Know the Tools of Your Trade

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Anti vibration pads

Material handling tools and automation equipment are more complicated than most laypersons are capable of grasping. In the minds of many people, materials handling tools are as mystifying as the internet or electricity. Somehow they work, they do their thing, people benefit, and that is all that they need to know. However, from car assembly to food processing, automation equipment is complex and made up of many parts. Do you know the tools of your trade?

1. Grippers.

In food service, stainless steel grippers are ideal. They easily and cleanly move food through the automation process. Grippers can be electric, or pneumatic. The draw for electric grippers is that they are often maintenance free, while pneumatic grippers are standard and precise.

2. Lifting magnets.

Lifting magnets are essential if you need to move scrapped cars, or other scrap metal with ease, because they attract heavy iron with accuracy. These magnets are typically used with an electromagnet, which produces a magnetic field with an electrical current.

3. Grease fittings.

Grease fittings are typically made of stainless steel, brass, or they may be steel plated with zinc. They are permanently installed with threaded connections, which allows for grease gun attachment. In the 19th and 20th centuries, before these fittings existed, bearings had to be lubricated by low, or no pressure methods. Gravity, or a finger push method, were often required to move the grease.

4. Vibration control.

Vibration is a potentially dangerous and damaging side effect of machinery operation. Therefore, vibration control is essential, usually achieved with vibration pads. Vibration pads are also commonly available for the average consumer, to control vibrations from their washer or dryer. Did you know that a rubber bushing is also an isolator, and form of vibration control?

5. Hydraulic cylinders.

The hydraulic cylinder is used to provide undirected force, in a stroke that goes in one direction. This is one of the most versatile components in the construction industry. Even though a hydraulic cylinder is typically seen as one piece, it is made up of a cylinder barrel, cylinder base or cap, cylinder head, piston, piston rod, seal gland, seals, and sometimes also cushions or cylinder base connections.

Knowing the tools of your trade can help you to better understand the automation process, and appreciate how ingenuity has made all of our lives easier. Read more.

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