FIPA in practice: Varioflex® vacuum cups for packaging automation



The German de Man Automation+Service GmbH & Co. KG ( has specialised in automation solutions tailored to individual customers in the areas of robotics, material flow and material handling technology. At the Supplier Show for Mechanical Engineering FMB from November 4 to 6, 2015, the automation specialist presented part of its new packaging line for the secondary packing of products with the new “Heron” palletiser. The packaging line is put together as specified by individual customer requirements and comprises the components carton erector, carton packer, carton sealer, labeller, palletiser and pallet wrapper. Depending on the packaged goods, the “Heron” palletiser attains a cycle output of up to 30 cartons per minute. The handling system can also be integrated in existing packaging lines.

At the FMB, de Man tested the FIPA Varioflex® vacuum cups on the gripper of the palletiser for the first time. The sturdy bellows vacuum cups made from the composite material Varioflex®, a special polyurethane in two different levels of hardness, comprise a soft, flexible sealing lip as well as a stable body for rapid resetting, thereby ensuring an excellent service life and superior holding force. Thanks to these properties, they are ideally suitable for the highly precise handling of abrasive products, e.g. cardboard packaging as well as concrete, wood, bricks and roof tiles. That means the palletiser enables much faster and more effective packaging processes. The FIPA Varioflex® vacuum cups proved their merits in the test and were evaluated very positively by de Man.