| Article appears in February 2022 Issue

Transport solution: SMC’s Magnetic Gripper 

14-03-2022

In 2020, SMC extended its gripper range with the launch of the MHM series. This innovative gripper makes use of magnetic technology and is ideal for product handling on irregular surfaces.  

SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand product manager Guiomar Fernandez explained, “In the past it was difficult to gain sufficient absorption of workpieces on uneven or perforated surfaces (using a regular vacuum pad). Now, thanks to the MHM magnetic gripper, workpieces can be easily transported.”
 
New freedom

The MHM series offers machine operators newfound freedom and peace-of-mind. “With a holding force of up to 1000 N, it keeps hold of the workpieces - even when the air is shut off - offering peace of mind when it comes to reliable and safe movement of workpieces.  Also, with a residual force of 0.3 N or less, cycle times are reduced and productivity output is improved.”

Fernandez added that the MHM series is ideal for cobot applications where suction pads and grippers will not perform optimally due to uneven or porous surfaces. “End effectors, primarily in the form of grippers, enable the business end of the cobot to handle and manipulate parts with a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. The MHM series is a versatile solution for handling ferrous metals.”

Behind-the-scenes

Speaking to the initial research and development behind-the-scenes, Fernandez explained, “Thanks to the close working relationship we enjoy with our customers, it became apparent there was a need to develop a gripper for workpieces that vacuum pads could not accommodate.  The magnetic MHM fills that void, and the initial feedback has been really positive thanks to its clever design that offers flexibility, cost savings and reliability.”

Suitable for a range of transfer applications, the holding force of the MHM can be adjusted by changing the distance between the magnet and workpiece by the adjustment bolt. Made from Fluororubber, the bumper prevents damage to the workpieces, delivering cost savings.  

“The bumper also prevents the workpiece from slipping during operations, improving safety.  Featuring three mountable surfaces and the option to mount auto switches, the MHM offers flexibility and greater process control,” she concluded.

 

 

 

 

 

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