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Festo has launched two series of mechanically compatible precision mini-slides – one pneumatic, the other electric – enabling OEMs and machine builders to mix and match different drive technologies.

Both series of slides feature hardened-steel guide rails, which are precision ground together with the body after assembly, and use caged recirculating ball bearings between the rails and the hardened steel slide.

The overall effect is that the body and the slide jointly form the guidance system, conveying a high level of rigidity to the design.

Both series of slides provide fast and accurate positioning capabilities; all DGSL series pneumatic slides have a repetition accuracy of +/-10um, while all EGSL series electric slides have a repetition accuracy of +/-15um.

The slides are ideal for applications demanding short and precise moves, and their low profile and mounting flexibility – they can be ‘piggybacked’ and oriented in any aspect, including vertically – makes them especially suitable for use where space is limited.

Principally intended for use in handling and assembly automation, both types of slides are suitable for the food processing and packaging industries, as well as in semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Festo’s DGSL series pneumatic slides are available with a choice of eight different sizes, from 4 to 25, and nine different stroke lengths – from 10 to 200mm – depending on the model.

The slides are double acting, with the larger models capable of advancing and retracting at speeds as high as 0.8m/s.

The size 25 slide can produce up to 483N of force when fed from a nominal 6-bar compressed air supply.

All DGSL series slides use piston technology that incorporates the guide tape and sealing element, together with an embedded magnet for position-sensing purposes, in a single, compact component.

This results in less friction and air leakage, leading to steady and smooth movement, better speed constancy and a long working life.

The slides also all offer a choice of three types of end-position cushioning – hydraulic, elastomer and adjustable elastomer – which can be set up very easily from one side of the unit’s body.

New EGSL series electric slides offer users a choice of four different sizes, from 35 to 75, and five different stroke lengths, from 50 to 300mm, depending on the model.

The slides’ high rigidity means that they can easily tolerate bending moments; two slides can simply be bolted together to form a cantilever axis and all their surfaces feature centring rings to remove shear loads from the mounting bolts.

The size 75 slide – which is large by any standard – can accommodate a horizontal load of up to 14kg and can generate up to 450N of feed force.

All EGSL slides are capable of accelerating at up to 25m/s2 and can achieve speeds as high as 1.3m/s.

To help put these figures in context, this typically means that a 200mm EGSL-45 slide with a 6kg payload can accomplish a complete positioning sequence in under 250ms.

The slides’ ball-screw spindle is completely enclosed, rendering it impervious to contamination, and three of the four models offer a choice of spindle pitches to further simplify applications matching.

The ball screw features an integral magnet, enabling inductive sensors or reed switches mounted on the outside of the slide’s body to be used, and easily adjusted, for position-sensing purposes.

EGSL electric slides are fully compatible with Festo’s range of stepper and servo motors and controllers, and can also be used with third-party motors.

Festo also produces a range of motor mounting flanges and couplings, as well as slide-mounting plates, axial mounting kits, optional cover kits and steel sensor flags for these slides.

Festo has also developed a PC-based software tool, backed by native CAD models, to help machine designers and other potential users make best use of electric drive technology, such as the EGSL slides.

About Festo

Festo manufactures pneumatic and electrical components and systems to support customers with factory and process automation. The company has an annual turnover in excess of 1.7 billion Euro, employs 12,800 people around the world and has facilities in 176 countries around the world. Festo operates an aggressive R&D programme investing 7.5% of sales annually, holds over 2,800 worldwide patents, introduces about 100 innovative new products to the market every year and has a product range of over 30,000. For more information about the company’s products and services, please visit our website.  

About Festo Didactic

Festo Didactic, the training and consultancy division of Festo, supports organisations seeking to develop competencies in sales & service, leadership, employee engagement, change management, team-working, coaching, business planning, production processes and automation technology. The division has particular expertise in working with manufacturing and engineering businesses. It has a full time workforce of over 200 and operates in 70 countries worldwide. Each year, it manages more than 230 consultancy projects and runs more than 2,900 open courses in 26 languages, involving some 42,000 participants. For more information about Festo Didactic, please visit the Festo website and follow the link.

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