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ROBOTIC RESOURCES

Large-area vacuum gripping systems SPZ

Schmalz, Inc.

We can learn many things from nature. "Bionics" is the term for understanding things nature has invented and making use of this knowledge in technical applications. An example of this is the SPZ series of large-area vacuum gripping systems from the vacuum specialist Schmalz. Rather like the tentacles of an octopus, these large-area vacuum gripping systems quickly and safely grip hundreds of different products or containers per shift and hold them tightly during subsequent handling operations.

The large-area vacuum gripping systems SPZ are designed as modular vacuum grippers. Several such modules can be mounted side by side, as desired, to form a "suction pad carpet" with which complete product layers or individual cartons or other packages can be safely gripped, fixed, moved and precisely positioned. The arrangement of the individual packages in each layer may vary, as long as they are all approximately the same height. The large-area vacuum gripping systems with individual suction pads are the ideal solution for fast and safe handling of non-rigid products and packages. These may be, for example, long workpieces, cardboard boxes, the cardboard separators between layers, film-wrapped products, trays and similar objects. The gripping systems can be adapted to differing handling tasks by selection of the appropriate suction pad modules. The individual suction pads can be replaced very quickly and easily, even with the modules installed. Since the valve technology is also integrated into the elastomer part of the suction pads, the time and the number of parts needed for conversion or replacement is reduced to a minimum, thus avoiding expensive downtimes. The valve technology integrated into the modules or the vacuum grippers ensures, on the one hand, that suction pads which are not in contact with the workpieces are automatically deactivated and, on the other hand, that less energy is required.

The soft and adaptable suction pads and their specially shaped sealing lips also contribute to the energy efficiency of the large-area vacuum gripping systems. These suction pads immediately seal themselves to the workpiece surface, even if this is curved or rough, which means that the vacuum is generated more quickly. For special tasks, the vacuum gripping modules and the complete large-area vacuum gripping system can be equipped with an additional foam-rubber ring to provide a further seal.

The large-area vacuum gripping systems weigh up to 250 kg and can lift loads weighing up to 500 kg. They have a flange for mounting them on industrial robots and handling systems and can optionally be controlled by the input and output signals of a field-bus node. The integrated vacuum monitor ensures safe operation. Short reaction times during gripping and blowing-off permit very short cycle times to be achieved. The large-area vacuum gripping systems SPZ are thus ideal for the automated handling of non-rigid workpieces in all sectors - even in deep-freeze storerooms at temperatures as low as -28° Celsius.

Schmalz is the leading supplier of Vacuum Automation Components as well as Robotic and Gantry style Vacuum Gripping Systems. Schmalz supplies modularly constructed area and layer vacuum grippers for flexible handling of varying material properties, configurations and shapes - such as non-rigid cardboard boxes, plastic film and porous materials. Schmalz grippers can handle varying dimensions and undefined positions. The product range of Vacuum Components includes suction cups in (11) standard materials and cup lines for special industry needs, e.g. Automotive cups or cups for the Packaging industry. The product range also includes vacuum generators, mounting elements and system monitoring devices. Schmalz, founded in 1910 in Germany, is family owned and operated in third generation. Schmalz is one of the few positive-energy companies worldwide and has been rewarded for its sustainability several times. Schmalz is DIN ISO 9001 and DIN ISO 14001 certified for more than 10 years.

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