Friday, February 26, 2010

Analog feedback for Grippers

Many applications have a need for precise jaw position feedback on pneumatic grippers.  Precise jaw position feedback may be needed for higher process speeds or improved quality control.  A few of ideas for use of the analog feedback on pneumatic grippers are to:

  • Differentiate objects by physical size based on jaw position.
  • Feedback to an analog pressure control circuit to control grip pressure based on position to prevent object deformation while ensuring a secure grip on the object.
  • Part present in gripper detection.

Balluff offers a number of sensors and technologies ideal for analog feedback relative to jaw position on pneumatic grippers:

Measurement with analog magneto-inductive linear sensors (BIL or Micro BIL)
An analog sensor that uses magneto-inductive linear technology is attached to the gripper in a position where it will sense the grippers internal magnet mounted on the piston.  The Micro BIL unit (pictured below) can slide into the t-slot of many modern grippers, taking the place of existing hall-effect or reed-switches and providing analog feedback.

Measurement with analog inductive sensor
To use this method you utilize an analog proximity sensor.  The analog proximity sensor measures position based on the amount of the sensor face  covered by a moving target on the gripper.  The image below shows an example of how this could be mounted and used.
Analog prox sensor detects jaw position.

Direct measurement of a inclined target
Better suited for large grippers with longer strokes a inclined target, like shown below, moves with the gripper jaw.  An analog inductive sensor detects the inclined target and feeds back jaw position.

For more information contact Scott Equipment.  We will be glad to assist you in specifying a Balluff analog sensor for your application.

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