Eichenberger convinces compared to products from the Chinese market
Eichenberger successfully held its own against local Chinese manufacturers in the planning of the new Festo gripper due to outstanding quality (5000% more operational performance in the endurance test), production from a single source, years of expertise and close cooperation throughout the development process from start to finish.
„The threaded spindles from Switzerland really impressed Festo and helped the company to develop a competitive, high-performance electric parallel gripper within a very short time,“ says Dr Ralf Hartramph, Business Development Manager at Festo and former Head of Development of the Festo Technical Engineering Center in Shanghai.
New parallel gripper in shortest time
After a product range was discontinued and consequently, compatibility with the existing gripper was lost, Festo urgently needed a replacement. Therefore, Festo TEC Shanghai developed a new parallel gripper in the shortest possible time, with low manufacturing costs as an additional benefit.
In the main, the HEPP gripper was developed locally in China, where the components were sourced and manufactured. One exception was the screw drives, as these are subject to high quality standards. Only the Swiss company Eichenberger Gewinde was able to meet these requirements, and not one of the local manufacturers reached the standard.
5000% more runninge performance
„The counter-rotating spindles in the HEPP gripper from Festo are subjected to considerable stress by the feeder forces. To our surprise, the first lifetime test showed very significant differences between Eichenberger and all other spindle suppliers: the Eichenberger spindles showed almost 5000% more running performance. Not only did this convince us, but this also adds considerable value to our product,“ Hartramph explains.
The close cooperation between the development teams right from the start was another success in the rapid implementation of the project: together, Eichenberger and Festo in Shanghai developed the customised counter-rotating ball screws, so that within a few weeks the first sample screws were ready for lifetime endurance testing, which accelerated the development process enormously.
Furthermore, using multifunctional and cross-location teams together with the internally developed mechatronics, a competitive product that can withstand the most demanding requirements was created. As a result, the HEPP gripper is the first completely in-house developed electric parallel gripper from Festo, designed to be more profitable and also more compact than previous models. Festo has excelled in this respect and we are proud that our lead screws form part of this outstanding product, which is used in the automotive and electrical automation industries, among others.
Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Festo has set standards in industrial automation technology and technical education ever since its establishment, thereby making a contribution to sustainable development of the environment, the economy and society. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The LifeTech sector with medical technology and laboratory automation is becoming increasingly important. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 20,800 employees in over 250 branch offices in around 60 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €3.81 billion in 2022. Each year around 7% of this turnover is invested in research and development. In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Festo Didactic SE is a leading provider of technical education and training and offers its customers worldwide comprehensive digital and physical learning solutions in the industrial environment.