Pick it up and put it down – gripping with suction
With all the different robotic grippers on the market -- like claw, bag and vacuum grippers -- it may be difficult to decide which one is right for your specific application.
By asking these questions, manufacturers can decipher whether they need a claw gripper, a bag gripper or a pneumatic gripper, all of which work with claw or jaw type actuators. For some items though, like panes of glass and other flat objects, there is only one gripper to choose – the vacuum gripper.
A vacuum gripper is attached to the wrist of an industrial robot. It is made of a series of plastic or polyurethane suction cups fashioned into several rows. The robot arm lowers the gripper onto the item and applies pressure. Then, a vacuum is activated to secure the suction cups to the piece. Once the piece is moved, the vacuum is deactivated and the suction cups release the item.
Vacuum robotic grippers are useful when stacking items on pallets or moving items in and out of different machines. The softness of the cups does not damage the integrity of the piece, the way a claw-like gripper might. Their accuracy and speed when operating on a line are beneficial to manufacturers as well. The increase in production saves costs on production and labor.
Interested in automating your material handling application with a vacuum robot gripper? RobotWorx has the answer for you! RobotWorx is a certified integrator for many end effector companies, including several gripper models. Our staff will help you determine which gripper will be the best for your facility’s process.