FIPA announces Varioflex® bellows suction cups for material handling & packaging automation applications



FIPA Inc. announces its Varioflex® bellows suction cups for material handling and packaging automation applications. Made of oil-, ozone-, and wear-resistant polyurethane composite material, FIPA’s SP-BX Series Varioflex® bellows suction cups feature a dimensionally stable body (60° shore) that prevents buckling over a broad range of shear forces, and a soft, extremely low-marking sealing lip (30° shore) that delivers a perfect seal on surfaces ranging from oil-free metal sheets to hot injection-molded plastics, and even rough or uneven surfaces, including: cardboard and wood. Available with either 1.5 folds (SP-BX1) or 2.5 folds (SP-BX2), SP-BX Series bellows suction cups also deliver long lifecycles to reduce machine downtime, and outstanding holding force, recovery force, stability, and reset capabilities to accommodate systems with short cycle times.

Available in diameters spanning 16 – 160mm, SP-BX1 Series Varioflex® bellows suction cups have 1.5 bellows to compensate for material height differences, and stabilizing cleats that both enable fast acceleration and prevent the deep drawing of thin materials like sheet metal. Available in diameters spanning 16 – 77mm, SP-BX2 Series Varioflex® bellows suction cups have 2.5 bellows to accommodate material handling applications that require both height and angle compensation, such as the de-molding of injection-molded parts, and feature an optional filter disk between the bellows for 26 – 53mm diameter suction cups. Filter disks are included with SP-BX2 Series suction cups with diameters of at least 77mm, and rated operating temperatures for both SP-BX Series span 50°F – 122°F.

de Man Automation+Service (, a German automation company that specializes in developing customer-specific robotics, material flow, and material handling solutions, recently tested FIPA’s SP-BX Series Varioflex® suction cups on a live demonstration of their Heron palletizer at the FMB Supplier Show for Mechanical Engineering, which took place November 4 – 6, 2015 in Bad Salzuflen, Germany, and was extremely pleased with the precision handling, rapid reset, and improved cycle times.

Our Varioflex® bellows suction cups deliver high-reliability, long lifetime performance that’s designed to expertly satisfy the needs of a wide range of material handling and packaging automation applications,” said Rainer Mehrer, president of FIPA. “Their excellent holding capacity, sturdy materials, dual-hardness construction, and outstanding recovery force enables the precise and surface-abrasion-free handling of materials with a variety of different thicknesses, shapes, and textures, and their ability to be both designed into a custom FIPA material handling solution or an existing customer solution, like de Man Automation+Service, only further increases the value they offer our customers.