EU innovation project: Flexible gripping system
Z.E.C. AG took up the challenge of developing a modular, cost-effective and lightweight gripping system as part of an EU-financed innovation project. The solution was specifically designed gripper jaws, which were manufactured with additives to meet the limited accuracy requirements.
As part of the European funding programme EU-FP7 ReBorn (Innovative Reuse of modular knowledge Based devices and technologies for Old, Renewed and New factories), Z.E.C. AG developed a modular interface of a gripper system with the requirements to change gripper jaws within a very short time and with minimum effort.
Aim of the project
The aim of this overall project is the reuse of production plants and their modular subsystems. Furthermore, the manual interventions, e.g. for type changes, should be brought towards 0.
The requirements: Flexibility & Lightweight construction
The requirements for the gripper system are: modular, flexible, cost-effective, lightweight design, fast and easy type change, just-in-time development and production of the required gripper jaws.
Our solution: A modular gripping system
The solution is a snap connection between an adapter (metal) and specifically designed and manufactured gripper jaws (plastic), manufactured by means of additive manufacturing. The interface has an additional function which ensures that the gripper jaws can only be used in one orientation. The production is preceded by an FDM system in order to manufacture the gripper jaws as required and transfer them into the automation system.
The big challenges were: to be able to change the gripper jaws without additional tools and also automatically, as well as to meet the function by the limiting accuracy during the production of the parts.
Design of parts for additive manufacturing