Haydon Kerk Pittman is the combination of 3 world class brands in the field of motion control. Formed under AMETEK Advanced Motion Solutions (AMS),
Haydon Kerk Pittman together offer a broad range of precision linear and
rotary motion products. Recognized as a leading manufacturer of precision
acme lead screw and anti-backlash nut assemblies, stepper motor based linear
actuators, linear rail and guide systems, brushed and brushless motors and
complete custom systems.
Haydon Kerk Pittman offers high performance solutions and global supply in demanding markets such as laboratory automation, medical instrumentation, semiconductor fabrication, transportation, building automation and industrial automation.
Industry - Application
Medical - Diagnostic Lab Instrument - Lab on a disc
TTP is a design consultancy engaged in product research and development in several markets, including industrial, commercial, aerospace, communications, medical, and life sciences. TTP begins as early as scientific discovery and typically produces beta units to begin the production transfer to a selected manufacturer. TTP had begun development of a new diagnostic instrument and were challenged to present concepts on an accelerated time schedule.
The instrument requirements included the following:
• Spin a drum of samples according to a defined velocity and acceleration profile
• Rotationally index the drum 12 degrees during the load, unload, and read cycles
• Reliable, quiet, and small enough to fit on a lab table
Why Haydon Kerk Pittman?
• Performance and value compared to a new drive development
• Fast technical response to customer needs for proof of concept
• Quick turnaround on prototype parts
• Customized components for any application
• Motor and drive package designed to work as a single system
• Wide range of motion products from a single supplier
TTP was contracted for development of a table-top lab on a chip style medical instrument that required precise velocity and indexing profiles. HKP approached TTP with a new Pittman product, the IDEA® Motor, a 42 mm, BLDC motor with an integrated servo drive that appeared to meet all the current requirements. After receiving and testing a sample unit and software, TTP was encouraged with the servo capabilities of the compact package.
As the development progressed, TTP provided a solid model of the drum that the IDEA Motor would spin in the instrument, as well as the desired velocity and acceleration profiles. Within a few days, HKP 3D-printed the drum, fabricated a coupling, and programmed the motion profiles into the drive. With the pieces assembled, HKP then recorded a video of the system tracking according to the specified motion sequence. The video and prototype were sent to TTP for testing. The indexing functionality was tested earlier and deemed sufficient. The IDEA Motor provided high flexibility and allowed TTP to test several concepts by making small changes to software and by utilizing the on-board inputs and outputs.
TTP was delighted with the performance and assembled a proof-of-concept for their end customer within weeks instead of months. The proof of concept worked well, but the IDEA Motor was too tall...
Industry - Application
Food & Beverage - Fluid Dispensing
Precision linear actuator controlling a fluid handling syringe pump.
Altair Engineering, a large design house based in Michigan, was tasked with modernizing outdated pneumatic technology on existing beverage machinery. To achieve this, they needed a precise, rapid, and highly customized linear-motion subassembly while reducing costs and improving throughput. Hygiene remains paramount in the food industry, and with the risk of incidental food contact, a “food friendly” actuator was required. Furthermore, a portion of the design was frozen before final motor selection, and this mandated a powerful actuator that had to fit in a tight footprint. As application testing progressed from dry testing to full fluid, the change in frictional forces from the fluid created unpredictable linear travel since the screw rotated relative to the plunger. Additionally, the application needed integrated feedback sensing, high force, and operated at a high speed.
Why Haydon Kerk Pittman?
• Highly customized actuator with aggressive speed/force/footprint specs
• Integrated guide elements/feedback devices designed with assembly/servicing in mind
• “Food friendly” advanced polymers and lubricants
Facing a myriad of challenges, Altair teamed up with Haydon Kerk Pittman. The first step was to ensure the actuator generated enough force, so a custom Size 34 (87mm) hybrid non-captive actuator was selected. An integrated linear guide system was then created to prevent the screw from rotating while maintaining the target cost and staying within the permitted footprint. “Our Kerk tool engineers designed and molded a sliding bushing for the actuator’s lead screw geometry along with an extruded guide tube for the bushing to travel in. With design for manufacturing in mind, we modified the rear end bell of the actuator to accommodate the guide tube. This small tweak gave the customer the ability to attach and detach guide-element components during the assembly process, overcoming the tight footprint constraints while eliminating the need for a costly redesign of the machine’s enclosure.” said Dan Kish, HKP’s Sales Engineer for Altair.
The lead screw was also machined to include features specific to the customer’s assembly wrench to further ease the build. To remain “food friendly,” food grade grease was used for incidental food contact and a carbon fiber rotor insert was created and molded to meet high-speed and force specs. To simplify the customer’s supply chain, the HKP solution included the two required custom pinout wiring harnesses. The feedback device and custom mounting were supplied as a kit to simplify assembly for Altair and keep assembly time to a minimum.
