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Mechatronics, Electronics Lead News at Festo Gathering

New product entries include a proportional piezo gripping tool that conserves space while saving energy.

Festo AG gathered an international contingent of editors to company headquarters in Esslingen-Berkheim, near Stuttgart, Germany, on Sept. 25-26 for a briefing on the company’s latest news and a look at Motek—the International Trade Fair for Assembly and Handling Technology, held in Stuttgart. 

In keeping with the theme of the trade fair, most of Festo’s presentations discussed handling systems and assembly. The handling systems have applicability in packaging equipment, where moving and palletizing functions are important. Although Festo is known in the United States as a pneumatic component and system supplier, it showed expertise in microelectronics, as well. 

A proportional piezo gripping tool combined pneumatics, mechatronics and microelectronics into a powerful and intelligent gripper. Named HGPPI, the gripper tool features independent jaw movements and sensitivity that adjusts dynamically depending upon the object to be gripped.  

The integrated electronics provide information about the displacement signal, and the force is always available to ensure controlled sequences. The gripper fingers are actuated via six piezo proportional valves, each 5mm wide. The innovative piezo technology permits space and energy savings, because it is powered only during the switching movement. Piezo ceramic bending actuators with proportional switching characteristics guarantee low energy consumption and fast cycle times. Precise pressure control is provided in real time via pressure sensors in the cylinder chambers. This gripper costs about 30 percent less than a traditional electric gripper, according to Festo. 

Festo also unveiled a compact vision system dubbed SBOC-M/SBOI-M High Speed Motion Recorder.  

The system features fault localization, analysis and diagnosis of high-speed motion sequences, easy set-up and operations, and low cost. It uses Ethernet for connectivity to the machine controller.

Festo AG

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