A vacuum gripper used in a palletising system is designed to pick up and place objects, such as boxes or other containers, onto a pallet. Here’s how a vacuum gripper typically works in the context of a palletising system:
- Gripper Design: The vacuum gripper is equipped with one or more suction cups or vacuum channels, depending on the design and requirements. These grippers are often attached to a robotic arm or a mechanical system that can move in multiple directions.
- Positioning: The palletising system positions the gripper over the object to be picked up, which is usually a box or container.
- Vacuum Generation: The vacuum gripper is connected to a vacuum source, typically a vacuum pump or a venturi vacuum generator. When it’s time to pick up an object, the vacuum source is activated.
- Suction Cup/Vacuum Pad Engagement: The suction cups, or vacuum pad, are brought into contact with the object’s surface. As the vacuum source operates, it creates negative pressure inside the suction cups/pad, effectively sealing it to the object’s surface.
- Object Lifting: The negative pressure differential between the suction cups, or pad, and the object’s surface creates a strong grip, securely holding the object. The gripper’s mechanical system then lifts the object off its current location.
- Transportation: The robotic arm or mechanical system carries the object to the desired location, typically a pallet.
- Placement: The vacuum gripper positions the object on the pallet, and the gripper’s control system releases the negative pressure, allowing the object to be placed gently onto the pallet.
- Release: Once the object is safely on the pallet, the vacuum gripper releases the object by turning off the vacuum and allowing air to enter the suction cups/pad, which equalizes the pressure and detaches the gripper from the object.
- Repeat: The process repeats for each object to be palletised, allowing the system to build up a stack of objects on the pallet in a precise and organised manner.
It’s worth noting that palletising systems using vacuum grippers can be highly automated and efficient, capable of handling a large number of objects quickly and accurately. The gripper design and configuration may vary depending on the specific application, the size and weight of the objects, and the layout of the production line or warehouse. Advanced control systems and sensors may also be used to optimise the palletising process and ensure that objects are stacked correctly.
Below is a video showing a row vacuum gripper palletising boxes.