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Light, Dynamic, Energy-Efficient: Gripping Module made of CFC

The CGH Long-Stroke Gripper from SCHUNK has a low weight with a lot of power

The challenge in terms of sustainability:

The energy requirement and dynamics of automated solutions largely depend on the weights to be handled. While the weight of the part itself could vary, the handling sys-tems themselves still offer enormous potentials in weight reduction. The aim of the efficiency project "Blue Sigma" from SCHUNK  is to reduce the weight of the long-stroke gripper, and to increase its compact performance.

The starting situation:

Due to its specific characteristics, the use of aluminum has proved successful for manufacturing grippers, rotary modules, and linear axes for a long time, and has proven itself in regard to weight, longevity, strength, surface quality, loading capacity, and machina- bility. In comparison, the lighter and stronger carbon fiber composites were not able to establish themselves as a viable alternative, since expensive manufacturing equipment was required to machine it.

 The solution – the sustainable technology/project/service:

There are three important starting points for reducing the weight of gripping modules: Material saving at the housing, smaller, but more powerful sizes, as well as the use of lighter materials. SCHUNK has managed to combine all three aspects with the design of the CGH Long-Stroke-Gripper: The gripper housing has been manufactured using the RTM process and has been designed according to specific stress requirements. The results are a light and rigid gripper, which has a corresponding torsional stiffness. The module is equipped with a decoupled re-circulating ball carriage, achieving enormous efficiency, and about 90% of the used energy arrives at the finger. Since the stroke can be freely scaled, cycle times and compressed air consumption can be also minimized. Compared with equally powerful long-stroke grippers made of aluminum, the gripper weight of the CGH is much lower, and therefore the energy requirement for moving the gripper is reduced by more than 80%. Moreover, the compressed air consumption is reduced by more than 40%. Another bonus is that due to the low mass of the gripper, modules may be designed smaller and more energy-efficient.

Sustainable strengths:

Compared with conventional long-stroke grippers, the CGH light-weight gripper from SCHUNK consumes less energy/CO2. Users also benefit from reduced cycle times and from the possibility of alternately handling components of different sizes.

The inventor:

The SCHUNK R&D department for standard griping systems always sees themself as a pioneer in the field of efficient solutions for handling and assembly. In the course 30 years, the world's largest product portfolio for standard grippers developed (more than 10000 components). Combined with the vast system programs for claming technology,  SCHUNK offers a unique synergy of both business units on the market.


Short profile of the company:

Name: SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG
Headquarters: Lauffen/Neckar
Founding year: 1945
Number of employees: 2000

  • System program gripping systems: gripping, rotary, and linear modules, robot accessories, components for modular assembly automation, and gripping system's solutions.
  • Mobile gripping systems
  • System program clamping technology: toolholding systems, stationary workholding, lathe chucks, chuck jaws, hydraulic expansion technology special solutions and magnetic clamping technology
  • Laser technology

Internationality: 26 subsidiaries abroad