Linear-actuation trend is to more precision.
Our 2020 survey of the industry indicates an unabated trend towards more automation of previously static or manually tended systems. Key to these new offerings is installation simplicity for OEMs and end users of linear components for linear axes … as well as positioning stages and Cartesian robots.
In fact, Cartesian robots (also called linear robots) increasingly serve as turnkey solutions where tasks were previously done manually. That’s in part because (where suitable) linear-based solutions offer simplicity and precision at a price point that’s unrivaled by other solutions. So linear-motion adherents want these multi-axis arrangements to come to mind when laypeople and engineers alike discuss robotics.
FUYU considers it a core mission to help industry recognize Cartesian arrangements as robotics.
The official definition of robot is a machine capable of automatically replicating certain human motions and functions. So a linear-motion installation in a fast-food kitchen that picks up a fryer basket and moves it to a second location as a human would do is in fact a robot. In contrast, the Da Vinci surgical system is often called a robot, but technically it does not qualify — because its movements are ultimately controlled by a human being
Trends in linear guides and guide rails, slides, and ways include more uses for profile rails and linear bearings with plain bearings and linear guide wheels. Our experts reported more configurability for both rails and shafts as well as carriages and runner blocks that traverse them. That’s to satisfy demand for flexible machines that employ modularity to adjust to changing processes for material-handling machinery, packaging, and other forms of factory automation. This year has also brought increased focus on hygienic component designs. Those in turn are supporting some newer automation industries — such as that for CBD or cannabis-related products.
Machine builders are now using our products for automated watering systems as well as the positioning of lights and a whole range of tasks in the vertical and indoor farming industries. FUYU products are also used in automated installations to support planting — especially for seeding and (after harvest) the pressing out of plant oils. Home hobbyists making routers and 3D printers are other users of these components. Frequently, they get plans online and swap out the steel ball bearings with our bearings for higher consistency and self-lubricating nature.
Linear-actuation trend is to more precision
Ballscrew-based and newer belt-based linear actuators are associated with high precision on large motion axes … and miniature designs can in some cases employ leadscrew-based actuation to satisfy the same design objective.
Laboratory automation has always been a great fit for linear motion … especially stepper linear actuators. Of course, within certain laboratory devices, precision is required for moving samples into position, adding reagents, and withdrawing samples. Now, advancements in the linear force and speed capabilities of stepper linear actuators let device manufacturers increase their throughput with these actuators without sacrificing quality.
The terms stepper linear actuator and stepper-motor linear actuator typically refer to can-stack stepper motors with a built-in leadscrew. The laboratory devices are also rendered more adaptable to additional tasks and analysis thanks to the miniaturization of stepper-based linear actuators.