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New floating suction cups from Schmalz

Published on :Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Schmalz has developed two new floating suction cups − one is extra thin, the other extra safe. While the SBS Thin finds its place even in cramped automation processes, the SBS-ESD prevents uncontrolled electrostatic discharge thanks to dissipative elastomer buffers.

Floating suction cups handle thin and highly sensitive workpieces gently and with little contact. J. Schmalz GmbH has now significantly expanded its range of these gentle grippers. The SBS Thin is only two millimetres high, has a diameter of 20 millimetres and generates a holding force of three Newtons. In addition to smooth surfaces, it also grips lightly structured workpieces, making it ideal for handling printed circuit boards (PCBs) and wafers. Since the SBS Thin does not suck through the object to be gripped, it is also suitable for separating thin, porous workpieces.

The same applies to the new SBS-ESD. As its name suggests, Schmalz has equipped the floating suction cup so that it does not damage sensitive workpieces through uncontrolled electrostatic discharge. This is ensured by dissipative elastomer buffers made of the special material NBR-ESD on the underside of the suction cup. As with the standard version, these optimally absorb any transverse forces that may occur during the handling process. The SBS-ESD is available in five sizes and generates holding forces of between one and 18.5 Newton. In addition to gripping printed circuit boards, typical applications include the separation of intermediate layers during the loading and unloading of wet processing systems or the handling of inner layers for multilayer boards. Both suction cups can also gently handle thin copper foils.

Suction cup with air cushion

A Bernoulli nozzle is integrated in all Schmalz floating suction cups. Here – in simplified form – the acceleration of the air creates a vacuum that lifts the workpiece. At the same time, the air prevents contact because it is guided along the surface of the suction cup, thus creating a minimal air cushion.

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