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Grippers used in the machine tool industry and the metal working industry are commonly referred to those fixture devices that are designed to hold specific objects and achieve precision and repeatable part placement in the machining applications.
Precision grippers are very important accessories that can optimize the operators’ working efforts and the key to achieve a high degree of precision in part placement takes the utilization of high repeatable grippers with high accuracy and precision standard.
The construction of precision grippers are not complicated though, it takes very high standard of precision of each composing parts, such as the high parallelism between the gripper body with the jaws, and with the zero side play which can compromise repeatability. The metal composition and ingredient percentages of grippers are to be precise, so that the tolerance can be firmly kept for at least five million machining cycles. Beside, no matter it is a parallel gripper, angular gripper, pneumatic gripper, or electric gripper, they all have to match the size of the part weight, air pressure, and length properly. If the size cannot be absolutely right, at least oversized version is preferred than undersized ones.
When workers are making their metal working process in rugged operation environments, the sliding parts of the sliding jaw grippers can absorb the vibration, impacts, and unnecessary shocks. The absorbing process is steady so the grippers would not lose the scheduled repeatability, which is the most important part for the processing. The ideal repeatability and precision level of the industrial precision grippers regarding the movement precision ranges around 0.05 millimeter. Most parallel grippers driven by pneumatic forces are designed as two or three jaw structure, because these types of design offer great force values in relatively small footprints.
Double V roller structure of the bearing grippers can offer the bearing grippers with excellent repeatability but with low pressure. Small parts clamped on the double V roller bearing grippers are well clamped due to the longer fingers without reduction in precision level as well as the repeatability. In addition, the angular bearing structure can annihilate the finger side issues during the working operation. Further, this frame can wipe out gaps between the working jaw and the gripper body components even if the finger side does not develop just by simple preload setting.
These two types of grippers can deal with small part work pieces with sub millimeter precision level, and the additional sub millimeter part detection can help verify whether the object is present just by grasping it. They are easy to be controlled due to the true translation motion as it helps the gripper easier to be controlled. The precise speed values of the motion are not the main concern but the precise applications which may set the eventual closing. Some grippers’ suppliers are now developing cable-less grippers due to the internal cabling that plugs directly inside the gripper. This design makes the grippers and the working site looks pretty much neater and more beautiful and this is highly durable. Some suppliers may add additional safety protections such as sealed units to protect it from contaminants so that there would be fewer contaminations happened.
Overall speaking, the operation of the grippers is to hold the intended work pieces firmly with enough but not over forces. The modification feasibility of grippers, no matter they are sliding jaw grippers, double V roller bearing grippers, or any other grippers, they ought to be firm enough to cope with the processing forces and the outcome torques. Compared with the cylinders and chuck units, grippers are relatively simpler in regard to the frame structure and the corresponding working mechanism, as the chuck and cylinder couple work the whole clamping mechanism with the hydraulic operation mechanism, and the mechanism is rather heavy and complicated.
If we put industrial grippers together with the chuck and cylinders into comparison, in the conventional machine tool composition hydraulic chuck and cylinder is one of the most important components for machine tool machining procedure. Activated by cylinders, chucks will hold the material in position while the machine tools are working, and there are basically two methods of clamping: Ferro magnetic method and non Ferro magnetic tradition. Different from grippers, the Ferro magnetic method adopt magnetic effects, and the non Ferro magnetic are activated by vacuum or mechanical working effects.
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