Moog Industrial Group has supplied a motion control system and engineering services to James Fisher Nuclear Ltd (JFN) for the ModuMan 100 Manipulator Arm which will be used for nuclear decommissioning.
A manipulator is used to grasp and move materials without direct human contact. Typically a manipulator is an arm-like device with a number of degrees of freedom. They are used to deal with radioactive or bio hazardous materials, in places that are inaccessible, or for applications such as surgery and in space.
JFN identified an opportunity to develop and supply an easy-to-service and durable manipulator arm that assists in the management of nuclear waste stored at various sites throughout the UK. JFN approached Moog in the UK for the hydraulic motion control system including modelling and simulating the product design. Moog’s engineering knowledge, control software and servo controller technology ensured the manipulator arm could deliver a 6-axis solution with accurate motion.
The arm is a powerful 6-axis hydraulic manipulator designed for use in the nuclear decommissioning industry. It delivers 100 kg (220 lb) lifting capability throughout its reach of 2.3 m (90.5 in) and accesses radioactive waste through a standard 270 mm (10.6 in) diameter port. It comes with 3 operating modes (e.g., Joint, Tool and World) with options for “Taught Paths” and “Collision Avoidance.” It employs reliable industrial components including resolvers, actuators, servo valves and sensors that are integrated and driven by a sophisticated software controller.
The Moog control system is comprised of the following Moog designed and built products: Two Servo Controllers II (MSC II), three Servo Controllers I (MSC 1, two Servo Drives (MSD) and Motion Control Software. The system enables shoulder joint rotation of ±130º, Shoulder Pitch ±90 º, Elbow Pitch of ±130 º, Wrist Rotate ±130 º, Wrist Pitch ±130 º, Continuous Tool Rotate and End Effector grip width of 0-150 mm (0-5.9 in). All key Moog motion control components are located outside the radiated area.
Matthew Journee, JFN Operations Manager said they designed ModuMan around conventional hydraulic actuators coupled with proven industrial instrumentation and control elements to ensure robustness. To ensure maximum maintainability, they also decided to locate vital control elements outside the operating cell. The successful collaboration with Moog helped us to deliver the required product performance. The first ModuMan 100 has been shipped to the end user to commence evaluation and trials at a UK nuclear test facility.
Andrew Smith, Moog Applications Engineer said they are pleased that their engineers and motion control products successfully assisted James Fisher Nuclear in the product development of the ModuMan 100 manipulator. Clearly two specialties came together. James Fisher Nuclear’s specialty in engineering, manufacturing and technical services for applications within challenging environments or with high integrity requirements and Moog’s specialty in designing and building reliable motion control products proven in extreme environments such as wind energy, oil and gas exploration and steam turbines.