Big Belt-Driven Linear Actuators Expand Reach of Pick & Place System

MB Kit Systems has developed linear actuators similar to the one pictured here that can travel more than 125 feet in length.

A custom automation machine builder is pushing the limits of linear motion technology with belt-driven linear actuators from MB Kit Systems that could reach 200 feet in length later this year.

The automation machine company recently retooled its pick and place robots to replace welded, painted steel components with linear actuators made from less costly extruded aluminum profiles that can be integrated with the company’s advanced laser technology.

The MB Kit System linear actuators provided were required to meet an arduous set of specifications and performance standards for this global company.

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Partnership with Rockwell Automation a Win-Win for MB Kit Systems Customers

There can’t be too many U.S. manufacturers who haven’t heard of Rockwell Automation.  The Milwaukee provider of industrial automation and information products employs 22,000 people, with global sales and support capabilities, customers in more than 80 countries and sales of more than $6 billion annually.

The company’s product lines have grown tremendously since its days of supplying automatic starters and switches, circuit breakers, relays and other electric equipment during World War I. Today, Rockwell Automation’s capabilities extend to every aspect of the factory floor, including advanced process controls, design & operations software, drive systems, motion control, motor control centers, safety components and more. With continued growth in factory automation, the industrial automation giant is sure to have a hand in the success of many U.S. and global manufacturers.

However, as extensive as the company’s capabilities are, the full implementation of Rockwell Automation’s solutions oftentimes relies on the expertise and assistance of other suppliers.  That’s where its Encompass Partner Program comes in.

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Ohio and item North America: Vital Partners in Aerospace Industry

Ohio holds a special place as the foundation and catalyst for the aerospace industry. It was Dayton, Ohio, that was at the forefront of aerospace development, serving as the Wright Brothers’ home base and research lab. After patenting and growing into one of the first airplane manufacturers, they proved the viability of engine- propelled aircraft. Ohio’s impact on the aerospace industry expanded further throughout the 20th century.

Ohio manufacturing businesses converted to wartime production during WWII, with aerospace businesses and other manufacturers providing much-need parts for military aircraft. In 1941, the precursor to NASA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, established the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory in Cleveland. By locating one of its largest research centers in Ohio, NASA could recruit and develop its  astronauts locally; a total of 25 astronauts hailed from Ohio. This facility is now just one of NASA’s 10 locations in the United States and continues to conduct engine-based research as the John Glenn Research Center.

After Cleveland was chosen as the location for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Research Facility, Ohio quickly became a location for astronauts to be trained and recruited. Aerospace manufacturing expanded in the 1950s, as part supplies and engineering firms grew, keeping Ohio involved in various civilian and military projects. item North America continues this tradition by building custom machine frames, specialty enclosures and work platforms for aerospace suppliers and companies.
 

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item North America makes Linear Motion easy

 

The demand for linear actuators has grown with the wave of industrial automation, becoming an essential capability for engineers across many industries and applications.
 

item North America’s engineering team specializes in custom belt-driven linear motion solutions. Many of the 300+ profiles within the item Machine Building Kit System can be utilized for linear actuators, enabling a wide array of linear motion systems to be custom designed. item's linear motion components make it very simple.

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Incorporating Linear Motion into Your Structural Aluminum System

Most manufacturers and machine builders in the United States are familiar with using structural aluminum for simple tables and benches and even enclosures. There are many providers out there who can produce these basic applications.

However, few companies can design and build structural aluminum solutions to include linear motion and support a linear actuator (or multiple linear actuators). As a result, many American manufacturers are led to believe that their only option for these complex applications is to rely on outdated welded steel. But the truth is, using structural aluminum with complex linear actuator-driven processes is becoming more common and is keeping engineering times and costs down for many.

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Industrial Robots & Automation: How to Combine Structural Aluminum with Cartesian Robots for Faster Processes

Regardless of your industry, it’s likely that you’ve considered using industrial robots to improve automation and speed processes within your manufacturing and assembly. Using a Cartesian robot or other industrial robots not only saves time and money, but it allows workers the opportunity to focus on processes where human interaction is needed.

But when you combine industrial robot technology with structural aluminum material, you double the number of improvements you can make to your production and processes. Not sure where to get started? Let us walk you through the process in 3 easy steps.

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