Have Your Cobot Pick Up Differently Shaped Parts

Schmalz Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is part of the German manufacturing company J. Schmalz GmbH, has developed a new gripper for automated handling. The FQE has been designed for a variety of different tasks for collaborative robots, and it grips workpieces of varying shapes and sizes with speed and reliability. It also has the option of adding a sealing element, consisting of suction cups or foam, which could be especially handy for woodshops making PPE related plastic products. The FQE isn’t restricted to collaborative robots. It can also be used in fully automated applications and can be used to pick and place parts or grab delicate subassemblies. This new end-of-arm tool features integrated control valves with a suction and blow-off function. The company says that “they not only enable you to shorten your cycle times, but also help to reduce interference contours. This aspect is also important for human-robot collaboration (HRC): While designing the new gripper, Schmalz focused on rounded edges, an enlarged contact surface and the lowest possible impact forces. As a result, the new gripper complies with ISO TS 15066 and is therefore HRC-capable. At the same time, the lightweight modular design keeps the weight of the FQE so low that it can hold up to 35 kilograms (77 lbs.).” The FQE is available in an M version for operation with external vacuum generators, and also in an X version where an integrated pump (ecoPump SEP) provides the necessary vacuum. A silencer keeps noise to a minimum. The gripper is available in the following sizes: 120 x 60 mm (4.72” x 2.36”), 220 x 80 mm (8.66” x 3.15”) and 300 x 130 mm (11.81” x 5.12”).