IEF-Werner GmbH has expanded its standard programme to include linear drives with metal band covers. On the one hand, the metal band protects against the ingress of dirt or particles and, on the other hand, prevents the release of particles into the environment of the linear unit. This makes the actuators suitable for clean rooms according to ISO 14644-1 from class 1 to 8, which has been tested and certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation.
The requirements for the cleanliness of linear units have increased significantly in recent years - especially for users in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. Here, these components provide components for production in an increasingly clean environment or take them back for further processing steps. "Depending on the application, we have so far been able to implement cleanroom suitability between ISO class 6 and 8 with our axes," explains Thomas Hettich, product manager at IEF-Werner GmbH. "In order to improve this significantly, we have equipped selected linear units from our range with a metal band cover in order to be able to map the widest possible range of applications."
These are the spindle drive of the profiLINE 70 MB series, the toothed belt drives Modul 65/15 MB and 115/42 MB as well as the direct drives euroLINE 140 and 200. The metal belt cover is made of corrosion-resistant steel with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. It is held in position by means of a magnetic strip and clamped to the end plate or to the deflection heads. The metal band can be easily replaced without having to dismantle functionally relevant components.
"The cover encapsulates the linear unit. Therefore, hardly any particles get into the axis, nor does it significantly secrete particles into the environment," describes Hettich. This means that users can now also use these linear drives in cleanrooms that comply with ISO 14644-1 from class 1 to 8 and with GMP standards for pharmaceutical and medical technology. This has been tested by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) and certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14644-1. "The axes are also suitable for painting lines or for dusty ambient conditions. That means in all applications where moving parts need to be covered," explains Hettich.
To enable users to install more than just individual axes, IEF-Werner has launched the profiLINE 70 MB and the 65/15 MB and 115/42 MB modules at the same time. In this way, individual axes can be combined to form multi-axis systems with metal belt covers.
Depending on the application, the automation specialist also supplies all the linear units described here with an optional extraction system. The assembly is available with several connection options. "With it, we can, on the one hand, extract particles from the axis and, on the other hand, blow in fresh air as sealing air to prevent the ingress of dust. This is useful for painting lines, for example," describes the IEF expert. The extraction system is easy to handle, requires little power and the user can also use it for a three-axis system.
The profiLINE 70 MB spindle drive achieves cleanroom class 6 without extraction at a speed of 0.2 m/s. With extraction, it meets the requirements for ISO class 1 at the same speed. The Modul 115/42 MB and 65/15 MB toothed belt drives, for example, can be used without extraction at a speed of 0.5 m/s up to ISO class 5 - with extraction up to class 1.
The certificate issued by the IPA with a description of the test conditions and the respective axis setup is available here.