Handling structural sheet metal, especially that with oily surfaces, often can be challenging because suction cups typically can only be used on flat or slightly out-of-flat surfaces. As a result, it is difficult to grip only corners. A secure grip on a workpiece is a basic prerequisite for dynamic handling in all transfer processes. This also applies to pressing plants and structural work in any application that requires the handling of sheet metal or structural components with tight, round edges or small radii.Schmalz’s SAOK vacuum suction pads

To meet those needs, vacuum specialist Schmalz Inc., Raleigh, N.C., has developed new suction pads for handling structural sheet metal components with round edges and small radii. Featuring special geometry, the SAOK edge gripper suction pads allow for optimum positioning and sealing on workpieces such as pipes, stiffening plates, and frame parts without even touching surfaces.

The pad’s highly supple sealing lip, featuring interior cup cleating, ensures an optimum fit on the workpiece and guarantees maximum holding power, even on oily surfaces. Vulcanized aluminum reinforcement ensures that the suction pad maintains a stable, secure hold in highly dynamic handling cycles.

The SAOK edge gripper suction pads are available in two versions made of different materials. First, the Perbunan (NBR) version, ensures maximum force absorption, especially for handling smooth or oiled metal sheets. It offers pull-off force of 81 N and 60 N on an oily surface.

The second type, made of HT2 high-temperature material, features a temperature tolerance of up to 250°C, making it ideal for handling hot-formed components and hot sheet metal. It offers a pull-off force of 75 N and 59 N on an oily surface.

In addition, the suction pads are silicone-free, so they have no negative effect on paint or varnish finishing properties. The SAOK suction pads are available in several versions with different connections (female thread, male thread, quick connectors) and are delivered fully assembled. Minimum workpiece angle is 80° and recommended hose ID is 6 mm for both.

For more information, call (919) 713-0880, or visit www.schmalz.com.