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Innovative magnetic gripper for high holding force and flexibility

Suctioning and transporting ferromagnetic workpieces with uneven surfaces shows vacuum units on collaborative robots their limitations. In cases like these, magnetic grippers play to their strengths and provide a secure grip on the material in numerous industries. The new MHM-X7400A series from automation specialist SMC now offers users a powerful and at the same time energy-saving solution especially for cobots, which achieves a holding force of up to 200 N and is ready for immediate use thanks to plug & play.

Whether in the general automation and manufacturing industry, the food and packaging sector, or medical technology: many manufacturing industries use collaborative robots that have to pick up ferromagnetic workpieces with perforated or uneven surfaces using magnetic grippers. For even safer pick & place applications, the supplier of pneumatic and electric automation technology has now expanded its magnetic gripper portfolio with a new series specifically for Cobot series. Among others, the plug-&-play system is available for the TM series from OMRON CORPORATION and TECHMAN ROBOT Inc. (compatible with TM5, TM12, TM14): The magnetic gripper MHM X7400A-TM achieves a higher holding force of up to 200 N (Ø 25, tool thickness 6 mm) compared to many comparable products and is suitable for use in applications where vacuum suction units cannot be used.

Precise performance where other solutions give up

The new series is the ideal choice precisely when other solutions do not offer optimum performance: Vacuum cups, for example, cannot suction porous or simply uneven workpieces. SMC’s MHM-X7400A magnetic gripper, on the other hand, can pick up workpieces with different geometries – and ensures reliable holding of sheet metal, metal plates or other materials with ferromagnetic properties. Thanks to magnetic force, protection against falling is ensured even when the compressed air or power supply is interrupted, and energy-saving operation is made possible. The holding force can be continuously adjusted by changing the distance between the magnet and the workpiece via the adjustment screw. This avoids, for example, damage to workpieces due to excessive holding force or unintentional pickup of multiple parts. 
Efficient operation in robotic environments

Available with a diameter of 25 mm, the size of the MHM-X7400A series is particularly space-saving and scores with its low weight. The magnetic grippers are thus predestined for use in application environments with restricted space conditions, such as robot arms, and increase productivity through the possibility of faster movements, among other things. The simple and rapid connection of compressed air line and electrical wiring via plug & play also reduces installation time (M8 or M12 plug-in connection). Certified for various universal robots, the magnetic grippers of the MHM-X7400A series have also been developed for use with the TM5, TM12 and TM14 cobot models from OMRON CORPORATION and TECHMAN ROBOT Inc. (MHM-X7400A-TM) and also allow several magnetic grippers to be arranged in parallel as required, for example for transporting parts with a large surface area. More holding force and flexibility for many industries

In addition, the options for mounting also make SMC’s magnetic gripper a flexible partner for pick & place applications: Tapped holes on the cylinder head and side allow it to be mounted axially or laterally – mounting options via ball head mounts are also available as a special solution. Axial installation is also possible centered by means of an adapter. The magnetic field-resistant electronic signal transmitters can be mounted from two sides at the same time. A fluorocarbon rubber damping ring on the cylinder head, which can be replaced without tools, also ensures gentle contact with the workpiece surface and prevents direct metallic contact.

 

Food & Beverage

Food Transition

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Standing Ovation, a player in the food transition, announced today a Series A financing round of 12 million Euro led by Astanor Ventures, with the participation of Peakbridge, Seventure Partners, Big Idea Ventures, Good Startup, and of a leading player in the food industry. This round, completed less than 2 years after its creation, will be used to finance the next phase in the company’s development and scale its technology to meet industrial demand.

Global protein demand, and animal protein in particular, is increasingly dramatically with a rapidly growing global population and global diets shifting towards animal-based products. Yet livestock farming today represents 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and intensive livestock farming is considered unethical by a growing number of people.

Standing Ovation’s ambition is to contribute to the agrifood transition by developing animal and lactose-free substitutes for cheese and dairy products, using dairy proteins produced by microbial fermentation. Thanks to a simple but innovative process, the company produces caseins, without any recourse to animal products. Caseins are not only the major proteins in milk (over 80 percent), but also the proteins that allow it to curdle and give cheese its functional melting and stretching characteristics customers are craving. Standing Ovation has shown that these caseins can then be used, with other products of vegetal or mineral origin, to obtain true replicas of cheese products, with a focus on fresh and soft cheeses.

The round, initially planned for a total of 10 million Euro, but oversubscribed up to 12 million Euro, will enable the company to finance its growth, and in particular to bring casein production process to industrial scale, to perfect its products and to initiate the regulatory process, while continuing to develop its R&D activity to create new products and formulations.

