Intelligent Muscle

By Mike Brezonick28 February 2017

Handling Specialty, a Canadian manufacturer of material handling technology, has developed a new laser and camera-assisted motion control solution utilizing a custom heavy-duty multi-axis manipulator arm designed for lifting and repeatable positioning of a jet engine or aero gas turbine engine bellmouth within a small envelope.

The Smart Arm Manipulator (SAM) arm is used to lift and position the engine bellmouth during the assembly process. The arm is designed to grasp the bellmouth with a robot-like precision and then release once assembled to the engine.

Handling Specialty’s SAM comes complete with supporting framework of the positioning arm for quick installation, a compact footprint and the ability to lift and hold large payloads. The software is set up to the client’s parameters and is programmed with pre-defined movements at the Handling Specialty test facility to ensure easy integration and seamless interface with the client’s equipment and controls. An operator monitors the positioning of the arm via an on-screen live feed camera display.

The unit can be designed to lift other aero engine components or developed to work in other applications, such as the energy industry for assembly and/or repair of turbine engines, electrical transformers, transformer coils and compressors or advanced manufacturing, where heavy-duty, robot-like movement and repeatability are required.

Designed to be versatile and robust, the multi-axis smart-motion control system can also be engineered to run fully automatically, simplifying the work required by the application while removing the need for an operator.

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