Schmalz: Large-Area Gripper – Now Also Networked

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October 27, 2021

Schmalz is expanding the FXP/FMP large-area gripper series with intelligent functions and an IO-Link communication interface. This allows the universal gripper to supply important data for process monitoring to the smartphone, the cloud or the higher-level controller.

The large-area grippers FXP and FMP handle different workpieces, are available with foam or suction cups and grip reliably even with partial occupancy. Now J. Schmalz GmbH is also making them communicative – with the new FXP-i and FMP-i variants. The “i” stands for intelligence and means that the new grippers can transmit relevant data to all common fieldbus systems via an IO-Link interface. This enables functions such as predictive maintenance and condition monitoring. Energy and process monitoring allow users to track the operation of both i variants and detect potential faults. The automatic air-saving function of the FXP-i version additionally reduces operating costs. In addition to IO-Link, the new versions also support NFC (Near Field Communication), which significantly simplifies parameterization via smartphone.

The large-area grippers are based on an aluminum base profile with integrated air guidance. Lateral T-slots provide space for sensors. A vacuum booster ensures rapid evacuation and also maximises the holding force. A self-cleaning valve film is located between the base body and sealing element. It enables the valve type and size to be changed quickly. The large-area gripper is usually flange-mounted to a gantry or robot and handles a variety of materials – from wood and packaging to glass, sheet metal or carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics, regardless of their geometry and surface properties. The FXP-i and FMP-i are available immediately.

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