Alternative drive force
Whether it is linear drives type Copac or swivel drives type Copar and Sypar –pneumatic drive technology from Festo is entering the area of process automation. However, the manufacturer of automation technology not only provides complete system solutions from the area of standard pneumatics and industry-specific components: Festo in Esslingen also develops state-of-the-art automation ideas. The latest example is a concept product: the so-called muscle motor.
In a nutshell, the operating concept can be described as muscle power instead of pistons or cylinders. The Fluidic Muscle MAS is the centrepiece of the slowly revving motor with high torque. Compared to conventional pneumatic cylinders, this drive made of elastomer membrane has serious advantages in terms of design: it is fast and the initial force is ten times higher than with a conventional compressed air drive with the same cross section, and it facilitates completely uniform movements without a stick-slip effect. When it is supplied with compressed air, the nominal length is reduced – the same applies inside the muscle motor. A cam and a free-wheeling bearing transmit the linear movement, caused by the muscle contraction, onto a shaft and thereby transform it into a rotating movement. When the pressure is released, the fluidic muscle returns to its initial length. Thanks to the unlocked free-wheeling bearing, this movement is not transmitted onto the shaft. If there are several pneumatic muscles on the shaft in a delayed arrangement, a slow and uniform rotating movement can be achieved.