SCHUNK gripper plays a central role in AMRC Wales opening ceremony
In December, the University of Sheffield officially opened its Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC Cymru), a £20 m state-of-the-art research and development facility in North Wales. As a member of the AMRC, SCHUNK UK played an integral role in the opening ceremony, holding the ceremonial ribbon with a SCHUNK gripper for Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford to cut it.
Described by Welsh government ministers as a ‘game changer’ for the economies of Wales and the Northern Powerhouse, the AMRC Cymru is a purpose-built research and development facility close to the Airbus wing-manufacturing plant in Broughton.
It was officially opened by First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates, who accompanied Professor Koen Lamberts, president and vice-chancellor at the University of Sheffield, on a tour of the new building to see the new technologies that will be available to manufacturing companies across Wales.
Situated in the Deeside Enterprise Zone, the facility will operate from a 2,000 square metre open access research area focus with a focus on advanced manufacturing sectors such as the aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food. This region has a strong manufacturing base and AMRC Cymru will build on this, driving world-class research and expertise across the supply chain. It is predicted the new facility could increase Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Welsh economy by as much as £4 billion over the next 20 years.
Holding the ceremonial ribbon for the First Minister was a SCHUNK Co-act gripper attached to a Kuka Cobot that was mounted on a Kuka AGV. The new SCHUNK EGH Co-act gripper is the latest addition to the SCHUNK Co-act gripper family and is a flexible system for gripping and moving of small to medium-sized workpieces in the areas of handling, assembly and electronics.
The long stroke of the SCHUNK EGH Co-act gripper can cover a very wide range of workpieces, as the gripper fingers are particularly suited for positioning over the entire stroke. The robust parallel movement of the fingers ensures constant gripping force at a position over the entire stroke. Quick and easy to assemble, there is no height compensation required for the robot. The design of the SCHUNK EGH Co-act gripper enables the gripper to be attached to the robot quickly and easily as the included adapter plate is attached to the robot flange using the supplied fastening material. Subsequently, due to the assembly quick-release fastener, the gripper can rapidly be attached to the adapter plate with the enclosed hexagon socket wrench.
The final step is to establish the electric connection and a starter kit is available for quick and easy installation of the SCHUNK EGH Co-act gripper. This contains all the necessary components to successfully mount the gripper onto the robot and to put it into operation. In essence, the new system offers long and freely programmable stroke for flexible workpiece handling with a gripping movement that incorporates parallel kinematics for constant gripping force over the entire stroke length.
With fast commissioning, programming and simple use of an intelligent servo gripper due to the ‘Plug & Work’ starter package, the SCHUNK EGH Co-act gripper offers optionally attachable flexible fingers for increased flexibility. This also increases the gripper’s range of application.
2019 ROBOTICS AWARD goes to OnRobot’s Gecko Gripper
Learning from nature: this is the spirit that spelled success for OnRobot A/S as the winner of this year’s ROBOTICS AWARD, presented at this year’s HANNOVER MESSE, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology. The Danish enterprise received the top prize for its Gecko Gripper. The runners-up forwardttc, in cooperation with KUKA and the MASKOR Institute, also attracted a lot of attention and praise for its innovative robotic solutions.
Developed by OnRobot A/S, the Gecko Gripper is an innovative system designed to hold objects without the need for additional energy; a system that captured the imaginations of the jury and the general public at the 2019 ROBOTICS AWARD. On Tuesday, robotics experts and enthusiasts gathered for the ninth successive year at the Automation Forum in order to celebrate innovative technological solutions. The Finance Minister for the German State of Lower Saxony, Reinhold Hilbers presented the Award, which carries a total purse of €10,000, on behalf of Award Patron Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation.
OnRobot is a company based in the Danish city of Odense. The Gecko Gripper is modelled on structures found in the feet of certain reptiles. Millions of microscopically fine hairs create so-called van der Waals forces when they contact smooth surfaces. This results in strong adhesion and anti-shearing force without the need to use any power for the purpose. The object is released simply by tilting the gripper surfaces.
In the run up to the 2019 ROBOTICS AWARD, numerous enterprises and institutions from Germany and abroad submitted innovative solutions in the fields of industrial automation, mobile robots and/or autonomous systems. Three made it through to the final round at HANNOVER MESSE.
The second prize was awarded to a joint project by forwardttc GmbH and KUKA AG. This project involves a low-cost charging assistant for electric vehicles (both private and commercial). The automatic charging process is initiated via a remote control or an app. In terms of the possible charging capacities, the charger is compatible with all electronic passenger vehicles, and the process can even be adapted for other innovative fuels such as hydrogen.
Third prize was awarded to MASKOR, the Institute for Mobile Autonomous Systems and Cognitive Robotics at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, for its autonomous field robot (“ETAROB”). The function of this robot is to facilitate cost-effective weed management in vegetable production. In contrast to conventional systems the ETAROB can navigate freely in an unstructured environment, avoid obstacles and remove weeds by their roots.
The ROBOTICS AWARD is given under the auspices of HANNOVER MESSE, in partnership with the Robotation Academy and the Konradin Media Group.