MCA, the NSK authorised distributor for the Benelux region, set a project goal to create a new demonstration cell that would showcase all of its core disciplines, namely linear motion, drive technology, controls and robotics. As many of MCA’s customers build machines and/or production lines, the company decided that the theme of the demonstration cell should be product handling, in this case involving the transportation, scanning, sorting and stacking of small plastic crates in various patterns.
To take the demonstration cell from concept to reality, MCA worked with NSK and Yaskawa, a global player in industrial automation and mechatronics solutions. MCA linear motion robotics is an official Channel Partner for Yaskawa. In addition, MCA opted to involve a student of mechatronics from a technical college, thus imparting knowledge and experience of a real industrial project.
With the demonstration cell destined for frequent use at trade fairs, open days and other events, MCA engineers set about designing a compact, easy-to-transport and highly accessible system with the help of Yaskawa and NSK.
The team duly created a demonstration cell featuring a high-quality aluminium structure that provides a very rigid yet lightweight base frame. Solid polycarbonate plates on four sides provide visibility from the entire perimeter. Inside the cell, the linear modules are equipped with servo motors, while the compact robot offers increased range thanks to its placement on a linear column.
Prominent among the hardware is NSK’s high-precision Monocarrier from the MCM series. This compact, lightweight, single-axis linear actuator integrates a high-quality NSK ball screw, U-profile linear guide, slider and support bearings in one convenient module that reduces design, purchasing and installation time. Furthermore, an integral NSK K1 lubrication unit enables long-term, maintenance-free operation.
Further attributes of the NSK Monocarrier that benefit the MCA demonstration cell include high rigidity and load capacity, ultra-smooth and accurate movement, rust protection, and long service life. MCM series Monocarriers are available in five standard sizes with corresponding stroke lengths and leads to suit applications that include semiconductor manufacturing equipment, food processing systems, automotive assembly lines, inspection machinery, transport equipment and medical systems.
NSK Europe Ltd. is the European organisation of the Tokyo-based bearing manufacturer NSK, which was founded in Japan in 1916 and today employs nearly 31,000 people in its worldwide operations. The products and solutions provided by the industrial and automotive supplier can be found wherever things move. In addition to nearly all types of rolling bearings, the company’s portfolio includes housed bearings, linear technology, wheel bearing units, transmission and engine bearings and steering systems. The company is oriented to perfection in all of its business activities. Its aim is quality leadership in its industry, which it strives for through a continuous process of improvement, excellent product development, optimised production processes and customer-oriented service processes. In fiscal year 2019, the more than 4,400 employees of NSK Europe Ltd. generated sales of over € 920 million.
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