Gripper systems are indispensable for industrial robots or handling systems as they form the connection between the workpiece and the handling system. Grippers are operated pneumatically or electrically and are used for gripping, holding, positioning and orienting the workpiece or tool. Normally, gripper systems are mounted on the outermost or last axis of handling systems and are connected to the main power cable.
Gripper systems can have different functionalities. They operate mechanically, pneumatically, electrically or adhesively.
Mechanical grippers resemble a human hand and have one or more fingers. These gripper systems can have several rigid joints, but are usually also flexible and bendable. They are usually pneumatic, i.e. they are operated by compressed air. Mechanical or electrical actuation is also possible.
Pneumatic grippers have vacuum cups or suction cups that pick up the workpiece using suction in order to transport it for further processing. In addition to vacuum technology, the workpieces to be processed can also be clamped and moved using pressure. If pneumatic grippers cannot be used because the surface of the workpiece does not permit the creation of a vacuum, e.g. if it is porous or holey, adhesive gripper systems usually provide an alternative solution.
When their gripping surfaces, which have tiny hairs, are pressed onto a workpiece, Van der Waals forces are generated that can be used to lift the workpiece. If the adhesive gripper is slightly tilted sideways with control, it releases its grip again. The advantage of adhesive grippers is that they do not require power and are therefore extremely energy efficient.
Electric grippers with magnetic function attract and hold the workpiece magnetically. A distinction is made between two types of magnetic gripper systems: permanent magnet grippers and electromagnetic grippers. Once the workpiece has been lifted by a gripper with permanent magnet, it must be removed by another system. Electromagnetic grippers are switched on and off by electrical energy, which is why workpieces can be gripped and set down again easily.
Mechanical grippers from Festo are moved by an internal drive and transform the drive motion into a gripping motion. This movement of the gripper jaws is referred to as a stroke. Depending on the stroke and gripping force, workpieces of different sizes can be gripped and handled. Grippers with a long stroke are offered by Festo in both pneumatic and electric versions.
Festo offers mechanical parallel grippers in various designs. They are suitable for internal and external gripping. Parallel standard grippers are used for handling a wide range of small parts in a clean environment. To absorb high forces, Festo offers sturdy gripper systems with a resilient T-slot guide for the gripper jaws. Sealed grippers are suitable for handling tasks in very dirty and demanding environments. The precise parallel gripper has gripper jaws with an impressive backlash-free roller bearing.
In our Core Range you will find the three parallel grippers DHPC, DHPS, HGPL and HGPT in a wide range of sizes. DHPC and DHPS are characterised by their high gripping force, compact design as well as maximum repeat accuracy, while HGPL is particularly suitable for use with large workpieces and long strokes. The parallel gripper HGPT is sturdy, powerful and, like the HGPL, has a T-slot guide. In addition to our Core Range, you will find additional parallel grippers for a wide variety of requirements at Festo. These include products that are ideal for gripping larger workpieces, self-centring grippers and grippers for very harsh environments as well as micro grippers with an extremely small and convenient design.
With three-point grippers, a workpiece can be picked up centrally. At Festo you will find three-point grippers in various designs. Standard three-point grippers are suitable for the universal handling of small parts in a clean environment. To absorb high forces, the three-finger gripper systems with resilient T-slot guide are used for internal and external gripping. Sealed three-point grippers are suitable for handling tasks in very dirty and demanding environments.
Our three-point gripper DHDS ensures maximum repeat accuracy and has a high gripping force while also having a compact design. The Festo three-point gripper HGDD enables precise gripping with centric movements despite high torque loads and is particularly suitable for use in very harsh environments. The gripper jaw guide of the three-point gripper HGDT is protected from dust by sealing air, which makes this gripper particularly durable. It is also available as a high-force version and enables the gripper jaws to be moved synchronously.
Angle grippers from Festo are available as small parts grippers and micro grippers. Each jaw of the angle gripper opens up to 20°. The opening angle can eliminate the need to approach an object from the side. The specific opening angle can reduce cycle times and interfering contours can be avoided.
Our latest model, the angle gripper DHWC, can be used either as a double-acting or single-acting gripper. In addition, the gripper jaws are supported laterally and thus the gripper has a high torque load. The angle gripper DHWS with improved gripper jaw guide has an internal fixed restrictor, which makes an external restrictor superfluous in most of the applications. The Festo angle gripper HGWM is characterised by its small and convenient design. The externally adaptable gripping fingers make it very versatile.
Radial grippers from Festo are available in two variants. The standard radial gripper is available as a small parts gripper for clean ambient conditions. A robust version with a sealing air connection allows higher forces to be absorbed. Each jaw of the radial gripper opens up to 90°. The wide opening angle may make it unnecessary to approach an object from the side.
The radial grippers DHRC and DHRS from Festo with their lateral gripper jaw support enable a high torque load. The former can be used either as a double-acting or single-acting gripper, the latter is sturdy and has an internal restrictor. Characteristic for the radial gripper HGRT is the precise and sturdy kinematics for very high torque absorption as well as the long service life.
The swivel/gripper unit, a compact functional combination of parallel gripper and swivel unit, is also part of the group of mechanical gripper systems. Both functions can be controlled and moved individually and independently of each other. The swivel/gripper unit is available in three different sizes. The swivel angle can be adjusted from 0° to 210° at a maximum gripping force of 192 newtons.
You can get the swivel/gripper unit HGDS from Festo, with a swivel angle that can be infinitely adjusted and which guarantees a precise end stop with elastic cushioning or integrated shock absorber.
As part of the range of pneumatic gripper systems, you will find reliable internal grippers in the shape of bellows grippers that are gentle on components. As the bellows diameter is increased mechanically, the load is gripped using its inner contour. Bellows grippers are suitable for gripping and transporting parts with a circular opening, such as glasses, cups or bottles. There are two different bellows materials: EPDM is suitable for high loads and silicone for high temperatures.
The Festo bellows gripper DHEB is available in 11 sizes for gripping diameters from 8 to 85 mm. The DHEB moves either up or down. Adaptive shape gripper DHEF is suitable for gripping parts with undefined positions and shapes as well as products with different geometries.