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Festo to distribute Magswitch magnetic gripping and clamping solutions

Festo is now offering Magswitch switchable magnetic gripping and clamping solutions to automotive and original equipment manufacturers through a new distribution agreement.

Magswitch says its automation solutions are “designed to last the life of a production line”, and says its equipment can lower energy costs by as much as 90 per cent.

It also says that throughput can be increased by up to 30 per cent, and capital costs reduced as much as 25 per cent compared to systems using vacuum cups and pneumatic and electric grippers or clamps.

Magswitch offers single-sided gripping systems featuring on-and-off magnetic technology that can “significantly simplify and lower costs of complete automation systems” in OEM assembled lines in such applications as robotic welding, pick-and-place, and body-in-white.

Magswitch says its components integrate seamlessly into the Festo electric and pneumatic automated motion architecture.

Ian Cleaver, Festo industry segment director, says: “The technology is a natural complement to the Festo range of products and global customer base.”

Festo/Magswitch Solutions can be applied effectively to press lines and stamping operations where switchable magnets can handle lubricated sheet metal blanks more effectively than suction cups by gripping through lubrication.

In assembly and body-in-white applications, Magswitch switchable magnets offer the versatility and simplicity of suction cups while maintaining the reliability and safety of traditional power clamps.

With single sided clamping, Magswitch tools can facilitate higher speed and quality while welding, and when integrated with vision systems the tools streamline bin picking and handling randomly arranged components.

In machine tending and pick-and-place applications, operations can be performed significantly faster with switchable magnetic end-of-arm tools compared to mechanical grippers, power clamps, and suction cups.

Separating ferromagnetic sheets with Magswitch sheet fanners and variable flux systems decreases downtime significantly and enables double blank detection.

Magswitch offers custom-pole-shoe accessories with superior holding force that can securely grip components with various geometries.

Applications in I-beam handling, fixture tooling, and ergonomic lift assistance can deliver efficiency gains while reducing downtime and capital costs.

Darren O’Driscoll, product manager, Festo, says: “Switchable magnetics from Magswitch is an important addition to the Festo range of pneumatic and electric grippers and clamps.

“The fact these components integrate seamlessly within the Festo motion architecture adds additional value.”

Joseph Cyrek, Magswitch president of automation, says: “Festo technology is incorporated within our switchable magnetic components.

“In addition, we have joint research and development projects underway. Extending our relationship to include Festo being a supplier and distributor benefits the numerous companies that will now have access to Festo and Magswitch integrated solutions.”

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