Grasp Point Optimization and Leakage-Compliant Dimensioning of Energy-Efficient Vacuum-Based Gripping Systems
Vacuum-based handling, used in many applications and industries, offers great flexibility and fast handling processes. However, due to significant energy conversion losses from electrical energy to the useable suction flow, vacuum-based handling is highly energy-inefficient. In preliminary work, we showed that our grasp optimization method offers the potential to save at least 50% of energy by a targeted placement of individual suction cups on the part to be handled. By considering the leakage between gripper and object, this paper aims to extend the grasp optimization method by predicting the effective compressed air consumption depending on object surface roughness, gripper diameter and gripper count. Through balancing of the target pressure difference and the leakage tolerance in combination with the gripper count and gripper diameter, significant reductions of the compressed air, use and therefore the overall energy consumption, can be achieved. With knowledge about the gripper-specific leakage behavior, in the future it will be straightforward for system integrators to minimize the need for oversizing due to process-related uncertainties and therefore to provide application-specific and energy-optimized handling solutions to their customers.