Despite being an Electrical and Controls engineer I often have to do mechanical design, albeit on a basic level. Whenever I need to fixture something, for instance on a vision application or other inspection, one of the first manufacturers I think about is Misumi.
This is the removable pallet from the Smartbench, which I have discussed in previous posts. I used a variety of Misumi devices to hold sensors and make adjustable mounts for components. While not inexpensive, Misumi has a wide range of adjustable devices, posts, clamps as standard products. In addition they can make just about any machined part to order. To check out what kind of products they make, click HERE.
This week we had a “Lunch and Learn” with Misumi and I was surprised to find that they also make automation components. They have always had actuators and ball screws, but now they have entered the realm of servos, steppers and drives. Most of the driven actuators seem to compete with Intelligent Actuator, maker of the Robocylinder, but they also seem to want to compete head to head with Bosch Rexroth.
In the US Misumi operates out of Chicago. They stock quite a few of their standard products there, but the motion control items are shipped from Japan. They say they can do a six day delivery, but its usually best to allow a couple of weeks for these kinds of things. Misumi is building a new factory in Japan and there have been some delays due to the recent earthquake and tsunami.
Some of the other components Misumi provides; high-precision stages, couplings, adjustment units, linear guides and bearings and even aluminum extrusions. We used to refer to the various odds and ends Misumi sells as “Tinkertoys” since you could make about anything you needed out of them. It is probably less expensive to make many of the shafts and bases in a machine shop, but with Misumi you are assured of high precision, quality components.