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igus pickchain helps make pick-and-place tasks more efficient

18 July 2011

igus UK has developed a new concept of conveyor chain called pickchain, comprising a continually revolving chain with integrated cable and hose supply to drive and control the actuators individually. By integrating pickchain into handling and conveyor equipment, different tasks can be carried out concurrently, such as loading and unloading, stacking, gluing, clamping, turning, drilling and so on.

Conventional handling and conveyor applications in production use, which use linear motions for pick and place tasks, tend to be inefficient due to the continuous back and forth movements. By comparison, the igus pickchain operates with a continuous circular motion with no wasted start and return runs. By implementing pickchain into their equipment, machine and handling builders can realise an increase in output by as much as 30 percent.

The new pickchain system is vibration-free, moving smoothly at a continuous speed of between 2 and 3 m/s. The conveyor chain has sturdy teeth and is driven by a double-toothed belt. Maintenance-free travel of up to 30 m. The permissible load per transport chain link is around 5 kg and each link can be controlled individually. It can be equipped with grippers, suction cups, sensors, cameras and any other tools that receive their respective signals to work accordingly. This allows transport, machining and control to be carried out in one movement, for example, with direction of movement and cycle times being controlled easily by the operator.

The system can be installed horizontally, vertically or side mounted according to the customer’s requirements. Areas of application include; pick & place robots, feeders, packaging, tooling and woodworking machines, embossing presses and equipment used within the semiconductor and solar industries.

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