ROSEMONT, IL—Zimmer Group US Inc. showcased its innovative robotic gripper technology at the recent Assembly Show here with a special booth that featured a Tesla Model 3 sedan. It also displayed a six-axis high-speed palletizing robot from ABB Robotics lifting a 20-kilogram battery module.
“Tesla is a good customer of ours,” says Russell Tyler, sales manager for system technology at Zimmer Group. “They use our grippers for assembling battery modules, handling battery packs and unloading aluminum die-castings.
“Many people who stopped by our booth asked why we had the car on display,” says Tyler. “It was a good way to create some brand awareness and explain our participation in the electric vehicle industry, which is a big growth area for us. In addition to EV battery handling applications, our grippers are used in electric motor assembly, especially when it comes to handling rotors and stators.
“While EV applications certainly are popular today, we’ve been involved in the auto industry for a long time,” Tyler points out. “Our products are routinely used throughout the sector to handle heavy parts such as engine blocks, tires, wheels and windshields. And, batteries aren’t even the heaviest item they’re used with; we’ve been involved in applications where the parts weigh up to 2 tons.
“The gripper that we had on display at the Assembly Show was a custom unit, but it incorporated our standard tool changer and our GPH8000 Series gripper,” says Tyler. “The GPH8000 is a two-jaw, parallel, long-stroke gripper that features up to 150-millimeter stroke per jaw. It’s designed for picking up wide, heavy parts.”