Kinematics Moves BIG IDEAS!

April 24, 2018- The Kinematics team is proud and happy to be involved in bringing our customers’ products and applications to life, by providing them with movement. KMI slew drives provide an easy-to-use and cost-effective way to rotate large loads over long operational lifetimes.

Although slew and worm gears have been used for centuries, our customers are continually coming up with new BIG IDEAS and turning to KMI to provide the means to move their ideas! Some of the BIG IDEAS we’ve worked with clients on recently include these:

  • BIG IDEA: Rotate the Workpiece instead of the Welder
    • Fabricating large welded structures, such as railroad cars and truck chassis, typically requires the welder (human or robotic) to move around, over and under the workpiece. This is slow, inefficient, difficult and unsafe. Using the high torque capability of KMI slew drives, it’s possible to rotate huge workpieces so that a stationary welder can be used – increasing efficiency, lowering costs and injuries.
  • BIG IDEA: Global Internet with Low Earth Orbit Satellites
    • The cost of putting satellites into orbit has decreased enormously over the last 5 years. Many companies are now deploying large numbers of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations for low-latency consumer internet and communications. Since LEO satellites move rapidly across the sky, it is necessary for antennas to track them in real-time, with up to three axes of movement. KMI single and dual axis slew drives are well suited to these trackers – we’re seeing more customers working on this big idea.
  • BIG IDEA: Position the patient instead of the Doctor
    • Much like the welding positioning BIG IDEA, historically doctors operating on patients would have to stoop over and position people in awkward poses in order to access the incision site. Again, this is inefficient and dangerous. Using KMI compact slew drives it’s possible to make elegant and functional medical and operating beds that can be positioned in multiple dimensions, to hold the patient safely and present them to the doctor so that the surgery can be performed for best results.
  • BIG IDEA: Track the Sun to Power the Planet
    • Solar tracking – although tracking the sun to produce more solar energy has been around for over a decade, only in the last 3-4 years has this become a multi-billion dollar global market, and solar power is now a meaningful contributor to the world’s energy picture. For large solar power plants, tracking the sun is now the most common approach – and KMI is the world’s largest rotation supplier to this market.