Festo, a leading supplier of automation technology, claims it has developed a new system for configuring ready-to-install handling systems in less than 20 minutes.
According to the firm, its Handling Guide Online (HGO) significantly reduces design, assembly and delivery times compared with previous methods, from around two months to just three weeks for a standard handling system.
The new online tool could offer a faster and more cost effective option for design engineers looking to configure handling solutions. The HGO is ideal for design engineers specifying systems for applications such as palletisers; end-of-line packaging; assembling, and laser cutting.
Product manager at Festo, Nigel Dawson explained: “In the past, engineers would have to go through a lengthy request for quotation, layout and quotation process when looking to order handling systems.
“We recognised the need for a modern way of specifying systems, which makes the whole design and procurement simpler, and developed this unique online software to make ordering and configuring handling systems a quick and easy experience.”
The HGO uses three steps:
First the engineer chooses between four Cartesian system options; single-axis systems, 2D linear gantry, 2D gantry and 3D gantry.
Then the user enters the specific application data into the tool, such as the load and stroke length. The system then calculates the most appropriate handling system for those needs.
Comprehensive datasheets, a powerful animation and complete CAD model are all available for download in a matter of minutes in all common data formats.
The last step allows the engineer to further configure the selected system, with additional options in accordance with their own requirements, for example the safety options, sensors and length of cabling.
Dawson continued: “In the final design, the HGO details exactly which parts make up the system and includes online links to the individual components.
Festo’s Nigel Dawson will show design engineers how they can use the power of the new Festo HGO to take their idea for a new mechanical handling system to a fully worked up and costed design in less than 20 minutes.
“As a result, users can easily order spare parts and have visibility on part availability and delivery times – in many cases this is next day. HGO enables engineers specifying systems at their machine concept and quotation stage to very quickly have a fixed price, enabling them to be 100% sure of their performance and costs in this area. Ultimately this means they can be more competitive”.
To support the supply of the system, Festo has built a European production facility for handling systems, applying automation techniques to the assembly, further reducing the cost of these systems. This is an additional benefit to machine builders, who can in turn share cost savings with their customers.