Macron Dynamics Gives Back to Bucks County Community College

Macron Dynamics is dedicated to giving back and supporting our local community. We are excited to announce that with the help of a co-contributor, Steve Ross at KwikPall, we were able to donate a UC XZ gantry system to Bucks County Community College.

“Macron Dynamics and Kwikpall have both recognized that the next generation of robotics and automation engineers are critical to the future of the industry. Where possible, we want to empower younger students with the the ability to learn through hands-on learning.”

– Michael Giunta, VP of Sales and Marketing at Macron Dynamics

Students will be using our pick and place gantry system as an interactive learning experience in the classroom. We are proud to be investing in the next generation of engineers and are thrilled for them to enter the field.

Hear the latest updates and learn more about Macron Dynamics by visiting our Job Stories or News sections on our website!

Originally posted at:

https://www.macrondynamics.com/news/macron-dynamics-gives-back

Curtiss-Wright Congratulates Eviation on Successful First Flight of its All-Electric Aircraft

Congratulations to Eviation on the historic successful flight of Alice, the world’s first all-electric commuter aircraft.

SHELBY, N.C. and ASHBURN, Va. – September 29, 2022–Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division congratulates Eviation Aircraft on the historic successful flight of Alice, the world’s first all-electric commuter aircraft. Curtiss-Wright is proud to support this nine-passenger, two-crew member aircraft with its high-power density electromechanical actuation (EMA) technology. Curtiss-Wright’s proven commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) EMA design delivers a lightweight, plug-and-play primary flight control actuation solution that helps reduce cost, schedule risk, and program risk. In addition, Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division provides Eviation with its IADS flight test software for real-time and post-flight data visualization, analysis, and reporting.

“We sincerely congratulate Eviation Aircraft on their exciting milestone first flight for the all-electric Alice and we are pleased to help support the development of this historic aircraft,” said Phil Bowker, Senior General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Actuation Division. “This is the first flight of a crewed, fixed-wing aircraft using EMA for all of the primary flight controls, an industry milestone we are proud to be at the heart of. Curtiss-Wright is committed to bringing the revolutionary advantages of electric actuation to flight, from fixed wing to rotorcraft, from business jets to military platforms.”

“Eviation Aircraft’s Alice is at the forefront of aviation innovation as the first commuter aircraft that produces zero carbon emissions, greatly reduces noise, and provides a significantly more cost effective alternative to jet aircraft,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “We are extremely pleased to support and contribute to the success of this historic first flight with our IADS flight test real-time station, control room systems, and hardware server solutions. Using IADS customizable plug-in interface, Eviation was able to develop their real-time data source.”

Keeping innovation and performance top of mind, Eviation is creating a new era in aviation with the Alice aircraft. Inspired by the new design possibilities that emerged by replacing turbine engines with all electric motors, Eviation and its team have reimagined what sleek, stylish and cost effective air mobility can be with the introduction of Alice.

About Curtiss-Wright EMA Technology
EMA technology delivers proven and compelling benefits and advantages, such as superior reliability and improved energy efficiency, over traditional hydraulic approaches for a wide range of aviation applications, including flight controls, landing gear, and utility actuation. Compared to hydraulic actuation, EMA also delivers significant improvements for size, weight and power (SWaP), with lighter and smaller alternatives that result in significant weight savings (as much as 10 lb. per unit) at the system level. Curtiss-Wright, in October 2017, was first to market with distributed rotary electromechanical spoiler and flap actuation systems developed for Part 23 aircraft.

Supporting a wide range of customer requirements, Curtiss-Wright’s EMA solutions are available in build-to-specification, COTS and modified-COTS designs. These modular products are designed for maximum flexibility. They can be easily and rapidly customized, typically only requiring minor mechanical modification (for physical mounting and interfaces) to help speed deployment and reduce risk to the customer’s schedule.

About Curtiss-Wright IADS Flight Test Software
Curtiss-Wright’s IADS flight test software is a real-time and post-test display and analysis solution. It is the premier system for flight test, used by every major test program in the US and in many other countries world-wide. IADS significantly improves flight test efficiencies and helps to speed program completion with powerful display and analysis software with a comprehensive catalog of supporting hardware and software components to suit single computer to large control room applications.

