Hygienic pneumatic gripper is approved for class 1 cleanrooms

Paul Boughton

Schunk has developed a gripping system for use in the pharmaceutical industry and in laboratory automation. The hygienic SCG Sterigrip fulfils all the requirements for ISO 14644 class 1 cleanroom applications; it is made of stainless steel and FDA-approved plastics, and it weighs 160g. With a patented drive concept, the angular gripper is claimed to set a new performance benchmark for pneumatic grippers.
As well as generating a grip torque of 250mNm, the SCG Sterigrip features a closing time of just 0.25s. When the pharmaceutical-proven actuator was designed, specific undercuts were avoided and larger radii were chosen wherever possible to ensure that all contamination can be safely removed. Furthermore, the gripper can be disassembled quickly and easily for cleaning purposes.
For cleanroom grippers, this new system can now be changed by hand, instead of with a tool, and can be quickly adjusted to changing batches and alternative tasks. The gripper was specifically designed with smooth edges to prevent worker injury. Even when integrated in a glove box, an operator is able to easily remove the fingers for autoclaving rapidly; cross-contamination can therefore be avoided.
Instead of using compressed air in the cylinder to actuate the gripper, a vacuum is generated; the outgoing air from the piston area is led back individually to the outgoing air interface within the system. This avoids turbulences and contamination of the facility. A larger piston surface and thinner walls assure that the gripper is lightweight and achieves high grip forces.
For more information, visit www.schunk.com

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