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Festo Now Distributing Magswitch Magnetic Gripping and Clamping Solutions

Magswitch switchable magnets improve the productivity and quality of stamping, welding, and pick-and-place operations.

Festo Now Distributing Magswitch Magnetic Gripping and Clamping Solutions

Festo now offers Magswitch switchable magnetic gripping and clamping solutions to automotive and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) through a new distribution agreement. Magswitch automation solutions are designed to last the life of a production line. The company has shown that energy costs can be lowered by as much as 90%, throughput can be increased by up to 30%, and capital costs reduced as much as 25% compared to systems using vacuum cups and pneumatic/electric grippers or clamps.

Magswitch offers single sided gripping systems featuring true on-and-off magnetic technology that can significantly simplify and lower costs of complete automation systems in OEM assembled lines in such applications as robotic welding, pick-and-place, and body-in-white. Magswitch components integrate seamlessly into the Festo electric and pneumatic automated motion architecture. “The technology is a natural complement to the Festo range of products and global customer base,” said Ian Cleaver, Festo Industry Segment Director.

Festo/Magswitch Solutions can be applied effectively to press lines and stamping operations where switchable magnets can handle lubricated sheet metal blanks more effectively than suction cups by gripping through lubrication. In assembly and body-in-white applications, Magswitch switchable magnets offer the versatility and simplicity of suction cups while maintaining the reliability and safety of traditional power clamps. With single sided clamping, Magswitch tools can facilitate higher speed and quality while welding, and when integrated with vision systems the tools streamline bin picking and handling randomly arranged components.

In machine tending and pick-and-place applications, operations can be performed significantly faster with switchable magnetic end-of-arm tools compared to mechanical grippers, power clamps, and suction cups. Separating ferromagnetic sheets with Magswitch sheet fanners and variable flux systems decreases downtime significantly and enables double blank detection. Magswitch offers custom-pole-shoe accessories with superior holding force that can securely grip components with various geometries. Applications in I-beam handling, fixture tooling, and ergonomic lift assistance can deliver efficiency gains while reducing downtime and capital costs.

“Switchable magnetics from Magswitch is an important addition to the Festo range of pneumatic and electric grippers and clamps,” said Darren O’Driscoll, product manager, Festo. “The fact these components integrate seamlessly within the Festo motion architecture adds additional value.”

“Festo technology is incorporated within our switchable magnetic components,” said Joseph Cyrek, Magswitch President of Automation. “In addition, we have joint research and development projects underway. Extending our relationship to include Festo being a supplier and distributor benefits the numerous companies that will now have access to Festo and Magswitch integrated solutions.”

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