About the Alice Aircraft
The all-electric Alice aircraft features:
● Max operating speed: 260 knots
● Max useful load: 2,500 lbs for passenger version and 2,600 lbs for eCargo version
Alice is available in three variants including a nine-passenger commuter, an elegant and sophisticated six-passenger executive cabin, and an eCargo version. All configurations support two crew members. The executive cabin and eCargo variations are identical to the commuter configuration, except for the interior.

Alice is powered by two magni650 electric propulsion units from magniX, the only flight-proven electric propulsion systems at this scale. Other key suppliers include AVL (battery support), GKN (wings), Honeywell (advanced fly-by-wire system, flight controls and avionics), Multiplast (fuselage), Parker Aerospace (six technology systems), and Potez (doors).

Alice’s advanced battery system is highly efficient and endlessly upgradeable enabling range improvements as battery technology evolves. The aircraft also incorporates a fly-by-wire cockpit, providing greater reliability and systems redundancy.

About Eviation Aircraft
Based in Washington State, U.S., Eviation Aircraft Inc. develops and manufactures efficient electric aircraft to deliver a competitive and sustainable solution for the regional mobility of people and goods. Its electric propulsion units, high-energy-density batteries, mission-driven energy management, and innovative airframe are designed from the ground up for electric flight. Please visit www.eviation.com.

For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division, please visit www.cw-actuation.com.

Curtiss-Wright designs and manufactures its electric actuation products at its Shelby, N.C. facility. IADS flight test software is developed by Curtiss-Wright’s Palmdale, CA facility. For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s flight test instrumentation technology, please visit www.curtisswrightds.com.

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global integrated business that provides highly engineered products, solutions and services mainly to Aerospace & Defense markets, as well as critical technologies in demanding Commercial Power, Process and Industrial markets. We leverage a workforce of 8,000 highly-skilled employees who develop, design and build what we believe are the best engineered solutions to the markets we serve. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing innovative solutions through trusted customer relationships. For more information, visit www.curtisswright.com.

Originally posted at:

https://www.cw-actuation.com/en-gb/news-events/curtiss-wright-congratulates-eviation-on-successful-first-flight-of-its-all-electric-aircraft

Exlar Expands Range of High Force Electric Actuators

FTX Series is Now Available with 1200 mm Stroke Lengths

Exlar, a business unit of Curtiss-Wright, announced that its FTX Series high force electric actuators are now available in stroke lengths up to 1200 mm (48-inch). Building on the proven performance of power and precision of the FTX family, this longer stroke option provides machine builders with even more flexibility and versatility.

Designers incorporating FTX Series actuators are already seeing improved efficiency and throughput, especially in extrusion, forming, and pressing applications where an expanded range of motion is necessary. With force ratings up to 178 kN, these environmentally clean and safe actuators are a great alternative to fluid power with higher accuracy, better repeatability, and less maintenance.

Originally posted at:

https://www.cw-actuation.com/en-gb/news-events/exlar-expands-range-of-high-force-electric-actuators

Curtiss-Wright Selected By Airbus To Supply Actuation Technology for Extra Performance Demonstrator

Curtiss-Wright to provide innovative electro-mechanical actuation system for use on Airbus UpNext demonstrator focused on reducing CO2 emissions of future aircraft

FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW, FARNBOROUGH, U.K. – July 19, 2022 – Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division today announced that it has been selected by Airbus UpNext to provide custom actuation technology for use on the eXtra performance WING demonstrator project. The project, which will explore active control technologies to improve wing performance, includes an intelligent wing tip, known as a semi-aeroelastic hinge. The project holds great potential for the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright will provide Airbus UpNext with an actuation system for control of the semi-aeroelastic hinge on the scaled demonstrator aircraft. The demonstrator integrates the eXtra performance WING on a Cessna Citation VII business jet platform.  The Curtiss-Wright actuation system features the complete package of systems for enabling the semi-aeroelastic hinge function.

“We are very proud to have been selected by Airbus UpNext to support their breakthrough eXtra performance WING project with our unique electro-mechanical actuation technology,” said Phil Bowker,  Senior General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Actuation Division. “This represents the first major business agreement with Airbus UpNext for our Shelby, North Carolina facility, and the project’s focus on decarbonization and improved efficiency are very much in line with our own strategy. What’s more, we are excited to be working with the Airbus UpNext business.”

