Automatica in Munich recorded around 40,000 visitors this year. And many of these visitors were also at Weiss Robotics. True to the motto “Smart Grippers. Simply integrate,” the Ludwigsburg company showed innovative gripping modules and system concepts for intelligent automation. The central technology was GRIPLINK, a "link" via which servo-electric grippers and other tools can be integrated or replaced quickly and without great programming effort.
"Automatica was very successful for us this year," says Dr. Karsten Weiss, CEO of Weiss Robotics. "It's simply the ideal platform to present innovations and new trends to the industry and to receive important feedback from customers." With its Smart Gripper stand concept. Easy to integrate, the Ludwigsburg-based company addressed an important topic in the industry: namely the easy integration of servo-electric grippers.
"Our exhibits, such as the new universal gripper WPG 300-120 with a 120 mm stroke and 300 N gripping force and direct cloud connection, were very well received," says Sales and Marketing Manager Sascha Wittig. "Our stand was actually always very well attended," sums up Sascha Wittig "and we are very much looking forward to deepening our customers' inquiries outside of the trade fair."
Delia has been working at WEISS ROBOTICS since 2008. "I came across the position quite by accident through an ad on Facebook," she remembers. She is actually a trained vehicle painter. On her Instagram account "alfa.delisches" she shares pictures of really cool painted car bodies - her "works of art". At WEISS Robotics, she now assembles servo-electric gripper modules full-time. “I immediately liked the fact that the products are so filigree in structure, but very robust when finished. It also gives me a real kick when I can troubleshoot a repair job and eventually find and fix the problem!” Delia also describes herself privately as a "screwdriver". "For example, I like to build Lego with my kids," says the mother of two. Above all, what she finds smart about her colleagues is that they value mutual trust, collegiality and good communication more than bureaucratic processes. “We help each other and stick together. Our boss also sets an example."
In May, Weiss Robotics presented a wide range of smart grippers at the "All About Automation" in Heilbronn.In addition to the new IEG Plus series for handling, the smart plug and play gripper WPG 300-120 was also presented.And, of course, visitors to the stand could find out how easy it is to integrate servo-electric grippers with GRIPLINK. With 147 exhibitors and 1,447 visitors, the trade fair, which was only held for the second time in Heilbronn, was well attended. "The "All About Automation" is the ideal platform for us to exchange ideas with our existing and new customers," explained Sascha Wittig, Head of Sales and Marketing at Weiss Robotics. "Very often, they come to our stand directly with their problem." Weiss Robotics has set up a special area for this. Weiss Robotics will also be present at the “All About Automation” in Chemnitz. This will take place from September 27th to September 28th, 2023.
In the heart of New York City, the research group led by Prof. Shuran Song at Columbia University, one of the world's most important universities, is working with gripper modules from Weiss Robotics.
The university combines research and teaching at its location with the enormous resources of the big city with the aim of attracting a diverse and international faculty, staff and student body, supporting research and teaching on global issues and establishing academic relationships with many countries and regions. And so the contacts from New York extend to Ludwigsburg in Swabia.
The "DextAIRity" research project at the Columbia Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab (CAIR) aims to use robots to handle various textile materials. For this purpose, a cobot from Universal Robots was equipped with the WSG 50 gripper module from Weiss Robotics. The universal servo gripper with a stroke of 110 mm and a gripping force of 80 N can be flexibly controlled and is therefore particularly suitable for sensitive handling of limp fiber materials. "The WSG 50 can be controlled directly from a PC via the integrated Ethernet interface - an important feature for our project," explains Cheng Chi, software developer at CAIR.
Dr. Karsten Weiß, Managing Director of Weiss Robotics, and Sales and Marketing Manager Sascha Wittig are using their stay in New York on the occasion of Interphex 2023 to make a short detour to the Data Science Institute to find out more about the research project. "We are very impressed by the work of Prof. Shuran Song and her team," says Dr. Karsten Weiß about the visit. “We are very happy when our technologies are used in research projects. This underlines the enormous flexibility of our products.”
