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The following are a general set of definitions and terms Positech/Conco uses.

    Articulated Jib:   This is an overhead lift support device comprised of a main arm revolving around a main post bearing assembly and a secondary arm revolving around the bearing assembly at the termination of the main arm. Rotation at these two axes may be greater or less than 360 degrees depending on the application of the jib and the mounting. This device is used in situation where space constraints and/or obstructions in the work area prevent the use of a rigid jib arm.  Hoists, Balancers, Vertical Lift Assemblies, and Vacuum Tube Lifts can all be supported from an articulated jib.

    Air Balancer:   An overhead mounted device that operates much like a hoist with the following operational difference. Once the object is lifted and fully supported by the device and the device is switched to the “balance” mode, the operator can grasp the part directly and manually move it up/down (float) through the full vertical travel envelope of the device.  Balancers are available with either pneumatic or electric drives.

    End-Joint: This is the rotational bearing assembly that resides at the termination of all Positech/Conco articulated arm manipulators. This assembly is sometimes referred to as the (wrist). Rotation at the end-joint is always in the vertical axis. End-joints can have limited rotation, normally 330 degrees or less, or they can have continuous rotation.   All end-joints have a maximum moment-load rating. Applications exceeding this rating require a larger or different style of manipulator.

    Fixture:   This is a device normally mounted on a machine tool that holds the parts that are loaded/unloaded by the manipulator end-effector, under-hook tooling, or other handling device. It is important to take fixtures into consideration when developing a material handling solution as they often create interference problems for the end-effectors or under-hook tooling.

    Grippers, Tooling, and End-Effectors :   These three terms all refer to the device that actually grips and holds the part being moved. Positech/Conco is trying to standardize on the use of the term End-Effector as this better describes the device that interfaces with the parts being handled. Keep in mind an end-effector may be made up of a gripper and a rotator, or a pitch assembly, or all three.

    Gripper Safety Circuit (GSC) : The Gripper Safety Circuit disables release until part and/or tooling is supported.

    Industrial Manipulator:  An articulated arm device that can support and move a payload both horizontally and vertically. The arms may be articulated in either the horizontal or the vertical plane. An industrial manipulator arm has a central axis around which the articulated arm assembly rotates. This rotation can be limited to less than 360 degrees or it can be continuous.  Articulated arm manipulators are generally freestanding mounted to the concrete floor, suspended overhead on fixed mounting structures, on a trolley platform and a pair of crane rails, or on a dual track bridge crane. Manipulators are available with hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric drives.

    Moment Load:   This term refers to the force that is exerted on the End-Joint by the End-effector and the gripper part. It is also referred to as (overturning moment).  All Positech/Conco equipment have a maximum moment load allowed at the end-of-arm. This maximum will be listed in (XXXX in.-lbs.).

    Rigid Jib:   This is an overhead lift support device comprised of a single rigid arm (I-Beam, roller enclosed track, extruded enclosed track) revolving around a main post bearing assembly. Hoists, Balancers, non-rigid Vertical Lift Assemblies, and Vacuum Tube Lifts can all be supported from a rigid jib. Rotation at the main axis may be greater or less than 360 degrees depending on the application of the jib and the mounting.

    Scissors Lift (Lift Table):  This is a device specifically for “bottom-up” movement.  They are generally used to position materials so the operator does not have to bend over to grasp the object.  Some lift tables have rotary tops or tilt tops to help further minimize a worker’s exposure to lifting injuries. These are not part of the standard Positech/Conco product offering.

    Spring Balancer:  An overhead mounted device that is used to support the weight of manufacturing tools: spot welders, grinders, nut-runners, etc. These devices operate via torsional springs and are set to a constant weight capacity.  These are not part of the standard Positech/Conco product offering.

    Under-Hook End-Effector :   These are gripping devices/end-effectors that are hung below the hook of a hoist, balancer, and some of the simple cylinder style vertical lifts. Normally under-hook end-effectors are used for simple transfer applications where re-orientation of the part’s axis is not required.

    Vacuum Tube Lifts:  This is an overhead mounted vertical lifting device that uses low pressure high volume vacuum flow and a large diameter pleated hose to create lift. By reducing the atmospheric pressure inside the hose it will collapse on itself and retract in length.  This retraction creates the lift.  Vacuum tube lifts are generally driven with 3.5HP-7HP electrically powered regenerative blowers.

    Vertical Lift Assemblies:  This is a device that provides straight up/down vertical travel in the Z axis only.  Normally these devices are mounted overhead.  Some have side to side or pendulum motion that is associated with Hoists, Balancers, or Vacuum Tube Lifters.  Some are vertically rigid and have no side to side unless they are mounted on a moving support structure (Articulated Jib, mono-rail crane, or bridge crane).  Some of these devices are designed to support off-center loading.

    Workstation Cranes:   This class of cranes is designed for lifting loads in the 150 Lbs. to 4000 Lbs. range. The crane rails and bridge rails are generally rolled steel or extruded aluminum. These systems are either freestanding or are supported from overhead. Manipulators, Hoists, Balancers, Vacuum Tube Lifts, Vertical Lift Assemblies, Articulated Jibs, and Rigid Jibs can all be supported from a Workstation Crane.
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