Help on gripper Design

  • Hello,
    We are trying to pick & place pots (for flowers). Some of the pots have a hole inside in the middle for water draining, others don't.
    The products come in different sizes (from 90 mm in diamater to 200 mm). There are 4 products on a board made of wood. Until now we had 4 (20 mm diameter) suction cups for lifting one pot (the one without hole inside). At the moment we want to be able to pick all the products.
    Is there any way to use "an inflatable baloon" to pick the products from inside? Any suggestions are welcomed.

  • I take it these pots are open-side-up?

    It's certainly possible. The trick will be guaranteeing that the balloon inflates fully, and that it gets sufficient "grip" of the interior surface. It'll depend on what type of friction you can get between the balloon skin and the flower pot surface, vs the pot's weight. Getting reliable inflation and deflation will also be a concern.

    You might want to look into "vacuum foam grippers." A couple of these pressed into the inner sides of the pots from opposing directions might give you a more reliable, and more controllable, grip than something resembling a balloon.

  • So, you were picking from the bottom of the pot with no hole.

    You said a hole, I assume that means one and it is in the middle? Can you position your cups around this hole? Just guessing but sounds like you need to get a cup rep involved they have lots of options then you may not need to re-engineer your entire process.

  • Hello,
    Yes the hole is in the middle. The size of the pots is different from 9 mm diameter at the base to 230 mm at the base. So for the smalller one I have to use small suction cups (20 mm diameter) which are strong enough for the bigger pot. If I use suction cups for the bigger pot they will not fit in the smallest pot. A tool changer is out of the question because of the time needed for changing the tool. The type of pots can be mixed.

  • Again,
    I would get a vacuum cup representative involved. They have a lot of cup options single-bellows, double-bellows, ect...
    It may require a larger pump/generator.

    Explore this avenue before re-inventing the wheel.

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