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Gripping technology November 2022

Flexible gripper for small components ensures maximum process safety

SCHUNK has developed a versatile gripper for small components for handling of delicate and fragile workpieces. The intelligent EGK proves its strength in challenging and varied tasks in the laboratory industry or electronics manufacturing.
EGK – Life Science The new smart EGK gripper for small components stands for highest workpiece diversity with maximum process reliabitlity It shows its strength in demanding applications such as in the life-science sector or electronics manufacturing.

Smaller, finer, more sensitive - in many industrial sectors products need to be handled gently. For example in lab automation, where samples, vials or trays have to be handled safely and reliably or in the electronics industry when handling circuit boards. Maximum process reliability is required in all cases. For this purpose, the automaton specialist has designed a sensitive gripper that is versatile in use and in terms of connectivity, and at the same time meets the high demands of cleanroom environments.

Gripping force maintenance for reliable processes

The new electric gripper for small components EGK offers maximum process safety in the handling process Its spur gear with pinion/rack principle ensures a constant gripping force over the entire finger length and allows permanent re-gripping. Since no start-up distance or force impulse is required for power generation, the gripper delivers 100% of its performance right fom the start. The integrated gripping force maintenance avoids the loss of workpieces and holds the finger position even in the event of an emergency stop. The high-resolution, integrated absolute encoder offers additional process transparency. It permanently captures the base jaws position. Therefore, the gripping process can be continued after power failure or reboot without new referencing. Depending on gripper size, the highly flexible component range enables various workpieces to be handled with the same gripper due to its long, freely programmable jaw stroke and continuously adjustable gripping force from 20 to 300 N. For sensitive gripping of particularly fragile workpieces, SCHUNK has equipped the EGK with a special "SoftGrip" mode, in which almost no impulse forces are acting.

Reliable in cleanrooms

This cleanroom-certified gripper is highly impressive in all applications where hygiene is of particular importance. Equipped with food-compliant H1-greasing as standard, it is equipped with a sophisticated three-stage sealing concept that protects gears and electronic components effectively while minimizing wear. Its control and power electronics are also fully integrated and are sealed according to protection class IP 67. After contact with fluids, for example during regular cleaning cycles in the laboratory, it works absolutely reliably.

Saves time during commissioning

Users have all the options of the EGK in terms of connectivity and can therefore determine the functional scope of the intelligent component themselves. It has a unique variety of interfaces and can be integrated into all relevant networks: PROFINET, EtherCat, EtherNet/IP, IO-Link and Modbus RTU. Supplied robot plugins or PLC function modules additionally reduce the programming effort during commissioning. The EGK is available from SCHUNK in three sizes 25, 40 and 50 in ten variants respectively, with and without a brake.