Bimba T4 Thruster Provides Robot with Smooth Actuation

Original TE Thrusters in place, one on each side of the robot. The Thrusters move the fingers in to pick up the coil of fencing, and move out to drop the coil once it’s placed on the pallet.

Crystal Engineering Solutions, located in Madison Heights, Michigan, designed a gripping mechanism on a robot that rolls up fencing into coils and then stacks the coils onto a pallet to be shipped out to the customer. As you can see in the picture to the right, it used TE Thrusters to actuate the 2' long fingers on the robot to pick up the coils of fencing. However, when the machine was fully assembled for testing, it encountered a problem with the thrusters being “jerky” when used in a horizontal plane. Crystal Engineering Solutions contacted its local Bimba Distributor, RM Wright Co., who then called Bimba Engineering to see if it could help solve this issue.

After looking over the application, the Bimba Engineering team directed Crystal Engineering Solutions to the T4 Thrusters, instead of the standard TE Thrusters it had originally decided to use. The T4 Thrusters have 4 guide shafts compared to 2 in the standard TE Thrusters, which doubles the load-carrying capacity and reduces deflection. The T4 also has re-circulating ball bearings on all 4 guide shafts, which helps provide a smooth actuation, and in turn, eliminated the “jerky” motion it was experiencing. You can see the difference by clicking the video links below.

TE Thruster (before)

Bimba T4 Thruster (after)




Crystal Engineering Solutions
32355 Howard St. Madison Heights, Michigan 48071
Phone: (248) 588-1390
http://www.crystaleng.com/engineering_main.html