Innovative applications | reveal VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup zero energy consumption, the secret of adsorption with hole workpiece

2022-08-29


"The data shows that there is a growing demand and more stringent requirements for collaborative robots in industrial production. Take the automobile and 3C industry as an example, some production not only to meet the dust-free, vacuum and other environmental restrictions, but also encounter a lot of smooth, porous workpiece, such as glass panel, PCB board, plane with holes, etc. With the influx of soft robotics, the VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup developed by SRT was given more space to perform. Compared with traditional Suction cups, the most distinctive feature of VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup was its "zero energy consumption".


Redefining VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup

It's like a gecko's foot

A large number of studies have found that the super adhesive force of the gecko stems from the interaction between a large number of setae on the sole of the foot and the surface of the object, namely the van der Waals force. Now, researchers are applying it to innovative technologies. Relying on its strong independent research and development strength, SRT Soft Robot launched the VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup with zero energy consumption and suitable for operations in vacuum scenarios (hereinafter referred to as VFC).


VFC is inspired by the observation and imitation of the microscopic characteristics of the foot of the gecko. Through special polymer materials and μm-level surface microscopic molding process, the sucker can produce strong intermolecular force with the surface of various objects, and the adsorption strength can reach 0.5kg/cm².


In practice, due to the special adsorption mechanism of the sucker, there is no need to supply power or air to the sucker when it is used. It only needs to be placed on the surface of the workpiece and apply gentle pressure to increase the microscopic contact, which can produce effective van der Waals adsorption force. If the workpiece is to be released, it is only necessary to slightly tilt the manipulator to separate it from the workpiece


Schematic diagram of VFC adsorption work piece with hole

  

The merits of VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup

Flexible end-effector with true zero energy consumption

VFC can achieve trackless automation for liquid crystal panels, flat surfaces with holes, circuit boards, glass, polished metal and other smooth surfaces and porous workpieces. On the surface of the sucker, every 1cm² there are nearly 300,000 microcolumn features, so that the front-end of the sucker can firmly absorb the workpiece. This strong adsorption allows the VFC to act on a wide variety of materials and objects, achieving porous parts that cannot be absorbed by traditional sucker techniques. In a vacuum environment, the VFC also stably adsorbs without additional gas, power, or programming, truly achieving zero energy consumption.


Thanks to its special adsorption mechanism, VFC is not only small and lightweight, but also simple and reliable. In the work, VFC will not leave traces on the surface of the item, eliminating the need to add cleaning steps in the production process, thus saving time and improving output, greatly expanding the application scope of automation equipment.


Schematic diagram of structure

 

VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup consists of three parts: Suction Cup module, buffer column and flange Suction Cup. Currently, the SRT Soft robot is available with three standardized VFC suckers: D20, D30, and D40, which are equipped with ISO standard flange interfaces and can be easily installed at the end of various robots for rapid mass deployment. In addition, according to the different needs of customers, the SRT soft robot can also develop VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup with special shape, specification and Suction Force to meet different application requirements.



 

Application in key industries

Expand the multiple possibilities of automated production 

VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup is compact, flexible and reliable with a wide range of industry applications.


Porous PCB board industry applications. There are a lot of holes in the common porous PCB plate, which is difficult to use conventional vacuum chuck for adsorption operation. VFC is a simple and reliable solution to handling problems, and is an ideal choice for various applications in the electronics industry.


Liquid crystal panel industry applications. Advanced liquid crystal panel is composed of multi-layer structure fitting, large size liquid crystal panel in the manufacturing process, need to be assembled in a vacuum environment, conventional fixture is difficult to ensure the absorption and panel overall flatness, VFC can be completed in a vacuum environment.


 

Why you must choose VFC

Cost-effective plug-and-play solution

VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup was an innovative technical application and opened up an area of automation which was difficult to achieve in the past. First of all, VFC can achieve accurate, trackless capture, which not only reduces the operation cost, but also improves the return on investment.


Second, the VFC is a cost-effective, true plug and play solution with easy access to artifacts and a narrow space that enables zero-energy operations without the need to supply power or air.


Finally, the soft SRT robot turned a unique phenomenon in the animal kingdom into technology with bionics principles, and made VanDer Waals Force Suction Cup have unique strong adsorption advantages, long service life and saved cost and equipment maintenance time.


With the advent of Industry 4.0, more and more industries are eager to realize automatic upgrading through robots. As one of the key components of robots, end-effector directly determines the quality and efficiency of robot work. Therefore, SRT Innovative Intelligent End-effector (I-EOAT) has a broader application space in the future. In short, while realizing its own sustainable development, SRT Soft Robot will continue to exert its advantages of independent research and development to enable the automation development of the industry through more products.

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