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In flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) “throwing” as a new
approach for transportation of parts between machines is proposed.
“hrowing” brings up the problem of capturing. For capturing fast flying
ob!ects grippers are re"uired# which ha$e a closing time of less than %& ms.
In this pro!ect we proposed mechanically controlled gripper. In the type of
gripper a pre'stressed spring is used to close the gripper. (ith that a flying
ball with a mass of )& g and a speed of %& m*s can be captured also with a
closing time of +ms.
In con$entional flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) smaller parts with
short processing times are loaded on pallets and transported e.g. by rail
guided $ehicles between the
machines. (e are wor,ing on a
transportation concept# where ob!ects
are transported within production
systems by throwing from one
machine to another.
here are four sub'functions re"uired
for the new transportation concept
%) - throwing de$ice accelerating the
ob!ects to an
appropriate speed (i.e. %& m*s).
)) Finally the ob!ect must be captured
by a catching de$ice.
-s described in .%/ our ob!ecti$e is to throw and capture flying ob!ects with speeds
of e.g. %& m*s o$er distances of about 0 meters. For capturing such ob!ects we want
to assume at this point of our research the following conditions1
' 2all'shaped ob!ects with a diameter of up to 3& mm and a mass of up to 4& g
shall be thrown. (ith that# the orientation of the flying ob!ects needs not yet to
be considered.
he catching de$ice shall be a gripper with one or more !aws. his is
because in future ob!ects shall be captured with different shapes. -fterwards
they shall be hold in a determined position. (ith that alternati$es li,e i.e.
using a sac, as catching de$ice shall be excluded.
Since the gripper has to be mo$ed on 56'axis to the capturing'point# a
tolerance between the ob!ect and the gripper'!aws is re"uired. It shall be
assumed as 7a 83#+mm
A. Existing Fast C!sing G"i##$"s
9ifferent manufacturers are offering already fast closing grippers. - mar,et
research has shown# that commercial a$ailable grippers for the described
re"uirements ha$e a minimum closing time of %& ms. For example two
different pneumatic actuated grippers with high performances from
the manufacturer Schunc, can be considered .)# 0/. he :;5'plus +& is a
two'finger'parallel'gripper# which can ma,e with each gripper'!aw a stro,e
of < mm within %& ms. he two'finger'angular'gripper :(;'S can close its
finger by )& = in a closing time of %& ms. It allows a maximum finger'length
of <& mm and a maximum closing moment of 4 5m .>ach finger has two
!oints which are actuated with 96'motors. hese !oint can close at the rate
of %?& dg per %&& ms. (ith that hand it was possible to catch a falling ball
with $ 8 < m*s. For that the gripper starts closing its fingers already when the
ob!ect is approaching the gripper. he main ad$antage of this hand howe$er
is its capability to grasp $arious ob!ects by changing its shape. In another
research wor, different electrical dri$es for fast closing grippers were
in$estigated .+/. he best results were reached with a swi$el'gripper which
is actuated by a mo$ed coil. It can ma,e with each gripper'!aw a stro,e of )+
mm within %& ms.
A. D$sign an( F)n*ti!n
For capturing ob!ects with greater masses# we propose a gripper which uses
the ,inetic energy of the flying ob!ect to close the gripper. he wor,ing
principle of such a gripper .(hen the flying ob!ect impacts a ram# this
ram pushes a le$er# which closes the gripper without any reaction'delay. he
ob!ect can be released by a linear dri$e in a slow mo$ement shows the
prototype of such a gripper when it is capturing a tennis'ball with a speed of
%0.) m*s.
B. In+$stigati!n !, t-$ C!sing.B$-a+i!"
For a more detailed in$estigation of the closing beha$iour of this mechanical
controlled gripper# balls with a diameter of 4& mm and different masses were
thrown into the gripper with different speeds. For that a throwing de$ice
was reali@ed . Its compression'spring can be compressed with a hydraulic
!ac, and it can be released with a solenoid. An the mounting plate the
distance between the bearing ) and the solenoid can be changed. (ith that
different compressions of the spring and so different accelerations for the
ob!ects can be set.
-t this gripper# the gripper'!aw will be closed by a pre'stressed rotary spring.
he closing mo$ement is released by a ram such a gripper when it is
capturing a tennis'ball with a speed of %0 m*s. he beha$iour of this gripper#
which closes with spring energy# was in$estigated with a similar measuring
when a ball with d 8 4& mm# m 8 )& g and $ 8 %& m*s was thrown. For this
the following can be stated1 t 8 & ms1 ob!ect approaches t 8 0#)+ ms1 ob!ect
hits the to the gripper ram t 8 4#+ ms1 ram is pushed t 8 %0 ms1 ob!ect has
turned its mo$ing direction . ;ripper captures a tennis'ball with $ 8 %0 m*s
6apturing a ball with d 8 4& mm# m 8 4& g and $ 8 %& m*s
he gripper described in this paper allow closing'times which is less than
%& ms. he gripper# which closes with ,inetic energy is better for capturing
ob!ects with greater masses. - greater ,inetic energy leads to a shorter
closing time and bigger forces for stopping the ob!ect. he gripper
that closes with spring energy is better for ob!ects with smaller masses. For
releasing the spring only little ,inetic energy is re"uired. o impro$e the
grippers we intend to do the following future wor,. For both grippers the
maximum closing time can be increased# if the rams are e"uipped with an
additional damping'element# li,e e.g. a spring# for a softer deceleration of
the ob!ects when they reach the gripper. In this context the influence of
different consistencies of the ob!ects shall also be considered. Furthermore
the closing time of the gripper# which closes with ,inetic energy# shall be
reduced by minimi@ing the mo$ed masses.