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Dr. Ing. Arno Wörn, developer, Jakob Antriebstechnik, Kleinwallstadt

Today's press shops are more concerned than ever before with the challenge of making tool changes or plant armatures as smoothly as possible thanks to a greatly increased variety of products. Of course, set-up time plays an important role in productivity. Current gripper rail couplings can make a significant contribution to increasing the economy and safety of the plants.

The demands on modern coupling systems are manifold. On the one hand, they have to be lightweight but, on the other hand, they must be extremely stiff and self-locking. In addition, they must be electrically monitored and operated as intuitively as possible. Previous systems rely on hydraulic or electromechanical clamping solutions. Especially as a retrofit solution, these versions have disadvantages in terms of cost-effectiveness. In principle, it is advisable to use existing media for operating the automatic couplings already on the system. Hydraulics has proven to be very maintenance-intensive and time-consuming. Finally, extra pumping systems and supply lines are needed. All in all, that's a rather expensive story.

On the other hand, if the clutches are driven by electric motors, the scenario is completely different. Thus, the electric drives significantly increase the weight of the clutches. Problems occur when there is a power failure. Because of the required high gear ratios, a release of the couplings is then difficult. Our gripper rail clutches can do without these disadvantages and thus guarantee a highly dynamic transport and a precise placement of the parts. The systems are available for the axial and vertical separation of rails.

TYPE GKZ can be adapted to all common gripper rail profiles. In addition to the pneumatic-automatic version, the portfolio also includes a manual-mechanical version of the clutch systems. These are conventionally fixed with a screw. The couplings close even five millimeters wide gap between active and passive part automatically. You are electrically queried. The installation in the gripper rails is done either directly or via simple adapter plates. In addition, power couplings can be placed on the automatic systems. With the closing process, these make the electrical and the pneumatic connection to the exchange rail. The advantages are obvious: The pneumatic solution TYP GKZ is light and like hydraulic systems independent of power failures, but is low maintenance and economical as couplings with electric drives. In use, the gripper couplings ensure significantly shorter set-up times - and thus increase the productivity of the entire system.

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