With the increasing demand for automation at manufacturing sites, there is a growing need for solutions for machine tool peripheral equipment that can contribute to automation. Kitagawa Corporation also manufactures and sells grippers (grippers dedicated to industrial robots) in addition to their flagship product, chucks. Their grippers are still not well known, perhaps because of the strong image of chucks, but an increasing number of manufacturers are releasing machine tools with built-in grippers for transport, and this is an area where demand is expected to grow. In this article, we will introduce Gripper made by Kitagawa.
Kitagawa (Thailand) mainly recommends the following two types of setup gripper series.
Since the jaw replacement time can be drastically reduced, they contribute to maximizing the effect of robot utilization at high-mix low-volume production sites.
■ QGB Series (reduced setup / face plate exchange type)
The greatest feature is that it applies the technology and know-how of "gripping technology" = "grasping power" cultivated with chucks . Despite its compact size, it achieves stable gripping power and high repeatability, and the use of high-tensile aluminum alloy achieves both lightweight and high rigidity. It adopts a universal design that emphasizes ease of use and features easy dis-assembly cleaning and maintenance.
＜Advantages of Kitagawa gripper＞
High water resistance and durability ensure stable and repeatable accuracy. Depending on the series, there is also a function that allows not only grasping motion but also machining and measurement while “gripping”.
Long replacement cycles are achieved by careful attention to materials and surface machining to minimize unnecessary wear.
The master jaw can be removed from the front surface, allowing easy cleaning of sliding surfaces without removing the gripper from the robot.
Maintenance is made easy by minimizing the number of parts as much as possible. Won the Good Design Award in 2017 for its corporate color blue and functionality-oriented shape.
Grippers are mostly used for workpiece transfer, so it is necessary to select the series with the optimum shape and function according to the equipment conditions (size, transfer posture, etc.) to be incorporated.
We can propose the best solution based on detailed discussions with our customers regarding their requirements and requests.
In addition, on the website of Kitagawa Corporation head office, there is a page for easy calculation of Calculate Gripper Force and Gripper selection by entering conditions.
By using the same manufacturer for machining machines’ peripheral equipment such as chucks, grippers, and NC rotary tables, functionality can be maximized and eliminate downtime in the event of breakdowns or problems.