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Designing custom robot gripper fingers

Featured Product from Fairlane Products, Inc.

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CNC Robot Gripper Fingers – Streamlining Manufacturing
The process of designing, manufacturing and integrating robot gripper finger tooling can be very time consuming and taxing on a company’s resources. One of the main areas of focus for GripShape is providing a streamlined approach to all aspects of this process including the CNC robot gripper fingers manufacturing.

When we first started evaluating whether or not to produce the gripper fingers in-house vs. outsourcing the manufacturing, it was clear that we could significantly reduce lead times and costs associated with typical robot tooling by applying the same forward-thinking ideas that make our configurator very efficient at designing the tooling towards our manufacturing process.

Our goal was to take what was once considered a one-off part and run it through our manufacturing process in a way that could be competitive with standard, off the shelf components in both time and cost. Fairlane Products invested heavily into this idea by purchasing and dedicating a brand-new Doosan 5-axis mill for the production of GripShape fingers. This machine allows us to produce geometry that is far more complex than standard 3-axis mills which could make the difference in some applications being successful or not. We have re-designed robot tooling systems for clients that were made up of four or more different components and were able to produce a single CNC gripper finger that was stronger, lighter and cost significantly less just by utilizing the capabilities of our machine.

This is great for custom grippers, but another very important part of our business model is to close the gap between what is considered custom and what is available through standard part numbers that are in-stock ready to ship. Most of our standard parts are offered in numerous variants with different lengths, widths, grip areas and materials to cover a wide range of applications that traditionally would be custom machined. To handle this type of volume in the most efficient way possible, we’ve outfitted our Doosan machine with a pallet changing system to allow for continuously feeding programmed parts into the machine. This gives us the ability to quickly produce complex standard CNC products with often only a single machining operation and offer a large variety of parts at a very competitive price.

It is crazy to think that an industry such as robotics could be antiquated, but the systems and processes in place to get the custom tooling you need is not very efficient and our GripShape team set out to push the limits of what is possible and to make gripping easy.

Fairlane Products, Inc.
We design, manufacture and stock a wide range of workholding and positioning components, as well as rollers and bumpers for materials handling, assembly and manufacturing. The workholding and positioning components provide for faster speeds and feeds, and their modular and economical replaceable wear surfaces extend the life of expensive jigs, fixtures, jaws and clamping mechanisms.

Our line includes serrated grippers, low-profile edge grippers, single point and straight serration grippers, as well as Swivots® -swivel-action modular component workholding system incorporating a serrated or smooth contact area that rotates and pivots for holding and positioning of irregular contour surfaces. And Accu-Thrust™ thrust screws that allow straight-line static thrust loads without transmitting torsional or radial forces on an object or work piece. We also design, manufacture and stock a line of rollers and bumpers used in materials handling, assembly and manufacturing applications. The rollers and bumpers come in a variety of durometers, materials, styles and mounts while the bumpers can be custom cut to meet specific applications.