Launched in the U.S. market at the 2019 PACK EXPO event, the eXtended Transport System (XTS) line from Beckhoff was expanded at the 2020 PACK EXPO Connects event with the announcement of a hygienic version of the system.
Jeff Johnson, U.S. mechatronics products manager at Beckhoff Automation, said the XTS Hygienic, with its IP69K protection and resistance to chemicals, acids, alkalines, aggressive cleaning agents, as well as water and steam from high-pressure spray, is designed for “demanding environmental conditions in the food and pharmaceutical industries. It has a hygienic design without any corners, edges or undercuts, which make it very easy to clean.”
The base plate of the XTS Hygienic is made of FDA-approved, anodized Nituff coated aluminum and features a stainless-steel rail. “The movers can be stainless or Nituff coated aluminum. And with XTS Hygienic’s stainless rollers, everything is sealed for a clean, hygienic system,” said Johnson.
He also highlighted how Beckhoff’s new Track Management functionality for the XTS allows individual movers to transfer between multiple XTS systems, enabling further customization, quality inspection, and automatic defect ejection.
XTS is a linear transport system that combines rotary and linear drive principles for packaging machines and smart factory applications. Johnson said Beckhoff designed the XTS so that each mover on the system can move independently or be synchronized in groups. “Constant force can also be applied across the movers and the movers have built-in collision avoidance, which makes programming easier for control engineers,” he added. “The tooling on top of the XTS movers allows for clamping of ports, opening and closing bags, capping bottles or simply moving parts down the line. XTS is not just a substitute for lower-cost solutions like chain-driven systems with lugs and buckets, it’s a fundamentally different way to approach material handling transport processes.”
XTS movers can be controlled at speeds reaching four meters per second and acceleration exceeding 100 meters per second2. Modular linear motors and rails can create circles, clothoids, and S-curves as well as straight, open segments. The XTS can be installed horizontally, vertically or at angles, and tracks can be combined to manipulate or transport parts with multiple movers. The standard XTS enables handling of materials up to 10kg.