012-10 Lohr, 2010-02-24

EXPO 2010 Shanghai China: Visitors get German Technology Swinging

 drive solution

Fig. 1: The drive solution of the interactive pendulum has been designed with technology from Rexroth for more than one million cycles.

Claps, shouts and screams – by making loud noises, visitors to the German pavilion at EXPO 2010 Shanghai China can set a sphere on the end of a pendulum in motion. Clad with 400,000 LEDs and measuring three meters in diameter, the sphere delivers a scintillating flood of images to match its movements. The drive solution of the high-tech pendulum relies on proven drive and linear motion technology from Rexroth and has been designed for more than one million cycles – enough for the planned 13,500 shows during the world exposition.

The German pavilion takes up the EXPO motto “Better City, Better Life” and presents its interpretation as “balancity” – a city in balance between renewal and preservation, innovation and tradition, urbanism and nature. The crowning experience at the end of the circuit through the pavilion is the “Energy Source” with the interactive pendulum. From their positions on three galleries, the visitors can initiate and steer the oscillations of the 1.2 ton interactive sphere by making noises, until the sphere ultimately swings along a perfectly circular path. This is enabled by an X-Y cross slide mounted under the roof, which moves the pendulum shaft via a cardan joint. The slide consists of four Roller Rail Systems from Rexroth measuring just under 1,800 mm long, each with two long runner blocks in size 65. They give the system its extremely high rigidity and ensure the long life required for travel at sometimes extremely short strokes. One of the guide rails in each axis features Rexroth’s inductive integrated measuring system for ball and roller rail systems. The guide and the measuring system act as a single unit. A sensor on the runner block inductively measures the relative position in resolutions of up to 0.25 µm. Two servo drives from the IndraDrive series position the two axes with high dynamics via Rexroth ball screws and communicate in strict real time with the PC control system via a SERCOS interface. The modular drive generation has many drive-integrated safety functions already certified as per ISO 13849. The functions which come into play in the pendulum configuration are Safety on Board, Safely Limited Speed, and Safely Monitored Deceleration.

The feasibility check, project engineering, and the programming and simulation of the highly complex, non-linear path controller were done by the Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics (ITM) and the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW) of the University of Stuttgart. Germany’s EXPO participation is under the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, which has commissioned Koelnmesse International GmbH to organize and run the German pavilion. The exposition concept was devised by the creatives of Milla und Partner in Stuttgart, the architectural design by the Munich-based firm Schmidhuber + Kaindl, and the pavilion is being built by NÜSSLI (Deutschland) GmbH from Roth near Nuremberg. These three enterprises have founded a working partnership called Deutscher Pavillon Shanghai GbR. As the general contractor for the sphere mechanics and drive, metron GmbH undertook the design and construction of the sphere and drive system. The EXPO 2010 Shanghai China opens its doors on May 1.

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Fig. 2: Designed for more than one million cycles: X-Y cross slide consisting of Rexroth Roller Rail Systems with integrated measuring system, and ball screw drives.

Bosch Rexroth AG is one of the world’s leading specialists in the field of drive and control technologies. Under the brand name of Rexroth the company supplies more than 500,000 customers with tailored solutions for driving, controlling and moving. Bosch Rexroth is a partner for industrial applications and factory automation, mobile applications and using renewable energies. As The Drive & Control Company, Bosch Rexroth develops, produces and sells components and systems in more than 80 countries. In 2008 Bosch Rexroth AG, part of the Bosch Group, achieved sales of around 5.9 billion Euro with 35,300 employees.

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Susanne Herzlieb
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