Interphex is a major international trade fair and conference that brings together around 8,000 trade visitors from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries at the Javits Center in New York City. The focus of the fair is on the development, production, packaging and distribution of pharmaceutical products. 450 exhibitors showed their latest developments. Together with STÄUBLI Robotics, Weiss Robotics presented its STERIGRIP 200 aseptic gripper for the new STERICLEAN+ hollow-wrist robot. This validated solution was specially developed for use in ultra-clean aseptic applications and, with the GMP Class A cleanliness certification, also meets the highest requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. With the integrated media routing from the robot foot to the gripper module and consistently pharmaceutical-grade materials, the solution on display represents a new benchmark in terms of hygienic design and is therefore particularly suitable for highly demanding applications in the fill/finish area of gene therapy products. "We were able to make many important contacts for ourselves and received consistently positive feedback on our STERIGRIP series," says Dr. Karsten Weiss. "Interphex offers an excellent framework for technical discussions with industry experts from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries".
The "All About Automation" in Friedrichshafen recorded 35 percent more visitors than in the previous year and the Weiss Robotics team also noticed that. "We haven't had any breaks in the last two days," says Sales and Marketing Manager Sascha Wittig. "And that was a good thing, because we were able to help many customers with their specific questions."
They came directly to the stand with their components in order to discuss solutions in the “handicraft corner” provided especially for this purpose.
GRIPLINK, the link for servo-electric grippers
Many of the visitors were enthusiastic about the GRIPLINK technology. “Many people like the idea of having less integration effort for grippers and tools thanks to smart technology. "Servo-electric grippers are often more sensitive, flexible and efficient to use than conventional models," says Sascha Wittig. But the CLG 30-006, one of the world's smallest servo-electric gripper modules, also aroused interest. It has an IO-Link interface and is particularly suitable for handling very delicate components such as those found in the electronics industry.
WPG 300-120 Ultra flexible and with cloud connection
For the trade fair presentation, a Denso robot was equipped with the ultra-flexible WPG 300-120 gripper, which has a gripping force of over 300 N and can be connected directly to the cloud.
"The regional concept of the fair suits us very well," says Sascha Wittig. "With this in mind, we are already looking forward to the next "All About Automation" in Heilbronn on May 10th and 11th, 2023.
Energy efficiency and flexibility play a major role in today's production landscape of German mechanical engineering and this means that easy integration is becoming increasingly important. Pneumatic gripping modules, while still very inexpensive, are also limited in their application. Changing the component to be produced can therefore quickly mean time-consuming retooling. Servo-electric gripping systems are much more flexible here, but have so far required more integration. That changes with GRIPLINK. Because this technology serves as a real bridge between the robot and the component and a significantly shorter programming and changeover time.
We therefore recommend our customers to use pneumatic gripping systems wherever simple gripping tasks need to be solved. Thanks to GRIPLINK, servo-electric grippers can be used wherever you want to save energy and have to react flexibly to product cycles.
Andrey Domnyshev is a development engineer at Weiss Robotics
Andrey Domnyshev is a development engineer and has been working at WEISS Robotics since May last year. Originally, he had only planned to write his thesis. Then he signed on as a working student and finally he stayed. "I was fascinated by the complexity of gripper technology," he says.
Andrey Domnyshev originally comes from southern Siberia and studied “Automation” in Cologne and graduated with a master's degree.
“What I like about WEISS Robotics is that you can try things out. During my final thesis, I developed my own electric gripper, which I was then allowed to manufacture myself. Big companies don't offer you that!” Andrey Domnyshev also appreciates the family atmosphere in the company.
"It's nice to have helpful colleagues and a boss who takes time for you. I'm sure I can still learn a lot here in the future and make my contribution to the company's success!"
There were a lot of things we couldn't do during the Corona pandemic, but some things we were really good at. For example, we were able to work very intensively on our product developments.
The CLG 30-006 was developed during this time and now complements our product portfolio with a real specialist for handling small parts.
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