From the factory floor to Mars: Story of an extra-ordinary robot actuator

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The Mars Rover Perseverance landed on Mars on February 18, 2021, equipped with a planetary roller screw developed and manufactured by the Ewellix facility in Armada, Michigan, in collaboration with NASA/JPL Engineers. For this one-of-a kind project, Ewellix engineered a roller screw incorporating materials and technologies able to withstand the extreme conditions of operation on the red planet. The roller screw manufacturing process, from order to delivery to NASA and JPL is described in this talk. The planetary roller screw is housed inside of a sealing station of the Rover, and it will generate the high force required to seal the tubes containing the Mars soil samples.

Brief Biography

Jean-Pierre Collognat graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Institute of Technology (IUT) in Limoges, France, followed by a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering & Energy from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Toulouse, France. He later earned a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree, with concentrations in International Business and Marketing, from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

After completing his service with the French Military in Saudi Arabia, Jean-Pierre joined the SKF Group in Paris, France in 1989 as an Application Engineer in the Automotive Division. He transferred to SKF USA in 1996 where he held various positions in the automotive group and eventually held the position of Director, Powertrain & Steering. He went back to France with SKF’s Motion Technologies division in 2009, spending approximately four years in Chambery, France. He returned to the U.S. in 2013 and currently holds the position of Strategic Account Manager Automotive Assembly with EWELLIX (Triton Partners purchased the SKF Motion Technologies division in 2019, which is now known as EWELLIX).

Jean-Pierre currently lives in Michigan, USA with his wife and pug dog.  In his free time, he has many hobbies including boating on Lake St. Clair, Michigan, traveling to Florida, motorcycling, mountain biking, scuba diving, snowboarding, photography and listening to music. 

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