Vertical grip on sheet metal in the automotive industry

MAGNET FOR ROBOTIC APPLICATIONS

Goudsmit Magnetics Group of Waalre (NL) has developed a magnetic gripper which is used for

picking up or holding items such as punched steel parts, blanks and perforated steel sheet in robotic
applications in the automotive industry. The ultralight magnetic gripper is fitted with permanent
magnets and can be used in grippers on robot arms. The magnets can be switched on and off
pneumatically. This enables the system to pick up and transport even very thin steel sheets one at a
time. The rubber pad at the end ensures that the work piece does not slide during vertical pick-up
and prevents the work piece from being damaged. This easily installable system is already in use by a
number of large car manufacturers.

Vacuum technique
The use of a magnetic gripper on robot arms replaces the traditional vacuum technique. A
disadvantage of vacuum grippers is that they are susceptible to malfunction and subject to wear.
Furthermore, the vacuum cups must be positioned correctly, because when they are positioned even
partially over a hole in the metal sheet they do not grip at all. The electromagnets used by other
manufacturers are not a good solution for this problem, because they are so heavy that they reduce
the lifting capacity; a magnetic gripper with permanent magnets is considerably lighter. Moreover,
the gripper does not wear and has a longer service life than vacuum grippers.

Timing belt
By using a timing belt in combination with a sheet separator and a magnetic gripper, sheets of steel
can be quickly and accurately separated, lifted and placed in a press. The timing belt transports the
sheets to and from, in and out of the press. This is done with an acceleration rate of 6 m/s2. The
optional switchable permanent magnets or electromagnets make it possible for robots to then pick
up the sheets. Goudsmit magnetic grippers, optionally fitted with a friction pad, handle the sheets
without damage and provide sufficient friction where needed. To prevent two sheets from being
picked up together, the system is equipped with two compact, pneumatically switchable sheet
separators. The optional switchable permanent magnets or electromagnets make it possible for
robots to then pick up the sheets. Goudsmit magnetic grippers, optionally fitted with a friction pad,
handle the sheets without damage and provide sufficient friction where needed. To prevent two
sheets from being picked up together, the system is equipped with two compact, pneumatically
switchable sheet separators. The timing belt is suited for a sheet thickness of 0.7-2.5 mm.

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