AFP® – NC-locators are highly flexible and extremely powerful

NC-locators enable the economical production of several product derivatives in one line

In many industrial companies, manufacturing costs continue to rise due to a growing number of product variants and decreasing batch sizes. The new AFP® axes from LEANTECHNIK can break this vicious circle: It offers users the possibility to economically manufacture numerous product derivatives within one line.

The NC locators are used to position holders, clamps or centering devices as well as to flexibly accommodate product components. The system consists in each case of AFP axes in longitudinal, stroke and/or transverse axis and in each case a 24 V DC servo drive with integrated freely programmable control and CANBus interface. Each axis and drive is defined according to the customer’s specifications and combined depending on the requirements of the application.

The system was developed on behalf of a well-known car manufacturer who wanted to reorganize the body-in-white production in its plant. Numerous different car models were to be manufactured on a single production line without having to rebuild the production line each time. To meet these requirements in the best possible way, LEANTECHNIK designed the NC locators as a modular system. It is made up of individual axes, drives and fasteners that can be combined in almost any way. This results in a completely individual positioning system that can be flexibly adapted to changing production conditions.

As the basis of the AFP®/NC locators, LEANTECHNIK uses (for example) the proven lifgo® linear 5.0 rack and pinion gear units. They convert rotary into linear motion and have a lifting force of 2,000 N at a lifting speed of 3 m/s and an acceleration of 50 m/s2. The lifgo® linear series is characterized by perfect synchronism even at high speeds and has been specially designed for applications with long travel distances.

In addition to the lifgo® and lifgo® linear versions, the rack-and-pinion gear is also available as lifgo® double for gripping and centering movements and as lifgo® linear double for gripping and centering movements with long travels. The gear units are manufactured in sizes 5.0, 5.1 and 5.3 with lifting forces of 2,000, 3,800 and 15,900 N as well as in an eccentric version with freely definable backlash. For applications with large loads, there is also the lifgo® 5.4 with lifting forces of up to 25,000 N, and particularly noise-sensitive systems can be realized with the helical-toothed lifgo® SVZ.

The AFP/NC locators are suitable for all companies that have to produce a large number of product variants within one production line.