Vacuum gripping technology is an efficient handling method for many objects and materials, and works by applying industrial vacuum to suction cups or pads that are placed on the objects to be moved. This technique was originally developed to meet the needs of early industrial automation, with applications throughout the process line; from assembly to finishing, transfer, testing, and packaging. Although initially designed for the plastics, wood and automotive industries, the range of applications for vacuum gripping technology has now become more widespread.
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Vacuum gripping technology allows a surface to be gripped with a shock-free contact, and to configure a suction pad to the shape of whatever material or object is to be processed. When the pad is placed on the object, a gripping vacuum is applied to it, which lifts the object up and binds it to the pad during the whole process, pushed away from the original surface by atmospheric pressure. When the process is complete, the vacuum pressure is interrupted and the object released.
Vacuum gripping technology is defined by the shape, weight and type of object to be gripped (porous or airtight), the movements and efforts required to lift it, the cycling rate of the process and its environment. The most appropriate type of vacuum generator must be chosen for these parameters, and how they will function with the suction pads, as well as required response times and any additional components required for supply, connection and control of the installation.