Vacuum systems for successful robot implementation
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summer project pal
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Joined: Jan 2011
17-01-2011, 07:28 PM

Vacuum systems for successful robot implementation

The design of a vacuum system and choice of vacuum components for robot end effectors can be of crucial importance for a successful robot installation.This paper discusses vacuum solutions for robot end effectors, which increase the possibility of a successful robot installation.

.doc   Vacuum systems for successful robot implementation.doc (Size: 516 KB / Downloads: 74)

We live in a world with shortened product life, an increased variety of products and a demand for higher quality on the products. Continuous productivity improvement goes without saying. At the same time, increased safety, reduced environmental impact and better working conditions become more and more important. A successful robot implementation has to improve the production flexibility, increase throughput or raise the quality of the products and reduce the manufacturing cost. There is also a trend for lower environmental impact from production.
PIAB is a global company and has been working with industrial vacuum technology for over 30 years. We have and have had several important innovative patents concerning vacuum technology based on ejectors. Technically and organizationally PIAB is operating in several market segments such as packaging and automotive. In all of the industries we have noticed a more frequent use of robots for material handling. The basic principles for a successful robot implementation using vacuum are similar for most applications and industries. We would like to share our knowledge about how to design vacuum systems for robot end effectors by giving some useful vacuum guidelines related to important matters for successful robot installations.


2.1 Increased productivity
One way to increase the production rate on a robot material-handling line using vacuum is faster air evacuation of the system so that the robot can start the motion earlier. If it is a leaking system, as when handling porous material, for instance, the ability to maintain a satisfactory vacuum level is equally important. The most effective system is where vacuum is generated as close to the suction cups as possible. Such a system eliminates unnecessary hose volume to be evacuated and the risk of reduced performance due to restrictive piping. This fact excludes mechanical vacuum pumps as a part of an effective vacuum system for end effectors. In spite of that, many companies choose to have a centralized vacuum solution with the pump far away from the suction cups. The reason is weight saving, simplified vacuum control/management and quicker change over-time for service or component/tool changes.
A new, patented technology for building multistage vacuum ejectors in the form of a nozzle cartridge with built-in flap valves and filter challenges many of the arguments for a centralized vacuum solution. The nozzle cartridge is made of light materials and can easily be integrated directly into suction cup fittings or the boom structure of robot end effectors. Changing or cleaning the cartridge is quick and easy
and it can be done without any tools.
PIAB vacuum pumps
PIAB vacuum pumps are compressed air-driven vacuum pumps. The unique construction makes maximum use of the compressed air and therefore consumes less energy. Large vacuum flows and high levels of vacuum are characteristic of PIAB’s vacuum pumps.

When compressed air (1) passes through the nozzles (2), air is pulled through with the stream of compressed air. "Suction" is thus created at the opening of each stage (3).
Fig. 1 – Multistage ejector cartridge for efficient
decentralized vacuum systems

Choosing an efficient multistage vacuum ejector instead of a single-stage ejector can reduce evacuation time and substantially increase the possibility to speed up cycle times. Clear signals to start a robot motion are usually at vacuum levels between 30 to 50 –kPa [9 to 15 –inHg]. State-of-theart multistage ejectors are up to twice as fast to reach those levels as compared to single-stage ejectors, with the same air consumption.

Fig. 3 – Response time for evacuation of 1 litre for a single-stage and multistage low-pressure ejector with the same air consumption

Advantages of using multi stage ejector
summer project pal
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Posts: 308
Joined: Jan 2011
17-01-2011, 07:41 PM


.ppt   VACUUM SYSTEMS FOR ROBOT IMPLEMENTATION.ppt (Size: 537 KB / Downloads: 68)

The design of vacuum system and choice of vacuum component for robot end effectors can be of crucial importance for a successful robot implementation
A successful robot implementation has to improve the production flexibility, increase quality and reduce manufacturing cost

Increased productivity
More flexibility
Safety and product quality
Reduce leakage cost and system cost

Increased productivity
By faster air evacuation

Generate vacuum as close to the suction cups

By using multistage ejector

Selection of suction cup

Suction cup
Forces acting
Energy requirements
durability,wear and
oil resistance
handle shear force,
cups that can handle
different types of metals

More flexibility
Ability of handling a large variety of parts
Providing sectors of cups
Using cup accessories

Safety & product quality
Ejector nozzle should be designed for low and
fluctuating feed pressure
Suction cup with high friction
Type of material
Sensing vacuum for a clear signal to start robot motion should be measured as close to the suction cup
Proper maintenance of filter

Reducing leakage & running cost
Using valves
cone valve, dual flow control valve

Using automatic air saving system

De centralized system
In order to have success with a robot installation for material
handling with vacuum, there are several things to keep in mind
when the system is designed and dimensioned. However, simple
measures such as choosing multistage low-pressure ejectors
instead of conventional ejectors, carefully selecting suction cup
design and material and also decentralizing to a greater extent
will improve the conditions for a successful robot implementation


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