Robotics & Mechatronics

V-lock system and co-operative robots

2nd Quarter 2019 Robotics & Mechatronics

Metal Work has developed applications for the automation of the assembly process together with producers of co-operative robots. These are robots of the very latest generation, designed to interact with humans in total security. They integrate perfectly with the handling products of Metal Work’s V-Lock series, marked by the fact that they can very easily be assembled, disassembled and reconfigured.

The V-Lock system is a complete system for manipulation. All components are equipped with a standardised dovetail interface, which makes the assembly, design, configuring and reconfiguring processes easier and faster when building kinematic assemblies. Each component is connected to the other by means of V-Lock brackets that adhere to the dovetail profile; the locking of the brackets occurs through the clamping of two easily accessible lateral screws using a common Allen wrench.

This intuitive system equipped with V-Lock allows the user to make the most of the potential of a co-operative robot and enables the operator to change diverse collet sets, rotary and linear actuators in a fast and simple way. Moreover, through the utilisation of universal adaptors called V-Lock Transformers, it is possible to add components coming from other producers, such as suction cups and gripping systems.

Among the applications developed so far, there is a recent and very interesting one, concerning the assembly of components for industrial automation. In this case, a two-arm Cartesian SCARA type robot carries out the assembly of two different components. Each component is picked from a departure stand by means of a Metal Work P4K type gripper belonging to the V-Lock series, together with a mechanical compensator which can counteract eventual mismatches with the stands.

What specifically characterises this application is the fact that the two arms, besides obviously being synchronised, can interact with humans without constituting any source of danger. The robot is equipped with sensors that immediately stop it in case of collision. The cycle time is minimised thanks to the optimisation of the motion trajectories.

For more information contact Johan Bester, Metal Work Pneumatic South Africa, +27 31 569 1584,,


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