Wire Rope Lanyards Save Costs for Plant Care Robots
This summer, you may find yourself heading to your local home improvement store to pick out new flowers or vegetable plants. You may be surprised to know that these plants may have been nurtured, in part, by robots.
Harvest Automation Incorporated of Billerica, MA designs and manufactures robots for use in industrial material handling applications, warehouse fulfillment activities and agriculture and nursery operations. Their Omniveyor product family provides mobile robotic technology for assisting their human partners in labor-intensive tasks.
The potted plants you may select for your home often come in plastic pots. The plants are grown in these pots from the start, and are initially tightly condensed for maximum-efficiency watering and fertilizing. As the plants grow, they need to be incrementally spaced farther apart to keep the leaves from touching, while remaining as close together as possible for efficient care. That’s where the HV100 robot comes in – assisting humans in the labor-intensive task of continually moving the plants farther apart. Some large-scale nursery operations may have as many as 1,000 acres of plants, and a team of HV100 robots can handle it effortlessly.
Harvest Automation contacted Pivot Point for help with a particular fastening challenge. The HV100 incorporates a rear stabilizer disk to keep the robot from tipping too far backward when accelerating forward. This stabilizer disk had utilized an expensive torsion spring to provide a degree of pre-tension. Instead of a torsion spring, Harvest AI considered a wire rope lanyard produced by Pivot Point.
“The wire rope lanyard is just as robust as the previous torsion spring, but much less expensive,” said Charlie Grinnell, co-founder of Harvest Automation. Pivot Point provided samples for testing, and also recommended changes to the configuration of the lanyard for further cost savings. “It is a good, simple solution,” Charlie explained. Pivot Point supplied two lanyards per robot that allow tension to be adjusted for a variety of operating surfaces, from smooth concrete to rough and rocky outdoor terrain.
Visit www.harvestai.com to learn more about its robotic solutions for nursery operations, material handling and warehouse fulfillment operations.
SLIC hits the slopes
As temperatures fall and snow piles up in Wisconsin, our thoughts turn to outdoor winter activities. Since skiing is far more appealing than shoveling, we thought it would be a great time to spotlight a Pivot Point customer in the ski equipment market that uses our popular SLIC Pin™ in their ski bindings.
Twenty Two Designs of Driggs, Idaho manufactures world-class Telemark ski bindings. The company is named for Wyoming Highway 22, which travels over the Teton Pass – one of America’s most attractive backcountry skiing spots.
The company was founded in 2004 by Collins Pringle and Chris Valiante, both experienced skiers and mechanical engineers. They have used their unique combination of experience and engineering to design and build what they view as the best Telemark bindings in the world.
Telemark skiing, named after Norway’s Telemark region, uses equipment similar to cross-country skiing with ski bindings that have a ski boot attached only at the toe. However, Telemark skiing is more rigorous than cross country skiing and requires stronger, more robust equipment. This is where Twenty Two Designs shines: their Axl and Vice bindings boast advanced design and toughness that can stand up to the rigors of Telemark skiing.
The bindings’ performance is enhanced by the ability to adjust the tension, or “flex.” This is achieved with Pivot Point’s unique SLIC Pin – a quick-locking pin that combines a pin and cotter all in one. The SLIC Pin can be quickly and easily inserted into any of three adjustment holes, each offering a different degree of flex in the binding. Twenty Two Designs previously used a spring button in this application, until they discovered the SLIC Pin.
“Spring buttons were difficult to work with in snow and with gloves on,” says Twenty Two Designs founder Collins Pringle. “The SLIC Pin is much better because it inserts easily – it’s perfect.” The company had experimented with a bolt and nut, but contacted Pivot Point and spoke with design engineer Romy Baus about using the SLIC Pin. Pivot Point made samples, and testing was successfully completed.
“Romy was super helpful, especially with the various modifications that we made as we developed this,” Collins says. “If it weren’t for the SLIC Pin, we’d probably be using a bolt and nut or some type of cotter pin,” he notes.
If you’re looking for a strong and secure quick-locking pin , check out SLIC Pins!
See the SLIC Pin in action
Watch our quick video and you’ll see why this is one SLIC Pin, as seen on Engineering Newswire, compliments of Product Design and Development Magazine.