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Needle grippers work where vacuum fails

Supplier: Millsom Materials Handling
11 May, 2010

Innovative needle grippers for handling of materials which are difficult or impossible to grip with vacuum – an addition to the range of grippers for rational handling and material-flow solutions from the vacuum specialist, Millsom Materials Handling.

Unfortunately, there are some products which cannot be handled with the proven suction pads and vacuum gripping systems, simply because they cannot be gripped with a vacuum. Theses include very flexible and porous materials such as foam, insulating mats, filter mats, textiles and metal foams. The new and innovative needle grippers from Millsom Materials Handling now offer a simple and reliable solution to the problem of handling such products. 

The principle of operation is very simple. The body of the gripper contains needles which can be extended by means of a pneumatic cylinder powered by compressed air and retracted either by a spring or by compressed air. 

The needles are mounted at an angle and penetrate the product to be handled when they are extended. This penetration at an angle ensures secure gripping of the product, so that it can be moved, precisely positioned and released.

Depending on the product to be handled, the needle grippers are available in various sizes and shapes, with differing operating principles and with needles of various diameters between 0.8 and 2.0 mm and with a fixed or adjustable stroke. The needle grippers have between 4 and 24 needles and  are compact and light, which means that they have no negative effects on the dynamic movement of the handling system or robot. For quick and easy mounting, there is a special adapter plate, with which the designer or the fitter can implement a gripping unit which is ready for installation.

The needle grippers of the SNG series round off the range of vacuum components and gripping systems available from Millsom Materials Handling.