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The next generation of large-area vacuum grippers have arrived

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article image The large-area vacuum gripper system FXC being used to handle cardboard boxes

The large-area vacuum gripper system FXC being used to handle cardboard boxesMillsom Vacuum Handling, in conjunction with SCHMALZ GmbH, has released the next generation of the popular FX/FM large area gripper systems. The new FXC/FMC series of grippers are so flexible that it can be used in almost any sector of robot and automated handling.  

The main differences between these new models and their predecessors, is that the individual modules are more compact, are lighter, are more robust, are more powerful and are also more adaptable to the required task. The newly developed valve system is now suitable for a much wider range of applications.  

The construction of the gripper can be divided into (4) main components:  

Basic body

The new series is based on a body made of light-weight extruded aluminium sections. The vacuum grippers come in five standardised lengths from 400mm up to 1400mm, and can be easily combined to form a large-area vacuum gripper array (layer grippers). The aluminium section incorporates two T slots for easy mechanical mounting.  

Vacuum generator

The integration of cassette style vacuum generation modules fitted into the end of the body profile now provides a neatly finished product, which leaves no exposed hoses to get snagged. The multi-staged venturi-type vacuum generation modules are themselves available in four different power ratings, permitting an optimal overall design that suits almost any handling task.  

Valve Technology

The large-area vacuum grippers FXC/FMC have one of two different valve modules fitted. The completely new variant SVK-W combi-valve combines the performance of the proven check-valve technology with the flexibility of a flow resistor array. This new valve technology now allows even rough and porous workpieces to be gripped quickly and safely. In addition, all workpieces can be released more quickly thanks to an improved blow-off function. These two features result in shorter cycle times and a reduction in non-productive idle times.  

Sealing Mat
The sealing mats, which can be replaced quickly and easily, are now available in two versions with different hole spacings (fine and medium). This gives more flexibility in the design of the gripper system to match the planned task and also allows fast and easy modification. With the optional integrated filter mat, the valves can be protected even better against dirt, greatly improving the operational reliability.  

Other options include:

  • Solenoid control valves for vacuum on/off and blow-off
  • Vacuum switches for part presence signals
  • Mounting kits for robot flanges

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