Simmatic adds a little magic to suction cups

The latest family of Magic suction cups from vacuum expert Simmatic feature an innovative modular design that allows cups for an enormous range of uses to be assembled quickly easily and economically – without the use of tools –from a small range of components. All types have suction lips that can be readily replaced if they become damaged or worn, or substituted with lips of a different size if the type of object being handled by the cup changes.

Simmatic holds popular components from the Magic cup range in stock to ensure fast delivery and can order non-stock components on short lead times. The company also provides expert technical advice on cup choice and configuration for specific applications.

The basic components of the Magic suction cup system are the fitting, which connects to the vacuum system, the bellows cartridge which provides flexibility and allows the cups to operate over a range of heights, the suction stopper and the suction lips. By selecting an appropriate combination of bellows, stopper and lip, Magic suction cups can be configured to work reliably in even the most challenging applications.

Bellows cartridges are available in various lengths and are typically selected to provide compliance with the range of product heights and angular presentation required by the application. The bellows collapse under vacuum, a feature that designers can take advantage of to accommodate misalignment, changes in size and shape of the product, and even to generate a pulling or lifting force on the product.

Simmatic currently offers ten different types of suction lip, but new varieties are regularly being added to the range. Some popular options are X-type lips, which are ideal for handling thin plastic bags and pouches, double-lip DD-type lips that provide excellent performance on rough and irregularly curved surfaces, MBU-type lips that are optimised for use with cylindrical objects, and S-type lips that work dependably with porous objects.

The lips can be fabricated from a extensive array of materials but the most popular are silicone rubber, which offers a wide operating temperature range, NBR (nitrile butadiene rubber), which is resistant to attack by oils, and PU (polyurethane rubber), which is excellent for general purpose applications. Other currently available lip materials include EPDM rubber and Viton, with metal-detectable lips soon to be added to the range.

For applications where no marks must be left on the object being handled, this can be achieved by using designated combinations of lips and sealing stoppers.