Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Sensitive gripper for packaging

November 5, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

With its new SCG special gripper series, Schmalz provides a solution for handling sensitive foils in the packaging industry.

For example, they can be used to separate extremely thin foils in the area of in-mould labelling — even foils with a thickness of less than 30 μm (0.0012 inches) can be attached to the product packaging while retaining their shape and remaining undamaged. The SCG allows for “hands-free separation” in palletizing processes. This means that intermediate layers of paper or foil are separated even before the gripper makes contact with them, as they are lifted by the suction air current and adhere to the contact surface of the gripper. During this process, the large contact surface completely prevents the sensitive workpieces from being sucked in.

As a result, the user benefits from reduced process costs, as there is no damage and no more than one intermediate layer is gripped per cycle. The SCG also shows its strength in packaging and finishing processes in the pharmaceutical industry: separately lifting extremely thin and porous Tyvek foils used to cover filled tubs poses no problem whatsoever. In the process, the controlled exhaust duct allows for handling under clean room conditions and prevents interference from laminary flow systems.

The Coanda gripper is offered as a compact, ready-to-connect gripping unit with integrated vacuum generation. The modular concept referred to above allows an optional blow-off module to be installed, facilitating fast changeover of the suction surface as operating conditions change. Suction surfaces are available with diameters of 40 mm and 60 mm. The direct integration of the vacuum generator in the suction unit ensures high volume flow, which provides for fast, secure gripping — even when only part of the gripper’s suction surface is used or when gripping porous materials.


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