HepcoMotion has supplied a stainless steel Bishop-Wisecarver UtiliTrak linear motion system to BGB Innovation for use in slip ring production.
BGB Innovation operates as three industry brands that respectively design, manufacture and market slip ring systems, underwater lighting and camera systems, and wireless Ethernet bridge systems. It was for the production of slip rings for the wind turbine industry that BGB Engineering specified a stainless steel Bishop-Wisecarver UtiliTrak linear motion system from HepcoMotion.
The slip rings comprise three bronze rings, each of which needs a different length termination riser brazed on. BGB Engineering's Product Development Engineer, Richard Driver, was charged with the task of developing a special-purpose machine to optimise the process.
He designed a universal machine that would assemble and braze all three rings in a range of types in a single machine cycle. UtiliTrak was chosen as the guideway on which dedicated fixtures would slide the rings along the main table to position them sequentially in the assembly, heating and cooling areas of the machine.
Driver explains: "The main criteria in our choice of UtiliTrak for this operation is that it had to be non-ferrous, as we use induction heating to braze the rings. Anything ferrous that enters the induction field would heat up very quickly and could possibly melt, as the field current required to braze copper alloys is far greater than that used for ferrous metals."
Stainless steel from stock
BGB Engineering therefore chose a pair of stainless steel UtiliTrak linear guides for this element of the application; these were supplied ex-stock from the HepcoMotion. Each stainless steel linear guide was equipped with a pair of three-wheel carriage assemblies onto which the fixture is mounted in parallel.
The UtiliTrak system is designed for applications where low cost, easy installation and minimal maintenance requirements are the the primary objectives. Constructed with DualVee Motion Technology, it often provides a cost-effective alternative to recirculating ball guide systems that require a considerable amount of surface preparation - which adds to the total installed cost.
Aluminium versions of the UtiliTrak system were also chosen by BGB Engineering for another part of the slip ring induction brazing machine. Two of these linear guides, set in parallel, are responsible for the linear positioning of the work head with an integral induction coil over the ring and riser assembly. As these guides are located outside the induction field, the lower-cost aluminium UtiliTrak is highly suitable.
Driver concludes: "For us, the smooth-running, anti-friction movement provided by UtiliTrak is its main performance quality, as the fixtures need to be moved along the rail with a minimum of force."
Follow the link for more information about the Bishop-Wisecarver UtiliTrak linear motion system from HepcoMotion.