Automation with FIPA: Customized Gripper Protects Employees’ Backs


The Client:

FIPA stands ready to answer the call for custom gripper solutions, so when a client brings us a challenge, we solve it. For example, FIPA recently developed a customized gripper in close collaboration with AUMA Riester GmbH & Co. KG (AUMA), a leader in the development and production of electric actuators and valve gearboxes. FIPA was chosen as a project partner because of the company’s considerable flexibility and years of experience with customized vacuum grippers.

The Problem:

AUMA places an emphasis on ergonomics in the workplace and required a solution for removing electric motor housings from cardboard packaging. These housings typically weigh 75 pounds each, and AUMA was looking for a better and safer alternative from the current system. FIPA’s charge: Create customized grippers that would attach to the four fixing holes of the motor housing and move it safely without any strain on employees.

The Solution:

FIPA’s customized solution is comprised of two pneumatically driven half shells and four tappets for insertion into the holes in the motor housing. The front of each tappet is equipped with a horizontal resting surface where the motor rests during handling.

Hung in a position on an adjustable jib crane, the operator moves the gripper into the correct position above the motor. At the touch of a button, the two half shells move outward by means of air pressure so that the tappets are above the holes. The finishing touch for aligning with the holes is made by gripping the gripper itself.

As soon as the four tappets of the gripper are aligned with the holes in the motor housing, the operator lowers the gripper with the crane until the gripper is sitting flat on the motor housing and the tappets are in the holes. Next, the operator presses the button on the gripper and the linear unit moves inward – the motor is clamped. Through a combination of traction and form fit, the motor is securely held by the gripper and can be quickly deposited into the shipping carton. The two half shells with the tappets are held securely in their original position using springs, guaranteeing that the motor will be held securely, even in the event of a loss of compressed air.

The Benefits of FIPA:

The customized gripper solution from FIPA protects employees’ backs. Thanks to the easy operation and safe handling, fewer errors occur and cycling times have been reduced.

This project is one of many examples of how FIPA is using perfectly designed gripper systems to solve difficult handling issues. Years of experience, an independent construction team and a comprehensive program of standardized solution components as well as a willingness to redevelop special parts form the basis of our customized gripper solutions.