Holding pressure/variable torque

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Lucille
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:04 pm

Holding pressure/variable torque

Post by Lucille » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:06 am

Hello! It's been ages since I posted here. Glad to still see some familiar faces active!

Anyway, I am looking for something and thought maybe the automation/robotics crowd here might have some ideas.
Basically what I am looking to do is power an axis on an old machine tool that has been modified to do some light production work. Currently a hand wheel moves a bed along an x axis. It its not a screw type movement like on a milling machine, but rather the bed floats on ball bearings and has very little mechanical advantage in the gearing. The hand wheel brings the bed and workpiece against a grinding stone. Currently hand pressure holds the pressure against the stone during grinding.

I want to automate this. I need some way of replacing the hand wheel with a motor of some sort that would give me the ability to hold this pressure, and vary it.

The cycle time for each piece is about 2 minutes. I don't think many (any?) electric motors would enjoy being stalled out for this long repeatedly.

I was pondering some type of hydraulic motor and relief valve, but I don't have experience with anything like that to know if its a practical solution.

A pneumatic approach would also be possible. But since I need fairly precise control, it would have to be something more than an air cylinder.

If anyone has done something like this, or seen it done commercially, I would love to hear about it.

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