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SebastienSebastien Posts: 194 Handy
edited January 10 in Applications
Hi pros,
we have recently been asked by a client to change the vacuum generator they had on their existing robot. They had a vacuum generator that when it was on, it was always consuming air to keep the vacuum strong and on. The client received the visit from a representative of Coval products. They were presented the Coval Lemax vacuum generator. We then got the contract to replace the unit they have with a Coval Lemax. This devices lets you select a range of vacuum pressure. In our example we simply set a desired vacuum % and a lower limit vacuum %. When we go an pick the object, we activate the vacuum generator. Air is consumed until desired vacuum % as been reached. Then air consumption is turned off. If the vacuum % drops below lower limit, air consumption is started back until desired value is reached again.
In the video below, we have a desired vacuum % of 85% and a lower limit of 75%.

We only need two digital output on the robot to make this work (we can also use an input to the robot to monitor vacuum and see if an object has been picked). The outputs on the robot are their to start/stop the vacuum and the second output is to blow off the object when we are releasing it. 

What else are you guys using for vacuum pick and place?


  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 385Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    @Sebastien Coval Rep had visited us as well a few months back talking about this new system but didn't have one to demo.  We have used the Coval smart generators before and thought that they work very well, nice quiet units with great built-in feedback.  Anxious to use one of these on our next vacuum project.

    We are also looking at the Joulin Flexigrip as it has this really cool vacuum pad that is a foam pad with lots of holes in it.  The cool part is you can have holes that are exposed and it will still pick things up.  It uses check balls at each of the holes to either seal to the item being picked or seal that port off.  It truly is a very flexible gripper system for vacuum allowing you to design one configuration and then pick up a variety of parts.  We have played with one on the past for a customer application and it would have worked great had they gone forward.  We are testing it again on another application where we have to be able to handle a very wide range of parts making a normal vacuum system much more complex to design.

  • jusgrijusgri Posts: 1Partner
    Hello Sebastien,
    Thank you for your post. I have used Piab vacuum management devices on many of our robots and machines that we build and have been very happy with their performance. Not only do their generators offer 3 to 1 ratios of vacuum flow vs consumption (which reduces air by a huge percentage already) but their management devices do an incredible job at intelligently monitoring vacuum levels. Some generators have I/OLink which allows you to do some powerful things as well while simplifying communication and changeover of the generator's settings.

    Some other cool products from Piab are the Kenos. We started using these grippers recently and have been super impressed by what they are able to achieve. We can pick up the pallet, the slip sheet and the box with a single suction device. Not only that, but it is a suction device that uses Piab's generators which again, tremendously reduces air consumption.

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