Each gripper style has its own size, method of operation, operating atmospheres, and required level of human interaction. Take the time to consider how these functions meet the needs of the automation application or process.
Pneumatic or electric grippers perform three basic functions:
Part transfer for machine tending, part placement, load/unload, boxing, palletizing Part orientation for applying a label, preparing tray inserton, box packaging Hold part in place to withstand applied work forces due to drilling, stamping, marking processes To better understand gripper capabilitites, and to select the proper style, consider these 8 questions.
1. What are the operating requirements?
Users and system integrators must take a big-picture view of the facility’s operations to decide whether an electric or pneumatic-driven gripper is best for operating.
• Electric grippers are quieter than pneumatics and minimize contaminates in sensitive environments. They provide analytical feedback about operating performance or part size and weight. Installation is easy as units connect directly to a control system/programmable logic controller (PLC) with basic standard wiring.
• Pneumatic grippers are faster, smaller, and cost less than an electric grippers, when comparing grip force to size ratios. Very noisy compared to electrics, they provide limited feedback to control systems, including grip part, or open/close status. Initial costs are low, but they have significant hidden costs. Grippers require air lines, filters, fittings, valves, and compressors to connect to a control system or PLC. Pneumatically powered grippers, or air-powered grippers, have been the standard with more than 95% in use.