A range of synchronous and asynchronous grippers are finding increasing usage in automotive production plant, especially in the United States. Made by Ohio based Zaytran, the grippers are available in the UK from SMC Pneumatics.
For applications requiring the gripper to handle items with a wide size variance without the need to change tools there is the Series XRAY long stroke robotic versions. These, for example, are capable of handling a range of automotive wheels (from 14in. To 17in.) where the gripper will position the wheel within 0.025mm so that the wheel can be precisely loaded into a lathe for machining without tooling being changed.
The XRAY concept was developed for applications that impart high acceleration to heavy objects or require long precisely positioned jaws, which place extreme stress on the gripper. The grippers use a ceramic bearing system to isolate the precision jaw positioning system from jaw torque and force. The ceramic bearing rail allows the grippers to be small and lightweight while delivering gripping force in excess of 2500N and to tolerate jaw torque of 600Nm.
The patented synchronous grippers offer extended life. The force and synchronizing double helix are independent systems. The double helix works only to centre the part to 0.025mm. All of the gripping force is provided by two pistons that are driven pneumatically. The independence of the force and synchronization systems provides precision over the typical 10,000,000+ cycle life of the unit.
SMC Pneumatics (UK) 01908 563888