Countless challenges - one solution
In the production process or in plant development, one is confronted with a wide variety of challenges and tasks. For example, due to their diversity and nature, countless workpieces require hundreds of different production steps such as assembly, material testing and handling, etc.. This in turn raises dozens of further questions for developers, such as which is the right gripper, how can it be changed during the ongoing process, etc.? The Zimmer Group and J. Schmalz GmbH now offer a solution to these challenges: MATCH. MATCH is the name of the new future-proof multifunctional end-of-arm platform from the two handling specialists Zimmer Group and Schmalz. MATCH is the first joint cooperation project between the two technology leaders in their respective fields.
Standardized connection and communication
In production, a wide variety of systems often prevail, such as different robot systems with different communication, interfaces and programming. MATCH offers a comprehensive function portfolio for precisely these conditions, equipped with universal communication interfaces. This means that only one system is required that is compatible with every common lightweight robot on the market - a system that is also ideal for cobots and conventional 6-axis robots. This modular system allows the customer to flexibly solve the most diverse requirements and applications in robotics.
Wide range of applications
Regardless of whether the user has a mobile, a collaborative robotics solution or a fully automated system: MATCH opens up an almost unlimited range of applications for potential customers, from production and assembly to warehouse logistics, shipping or laboratory automation. Typical tasks include pick & place, order picking, packaging and palletizing as well as inspection and testing. Various mechanical and vacuum grippers are available to suit the workpiece and the handling task. If the requirements change, the system can be adapted quickly and easily.
Today, installation is simple and digital
Until recently, deep specialized knowledge and extensive training were necessary in robotics in order to be able to operate robots or, for example, to create programs with the robot. The installation of MATCH, however, is extremely simple. The system can be conveniently mounted on the robot flange in just a few steps and set up and operated via a standardized communication interface. Parameterization is intuitive and very easy thanks to support from the digital services or the common ecosystem (SCM communication module with guideZ setup software, expertZ (advanced expert software), monitorZ (monitoring software) and Comfort App as well as a cloud connection). The Comfort App, which is tailored to the robot manufacturer, enables the gripper to be controlled and operated conveniently and directly via the respective robot operating unit. Simple set-up operation as well as all necessary commands for a smooth automatic mode.
Fast changeover through standardized interfaces
Production and handling processes, and especially the workpieces in industry, are constantly changing - and in most cases they have to be changed quickly. For example, due to a change in the process or in the development, other grippers or even gripping principles are suddenly required. Here, MATCH- is completely flexible and independent, because the quick-change system has various interfaces. In addition to a compatible mechanical interface, there is a pneumatic/vacuum connection. Here, four internal and two lateral fluid channels supply connected gripping systems with compressed air or vacuum. The generous dimensioning enables the operation of powerful pneumatic vacuum generators, for example to handle cartons that are sucked through. Electrical interfaces are also available. The quick-change system is hot-pluggable and can be changed under voltage during operation. The integrated pin field transmits both load and signal current. This technological openness makes it possible to open up many different robot types with a wide variety of end effectors.
Manual and automated quick-change function with finesse
The compact quick-change module makes replacing a component quick and easy in two ways. In addition to an automated change in a storage station or the so-called gripper station, a manual change is also possible within seconds. Thanks to the ergonomic click system - integrated on the end effector to be changed - a manual change is possible with only one hand and at the same time prevents the exchange module from falling down. An anti-twist device ensures a clearly defined position of the end effector in the storage station. Furthermore, it is ensured that the end effector itself is connected to the robot in the same orientation, even during manual changeover. In set-up mode, pins and optical markings in the deposit station enable simple and unambiguous positioning of the end effector. In continuous operation, the pin disappears in the deposit station, allowing more degrees of freedom in the changing process. The storage station can be attached in three different ways. In addition, the deposit station has an optional sensor query and a supplementary optical LED display on the fixed part. Together with the standard Connect signal, a 100 % secure system is guaranteed. The high quality of workmanship of the entire module guarantees a long service life of more than 100,000 cycles.
Smart ecosystem - intuitive software
Zimmer Group and Schmalz have their own ecosystem with which the user can use numerous digital services. For example, in addition to the communication module SCM (Master Gateway), the intuitive setup software guideZ is available to the user for further configuration of the gripper, as well as the Schmalz Connect Suite for the diagnosis of IO-Link devices in the cloud. MATCH guarantees full support and process control - from commissioning to ongoing operation and process monitoring. Digital services such as HMI functions for setup and operation, acquisition of process data/condition monitoring, evaluation and visualization, as well as a cloud connection offer added value in all phases of the product life cycle.
The advantages of MATCH at a glance:
- One system for lightweight robots, cobots and conventional robots with a wide variety of end effectors
- Automated changing in the fixture
- Manual changing with Easy-Click function
- Compatibility & flexibility - the main handling technologies (vacuum and mechanical gripping) combined