with significantly more expensive precision slide tables.

A fully integrated design offering actuation, guidance structural support and position sensing built into a single unit, the ZSM minimises engineering costs and is simple compact, reliable and maintenance free for many industrial applications requiring intermediate positioning along a linear axis.

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