The LPG gripper from Fabco-Air handles oversize parts and heavy loads up to 300 lb. This gripper is an adaptation of Fabco-Air’s EZ Series linear slides; its jaws are a pair of tool bars. An integral, double-acting air cylinder drives the shorter jaw bar and inboard pair of guide shafts. A double rack and pinion arrangement transfers force to the outboard guide shafts that hold the wider jaw bar. The jaw bars can be cantilevered or wide stance where the jaw bars are positioned on opposite sides of the gripper body. The jaw bars move with absolute parallelism and precise synchronous motion and centering is accurate to within 0.002-in. repeatability, providing virtually “play free” gripping.
In one application, an LPG gripper was attached to a pick-and-place mechanism. “L-shaped” fingers attached to the gripper jaws are positioned over a product conveyor in an automated shipping system. As each product passed under the gripper, the “L-shaped” fingers stopped it.
The fingers then grasped the product by clamping on its island area on top. Next the product was lifted, carried over to the carton positioned on the adjacent shipping conveyor, and placed inside. Because the jaws must open perpendicular to the direction of conveyor travel, a conventional gripper could not be used. It would interfere with the wall next to the carton conveyor.
Only the LPG’s cantilevered design permits the gripper jaws to be positioned as required without interference.
Eight linear bearings support the stainless steel guide shafts. Cross-tapped holes on each jaw bar allow tooling attachments on any surface. The end caps are machined on both the top and bottoms surfaces allowing the gripper to be mounted with its port side up or down. Options include magnetic position sensing, adjustable stops and bumpers.