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Floating production transport system gains flexibility

06 February, 2023

At the recent SPS show in Nuremberg, Beckhoff was demonstrating the latest developments in its XPlanar system which transports production line items on levitating “movers” with up to six degrees of freedom. The system was launched in 2018 and its functions have been expanded continuously since then.

Items can now be handled more flexibly thanks to new mover identification capabilities, the ability to couple movers, and movers that allow bidirectional operation on one tile.

XPlanar bumpers with ID functions identify movers by reading individual serial numbers. The bumpers can be mounted or retrofitted easily to a mover and need no extra hardware. It is possible to track movers and products even after power supply failures. In addition, there is no need for homing at system start-up if the application has been suitably programmed.

There is a new mover measuring 127 x 127mm that can carry loads of up to 1kg and can operate bidirectionally on appropriately-sized electromagnetic tiles, allowing complete production cycles, including recirculation, to be performed within the width of just one tile. This also applies to another new rectangular mover measuring 115 x 155mm which can handle loads of up to 0.8kg.

If a second track is added to the tile surface, a new 155 x 235mm rectangular mover can transport longer products weighing up to 3kg in three directions.

The largest XPlanar mover, measuring 235 x 235mm, can transport loads up to 4.2kg – or far more by using an adapter that links several movers together mechanically. For example, four coupled movers can shift 14.8kg using this method.

Beckhoff has enhanced the capabilities of its XPlanar production line transport system

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