Gripping Technology in use during Thermoplastic Processes

Firstly, the organo sheets are picked up from the stack at ambient temperature using suction cups (1) and placed into the heating device (2). In this device, the matrix is melted and then the workpiece is gripped by needle grippers or high-temperature suction cups for inserting it into the mold (3). When the mold closes, the part is thermoformed (4) and also often back-injected with plastics (5). After this process, the part can be removed from the mold using vacuum suction cups that ideally are temperature resistant and "non-marking" (6).

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Requirements for Gripping Technology

Temperature resistance
The needle gripper SNG-V-HT or suction cups are used to load the presses with semi-finished products with temperatures over 200°C. It is essential that the suction cups are heat-resistant. Schmalz offers the special suction cup materials HT1, HT2 and FPM to meet this requirement. The needle grippers SNG-V-HT are resistant to high temperatures and dirt and reduce the local cool-down.

Instability of the workpiece
Melted components lose their stability and are therefore difficult to handle. The type SGPN flat suction cup has a flat, elongated sealing lip and a support installed in the suction cup. This design prevents the suction cup from “drawing in” or deforming the material. Furthermore, the internal support enables lifting of materials with unstable shapes.

Local cool-down
When handling the still hot workpieces it is essential to avoid local cool-down in the contact area. If the cooling effect is too strong at certain points, the forming behavior may change. This has a negative effect on the part. Thanks to the special Schmalz needle grippers and vacuum suction cups, the risk that this happens is minimized minimized to the greatest possible extent.

Contamination of the gripper
The melted matrix of organic sheets or tapes may contaminate the gripping surfaces. It is therefore an advantage to use a gripper that is resistant to contamination such as the needle gripper SNG-V-HT.

Products for Use in Thermoplastic Processes