We often like to discuss how our motors are used in real-life applications. However many of the applications we have covered have been in the vibration alerting or haptic feedback fields. Much to our annoyance, fields like mechanical aid have been neglected.
It is an important field and has an interesting balance of purchase motivations. Sometimes our motors are intended to add value to a product being sold, helping it differentiate it from the competition.
Others purchase for internal use to aid with system operation and improve the manufacturing process. Many companies use vibration motors to help with their assembly line productions and move their products down chutes or hoppers.
However there are also a number of companies who produce mechanical aid machines, their hoppers are the product.
One such company is AB Controls in California. Their VIX machine can automatically uncap, pipette, and then recap vials. The keyword here is ‘automatically’. This means it the effects of fatigue on technicians are reduced, while productivity increases, all whilst reducing human error during pipetting.
Obviously, with a machine that handles such small objects and is autonomous, we could spend hours talking about the motor design considerations! But to stay on track, we will highlight just one feature of the machine’s operation.
The vials are loaded together at one end of the machine, which then slide down a chute to begin the uncapping process. To ensure the vials do not become stuck, two vibration motors (our 320-100s) are mounted to the side of the chute.
This simple modification can improve the performance of the product at very little cost, both in terms of finance and design time. Why not check out the VIX machine in action on their website here?