Increasing competition and the demand for more complex products in shorter time frames is putting manufacturers under pressure. In order for production to keep up with demand, manufacturers need to modernise. Here, Stewart Goulding, Managing Director at EMS, explains three ways powerful micromotors and drives are advancing the manufacturing industry.
Consumerism is fast paced. In a culture of ‘click and collect’ and next day delivery, customers have come to expect frequent new product launches, wide availability and rapid turnover. Manufacturers must keep pace with these modern demands - or risk being left behind.
Developing an efficient manufacturing facility can require lengthy analysis and planning, with layout, equipment and people all playing a vital role in a plant’s success. Particularly, upgrading to the highest performing precision micromotors and drives can dramatically improve machinery operations.
When transporting high volumes of units to different parts of the factory, automated belt conveyers are the quickest and most efficient option. When manufacturing small or delicate items, micromotors can provide products a smoother journey across the shop floor. Escapee products can lead to loss, damage and system jams that can disrupt the entire production line, so manufacturers need to make sure products of all shapes and sizes are in safe hands.
Micromotors are small enough to be completely encased within the conveyer, so only the belt is exposed. This reduces the overall size of the conveyer, meaning more conveyer units can fit in a tight space, increasing production potential. The compact design also allows conveyers to fit closer together, ensuring products don’t fall through gaps.
With no motor parts exposed, products can travel along a clear, smooth surface without disruption. The chances of products moving off course or becoming damaged in transport is also reduced by the low vibration of many micromotors.
For mass-market electronic products, fast performing assembly machines are ideal as they are capable of producing high product volumes in a short amount of time.
Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) are commonly made using assembly machines. The prevalence of PCBs in everyday electrical and electronic products, such as computers, digital clocks and microwaves. Assembly machine speed and accuracy relies on motors, which power the automated arms that place the conductive metal components PCBs.
High density micromotors can often outperform large motors, allowing assembly machines to become smaller and, more importantly, deliver fast, continuous production. EMS is the sole UK supplier of high performance FAULHABER DC micromotors. FAULHABER motors are extremely powerful, and come as small as 3mm in diameter.
Precision grippers are often placed along the production line to quickly and accurately manipulate small parts. But to perform intricate tasks, grippers need to work with precision. Previously, grippers were often powered using compressed air. While effective, this required a complex infrastructure that could prove expensive.
Instead, precision grippers can benefit from brushless DC micromotors that can easily achieve the same performance as pneumatics, but without the complicated supportive infrastructure. Gripper fingers only need to make very small movements, and the precision of micromotors means that the equipment can move and handle complex items without lagging or jolting.
Keeping up with demand in a competitive market requires continual assessment and development. However, incorporating powerful micromotors and drives at every available opportunity in the production line provides an almost instantaneous increase in efficiency.