Positioned to answer the need in the diagnostic aspect of the fight
The newly released* Novodiag COVID-19 test operates using the ‘sample-in, result-out’ Novodiag system that allows for rapid detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for coronavirus infection, in about one hour. It’s a fully automated machine and closed system that can protect laboratory staff from potential contamination. It’s very user-friendly and designed for use in high risk and hard to reach areas without the need for highly trained personnel.
How did you come to the idea of implementing linear actuators in the Novodiag instrument?
Novodiag integrates numerous biological functions which require motion specific elements within the instrument. These tasks are normally performed by an operator and our goal was to reproduce the various motions in an automated manner. As talking about motion often means talking about actuators, when the need for specific strokes, specific forces at specific speeds is established, it points in the direction of stepper motor-based solutions, and its integration within the Novodiag. Doing so, we are not re-inventing the diagnostic process itself (sample prep, PCR, hybridization). We intend to make it accessible to any operator, and to speed it up so he/she can focus on other operations. In addition, Novodiag allows to work with much smaller volume of fluids than when manually performed, and the sample preparation is done within the instrument, so it significantly cut down process time and inherent costs.
Why Haydon Kerk Pittman?
I have been using Haydon’s LC15s, your smallest Ø15mm linear actuators since 2006, and was familiar with your proactive response at the design phase. Haydon provided the right information, early on, without the need for me to search for it. So, when I was envisioning technical issues, Haydon was already supplying corresponding answers.
Among the 3 different Haydon actuators in use within the Novodiag, 2 required particular attention during the design phase. Can you tell me more about those?
The first actuator, a 19000 Captive, is used in a syringe pump. Such application requires the actuator to both perform high resolution motions for precise microfluidic dosing, and to push with enough force at various speeds, from low to high speeds, to help optimize the process times. What led me to select the 19000 Captive from Haydon was its capability to meet the previously mentioned specifications as well as its small footprint of only Ø20mm. Further customization like custom stroke, as well as the removal of the rear cover of the actuator to save space, further convinced me about the veracity of the actuator selection for this syringe pump. Despite searches, I could not find a market alternative which was able to meet the full criteria...
Most of us are familiar with the four “C’s” that help determine the quality of a diamond: Clarity, Carat, Color, and Cut. These standards are commonly accepted as the determining factors for identifying a superior diamond.
The problem is, the traditional 4C information does not in actuality help separate a superior diamond from a diamond of inferior appearance. What makes a diamond beautiful and eye catching is the way it plays with light, otherwise referred to as Light Performance. GemEx Systems, Inc., a company committed to applying the latest in digital optics technology to the worldwide diamond industry, understands this concept. On the company’s Web site is the following explanation:
“Three of the 4 C's - Color, Clarity and Carat weight have very little effect on the appearance of the diamond,” the Web site explains. “These 3C's determine the rarity of the diamond. The fourth C, Cut, does affect the appearance, but it is not well-defined and it ignores the light characteristics of the diamond material. Even so-called "ideal cut" diamonds do not guarantee you great light performance… to experts and consumers alike, Light Performance is the overwhelming factor that determines diamond beauty.”
Not satisfied with simply educating the public on the importance of light in a diamond’s make-up, GemEx engineers created a sophisticated instrument called the BrillianceScope™ Analyzer. Developed and patented in 1998 with substantial venture and angel funding, the BrillianceScope Analyzer is an imaging spectrophotometer that measures the ability of a diamond to refract and focus light. Using complex optic technology, the device measures three types of light returned through its crown: white light (sometimes called “brilliance”), colored light (sometimes referred to as “fire”) and scintillation (commonly known as the “sparkle”). Superior performance in any one of these light categories will yield a beautiful diamond; the choice of the four C’s is made between the diamond professional and the consumer...
“We have to be very accurate in where the rail stops,” explained Kurt Schoeckert, a GemEx co-founder and a mechanical engineer who was instrumental in the design of the BrillianceScope. “Because of its comparative scale, the diamond has to reside in the exact same five spots every single time we run an analysis. Without this precision, the device’s accuracy would certainly be called into question.”
Playing an integral role in the motion system’s meticulous performance is a lead screw assembly from Kerk Motion Products, one of the world’s premier manufacturers of non-ball lead screws located in Hollis, NH. The lead screw is integral in each of the five movements that the ring light makes; in fact, it has helped the BrillianceScope achieve a repeatability factor of +/- 5 percent, more than sufficient to ensure the validity of the test results.
The Kerk® lead screw was not part of the machine’s original design. In order to create the necessary movement, Schoeckert had designed his own “homegrown” system - an assembly constructed from a U-shaped piece of sheet metal, a 3/16-inch diameter drive screw, and a power nut with two bearings on the end of it. Unfortunately, this first iteration did not perform up to GemEx standards. What’s more, Kerk’s proprietary Kerkote® TFE coating was developed specifically for its lead screw and nut materials for maximum self-lubrication.
