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Linear Motion Control - 24/01/2021

MCA’s demonstration cell

An NSK distribution partner, MCA linear motion robotics, has built a state-of-the-art linear motion demonstration cell that features NSK Monocarrier technology at its core. Machine builders and system integrators tasked with creating new systems or production lines that feature automated material/product handling, can now use the MCA demonstration cell as a best practice ideas platform.

MCA, the NSK authorised distributor for the Benelux region, set a project goal to create a new demonstration cell that would showcase all of its core disciplines, namely linear motion, drive technology, controls and robotics. As many of MCA’s customers build machines and/or production lines, the company decided that the theme of the demonstration cell should be product handling, in this case involving the transportation, scanning, sorting and stacking of small plastic crates in various patterns.

To take the demonstration cell from concept to reality, MCA worked with NSK and Yaskawa, a global player in industrial automation and mechatronics solutions. MCA linear motion robotics is an official Channel Partner for Yaskawa. In addition, MCA opted to involve a student of mechatronics from a technical college, thus imparting knowledge and experience of a real industrial project.

With the demonstration cell destined for frequent use at trade fairs, open days and other events, MCA engineers set about designing a compact, easy-to-transport and highly accessible system with the help of Yaskawa and NSK.

The team duly created a demonstration cell featuring a high-quality aluminium structure that provides a very rigid yet lightweight base frame. Solid polycarbonate plates on four sides provide visibility from the entire perimeter. Inside the cell, the linear modules are equipped with servo motors, while the compact robot offers increased range thanks to its placement on a linear column.

Prominent among the hardware is NSK’s high-precision Monocarrier from the MCM series. This compact, lightweight, single-axis linear actuator integrates a high-quality NSK ball screw, U-profile linear guide, slider and support bearings in one convenient module that reduces design, purchasing and installation time. Furthermore, an integral NSK K1 lubrication unit enables long-term, maintenance-free operation.

Further attributes of the NSK Monocarrier that benefit the MCA demonstration cell include high rigidity and load capacity, ultra-smooth and accurate movement, rust protection, and long service life. MCM series Monocarriers are available in five standard sizes with corresponding stroke lengths and leads to suit applications that include semiconductor manufacturing equipment, food processing systems, automotive assembly lines, inspection machinery, transport equipment and medical systems.


Picture 1): MCA’s demonstration cell showcases the transportation, scanning, sorting and stacking of small plastic crates in various patterns. Photo: MCA

NSK Monocarrier and Yaskawa robot

Picture 2):  The NSK Monocarrier and Yaskawa robot work in unison to demonstrate best practice product handling. Photo: MCA

The MCA demonstration cell can be easily transported

Picture 3):  The MCA demonstration cell can be easily transported to trade fairs, open days and other events. Photo: MCA

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