The semi-aeroelastic hinge technology enables a more efficient wing design that improves aircraft fuel burn and reduces environmental impact. The demonstrator will improve and optimize wing aerodynamics and performance for future commercial aircraft, regardless of propulsion solution and aircraft configuration.

Curtiss-Wright designs and manufactures its electric actuation products at its Shelby, N.C., Stratford, Ontario, and Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland facilities.

For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division, please visit www.cw-actuation.com

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global integrated business that provides highly engineered products, solutions and services mainly to Aerospace & Defense markets, as well as critical technologies in demanding Commercial Power, Process and Industrial markets. Headquartered in Davidson, N.C., we leverage a workforce of 7,800 highly skilled employees who develop, design and build what we believe are the best engineered solutions to the markets we serve. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing innovative solutions through trusted customer relationships. For more information, visit www.curtisswright.com

Originally posted at:

https://www.cw-actuation.com/en-gb/news-events/curtiss-wright-selected-by-airbus-to-supply-actuation-technology-for-extra-performance-wing-demonstr

Curtiss-Wright Launches Exlar® GTW Series Actuator for Automotive Weld-Gun Applications

Introducing the New GTW Series Integrated Motor | Actuator for Weld-Guns

Shelby, NC – May 25, 2022 – Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division today announced the release of its Exlar® GTW weld-gun focused electromechanical actuator. The GTW performance and benefits parallel that of the Exlar GTX actuator family of products with additional features to support the demands of automotive weld-gun applications.

The GTW weld-gun actuator offers high force repeatability and precision at 20M+ welds. With continuous force ratings up to 24,196N (5,440 lbf) and speeds up to 1,270 mm/sec (50 in/sec), the GTW can support high duty cycles for increased productivity and energy efficiency. Lower Total Cost of Ownership is provided based on its electromechanical design. In addition, GTW actuators are compatible with major leading global industrial robot and weld-gun supplier controllers used in the automotive manufacturing markets.

The GTW Series features include: 

  • Energy efficient integrated brushless stator (motor) technology
  • Planetary Roller Screw technology for high precision positioning and reliable performance over its rated life
  • High performance rod seal and dual wiper design to protect critical components from contaminants
  • Built-in mounting features for adaption to a variety of weld-gun configurations
  • Design-in mounting options for ease of installation and adaptability to standard C-Gun, X-Gun, or Pinch weld-gun envelopes
  • Robot interface compatibility with major industrial weld-gun suppliers

For more information about the GTW Series actuators or Curtiss-Wright’s Exlar business, please visit www.cw-actuation.com. Exlar is a business unit of Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division.

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,200 people worldwide. For more information, visit www.curtisswright.com

Originally posted at:

https://www.cw-actuation.com/en-gb/news-events/curtiss-wright-launches-exlar%C2%AE-gtw-series-actuator-for-automotive-weld-gun-applications

Curtiss-Wright Completes Upgrades to CVN 78 Actuators

For HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding

SHELBY, N.C. – May 17, 2022 – Curtiss-Wright’s Actuation Division announced that it recently completed and delivered upgrades to the Jet Blast Deflector (JBD) and Barricade Stanchion actuators used in Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) system onboard the US Navy’s Ford-class carrier constructed and supplied by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

The upgrades were part of the work to ready the carrier for deployment after its successful completion of shock trials. The upgrades provided added environmental protection as well as changes to allow for faster and simpler on-board planned maintenance.

The program required expedited refurbishment and delivery of the actuators to support the U.S. Navy’s deployment schedule for the CVN 78 carrier, the first of the new Ford-class aircraft carriers. Exlar completed the upgrades and delivery to meet the requested schedule.

Based on Exlar’s performance, HII-NNS’s Director of Supply Chain Procurement, Kelly MacDonald stated that, “The timeliness of your support and dedication to high quality standards are recognized as best in class by both Newport News tradesmen and leadership. This trust and partnership is an important piece of our commitment to our customer, the United States Navy, and plays an essential role in support of national security.”

Curtiss-Wright supplies numerous innovative and mission critical products and services in support of the U.S Navy and its ship builders for both sub-sea and surface ships. Phil Bowker, Sr. General Manager Curtiss-Wright Actuation Division, stated we are proud to continue our support of the U.S. Navy and their shipbuilders. The ability for our team to safely complete and deliver these critical upgrades, considering the on-going challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, is a testament to our commitment, skill, and expertise. We appreciate the trust Newport News Shipbuilding places on us as a valued supplier and partner.

About Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding
HII is a global engineering and defense technologies provider. With a 135-year history of trusted partnerships in advancing U.S. national security, HII delivers critical capabilities ranging from the most powerful and survivable naval ships ever built, to unmanned systems, ISR and AI/ML analytics. HII leads the industry in mission-driven solutions that support and enable a networked, all-domain force. Headquartered in Virginia, HII’s skilled workforce is 44,000 strong. For more information, visit: https://www.hii.com/

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the Aerospace and Defense markets, and to the Commercial markets including Power, Process, and General Industrial. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,200 people worldwide. For more information, visit www.curtisswright.com

For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Exlar business, please visit https://www.cw-actuation.com/.

Originally posted at:

https://www.cw-actuation.com/en-gb/news-events/curtiss-wright-completes-upgrades-to-cvn-78-actuators

Tri-Bot Linear Robots for Better, Faster Picking and Packing

May 20, 2020

Increasing demands for the rapid production of high-volume products have given rise to the popularity of delta robots in modern-day manufacturing. A delta robot consists of three lightweight arms connected to universal joints at the base. Macron Dynamics has innovated that design by utilizing our modular belt driven linear actuator components to provide the mobility required in a unique way. This solution is available as a kit with the belt-driven actuators and the connector kit and can be configured with various end-effectors.

A Brief History of Delta Robots

Animation of a Delta Robot

The delta robot was first introduced over 30 years ago. Inspired by a visit to a chocolate factory, Reymond Clavel and his team at the Robotics Systems Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne produced the first prototype of the delta robot in the mid 1980s. Having studied the production of chocolate pralines, Clavel and his team found the ideal high-speed robotic solution for repetitive labor applications.

As with any new technology, many manufacturers were hesitant to include the delta robot into their product line because they were skeptical about the return on investment (ROI) and how the tools would really increase productivity. However, today they are seen as an essential productivity-enhancing tool for many industrial manufacturers. With unparalleled pick-and-place, sorting, and other high-speed low-mass applications, delta robots are now a mainstream robotic solution.

While many manufacturers within the industry continue to rely on delta robots for faced-paced production of high-volume products, this automation often comes with steep capital investments and limited, inflexible capabilities that impact overall ROI. The Macron Dynamics Tri-Bot Linear Robot is helping manufacturers benefit from the fast, scalable, repeatable characteristics of traditional delta robots, but without some of the classic challenges of the technology.https://www.youtube.com/embed/toteQ_gVuZo?feature=oembed&rel=0

Why Use a Tri-Bot?

  • Lower Cost: The Macron Dynamics Tri-Bot Linear Robot is a much more cost-effective option when compared to traditional delta robots. Often costing a fraction of the price, the Tri-Bot is affordable and the ROI for the purchase is realized sooner as a result.
  • Key Features: With payload capacity of 5kg and the ability to complete fast, repeatable movements of up to 125 picks per minute, manufacturers receive the same benefits of the traditional delta robot.
  • Flexibility: Compared to other competing linear solutions, our Tri-Bot can be configured to provide a larger range of work envelopes. Like all of Macron Dynamics’ linear robotics, this solution can be built on its own platform, engineered into your infrastructure, or outfitted with an array of end-effectors in order to meet the specific needs of your unique application.

Who Needs a Tri-Bot?

Many industries and applications can leverage the design of our Tri-Bot Linear Robot to increase productivity, worker safety, and overall capabilities.

According to National Sales Manager Michael Giunta, “Any application that can be improved with a reliable, repeatable, high-speed pick-and-pack solution for low to medium payloads is an excellent candidate for a Tri-Bot. Its ability to provide conveyor tracking and up to 125 picks per minute at a fraction of the cost of more traditional delta platforms is unbeatable.”

Learn more about Macron Dynamics’ Tri-Bot Linear Robot.

Originally posted at:

https://www.macrondynamics.com/news/tri-bot-linear-robots-for-better-faster-picking-and-packing

Automation Is Making The Fast Food Industry Faster

March 16, 2020 by Lisa Eitel

Recently Macron Dynamics’ National Sales Manager Michael G. Giunta was interviewed by Motion Control Tips: A Design World Resource about current automation trends burgeoning in the fast-food industry. This interview is excerpted here with permission.

