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Proceedings Paper

Smart structures technologies for parallel kinematics in handling and assembly
Author(s): Ralf Keimer; Stephan Algermissen; Nenad Pavlovic; Christoph Budde
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Paper Abstract

Parallel kinematics offer a high potential for increasing performance of machines for handling and assembly. Due to greater stiffness and reduced moving masses compared to typical serial kinematics, higher accelerations and thus lower cycle times can be achieved, which is an essential benchmark for high performance in handling and assembly. However, there are some challenges left to be able to fully exploit the potential of such machines. Some of these challenges are inherent to parallel kinematics, like a low ratio between work and installation space or a considerably changing structural elasticity as a function of the position in work space. Other difficulties arise from high accelerations, which lead to high dynamic loads inducing significant vibrations. While it is essential to cope with the challenges of parallel kinematics in the design-process, smart structures technologies lend themselves as means to face some of these challenges. In this paper a 4-degree of freedom parallel mechanism based on a triglide structure is presented. This machine was designed in a way to overcome the problem of low ratio between work and installation space, by allowing for a change of the structure's configuration with the purpose of increasing the work space. Furthermore, an active vibration suppression was designed and incorporated using rods with embedded piezoceramic actuators. The design of these smart structural parts is discussed and experimental results regarding the vibration suppression are shown. Adaptive joints are another smart structures technology, which can be used to increase the performance of parallel kinematics. The adaptiveness of such joints is reflected in their ability to change their friction attributes, whereas they can be used on one hand to suppress vibrations and on the other hand to change the degrees of freedom (DOF). The vibration suppression is achieved by increasing structural damping at the end of a trajectory and by maintaining low friction conditions otherwise. The additional feature to alter the DOF is realized by increasing friction to the point where clamping happens. This can be used to support the change in the machines configuration of parallel kinematics. Two kinds of adaptive joints are presented, both utilizing piezoceramic actuators. The first kind features an adjustable clearance of the slide bearing that provides low friction for high clearance conditions and great friction for reduced clearance. The second kind offers the possibility to reduce the friction by moving the rubbing surfaces dynamically. For both joints experimental results are shown. The paper closes with an outlook on ongoing research in the field of parallel robots for handling and assembly with an emphasis on smart structures technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6527, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2007, 65270D (11 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720333
Show Author Affiliations
Ralf Keimer, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Stephan Algermissen, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Nenad Pavlovic, Technical Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)
Christoph Budde, Technical Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6527:
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2007
L. Porter Davis; B. K. Henderson; M. Brett McMickell, Editor(s)

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