Automation: Soft Silicone Gripper For Delicate & Odd-Shaped Parts
Piab’s new vacuum gripper is “plug and play” for cobots.
New piSoftGrip from Piab is a vacuum-based soft gripper for sensitive and lightweight objects with odd geometries (such as toys) and/or unusual surfaces. Developed originally for the food industry, the gripper is made of silicone approved for direct food contact. It has three gripping fingers and a vacuum cavity, all made in one piece. Gripping force is adjusted via the vacuum level.
The first model of this gripper can handle objects with diameter up to 50 mm (1.97 in.). Larger models are planned. The gripper uses the same fittings as Piab’s piGrip suction cups. An optional stainless-steel fitting offers washdown capability.
Combined with Piab’s end-of-arm vacuum tool, piCobot, the piSoftGrip offers a “plug-and-play” extension for collaborative robots (cobots). As both piCobot and piSoftGrip use compressed-air-saving technology, “virtually no energy is needed to perform a grip and release,” according to the company.
With so many choices available today, it’s important for molders to understand the pros and cons of Cartesian vs. articulated-arm robots and how their capabilities overlap more than ever before.
Hot buttons at the show will be multi-component molding, in-mold labeling/decorating (IML/IMD), in-mold assembly, medical molding, liquid silicone rubber (LSR), micro-molding, and high-speed packaging.
Adapting injection molding to the concept of Industry 4.0 is gaining momentum. At this show you’ll see that the interconnected, integrated “factory of the future” is almost here.