Frederic Paques, CEO of Standing Ovation, said: “Standing Ovation’s technology has a tremendous potential. However, bringing the products rapidly to the market requires significant resources, and substantial funding had become necessary. Astanor Ventures, which had already supported us at an earlier stage, understood it as did the other participants in this round. We would like to thank all our investor partners for their support and their confidence in the team.”

Romain Chayot, Scientific Director of Standing Ovation, said: “In only two years, we have developed a unique and highly technological process. We are now in a strong position to build on this momentum and transition towards more logistically intensive stages, especially scaling up.”

Eric Archambeau, co-founder of Astanor Ventures, said: “Standing Ovation’s technology represents a paradigm shift for the animal-free dairy market. Casein is the holy grail for the production of alternative options that match conventional products in nutrition, taste and texture yet it has remained notoriously difficult to create. The founders’ experience in biotechnology enabled them to find the key to casein development, a step ahead of many companies. We are greatly impressed by the team’s advancements over the past year both in product and process development and are excited to support them in this next step of their journey.

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Food & Beverage

Sesotec Thailand: New location with showroom in Bangkok

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The Thai branch of Sesotec from Schönberg has moved and opened its new location with showroom in Bangkok on August 25. The premium manufacturer of magnetic, contaminant detection, sorting and material analysis systems presents its entire portfolio of metal detectors and X-ray inspection systems for the food and plastics industries spread over several floors. The modern building provides working areas for the Sesotec Thailand team and is open to customers as well as partners who wish to receive on-site advice or training.

 

With the new showroom, Sesotec is intensifying personal contact on site. In addition to a timeless, high-quality exhibition area, the new building also has excellently equipped training rooms. The specialist for contaminant detection, material sorting and analysis makes the presentation of its products and technologies a tangible experience: for example, metal detectors and X-ray scanners are available for customer events and test trials.

 

“For Sesotec, the exchange of ideas and discussions with our customers and partners is a top priority. Only in this way can we successfully shape cooperation and the future,” says Joachim Schulz, CEO of Sesotec, who traveled to Bangkok for the opening. Soontronrungsan Chairat, Managing Director of Sesotec Thailand and his whole team are proud that the new premises have turned out so well: “We are really looking forward to welcoming many customers and visitors in our great new location!”

 

After the technical center at Sesotec’s headquarters in Schönberg and the showroom in Dorsten in northern Germany, the new location in Bangkok is the next logical step towards making Sesotec’s high-tech innovations a reality in suitable surroundings and close to the customer.

 

 

 

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Food & Beverage

Fully sustainable foodservice packaging

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Leading European packaging manufacturer Coveris has teamed up with sustainable start-up Notpla to deliver a range of printed, biodegradable and recyclable food cartons, using Notpla’s award winning barrier coating technology.

Tackling growing sustainability concerns in the food-to-go and takeaway sector due to lack of street and kerbside recycling infrastructure, alongside functional packaging requirements, new specially coated board packs address both packaging and food waste challenges. Replacing all-plastic containers or hybrid filmic-laminated board solutions requiring a plastic liner for grease and moisture resistance, the new naturally coated board packs are uniquely protective, biodegradable and recyclable.

Applied to sustainably sourced cardboard, Notpla Coating is a unique mix of seaweed and plant extracts that provides a food-safe barrier function, and which disappears naturally in 4-6 weeks at end of life. Unlike PLA, Notpla Coating allows the pack to be both recyclable and home compostable and is based on one of nature’s most renewable resources – seaweed – which doesn’t compete with food crops, doesn’t need fresh water or fertiliser, and actively contributes to de-acidifying our oceans.

As the exclusive development and print partner for the new coated board packaging, Coveris have worked extensively with Notpla to deliver a fully printed, branded solution that works in combination with the sustainable coating. Using specialist water-based inks for added sustainable benefits, the printed packs are fully approved for food-contact and offer an advanced oil barrier function that outperforms plastic in most applications. Notpla has also devised a unique comparative test that shows just how rapidly Notpla Coating is broken down by nature, in comparison to other coating materials for food-to-go applications, while other industry testing is underway.

Available as both off-the-shelf Notpla own-brand takeaway boxes (at notpla.com) and custom printed formats, through Notpla’s existing partnership with Just Eat Takeaway.com the new packs were also introduced at the Women’s Euro 2022 final held at Wembley Stadium, marking the first time that biodegradable food packaging was used at a major football match in the UK.

Commenting on the collaborative project, Emma Moate Coveris’ Food-on-the-move category Director said “we’re really proud to have worked alongside Notpla as their development and print partner, marking a major step in delivering a more sustainable future for foodservice brands and products. Given the functional requirements of packaging combined with disposal challenges in this sector, the new coated packs really are the packaging of the future, supporting our journey towards No Waste through combined food and packaging waste reduction for our customers.”

Packs will be available at Coveris’ stand (L721) at the upcoming lunch! show 14th-15th September, ExCel London.

 

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