Healthy, satisfied employees, increased efficiency, flexibility and sustainability – regardless of the industry, there are always the same reasons that give rise to a higher degree of automation in handling tasks. Best Handling Technology was able to achieve all of this for its customer, a leading logistics service provider, with a suction cup equipped Kenos® area gripper.
The rope balancer systems are attached to knuckle boom cranes and H-crane systems. The gripper of the handling system is based on the proven Kenos® technology with integrated COAX® midi ejectors. In this case, two area grippers were installed for each workstation, which can be easily and quickly adapted to different box sizes using an adjustment mechanism. Each Kenos is equipped with 16 durable BX52P DURAFLEX® suction cups specially designed for cardboard handling in a customer-specific grid, instead of the usual technical foam, which would be stressed by different movements in several directions while handling heavy cardboard boxes.
A piSAVE® Opitmize valve is integrated into the control of the gripper units. This is a vacuum-controlled proportional compressed air valve. This regulates the inlet pressure down so far that only the set vacuum level is reached and kept constant. The vacuum ejector is supplied with maximum feed pressure until the vacuum level has built up. This reduces the compressed air consumption by another 30 to 50 percent. The investment has a positive impact within the first year due to a corresponding reduction in electricity costs. No new compressors are required and the existing compressors require less maintenance. This makes this solution so energy efficient and contributes accordingly to the sustainability of the process.
The simple operation, the high lifting and lowering speed and the flexibility of the grippers to handle a wide variety of carton sizes without changing tools enable an optimal working speed with a large variety of products. “Despite the large lift height range, the operator does not have to reach too high or too deep. He can easily operate all controls without letting go of the twist grip control unit, ”adds Winfried Kaiser. “Before our lifting aids were installed, the boxes were repackaged or palletized manually, with the corresponding risk of injury and the associated risk of staff failure.”
“As a manufacturer of individual lifting solutions for our customers, we have found a partner in Piab who, like us, is ready to design solutions outside of the standard. We were also given excellent support with sample grippers for testing and technical ideas for solving challenges that went beyond the actual Piab products, ”says Winfried Kaiser, describing the collaboration between his Best Handling Technology team and the Piab experts.
The Kenos® KVG gripper from Piab in detail
The KVG series represents a flexible solution for handling products with different shapes and dimensions. Thanks to the double technology available (check valves and flow restrictors), many applications in the industrial sector can be covered. The KVG gripping system can be equipped with an integrated vacuum generation or a separate vacuum generation by pump or side channel blowers. The integrated vacuum generator is a modular, multi-stage COAX® ejector, which also offers easy maintenance after installation and the possibility of being scaled as required. The suction mat of the KVG gripping system is made of technical foam (an FDA-compliant mat is also available), with different hole spacings and in different thicknesses. The KVG120C and KVG60C can be equipped with suction cups from the extensive Piab range. Typical applications are palletizing and handling in the packaging, metal, glass and wood industries.
The BX52P DURAFLEX® suction cups used are particularly suitable for uneven and porous surfaces such as cardboard. They have a bellows and lip in different degrees of hardness. This makes them strong and stable as well as soft and flexible. DURAFLEX® suction cups are made from a specially developed polyurethane. This material combines the elasticity of rubber with the durability of plastic. They work without leaving marks and a filter disc in the suction cup protects the vacuum system from contamination.