Getting to grips with cutting changeover downtime

To enable downtime to be cut when product changeovers are made, ATM Automation supplied adjustable pivoted vacuum grippers to Legrand Electric. The grippers also reduced the amount of initial investment in end arm devices involved when Legrand wished to mould 15 different types of electrical and telephone face plates in thermoplastic materials on a 90tonne machine to which an ATM ES1000 electric robot is fitted.

ATM studied the part designs with particular reference to the relative dispositions of the flat areas of the different mouldings to determine the minimum number of gripper patterns which needed to be employed. Two of the mouldings each required individually dedicated grippers, but it was found that the remaining 13 could be handled by three grippers with suitably adjustable vacuum pads.

When a product change is made, two Allen screws in the end of the arm device that lock the pivot are first unfastened. The pivot is then suitably rotated in an arc shaped slot so that the set of pads is shifted to the required position for the next product.

The arc slots have a radius of about 20mm and each provides about 80 degrees of adjustment, enabling one set of pads to be matched to several products.

ATM Automation Tel: 0116 277 3607