Suction cups are used to place and remove material in and from the machine. These tools are not to be used as a point-of-operation safeguard but can be used to help keep the operator’s hands out of the point of operation when loading parts.
These lifters have strengthened steel rods and oil-resistant flexible vacuum cups. They are ideal for handling plastic, metal, glass, and any other material that has a smooth, non-porous surface. There are three types of lifters to choose from. The single-cup lifter is available in three cup sizes. The double-cup lifter is available in one cup size. The straight-handle lifter has a handle attached to the top of the vacuum cup and provides the user with extra reach. When it comes to gripping and moving anything from cola cans to car fenders, vacuum cups on end-of-arm tooling are incredibly versatile devices in many automated handling systems. They come in countless types, sizes, constructions, and materials to suit widely varying applications. Here are some general engineering considerations for choosing the right one for a particular task;
Suction cups are available in various geometries, such as simple, circular types for general-purpose handling; extra-deep cups for round or highly curved surfaces; and oval shapes for picking up long and narrow products. These cups often include molded-in structural details like exterior reinforcing ribs for added strength or interior nubs for better contact with a mating part.
Suction cups come in two general shapes, flat and bellows. Flat vacuum cups are best for handling workpieces with flat or slightly curved surfaces, such as metal and glass plates, plastic sheets, and wooden boards. Properly designed, they have good rigidity and stability to handle high shear forces and can withstand forces and accelerations from fast automated handling movements.
Bellows suction cups, on the other hand, have one or more accordion-like convolutions. This lets them compensate for varying workpiece heights and handle parts with uneven surfaces. Evacuating the bellows also creates a lifting action which can be useful to lightly grip fragile parts, like electronic parts or even chocolate candy. Bellows versions are typically used for handling curved parts like car body panels, pipes and tubes, injected molded plastic parts, and nonrigid packaged goods or shrink-wrapped products.
A corollary to cup shape is its interior volume. That’s important because this is the volume that must be evacuated to create a vacuum—and the holding force—to grip and pick up a workpiece. Flat cups have a relatively small inner volume and, thus, evacuate quickly and can grip in a very short time. The total inner volume of all the cups in a system, as well as that of tubing and connectors, must be added to determine the total volume of the gripper system. From there, engineers can calculate the evacuation time based on vacuum flow capacity and, ultimately, how quickly the system can pick up apart. Finally, also consider how long it takes to supply air to the cup, purge the vacuum, and release the workpiece.
Vacuum cup suppliers offer a wide variety of options to suit specific application requirements. Typical examples include nitrile rubber (NBR) which’s economical, offers excellent oil resistance, and is the first choice for general-purpose applications; silicone for food-grade applications; natural rubber for handling wood; polyurethane for excellent wear resistance and high strength; and fluoroelastomers for high chemical and weathering resistance. Other common materials include options like PVC and EPDM, as well as proprietary formulations from specialty chemical manufacturers. Some come in anti-static versions for handling electronics.
Depending on the application and setting, suction cups might need to tolerate rough or porous surfaces or withstand ozone, oils, washdown solvents, or steam. Operating and workpiece temperatures can be a concern, too. Some silicone products, for example, offer a temperature operating range from around –20 to 350° F (–30 to 180° C) and fluoroelastomers to nearly 400° F (200° C).
Of course, in addition to selecting the type of suction cup, engineers need to determine the holding force based on parameters like cup size, vacuum level, ambient air pressure, leakage rates, product weight, workpiece surface coefficient of friction, and the magnitude and direction of loads and accelerations.
PORTABLE SUCTION CUPS
● Veribor Suction Cup Lifter
Veribor is a brand under the Mother company Bohle AG, that is dedicated to developing, manufacturing, and selling suction lifters. Today the Veribor product range includes lifting and carrying devices from single-cup pump-activated suction lifters to industrial quality lifting equipment with carrying capacities up to several tons.
The Veribor Sector Lifter is suitable for:
- Materials and objects with airtight surfaces
- Carrying capacity from 25 kg up to 120 kg
- Carrying direction both parallel and horizontal
- Handling glass, sheet metal, flooring, stoneware, coated wood, etc.
● All-Vac suction cup
All-Vac Industries has succeeded for over 45 years by listening to our customers and quickly working to assist them.
All-Vac Industries was founded in 1972 in Chicago, Illinois. All-Vac has established itself as the premier manufacturer and distributor of Vacuum Cups, Suction Cups, Suction Cup Lifting Tools, and Vacu-Lifter hand tools. All-Vac industries offer two styles of Suction Cup Lifters; the Pump Style creates an incredible suction hold by easily pumping out the air between the suction cup and the material being moved and the Locking Lever Style creates a strong suction hold by flipping levers into the hold position. Both styles provide unique benefits that allow you to safely and easily lift a variety of smooth-surfaced – nonporous materials and objects.
By applying the principles of atmospheric pressure and vacuum, these hand tools will securely attach to glass, aluminum, sheet metal, steel, plastics, polished stone, fiberglass, countertops, raised floor panels, and a great deal more.
GRABO was invented and developed by Nemo Power Tools Limited, a leading developer of various premium power tools for professionals in multiple industries. Nemo Power Tools is based in Hong Kong, with engineering design and sales offices in Israel, the USA, and Australia.
The electric GRABO suction cup is a revolutionary way to lift and handle tiles, glass, concrete, drywall, plywood, furniture, timber, and much more. Grabo is the most exciting new invention in the power tools industry, since the pistol grip drill. This handheld vacuum-assisted lifting grabber is designed to reduce physical exertion, workload and to safely handle construction materials. Designed for flooring professionals, glass installers, carpenters, movers, construction workers, Grabo can be used with auxiliary lifting straps, to lift to 375 lbs (170 kg), move and transport household appliances, furniture, boxes, and entertainment systems. The GRABO vacuum-assisted lifting technology transforms the way heavy lifting and cumbersome moving and installation tasks are performed. It can grab almost any surface: wet, rough, or porous. Handle patterned glass, diamond pattern steel, dry wall, and other surfaces that NO OTHER product in the market can lift.