Firestone AirPicker and AirGripper end-effectors, available from Air Springs Supply enable firm, safe and gentle handling of delicate products during manufacturing, processing and packaging operations.
Handling bottles, fragile objects and delicate containers on production, packaging and conveyor lines can result in excessive breakages, workplace hazards or interruptions to production caused by preventable mishaps due to a lack of ‘touch’ or sensitivity in some mechanical or automated systems.
Pneumatic actuation and isolation specialist Air Springs Supply offers Firestone AirPicker and AirGripper end-effectors, which are precision-engineered rubber product handling devices featuring bladders that inflate gently and evenly to manipulate delicate products or containers including bottles, packages, electronic components, automotive components and delicate industrial parts.
Capable of handling loads from as light as 50g to as heavy as 20kg or more, these end-effectors are ideal for industries including general manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, plastics, packaging and primary production, especially in assembly, loading, shifting and conveying applications.
AirPickers are inserted into products while deflated, then inflated outwardly and evenly to hold onto the product’s interior walls. AirGrippers surround a product with a collar from which a rubber sleeve is inflated inwardly to grip the product’s exterior.
Air Springs Supply Sales and Marketing Manager Mr James Maslin explains that the cushioned transporting enabled by the product handling devices can help eliminate damage, breakage, and other processing problems. The AirPickers and AirGrippers are designed to inflate evenly, producing a wide, shock-absorbing and slip-free contact surface for sure movement.
The large expansion of the inflating end-effectors allows for multiple part sizes to be handled with just one size model. The diameter of an AirPicker end-effector can grow by as much as 1.86 times the deflated diameter, while an AirGripper end-effector can grip around an object that is only 40% of the deflated diameter.
Firestone end-effectors can handle delicate objects with the soft touch of rubber and air by controlling the amount of air pressure within the bladder. The holding force is distributed over a greater surface area than a mechanical gripper, resulting in a soft and secure touch, even with heavy loads.
Additionally, since the pickers and grippers have an elastomer bladder construction, they will conform to any shape.
Typically more affordable than comparable mechanical grippers, Firestone end-effectors do not require lubrication due to the absence of bearings or moving parts.
AirPicker and AirGripper pickers and grippers are also available in various material options including stainless steel, plated steel and aluminium.