How to manage power and control cables reliably on automatic stacking cranes

Container handling is a vital element in global logistics, from European ports along the North Sea to the ports on the east coast of China. Here automatic stacking cranes work 24/7 to arrange containers in columns, side by side and stacks. They can travel distances of up to 800m and speeds of 600m/min, which can be a challenge to reliably manage power and control cables.



Measuring dynamic tilt with an IMU

Why would you want to know the dynamic tilt angle on a vehicle? Consider a classic example of a plane in the clouds. The pilot cannot see the ground, nor can he or she trust their instincts because they will feel a false gravity when the aircraft is turning. This means they need a dynamic tilt sensor which – in an aircraft – is often called a vertical gyro or the artificial horizon. Similar technology is used in automobiles.



How to prevent cable failures in energy chains

Modern automation applications, such as high-speed pick-and-place, often take standard electrical cables beyond their limits. As a result, they can suffer from corkscrew-like deformation, broken copper strands and damaged jackets. When this happens, electrical disruption or failure is possible and, in the worst-case scenario, production stoppages can occur. In order to prevent cable failures, energy chain specialist igus developed its own fully optimised cable range called chainflex. In this week’s video, igus demonstrates the differences between standard and chainflex cables.




Low-cost 3D Printed robotic prosthetic limb

A team of students from The University of Manchester has designed and built a 3D printed, low-cost robotic prosthetic hand that could provide a cheaper alternative for amputees.



How igus puts drylin through its paces

In the dry-tech test lab in Cologne, Germany, igus puts its’ self-lubricating drylin linear plain bearings, linear axes and lead screw modules through their paces.


Teaching robots the rules of pedestrian conduct

Just as drivers observe the rules of the road, most pedestrians follow certain social codes when navigating a hallway or a crowded thoroughfare. Engineers at MIT have designed an autonomous robot with ‘socially aware navigation’, that can keep pace with foot traffic while observing these general codes of pedestrian conduct.



How to avoid guide wear on drive chains

Drives chains transmit mechanical power from one place to another a common industrial application is a conveyor. For these long runs, chain guides are used that are often made of Polypropylene or a similar low cost material. Wear problems that occur on these moving applications can be rectified quickly by means of stock plate made from high performance engineering plastics, such as iglidur.



UK’s first autonomous grocery deliveries take place in Greenwich trials

The TRL-led GATEway Project together with Ocado Technology have performed the UK’s first trials of an autonomous CargoPod vehicle around the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The real-world trials saw CargoPod, a self-driving delivery vehicle, operate in a residential environment, delivering grocery orders to more than 100 customers.


Keeping Audi ahead of the game

FANUC’s acclaimed industrial robots are delivering unrivalled speed, reliability and consistency for AUDI Hungaria, helping the company reach its targets, with typical annual production of 2 million engines and 135,000 cars.


How smart plastics turn Industry 4.0 concepts into reality

In this week’s video, Matthew Aldridge, managing director of igus in the UK, hosts a webinar where he explains how smart plastics can help machine builders and system integrators implement and deliver Industry 4.0 technologies in equipment and factories.


Sensor enables robots to perform hardness measurements through touch

By mounting a sensor on a robotic gripper, two MIT teams have significantly improved the arm's tactile abilities. The teams used a new type of sensor, known as a GelSight sensor, to enhance the capability, enabling the hardness of touched objects to be accurately calculated upon contact.



drylin noise comparison

In this week’s video, learn more about the superior low noise performance of drylin linear bearings from motion plastics specialist, igus. drylin bearings are dry running and therefore lubrication and maintenance free. But an additional benefit of these bearings made from engineering plastics versus traditional metal and ball bearing counterparts is how much quieter they are, particularly when used at speed.


Predictive maintenance turns from an art to a science

It’s a challenging problem to accurately predict reliability with limited data. That’s why over the years igus has built up a huge database of life calculations and other engineering information about the performance of its bearings, cables and energy chains in various applications.

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