Product Briefing Outline: Festo has developed the Sliding Fork, an innovative way of transporting glass. This unique servo-pneumatic handling system is particularly suitable for vacuum applications and is totally leak-proof, dynamic, with extreme torsional rigidity.
Problem: During the production of thin-film cells, the glass is introduced in the front-end area in different process chambers and is coated. This process area is under high vacuum at temperatures of approx. 200°C. The challenge in this process is keeping costs low while ensuring the highest standards for the process. The ambient temperature of around 70-90°C places high demands on the handling system.
Solution: The stepless telescope-handling Sliding Fork system can operate in high-vacuum and high-temperature environments but is self cooling. Due to its size and space requirements, the Sliding Fork is up to 50% cheaper than alternative robot solutions, according to the company. The stepless positioning with the servo-pneumatics feature grants the system a full stroke operation on both sides of up to 2m. It has a selectable drive depending on the application: servo-pneumatic for high-vacuum applications or electrical system for applications with atmospheric conditions. A rodless cylinder with magnetic power transmission reduces the installation space and prevents leakage.
It has an extremely high torsional rigidity in its extended position, with a max deflection of 7mm with a 15 kg load.
Applications: Loading and unloading of glass for thin-film cell manufacturing.
Platform: The Sliding Fork consists of a moveplate, a measuring system, three arms (steel and Al) and two DGO-25-SA. The difference between standard DGO and DGO-SA are the special O-Rings used to seal the rod with the adapter. The tool has a shorter piston and slide due to space limitations, as well as a special end-cap without PPV due to the use of DGO-SA with SPC200.
Availability: Currently available on request.