Pricing pressures, intense competition and strict regulatory demands are challenging scientists and researchers in the fast growing, highly‐regulated pharmaceutical, life science, biochemical, industrial and environmental industries to make important breakthroughs faster and more efficiently.
Heightened productivity in scientific labs has become paramount for companies to succeed. Waters Corporation, a leading manufacturer of high‐performance liquid chromatography instruments, mass spectrometers and thermal analyzers and rheology instruments, understands this pressure first hand. As a major supplier to analytical laboratories around the world, Waters is known for its constant commitment to providing innovative solutions that help customers better understand the secrets of chemistry and of life itself.
Design Challenge: Achieving High Performance with a Small Footprint
While the performance of the ACQUITY system was certainly at the forefront for the Waters engineers who developed the product, it was not their sole design criterion. Management envisioned a system that would sport a much smaller footprint than traditional HPLC systems, ensuring that it would consume less of a laboratory’s valuable bench space. This compact footprint would also guarantee that users could more easily stack and arrange the various modules. The design engineers hoped that the completed basic system would consist of a sample manager, one of several UPLC detectors, and a high‐pressure pump. Several upgrades would also be available, including a high‐capacity sample organizer.
Accomplishing this goal would require the use of smaller internal components in both the main unit and the optional module, which holds an additional 21 sample plates. Initial efforts to create the required parts did not yield the desired results, according to Ken Plant, a principal engineer on the Waters ULPC project.
Solution: Customized Motion Control from Kerk
One of Plant’s colleagues had worked with a company called Kerk Motion Products when he was involved in the automation industry, and he felt that Kerk might be able to offer the optimal combination of reliability and miniaturization for this mechanism.
After consulting with Waters’ engineers, Kerk presented Waters with components that would allow the engineers to produce a sample manager – the heart of the UPLC system – that would meet the company’s reduced size requirements and produce the increased speed and performance that was so vital to the UPLC concept.
“We considered several vendors, but Kerk had the best set of performance data,” said Plant. “While other vendors were selling off the shelf commodity items, Kerk’s products allowed for customization and flexibility to react to customer needs. We were impressed that Kerk was willing to work with our engineers to customize their components and ensure that they would mesh into our system.”
Kerk is quick to recognize the creativity demonstrated by Waters’ engineers. “At Kerk, we take pride in being a provider of innovative solutions,” says Kerk applications engineer, Bob Hawkins. “Waters has effectively utilized our products and resources and has achieved a truly remarkable solution to a difficult design challenge.”
Recognized as an industry leader for over 30 years, Omega Design Corporation manufactures a broad range of high-quality container handling and packaging equipment systems. The list of equipment produced by the Exton, Pennsylvania-based Company is impressive: plastic bottle unscramblers, puck unscramblers with container placement, shrink bundlers, stretchbanders, tray shrink packaging systems, wrap-around case packers, secondary orienters, canister desiccant feeders, and specialty equipment.
The wide range of markets served by the Omega equipment is equally noteworthy, with installations in the pharmaceutical, personal healthcare, cosmetic, food, beverage, dairy and chemical industries, to name a few.
One of the company’s flagship products, the “Classic” Series of Shrink Bundlers, has gained a particularly stellar reputation. Hundreds of units have been sold and are in operation throughout the world. This pneumatically-driven, PLC-controlled machine was designed for automatic shrink or stretch packaging of glass, plastic or metal containers, boxes or cartons into pre-determined bundle configurations. The design of the “Classic” series helps to eliminate the high cost of cardboard boxes and creates a more efficient, secure package, which lends itself to further automation down the line, such as case packing...
Using Kerk’s RGS 10000, Omega Design has succeeded in producing a new machine with benefits for both Omega and their customers. The new bundler demands less maintenance and requires less labor to maintain. Omega has also realized significant cost savings, as less labor is needed to assemble the machine, and has reduced the number of components. No longer will Omega or its customers need to stock various sensors and pneumatic parts, which have now been replaced by the intelligent actuator.
“Before it was just a continuous motion, 0-50 inches/second,” said Shendge. “Now we can accelerate or decelerate the machine. This is critical, (because) when (you’re) dealing with some of the unusual shapes and heavier mass of some products, you can’t just thrust them through the machine at top speed. You can damage the machine as well as the product.” Additionally, changeover time between products has decreased, since the machine can be programmed to adjust to various products through recipe-driven settings that are specific for each product’s handling needs, and thus, accommodate alternative package shapes. “Plus,” said Shendge, “we can take the feedback from this intelligent motion and use it to improve the overall operation of the machine.”