Compressed Air Grippers


Grippers continued; as noted on page one of Grippers where I provide general information on grippers and focus on the Parallel Gripper, there are a number of other standard gripper formats available. They are as follows:

  • Angled
  • Radial
  • 3 Point

Angled Grippers

The fingers on an angled gripper open to about 40 degrees of width. The actual distance will vary depending on the gripper size and manufacturer.

Angled finger grippers are selected when there is need for greater width between the fingers to enable larger-part gripping, or to provide clearance between the part and the gripper fingers when the gripper is maneuvered into place.

In the graphic below....

  1. Depicts the gripper body
  2. Shows the supply line is charged
  3. The gripper fingers are opened to their widest
  4. The supply line is now opened to exhaust
  5. The fingers have moved to their closed position
Angle Grippers Graphic

Radial Grippers

The fingers on a radial gripper can open to about 180 degrees of width

Radial finger grippers are most frequently selected to provide maximum clearance between the gripper fingers when the gripper is being maneuvered into place. The fingers might have to open as wide as possible to clear a part, or perhaps another component on the machine as the pick and place motion is underway.

In the graphic below....

  1. Depicts the gripper body
  2. Shows the supply line is charged
  3. The gripper fingers are opened to their widest
  4. The supply line is now opened to exhaust
  5. The fingers have moved to their closed position
Radial Grippers Graphic

3 Point Grippers

3 point or three finger grippers are often used to self-center a misaligned part for pick up.

In the graphic below we are looking down at the gripper, and the fingers, seen from the top, are red.

  1. Depicts the gripper body
  2. Shows the supply line is charged
  3. The gripper fingers are opened to their widest
  4. The supply line is now opened to exhaust
  5. The fingers have moved to their closed position
Point Gripper Graphic

The finger stroke in a 3 point gripper is fairly limited, but it can be magnified by the tooling that's attached to the fingers.

As in most forms of commercially manufactured grippers, the 3 point gripper can accept proprietary proximity switches to help identify the tooling, and by extension the parts position.

In order to help prevent internal impact of piston on end cap damange gripper operation should be controlled by flow controls whenever possible, this to attenuate speed to reduce metal to metal force. Flow controls can also soften the impact of the gripper fingers and tooling on the part to be picked.