To the relief of those who are indecisive at the drive through, McDonald’s Corp. will soon be ramping up its use of voice-activated order taking. That’s according to a Wall Street Journal report last year — which also details how designs coming to the restaurant also include automatic systems to operate the deep fryers for its chicken patties and nuggets, fish filets, and French fries. Of course, what we in the automation industry call machine-to-machine (M2M) networking already helps quick-service restaurants (QSRs) remotely monitor operational data related to food supplies as well as the status of restaurant refrigerators, security, and safes with many M2M functions even to levels qualifying as IIoT.

McDonald’s chief aim in applying automation and connectivity technologies is primarily to address wait times that have lengthened in recent years. Other fast-food chains and QSRs have begun using these technologies to boost safety and consistency. One company is using actuators to scoop up eggs and flip them over. Other companies are automating the process of placing items on buns, and all major chains are looking to automate tasks — even down to filling the beverages.

Macron Dynamics technology is helping Quick Serve Restaurants.

Fast-food automation deep dive with Macron Dynamics

In a recent conversation with Macron Dynamics national sales manager Michael G. Giunta about the quick-service restaurant industry, we learned more about how restaurant chains employ motion designs for physical tasks to optimize operations. Here’s what Giunta had to say on this growing industry for automation.

Eitel • Design World: When we think of fast food, we think efficiency. Of course, we’ve heard of self-operating dishwashers and semi-autonomous cook stations under testing in select pilot locations. How is automation already helping chains boost throughput of meals?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Efficiency is everything. After all, every restaurant is basically like a miniature factory … and the fact that there’s a menu means customers are essentially choosing from a catalog of options. QSRs face the same challenges as many U.S. factories in preparing products and getting them into customers’ hands with quality, consistency, accuracy, and quickness. This includes McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and Burger King. For example, most Panera Bread locations now have ordering kiosks. There are less front-counter staff as the kiosks are becoming a more efficient way of order taking.

Linear Automation is helping the fast-food business deliver a better, safer experience for guests and staff..

Eitel • Design World: A lot of consumer coverage of automation in QSRs includes imagery of collaborative robots as well as SCARAs tending fryers and the like. Are there places where these and other automated motion designs are already in place?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Though I can’t say much, I can state we’ll see more of these installations in the future. Some franchises are fully owned and operated by franchisees … and some of these restaurants will ultimately make their own decisions about when to automate. In other instances, corporate mandates could spur the adoption of more technology by owner-operators.

In fact, European fast-food locations that face relatively high labor costs will likely lead adoption. It’s the job of motion-component and system suppliers such as Macron Dynamics to help these companies develop the technology … though a caveat is that the technology must be cost competitive.

Macron Dynamics Robotic transport units.

Eitel • Design World: The National Restaurant Association cites a labor shortage for quick-service chains. Where have you seen automation help address this issue?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: There’s definitely a shortage of labor in the workplace, so restaurants must often fight for whoever is left in the labor pool. Many QSRs keep business afloat by employing minimal staff at every location.

Reconsider kiosks: These mean workers aren’t forced to sit behind registers all day … which in turn frees these employees to help prepare food and assist customers with seating. Automation also helps prevent the biggest source of complaint customers have — orders that aren’t correct. Again, kiosks let customers enter orders how they want … and if the order is wrong, it’s kind of on them. They’re the ones who entered the field with the data.

Eitel • Design World: Most people probably aren’t aware of how much McDonald’s beverage fulfillment is automated.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: At most McDonald’s restaurants there is a machine with a carousel that drops cups onto an indexer with a small conveyor to the right of the beverage location. The system fills the cups with ice and the correct fluid volumes. Then the person working at the drive through just needs to put a lid on the cup and hand it to the customer. Soon we’ll see similar systems for coffee drinks.

Eitel • Design World: Labor unions warn that automation could eliminate jobs. If that’s not true, how can industry help assuage concerns? Give some examples of technologies complementing the efforts of employees.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Well, consider Chick-fil-A, which publicly advertises all the time about service and quality and consistency. McDonald’s touts these values as well. Both companies aim for continual improvement of efficiency and consistency … especially for their most popular items such as chicken tenders and nuggets. At McDonald’s, one of the most-sold products is actually chicken nuggets.

Eitel • Design World: What? I never would have guessed.

