ISMR December 2023 / January 2024 | Page 61


Electric parallel gripper

Modern manufacturing requires handling solutions capable of managing product diversity , shorter product life cycles and growing levels of product customisation . The HEPP electric gripper from Festo addresses this need for greater flexibility in the gripping of multiple workpieces with adaptable stroke lengths and gripping forces .
“ Its compact design and ability to handle complex movements make it particularly suited to applications in the electronics and small parts industry , laboratory automation and special machine building ,” said Festo .
The HEPP is available in three different sizes with a gripping force of up to 400N and a stroke of up to 56mm . The motor , encoder and controller are integrated into a single component which removes the need for an external controller in the panel . This is even more critical for EOAT ( End of Arm Tooling ) on cartesian and six-axis robots , as only the power supply and communication cable need to be routed through the energy chain .
The HEPP can be adjusted for a wide range of workpieces , both in terms of size and type of material as well as gripping force , to ensure that the workpiece is handled correctly . To achieve high gripping forces within a compact unit , Festo has used a precise counter-rotating spindle that can manage the high stress from the feeder forces . This spindle also maintains process positioning reliability of less than 0.02mm during endurance testing , said Festo .
The HEPP is also suitable for handling a workpiece in an e-stop condition due to the integrated holding brake on the motor . If the power supply fails , the integrated holding brake will hold the gripper fingers in position to prevent the workpiece from being dropped and damaged .
“ Users can choose between EtherCAT , PROFINET , EtherNet / IP and Modbus protocols to integrate the HEPP seamlessly into the system environment of their PLC . Necessary function blocks are also provided , at no extra cost , for integration in Festo , Siemens , Beckhoff , Rockwell and Omron environments ,” explained Festo . n
www . festo . com
Justin Nardone , CEO of Figur shown with the Figur G15 machine tool with Digital Sheet Forming ( DSF ) technology .

Digital sheet forming in focus

Desktop Metal , a global specialist in Additive Manufacturing 2.0 technologies for mass production , has announced the first commercial shipments of its Figur G15 , a Digital Sheet Forming ( DSF ) machine tool , to Saltworks Fab ( a Florida-based automotive restoration and hot rod company in the United States ).
Satworks is installing two Figur G15 platforms at its Sarasota , Florida , facility to accelerate its auto restoration business and expand access to metalforming services to new customers . The company often creates metal body panels that are no longer commercially available with manual hammering and laborious forming processes .
“ Investing in the Figur G15 , the company will dramatically reduce production times while having the flexibility of digital manufacturing to create complex shapes , efficient one-offs or produce short runs of designs . Saltworks recently demonstrated the capabilities of the Figur G15 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas , where the team exhibited the entire side body of a Mercedes Gullwing created with 6061 aluminium panels formed on the G15 in under ten hours for the entire 15-piece assembly ,” explained Desktop Metal .
“ Our team has over 100 years of combined metal-shaping experience and we ’ re excited to bring the latest digital metal forming technology in-house ,” said David Jacobsen , CEO , Saltworks Fab . “ The Figur G15 buys us time . It allows us to bring vintage vehicles back to their former glory while also enabling us to enter a whole new level of business helping customers that currently don ’ t have the ability or resources to form metal . Figur G15 allows us to expand access to metal-shaping services to a broader variety of small businesses , design shops and self-builders .”
“ The Figur G15 is the first commercially available machine tool platform to shape sheet metal on demand without custom tooling . Introduced at the 2022 International Manufacturing Technology Show ( IMTS ) in Chicago , the Figur G15 uses patent-pending DSF technology in which a software-driven ceramic toolhead on a gantry shapes standard sheet metal into parts with up to 2,000lbs of forming force without tooling , with software that simplifies the creation of sheet metal part production ,” added Desktop Metal .
Recently , custom classic car influencer Rob Ida of Rob Ida Concepts in New Jersey posted on Instagram @ rob _ ida about how he is using the Figur G15 technology to create components for a 1955 Tucker Carioca . This vehicle concept from legendary carmarker , Preston Tucker , never made it from drawing to production .
“ The response to Figur G15 from the market across a wide variety of sectors has been exciting ,” said Justin Nardone , CEO of Figur , a Desktop Metal brand . “ The G15 eliminates a lot of the work required when forming metal , such as the design and manufacturing of tools and dies . Our system produces designs quickly , accurately and repeatedly so manufacturers are able to focus on the craftsmanship of design while getting their products to market faster and more efficiently .”
Saltworks is planning to purchase two additional G15 systems , for a total of four , to join its initial fleet in the near future with plans to run all four machines over three shifts to keep up with demand . n
:// figur . desktopmetal . com /
www . desktopmetal . com
ISMR December 2023 / January 2024 | ismr . net | 61