Pneumatic grippers are pick-and-place machines that use compressed air to operate gripper jaws that are also called gripping fingers. These fingers, almost similar in design to human fingers, help in holding, grasping, and releasing work or load items. Commonly, grippers have two fingers that can be parallel or angular, or three fingers with single or double-acting pneumatic valves or cylinders for control. Work or load items can be small items such as chips or circuit boards to large items like engine blocks or mining equipment.
Advantages of pneumatic grippers:
- High and strong gripping force.
- Ability to grip a variety of items, workpieces, and configurations.
- Adjustable gripping force.
How does a pneumatic gripper work?
The gripper is connected to an external compressed air supply system. As the compressed air is pumped into the cylinder or valve, the piston rods power up. The piston rod is connected directly to the gripping fingers and as the air pressure moves the piston up and down, the fingers open or close in an angular or parallel manner. Grippers can thus be used for pick-and-place operations or to change the orientation of an object.
Repeatability is the measure of maximum positioning accuracy that grippers can achieve. Pneumatic grippers can have different repeatability based on the speed of operations and the number of fingers used. Repeatability can be determined based on the precision required for the application or operation.
Safety factor and mounting options
The normal recommendation for safety factors for a particular application can be based on:
- 2 – For normal use.
- 3 – For movement in several directions.
- 4 – For shocks, fast accelerations, or decelerations.
Mounting holes are always found either on the front, side, or bottom of a gripper to provide secure mounting options. Depending on the application, any side can be selected for mounting. Always make sure that the ports for compressed air are free and unencumbered.
Other considerations for safety factors and mounting:
- Gripping force.
- Workpiece weight and configuration.
- Air pressure.
For quality pneumatic valves, MasterMac 2000 P/L is the sole authorised distributor for Mack Valves in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Mack Valves are exclusively made in Australia. It has become a brand widely known locally and internationally for its robust design, reliability, and longevity. Call us on 07 3344 4711 for your queries. You can also send us a message or enquire at https://mastermac2000.com.au/contact-us/.