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Linear Systems – Anyone can produce complicated products

Linear Systems – Anyone can produce complicated products

HSB Automation is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of linear systems and equips their HSB-kappa® product range with BRECO® polyurethane timing belts.

“Anyone can produce complicated products – the true art is limiting yourself to what is truly necessary!” Uwe Heißel briefly summarises the company philosophy of HSB Automation GmbH. Uwe Heißel is the founder and managing director of the company in Reutlingen. HSB, founded in 1993, has been designing and producing mechanical linear units, linear beds, compact and gantry linear units and handling systems in Reutlingen since 1995.

The company’s focus is on special designs meeting the special requirements of customers. HSB components are used wherever parts are conveyed on linear systems, for example in energy, medical and automotive technology as well as in machine and plant engineering. “Our strength is finding solutions that many others do not even dare to think about,”Heißel explains. To do so, the company uses standard units it has developed and constructed itself. Based on the company’s diverse product range, a nearly endless number of variations can be created. The company produces both individual units and larger series. These include cross tables, double stroke units, multi-axis systems, Atex and clean room versions.

Linear systems benefit from synergy

Rainer Müller, team leader at the Mulco partner REIFF Technische Produkte GmbH in Reutlingen, advises HSB in all technical matters concerning timing belt technology. The fact that the companies are geographically close to each other has additional advantages for their cooperation. “It is possible to just drop in and discuss some matters directly on site,” says Rainer Müller and mentions that he really appreciates this. Marlies Ott, purchasing manager, agrees with him. REIFF Technische Produkte GmbH and HSB have been cooperating for many years. Apart from timing belts and pulleys, REIFF also provides other technical products from its large product range. To meet HSB’s increasingly high quality requirements, REIFF recently improved its measuring and monitoring devices and adapted its measuring methods. The result: Perfect synergy effects.

Development, production and shipping all happen in one place at HSB in Reutlingen. This guarantees short travelling distances and fast order processing. 77 employees work on 3600 qm of production space and 600 qm office space. Since 2006 the company has been a partner in the Schunk group, which has a share of 29 percent in HSB Automation.

Large product diversity – customised solutions

HSB develops and manufactures linear units. The Reutlingen company produces four product series and has developed a module range containing over 100 type and size variations in the past 15 years. 80 percent of all customers can select suitable standard products for their purposes from this product range. However, there are always new developments distinguishing HSB from its competitors. For example, HSB has developed a special roller guide for linear units which is unique on the market.

Many HSB products also contain open-length polyurethane timing belts produced by Mulco manufacturer BRECO Antriebstechnik. This is done for a good reason: They are best at meeting HSB’s high quality and operating accuracy requirements. Mainly BRECO AT and BRECO ATL timing belts are used. There is another advantage: The exceptionally high product diversity of BRECO polyurethane timing belts ensures that they are ideal for the wide range of product solutions offered by HSB.

BRECO timing belts guarantee a great performance

The HSB products currently introduced also include the gamma units. These aluminium profiles facilitate the construction of gantries of up to ten metres in length in one piece (when combined, the length can be up to 30 metres) and can bear loads of up to 25,000 Newton. The closed profiles with lateral rail guides are torsionally stiff and available with toothed racks and timing belt drives. Integrated high-performance gears with different transmission ratios make motor selection easier. These gantry units are ideal for handling tasks.

The linear units of the HSB kappa range are a technical highlight among the products of HSB Automation GmbH. Their functional principle is commonly known and is manufactured and offered as small systems by some competitors. The challenge for HSB Automation GmbH was not the system itself, but the parameters that were to be achieved: A mass of up to 100 kg must be moved by 2000 mm horizontally and 600 mm vertically at 30 cycles per minute. All components are rust-proof as the module is used in the food industry. To reduce the weight in the vertical axis, the product does not use a conventional linear unit. The drive that would have had to be moved along with the general traversing movement (gears and servo motor with a brake) would have been too heavy for any system. So HSB decided to use a system with two fixed motors and polyurethane timing belts.

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