Challenged to efficiently remove filled cardboard boxes weighing up to 44 lb and ranging from ~9.5 in. to 14 in. in length and ~8.5 in. to 9.5 in. in width from crates, place them on a roller conveyor, and, in reverse order, place cardboard packages in crates, FIPA developed a flexible, cost- and energy-efficient, and process-reliable vacuum gripping system capable of handling both individual cardboard boxes and whole layers of boxes without changing grippers or wasting vacuum flow and related energy costs, regardless of the position of the packages.
The designers used a custom TC Series vacuum gripper mounted to a Z-axis to generate the vertical lift movement required to place the cardboard packages in a crate and vice versa. This approach can accurately pick packages from both crates and the roller conveyor despite the absence of an accurately defined position. Featuring custom integrated valves capable of turning off suction openings that don’t come into direct contact with a package, the gripper also conserves energy and mitigates operating costs. Designed to beat current system requirements to save on future operating expenses, this design can handle loads weighing up to 66 lb with surface areas up to ~9.5 in. by ~13 in.
The TC Series maximum-life, minimum-maintenance vacuum grippers feature EPDM sealing foam for gentle product contact and optimum vacuum sealing, and integrated valves for closing suction openings and saving energy when not in use. Enabling fast and uniform vacuum distribution, TC Series vacuum grippers ensure short cycle times and high acceleration rates, and enable the automated handling of both individual packages and layers of packages without changing grippers to accommodate additional products, rigid products, or even those with uneven surfaces. Featuring a vacuum located inside of the vacuum tubing, the optional gripper box reduces gripping time and contains special valves with excellent suction power for fast evacuation or venting, and, for reduced sensitivity to dirt, large valve openings for maximum suction power.