Automation powering the drink dispensing process.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: I didn’t always know that either. But chicken nuggets and French fries are top orders … I mean, everybody gets fries. So automation makes a lot of sense for these high-volume items because machines can completely prevent cross contamination. More specifically, there’s zero risk of an employee accidentally putting a fish filet into the oil vat meant for fries. Most people won’t know this, but those vats of oil are application specific — and you don’t want to cross contaminate.

Macron Dynamics has helped develop a linear robot for the industry to execute the accurate transfer of product in and out of the fryers for chicken nuggets, breaded chicken sandwiches, fish filets, and French fries. This delivery system includes an automatic way of getting food out of the freezer, putting it into a basket, putting the basket into the oil, taking the basket out of the oil at the exact amount of time, and dumping it into either a basket or tray — to let a person grab the items for garnishing and wrapping.

In practice, Cartesian systems for these settings install behind a shield to prevent any oil from splashing on employees.

Eitel • Design World: To be clear — when you say linear robot — is that another term for Cartesian robot?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Yes, that’s correct. Just consider the motion of a fryer basket going in and out of a fryer: It’s going up and going down and left and right — and that’s it. It doesn’t require a six-axis robot to do this simple linear motion. In fact, it’s our perspective that many of the repetitive processes associated with frying foods and delivering ice into a cup and so forth are very linear moves and not complex enough to justify the high-tech motions that a human or 6-DOF robot can do.

Linear-based motion technologies shine here, as they come at a price point that’s far more economical than collaborative robots.

Eitel • Design World: So does the equipment around the Cartesian robot require customization to accommodate the grippers or hooks or whatever end effector you are using?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Yes indeed. Everything is as low technology as possible in order to grasp the metal fryer basket. Of course, there are any number of ways to grab a product —but in the case of baskets, a hook or a simple gripper is basically all the application needs. A high-technology end effector would be overkill, because again — the job is to grab what is essentially a piece of tooling. All the handles on these baskets are the same exact size, and they don’t change — so the automated system is repeating the process over and over and over and over again.

Eitel • Design World: Do automated systems perform jobs as well as actual employees?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Automation does indeed improve food quality. Picture a restaurant’s lunch-hour rush with employees running around and a drive through that’s going crazy. People in the restaurant’s front area are ordering off kiosks and from employees … and there’s a huge spike in food-order volume. All fast-food chains deal with this.

What happens? Employees rush to get meals to customers as quickly as possible — so in some cases, they may take French fries out of the fryer too soon. In other cases, if they become busy helping customers, they may take the French fries out too late. The whole situation makes for inconsistent French-fry quality. In contrast, putting oil-vat operations on exact timers is perfect every cycle.

Another factor that makes the automation of French-fry cooking so successful is that QSRs all standardize their potato cuts’ shape and size — so a preset cook time yields the same consistency … whether you’re in Chicago or South Carolina.

Eitel • Design World: Unfortunately, accidents and injuries such as burns do happen. That’s exacerbated by the fact that many fast-food restaurant workers are there for temporary work. One study found that Panera Bread loses 100% of its employees every year. How exactly does automation help boost safety for even inexperienced employees?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Fryers are especially dangerous because of the hot oil — and because a lot of times, the floor near the fryer can become slippery. So protecting humans from this immediate environment efficiently renders QSR working conditions safer. That’s especially relevant to restaurants that aim to provide empowering work to individuals with developing skill sets and learning disabilities. It’s absolutely a priority that no one gets hurt. So designs based on linear robots are already helping eliminate one of the most dangerous areas.

Eitel • Design World: When the product is a $3 sandwich, it’s got to be hard for some franchisees to justify the upfront cost of automating tasks.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Another challenge for QSRs besides cost is space. Just think about the land a restaurant uses and where these QSRs are usually located. The owner can’t just say, “I’m going to blow up the back of my McDonald’s and add an addition.” That’s because they’re usually landlocked and must accommodate a drive through … and some of these restaurants are in densely packed cities. So retrofitting for automation usually requires replacement of existing equipment with new automated equipment that’s identical in size. That’s a big problem for solutions based on collaborative robots and conventional 6-DOF robots … because even though they’re compact, the actual motions they execute takes up a lot of space.

