By July 8, 2014 Read More →

Festo highlights flexible, adaptive gripping concept

140709_FestoThe natural world often shows how maximum performance can be achieved with minimum energy consumption in a wide variety of ways. By transferring these principles to the development of new technological methods and innovative processes, engineers can better understand how automation systems can be more efficient. Festo says its advanced handling and kinematic robot systems achieve just this and are ideal for use in the food and beverage sectors. New concepts such as the MultiChoiceGripper have been inspired by nature and will be on display on its stand at PPMA 2014.

The MultiChoiceGripper brings together a unique combination of different grip types with flexible, adaptive gripping fingers. Its fingers can therefore be switched over so they can either grip in a parallel or centric direction, without requiring any conversion. This is enabled by two rotatable finger slots on the base body of the gripper, which are arranged either around a central point or opposite the third finger. This is inspired by the human hand and its opposable thumb, which can be rotated by 130 degrees in relation to the other fingers. Depending on requirements, between two and six finger elements can be fitted to the MultiChoiceGripper. Besides the Fin Ray fingers, two other types of fingers can be attached.

Festo will also be showing its WaveHandler – a modular system that moves a surface in such a way that objects are transported and sorted purposefully. The integration of a sorting function means an additional handling unit is no longer required for this process. The conveyor consists of numerous bellows modules that deform the surface creating a wave motion that transports the objects in a targeted manner. Inspiration for this principle was provided by monitoring natural waves. The movement of wind over the smooth surface of the water produces small ripples, which grow as the wind pushes against them. However, it is energy being moved by the waves, not water. The water molecules within a wave move up and down in a circular motion, but remain in roughly the same place. Yet the energy produced causes the wave to roll over the surface of the sea. The WaveHandling system behaves in a similar way: while each individual bellow advances and retracts in the same spot, a wave moves over the surface of the conveyor.

Visitors to the stand, E60, hall 5, will have the opportunity to meet Food & Packaging specialists from Festo, and discuss Festo’s contribution towards automation and improved productivity in the processing and packaging industry. In addition, Festo Training & Consulting is also sponsoring the show’s ‘The Ones to Watch’ awards. These awards identify the next generation of ‘stars’ in processing and packing machinery, and celebrate promising young professionals who have already made an impression on the industry and have an exciting future ahead of them.

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