Area Gripper FMHD from Schmalz: Easy to Maintain and Effective in Timber Construction

Schmalz is extending its portfolio of efficient vacuum solutions for fully automatic handling in the wood-working industry with the area gripping system FMHD. This gripper is robust, particularly easy to maintain, and – by virtue of its integrated vacuum reservoir – uses very little energy.

Schmalz has developed the new vacuum gripping system FMHD specifically for the wood-working industry.
The quick-change suction plate allows sealing foams to be dried or exchanged quickly and without the use of tools, significantly reducing machine standstill times.

Schmalz developed the FMHD for handling of naturally growing workpieces in challenging environments, such as those in the sawmill industry. The gripper can transport cut or planed goods before and after processing as well as glued boards and walls for prefabricated houses. It is connected via a hose connection to an external vacuum generator, generally an electric vacuum blower or vacuum pump. Internally installed valves keep the installation costs low.

By virtue of its compact dimensions and low weight, this gripper is ideally suited for operation with gantries and industry robots. Furthermore, the FMHD is exceptionally easy to service: A folding quick-change suction plate permits drying the sealing foam separately from the gripper. At the same time, the interior spaces of the gripper are easily accessible for clearing out saw dust or other residues. Time-consuming refitting operations on the gripper are rendered unnecessary. A quick-change adhesive film further permits worn-out sealing foams to be replaced effortlessly and with no cleaning required. The operator may see maintenance and standstill times reduced by up to 70 percent.

Schmalz offers the gripper in standard lengths of 1,040 and 1,250 millimeters. Custom dimensions are available upon request. The workpiece should have a width of at least 50 millimeters to ensure that the gripper can lift it reliably. In the Schmalz portfolio, the FMHD fits in between types FMP and SBX. It is lighter than the SBX and equipped with a tighter suction cell grid but at the same time more robust than the FMP. The FMHD features a favorable price-to-performance ratio and it can be easily integrated  into older installations.

As an option, Schmalz can equip the gripper with NFC (near-field communication). This provides significant data from the system to the operator’s mobile end device in real time. As a result, process control is facilitated and faults are discovered quickly, before expensive damage is incurred.

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