FIPA in action: New gripper system for supplier in the automotive industry
Reliable handling of hot plastic parts


Lightweight construction using plastic parts is becoming increasingly important in the automotive industry. Handling these usually fragile components requires the use of custom gripper systems with vacuum cups and grippers that add stability to the overall removal process.

The task

The gantry robots of an injection molding machine required a gripper system capable of removing delicate, extremely long plastic parts vertically from the injection molding machine and placing them horizontally onto a conveyor belt. The gates have to be placed in a container next to the conveyor belt.

The challenge

The plastic parts are extremely flexible and ductile due to the thickness of the material. However, the hot parts must be removed quickly from the injection molding machine without being deformed.

The solution

FIPA has developed a customised gripper system consisting of Thermalon® vacuum cups and grippers that are partly fitted with HNBR protective jaws and sensors.

FIPA has focused on comprehensive service for the gripper solution. Everything from a single source: From consultation to component selection, assembly and commissioning on site. The gripper system was designed using 3D data and a sample of the relevant workpiece. Components from the extensive range of FIPA products formed the basis of the customised gripper. The Thermalon® vacuum cups can be used for low-marking handling of hot plastic parts. They do not leave any marks on the hot injection molding parts after handling, are heat resistant to 160 °C and wear resistant as well as free of paint wetting impairment substances (PWIS) or mold release: The perfect combination for parts that have to be painted or coated afterwards.

The grippers with HNBR gummed gripper jaws pick up the workpiece gently without scratching the delicate surfaces. Some of the grippers are fitted with sensors that send a signal to the higher level control to confirm that the gripping sequence was successful.

Designed for a supplier in the automotive industry, the customised gripper system is just another example of FIPA’s outstanding expertise in custom handling solutions for automation.