A customer turned to linear motion experts HepcoMotion during the development of a new tool grinder to find a track system that could fit in a constrained space application.
Tool changing devices for CNC machines enable rapid transfer of tools in and out of the machine and are available with a circular carousel or oval track in a standard configuration. In this instance, the customer was developing a new CNC controlled Helitronic tool grinder and sought a track system that could link 12 or 24 grinding discs of 254mm diameter and traverse them around a circuit without the discs clashing in the curved sections. Fitting the tool changer into the available space was a challenge.
The customer wanted to know if HepcoMotion’s standard PRT2 track system could fit into the limited space. Lengthening the track was not possible with the space available. Additionally, the control system needed to be able to demand any wheel in the circuit and bring it to a predetermined position within a positional accuracy of 0.05mm.
HepcoMotio’s 1-Trak system was recommended as a solution. Machined from a single plate of a proprietary tool steel so that there was no assembly of track parts, the track system would provide the basic base plate for the tool changer. The plate included the vee trach machined in, plus the cam profile for the carriage drive pins to follow. A separate drive wheel with slots to allow the pin movement was driven by a motor/ helical bevel gearbox arrangement attached from the rear of the base plate.
1-Trak track system
1-Trak is a highly innovative track system that extends the possibilities of linear and rotary motion. Advanced materials and technologies are used to produce track systems to almost any two-dimensional shape from one piece of material.
Key benefits of the 1-Trak track system include reduced assembly time with no individual linear tracks and segments to assemble; 'curvi' linear applications previously seen as expensive, enabled in a simple way with one drive; ability to achieve any conceivable 2D shape as well as multidimensional curves and freeform curves; customisation possible to meet exact requirements; need for complicated drive systems eliminated as carriages can be gear driven around the track; ability to achieve tight track return curves; ability to incorporate a base for a machine, complete with drive and all fixing holes; and 3-bearing carriage technology allowing free operation throughout linear and rotary travel.