Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bellows Couplings – Flexibility and Accuracy for Motion Control Applications

Bellows Coupling

The category of motion control covers a wide range of application types.  Conveyors, machine tools, electronic monitoring devices, pick & place robots, and xyz gantry tables are just a few examples of the variety of these applications.  Motion control couplings need to be selected by evaluating which characteristics are most important to the proper function of the application.  Some applications can call for vibration dampening characteristics, misalignment compensation, and greater torque capacity or any combination of all three.  However, sometimes the accuracy or precision of an application is rated the most important characteristic.  An example of this would be a XYZ gantry table (i.e. CMM machine), which relies on accuracy to check critical dimensions of a particular product.  For these types of applications, the Bellows style coupling provides a compact coupling solution with a high amount of torsional stiffness, which translates into high accuracy for the application

Lovejoy Inc. offers two different size ranges in the Bellows coupling product line: the BWC and BWLC series.  The BWC coupling offers bore ranges of 1/8” to 3/4” and torque ratings of 3.5 to 89 in-lbs.  The BWLC coupling offers bore ranges 1/4” to over 1-1/2” and torque ratings of 159 to 1,328 in-lbs.  Both of these designs offer higher torsional stiffness than beam coupling designs and still retain zero backlash.  This combination is ideal for precision soldering equipment, pick & place machines, and measurement equipment.  The wide range of bore sizes and torque capacities allow for flexibility in selecting the right size coupling for the application.

Recommended Follow-On Reading: To gain a broader understanding of the landscape of Flexible Couplings, and where bellow motion control couplings fit in, we recommend you read the following article: Flexible Coupling Basics - A Quick Primer

Author Credit: This article was written by Charlie Mudra (National Accounts Manager, Lovejoy, Inc.).

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