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“Making more out of wood” was the motto at Ligna 2017 in Hanover, from May 22 to 26. Workpiece handling plays an integral tole in commercial wood working. J. Schmalz GmbH will be presenting powerful systems for manual and automated vacuum handling in the wood and furniture industries in hall 15, booth A06. A new addition is the area gripper FMHD for reliable transport of unplaned workpieces.

The gripper is ideal for transporting glued boards as well as sawn or planed goods. The vacuum is generated by the external ejector SBPL, which consumes only little energy. It is mounted in a box on top of the gripper to save space and connects to the gripper via an elastic hose. The FMHD is especially easy to service: Dirty sealing foams can be cleaned and dried easily – without extensive modifications to the gripper. A quick-change adapter for changing worn-out sealing foams further reduces downtime.

Users will profit from a good price-performance ratio and low installation effort. The gripper closes the gap between types FMP and SBX. It is lighter than the SBX and more robust than the FMP. This new addition is available in standard lengths of 400, 850, 1,040 and 1,250 millimeters. Workpieces should be at least 50 mm wide to guarantee safe handling by the gripper. The gripper is optionally equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication), which provides relevant system data directly to a mobile device. The FMP-S area gripping system can also be seen in Hanover. Its benefits include quick handling of furniture parts and wooden spacers. Grippers with the vacuum and pressure switch VSi are Industry 4.0-ready. In addition to its NFC technology, the switch also has an IO-Link interface for monitoring low and excess pressure.

The vacuum clamping solutions for CNC machines exhibited by Schmalz in Hanover are suited for use on grid, smooth or console tables. Illustrated are VCBL-B-type vacuum blocks for CNC wood working machines from Italian manufacturer Biesse. The components are very robust and fix the workpiece safely. If vacuum blocks are damaged through collision or wear, it is not necessary to procure an expensive new vacuum gripper. The suction plate itself can simply be exchanged and the user can resume work. In conventional systems, on the other hand, the entire vacuum block has to be replaced. Also illustrated are powerful aluminum vacuum blocks for clamping solid wood parts.

Schmalz also provides a solution for loading CNC machines with wooden or particle boards, or OSB sheets: the vacuum lifter VacuMaster Comfort 125. It can lift workpieces of up to 125 kg and swivel them by up to 90 degrees. All of the device’s controls are integrated into the operating element; the ergonomic design allows continuous, strain-free work.

A high degree of delicacy is required for transporting windows, glass sheets or multi-sash windows. The VacuMaster Window is perfectly suited for this demanding task. Special UV and ozone-resistant suction plates lift sensitive workpieces without leaving marks. For quick and frequent handling of workpieces, Schmalz presents the vacuum lifter JumboErgo 85, suited for weights of up to 85 kilograms. If you wish to move weights of up to 110 kilograms, we recommend using the JumboErgo 110 combined with a responsive aluminum crane.

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