High Level of Individualization with Potential for the Future
With the fifth generation of its rotary indexing tables, WEISS is now taking a further, resolute step towards fulfilling customer wishes for more flexibility, resource efficiency and speed. As a side effect, the automation specialists are opening up easy access to production digitalization for system integrators, plant manufacturers and users.
Product customization is still a trending topic in the market. Individual final products require adaptable production processes, methods and systems. Digitalization opens up new optimization potential but, at the same time, places new requirements on machine manufacturers and component suppliers. WEISS has answered by revising its rotary indexing tables, which have been proven for decades. The company now considers the rotary indexing table a complete mechatronic system – including the motor and controls. On this basis, digital features of the future can be integrated into a standard product today.
Flexible system concepts
For system integrators and plant manufacturers, in particular, the fifth generation of WEISS rotary indexing tables has decisive advantages. When revising the mechatronic platform, WEISS especially focused on component modularity. Because rotary indexing tables are installed at the heart of automation systems, they must be seamlessly integrated into the system concept. The new rotary indexing tables are optimized to minimize interfering contours. Thanks to a significantly larger central opening and optimized media infeed, additional sensors, actuators or handling units can be implemented on the upright center part. With a total of five configuration options for the motor and gear unit, and several installation locations, the rotary indexing tables can be used in a wide range of assembly automation applications – from the automotive industry to medical technology to the communication industry. The rotary indexing tables can be combined with various control variants and packages. The control options from WEISS have two things in common: They are easy to operate and can be used with virtually no prior knowledge.
Efficient use of resources
In an environment of rising costs for production space, buildings and energy, the size of assembly plants and their energy consumption are an increasingly important consideration. The lower the required space for the entire system, the lower the variable costs. This is why WEISS has optimized the sizes of its fixed-cycle, freely programmable rotary indexing tables. In the future, a finer gradation will be possible. At the same time, the axial force of the rotary indexing table has increased by a factor of two, which enables higher loading. This was achieved by optimal harmonization of the bearing and cam roller. To save energy, the engineers at WEISS rely on a more energy-efficient motor concept. Where physically possible, the motors satisfy the requirements of energy efficiency class IE3. The frequency variability of the motors improves the ability to adapt the rotary indexing tables to customer applications, since the load and rotation time can be harmonized to each other better.
Because the bearing and cam roller are optimally harmonized to each other, the new fixed-cycle rotary indexing tables in the TC-N series are up to 38 percent faster at the same load. This increases output many times over, especially in large-series production. Further, the almost infinitely adjustable indexing time of the rotary indexing tables increases potential savings with regard to overall rotation time and component variety. With components from WEISS, time-to-market can be shortened before actual production. Simulation models already support plant manufacturers and system integrators in the planning and implementation phases in early stages such as the creation of the system concept and virtual commissioning.
Approaches such as condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and preventive maintenance are still not fully part of today’s everyday work routine. Nevertheless, WEISS integrated a smart board into the standard products of the new rotary indexing tables from the beginning. The smart board is a user interface for visual interaction and among other functions, provides information on the operating state of the rotary indexing table. It alerts users to possible measures for keeping the rotary indexing table in good condition in accordance with the specifications in the technical documentation. In the smart board, WEISS has created a central location where users will find the information required for trouble-free operation. The functions of the smart board will advance hand in hand with the increasing digitalization of the rotary indexing tables.
Like all components, the fifth-generation rotary indexing tables have a type plate. It corresponds to DIN SPEC 91406 for the automatic identification of physical objects in IT and IoT systems. As a result, all the information belonging to a physical object across all processes and in various IT systems – from storage and relocation, assembly, maintenance, inspection and service to disassembly – can be identified and called up, changed and saved as needed. This is a major advantage when it comes to component traceability.
The PDF of the press release and high-resolution images including captions can be found here.