The following information is courtesy of Mr. Agustín J. Sáenz
Fatronik is a private industry, created in 1986 and based in Spain, providing engineering services
to a group of machine-tool manufacturers that in 1998 achieved sales for 200 million euros. During
the last ten years, Fatronik has been improving existing products and devising new solutions for its
shareholders, all of which SMEs, as well as creating new designs with innovative final results that
comply with market demands. With 50 employees and more than 35 engineers, Fatronik is involved in
the following activities:
- - design and analysis of new machine tool prototypes;
- - development and evaluation of mechanical components;
- - application of new materials;
- - development of techniques for improving machine behaviour;
- - evaluation of technical feasibility;
- - conducting of technological market surveys.
Fatronik has been working since two years on the application of advanced structures and kinematics
to machinery. The company works on the commercialization of machines with this kind of new solutions
in milling machines and automated assemblies (for the aeronautic sector), agile modules
(for the automotive sector), and high speed machines (for moulds and dies).
Fatronik is the coordinator of two important PKM projects:
MACH21 and AHEAD. The MACH21 project involves twelve
partners (LIRMM, WZL, ISW, INA, COMAU and others) from five European countries.
Related Products and Prototypes
The only parallel kinematic machine of Fatronik that is currently commercially available is the
3-axis milling machine Ulyses. The system represents a new standard in machine tool
construction. It is a parallel kinematic machine tool, with a brand new structure, allowing Fatronik to
obtain an European patent (EP 1 027 965 A1).
The machine has been entirely developed by Fatronik.
Fig. 1: The Ulyses 3-axis machining center (exteriour view).
Ulyses is a 3-axis translational PKM. The mechanism is driven by three
prismatic actuators in a typical tripod connection. The novelty is the use of planar
scissors-like constraining chain. With the achieved dynamic performance and market price, Ulyses is
claimed to excel similar PKMs such as Heckert's SKM 400
and RWTH Aachen's Dyna-M.
Below are some of Ulyses' characteristics:
| ||Axis travels in X, Y, Z: ||630, 500, 500 mm|
| ||Max. rates of travel in X, Y, Z: ||2 m/s each|
| ||Max. accelerations in X, Y, Z: || 20 m/s² each|
| ||Spindle: ||24,000 rpm |
Fig. 2: The Ulyses 3-axis machining center (interiour view).
Fatronik is currently designing a new version of Ulyses, dubted Ulyses ZAB. The new 3-axis
machine tool is similar to Neos Robotics' Tricept.
However, the same constraint as in the Tricept is provided in a reversed order, i.e., translation
(the linear guide) followed by two rotations (the Hooke joint). This eliminates the large swaying
motion of the heavy constraining strut and improves dynamic performance at the cost of a narrower
Fig. 3: The Ulyses ZAB 3-axis machine tool.
Fatronik works also on an original 3-axis machine tool, named Hermes. The PKM's mobile platform
has one pure translation with fixed direction and two rotations. The aimed application is
the automation for the assembly (machining and riveting) of aircraft structures. However, the
example of the similar Z3 Head by
DS Technology, which is a 3-PRS parallel mechanism, may suggest the alternative use of
Hermes as a spindle head.
Fig. 4: The Hermes 3-axis machine tool.