Listen to this article
The Gripper Company officially launched MAXXgrip, its first gripper solution designed specifically for warehouse and logistics applications.
The new MAXXgrip gripper uses a vacuum and four soft fingers that move to solve the problems robot grippers have with handling pieces in warehouse picking and sorting jobs where there are a lot of different kinds of items to handle. An articulating vacuum gripper is used for initial item acquisition, then the fingers are deployed to stabilize the gripped item during the transfer by the robot.
By making the payload stable while it’s in flight, it’s possible to go faster, which speeds up the overall pick-and-place cycle. The gripper unit is lightweight and weighs in at 3.75 to 5.6 lb (1.4 to 2.1 kg) depending on the configuration. It can carry payloads up to 13 lbs (5 kg).
“MAXXgrip is able to access a significantly wider range of SKUs with simplified training at previously unmatched throughput and still with high reliability and gentleness, compared to state-of-the-art gripping. The MAXXgrip has undergone extensive tests to ensure solid evidence of its capabilities and performance. We have surveyed the series of job settings related to logistics and warehouse material handling robotics and worked with a series of the most experienced system builders, suppliers and end-users to sharpen the KPIs of the design and the support structure around it,” says Preben Hjørnet, CTO of The Gripper Company.
The MAXXgrip gripper was designed to address the unique needs of e-commerce fulfillment workflows. Robotics is being deployed into warehouses and distribution centers to automate eaches picking and item singulation workflows. The robots are presented with bins of bulk SKUs and are expected to pick items quickly for customer orders.
Likewise, the robot might be presented with a bin of mixed SKUs and be expected to singulate or sort the items. In this case, vision is used to identify the individual items. MAXXgrip enables the robot to reach into deep bins to pick items.
The MAXXgrip is robot vendor independent and can be deployed on any industrial robot or collaborative robot (cobot). It comes with a compact, high-performance air control unit with a straightforward and easily adaptable interface. ISO bolt pattern allows the MAXXgrip to mount to all major robot arm brands right out of the box.
“We have stress-tested and been through a series of general consumer products and parcels found in e-commerce warehouses and logistics distribution centers. Test criteria have been specified together with leading warehouse automation suppliers. We are very excited to have gotten to the point where we are ready to release the MAXXgrip into an industry that really needs a better gripper offering to strengthen its ability to meet customer expectations and accelerate the global deployment of warehouse and logistics robotics handling systems,” says Hjørnet.
The company prepared a series of reference work cell programs to help speed deployments. This includes digital twin simulation gripper units and work cells implemented for a number of robot vendors.
“During the coming months, we will introduce a series of add-ons that will enable targeted applications to benefit from a collection of unit-level options, like soft fingertips, actuator variants and more. We will publish a series of instructional and use-case videos that will provide good inspiration and guidance on how the MAXXgrip platforms can be applied to various applications,” says CEO Kim Nielsen.
The Gripper Company was founded in 2019 by industry veteran and serial entrepreneur Preben Hjørnet. He has more than a decade of experience in conceiving, designing, and producing soft grippers for industrial robots.