CAD program, online-shop, additive manufactured – the intelligent web-based tool SCHUNK eGRIP includes three functions in one single application. Within 15 minutes gripper jaws are designed, ordered, and then delivered after ten working days. In the first step, this has been possible for polyamide fingers, and now for the aluminum and stainless steel versions, too. One particularly clever feature is an integrated lightweight structure which lowers the weight of the SCHUNK eGRIP metal fingers by up to 50 per cent.

Make it or buy? – Customers, who have tested the SCHUNK eGRIP, will not ask this question any more, since the web tool of the competence leader for gripping systems and clamping technology is designed so efficiently. Instead of spending hours designing, keeping jaw blanks in stock, and to machine them, a few clicks at and it is done. The new version of the web tool includes all kinds of clever features, which facilitate your purchase decision. Comparable with an online photo service, the operator configures the desired gripper fingers from an upload of an own file (STEP or STL), and the indication of different variables such as material, gripper type, installation position of the gripper and the finger length.

As soon as the basic information is entered into the system, the tool indicates the delivery time and the exact price. If the material is changed, the price automatically updates and the available materials can be easily compared with each other. SCHUNK introduces the volume-based model together with the new version for all material versions, and in doing so, the company directly passes the cost advantage of the additive manufacturing method on to their customers. The smaller the volume, the more favorable the price of the fingers is. Moreover, it was possible to lower the basic price for polyamide fingers considerably due to efficiency effects.


Integrated lightweight structure


Beside fingers of the already available polyamide 12, they can be ordered now in an aluminum (AlSi10Mg) or stainless steel (1.4404) version, too. “It is our goal to further reduce the weight at the tool center point with the help of our gripping systems components,” emphasized Ralf Steinmann, Director Business Unit Gripping Systems at SCHUNK. “We succeeded in this by using particularly high-performance components such as the new SCHUNK PGN-plus universal gripper, but also the SCHUNK eGRIP lightweight fingers.” Users can benefit from using smaller unit sizes, and a higher dynamics within the handling processes.

While the wear-resistant polyamide fingers have low weight by nature, SCHUNK uses the technological potentials of selective laser melting for weight reduction of the metal fingers. Without that the operator has to take any actions, the aluminum and stainless steel fingers are automatically designed as a lightweight component with an integrated hollow or grid structure. Thereby, the material requirement and production time reduce, and, compared with the conventionally manufactured metal fingers, the user benefits from a weight reduction between 10 and 50 per cent. The larger the fingers, the higher the proportional weight reduction. This effect is particularly noticeable in case of stainless steel.

Individually adjusted to the particular application, the designers can freely choose between the offered materials. The stainless steel fingers have a material density of 8 g/cm3, a tensile strength of 700 N/mm2, an E-module of 190 kN/mm2, an elongation at break of 34%, and a tolerance of +/- 0,1mm (layer thickness of 30 µm) or +/- 0,2 mm (layer thickness of 50 µm). They are particularly suitable for demanding applications in the machine building industry. The aluminum and polyamide fingers are more predestined for dynamic applications in the high-performance assembly. At a density of just 0,9 g/cm3,the extremely lightweight polyamide fingers are chemically stable, suitable for the food industry, and can also be reliably used in connection with cooling lubricants and aggressive media. Particularly for the pharmaceutical and medical areas, SCHUNK offers top jaws made of FDA-approved polyamide 12 (PA 2201).

Flexible order process

SCHUNK has equipped the new version of the online ordering process with all kinds of versions. If a customer does not want to order the gripper fingers immediately, they may call up the automatically stored quotation with the configuration number later, can continue designing or request a quotation by e-mail now for passing it on to the purchasing department. Moreover, the outside contour of the generated assembly group consisting of gripper, top jaws and workpiece, can be downloaded free of charge as a STL file and can be directly used for system design purposes. Follow-up orders can be also easily proceeded since all the orders can be called up any time again, newly ordered or adjusted.

The effect of the world’s first online shop for individually designed gripper fingers is impressive. The engineering time for designing gripper fingers reduces by up to 97%. The manufacturing or delivery time shortens by up to 88%, and the finger price additionally lowers by up to 50%. The SCHUNK eGRIP particularly pays off in the field of assembly plants, where many grippers with different geometries are required. “Depending on the geometry and individual requirements, savings for a rotary indexing table with 12 stations and 12 each pairs of different fingers can amount between 2,400.- € and 9,600.- €,” said Ralf Steinmann.

The intelligent web tool, with an optional German or English user guidance, is available for the SCHUNK universal grippers PGN-plus 40 to 125 (polyamide) or PGN-plus 40 to 80 (aluminum or stainless steel); for the pneumatically controlled small components gripper SCHUNK MPG-plus 20 to 64, and the electrically controlled 24V small components gripper SCHUNK EGP 20 to 50. The fingers are shipped after ten working days at the latest. With every order of metal fingers, the customer receives a tolerance deviation sheet, based on a three-dimensional scan, indicating the deviations of the actual geometry of the manufactured fingers to the set point drawn in false colours. The fingers can be ordered from the EU countries and Switzerland.



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