SAIMC


SAIMC: Johannesburg branch

August 2014 SAIMC

Eric Carter (left) presents Ernst with the SAIMC certificate while Alvin Seitz looks on.
Eric Carter (left) presents Ernst with the SAIMC certificate while Alvin Seitz looks on.

The July technology evening was hosted by Festo in Isando, where Ernst Smith who took us through the electric alternative of motion control.

Automation is generally defined as controlling the movement of things and is often implemented pneumatically or hydraulically. While these offer quick movement combined with fairly high actuation forces, hydraulic equipment is expensive to buy, and pneumatic equipment is expensive to run (most people don’t realise the cost of compressed air). Both lack precision in positioning.

Ernst started with motor types (stepper and servo). He illustrated his extremely informative talk with examples of how anything can be moved around with electric actuation at high speed and with extreme precision. With hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders, for instance, position control is often limited to one or two positions usually not that well defined. Through the use of devices such as encoders, for example, very precise positioning can be achieved, as well as the speed at which it happens.

Ernst delivered a thoroughly entertaining presentation and although he ran slightly over time, there was not one yawn, fidget or desire shown to leave. Festo also provided the catering for this much appreciated event.

The branch thanks Ernst for his valued and informative presentation.



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