Eitel • Design World: So Cartesian robots must shine here. What exactly do such linear-motion systems look like? Do they hang from above like a gantry? Or is the Cartesian setup mounted to the wall behind the fryers?
Giunta • Macron Dynamics: There are certainly different ways to automate these areas … though the solution must usually fit into an existing space. Few restaurants could mount robotics from above, because most cooking stations require large kitchen hoods to vent smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some Cartesian systems might mount from below or on the side of the cook station; it depends on the exact equipment type, model, and location. One thing to remember is that with Cartesian designs, the product orientation is irrelevant, as the design can run in any direction to satisfy specific applications.

Eitel • Design World: These new applications for motion systems and other automation seems to bend our regular industry definitions. For example, should we call kiosks HMIs? Does automation behind the counter count as bin picking and conveyance?

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Most people probably couldn’t succinctly define the term automation anymore, because today we have automated designs that people never would have imagined 40 years ago. Automation is in entertainment — just think of Disney and Universal Studios virtual-reality rides — and now fast food and even in our homes. It is mind boggling that we can now open our cell phones with facial recognition to tell Google with our voice to adjust the thermostat. My own Nest doorbell tells me when packages are delivered. I define that as automation employing software and hardware.

Eitel • Design World: Right. Now we just need robots to shuttle our Amazon Prime orders to safety when the UPS guy can’t get into the garage. Or maybe one day we’ll see automated platforms complementing Ring doorbells to launch porch pirates away.

Giunta • Macron Dynamics: Just flip them onto the grass — very gently of course.


For your next automation system project, explore Linear Robots as an economical solution. For help selecting the right Linear Robot for your unique needs, please contact one of our expert representatives located near you.

Originally posted at:

https://www.macrondynamics.com/news/automation-is-making-the-fast-food-industry-faster

Macron Dynamics is Growing. Grow with Us!

Macron Dynamics begins 2020 with growth in mind.

Strong demand for linear and mechanical motion components and systems is providing Macron Dynamics with a strong growth outlook for 2020. To manufacture the volume of components used in automation solutions for clients throughout the U.S. and around the globe Macron Dynamics plans to double its plant capacity and needs skilled team members to join its Croydon, PA manufacturing team.

Featured in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, Macron Dynamics is set to prosper supporting a diverse list of industries ranging from high-volume bakeries, pharmacies to e-commerce warehouses. “Right now the best markets are warehousing, moving products quickly through buildings and sorting food and beverage,” noted Craig Marshall, COO of Macron Dynamics.

If mechanical automation can be used to streamline a manually intensive process and help clients control their labor costs, Macron Dynamics has an answer.

Serving Alternative Needs With Automation

Material Handling & Packaging Automation might be a big market driving growth in 2020, but other higher-profile projects also drive growth, like the development of the three-dimensional Coca-Cola billboard in Times Square, which uses 1,760 belt drivers to create a visually distinctive billboard experience.

Originally posted at:

https://macrondynamics.com/news/macron-dynamics-growing-in-2020

Macron Dynamics Releases New MRG Right Angle Gearboxes

Macron Dynamics, Inc. just updated and expanded its line of planetary gearboxes with the new MRG Right Angle Gearboxes. This product-line expansion complements the Improved MPG Inline Planetary Gearboxes.

Macron Right Angle Gearbox

Macron Dynamics’ gearboxes are designed to eliminate the need for motor mounts used in a typical linear actuator drive system setup. Similar to the MPG line of in-line planetary gearboxes, the MRG gearboxes offer a direct bolt-on installation for all Macron Dynamic linear actuators and gantry systems.

The lightweight design:

  • eliminates the need for couplings and large mounting brackets
  • makes the actuator and drive assembly a seamless integral unit
  • require little to no maintenance
  • offers a single screw clamping collar attachment for the pulley housing

The MRG line shares many similarities with the MPG in-line planetary gearboxes, including integrating with the same actuators and sharing the same max motor input shaft diameter. Output torque between the MPG and MRG lines does differ slightly.

MPG-084 Cutaway Diagram

Released in Fall 2018, the MPG inline planetary gearboxes were improved to have a single clamping collar attachment which matches the Macron pulley housing precisely. MPG gearboxes have gears designed for infinite life when operated at the rated torque. Bearings and lubricants are selected to achieve maintenance-free operation for long operating periods.

Both the MPG and MRG gearboxes are available for a wide variety of Macron Dynamics belt drive and screw driven actuators

Originally posted at: https://macrondynamics.com/news/macron-releases-new-mrg-gearboxes