International Processing Trade Fair for Powder, Bulk Solids, Fluids and Liquids

26 - 28 September 2023 // Nuremberg, Germany

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Exhibitors & Products POWTECH 2022
Zoom Image LOGO_The FORMHAND technology

The FORMHAND technology

LOGO_The FORMHAND technology

The FORMHAND technology

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Smart Gripper – smart Partnership

FIPA GmbH ( has entered into a strategic partnership with FORMHAND to add a new universal gripper to its portfolio. As a universally applicable and innovative gripping system, the FORMHAND replaces many product-specific solutions for making production and logistics more flexible, where goods of different shapes are moved.

Production and in-house logistics are becoming increasingly complex and require efficient solutions to handle a wide variety of handling processes. The clever combination of tube lifter FIPALIFTpro and FORMHAND gripping pad safely picks up goods weighing up to 25 kg where conventional solutions with vacuum cups fail. These are objects without a flat surface and flexible goods, such as shrink-wrapped PET bottles or tinned food. 

The universal gripper consists of a freely deformable gripping cushion filled with granulate. The cushion nestles closely to the surfaces of the goods and thus forms a sealed system. As soon as a vacuum is applied to it, it becomes firm and fixes the gripped object. This enables the FORMHAND to gently pick up objects with complex geometries. Ergonomic handling of goods in a wide variety of shapes can thus be realised economically without changing grippers. The only condition is that the gripping surface is completely covered by the object. This saves users high costs of special grippers. Moreover, set-up times are eliminated. 

The gripper pad has a large, rectangular suction surface of 300 mm x 200 mm and can be changed without tooling. A quick-change adapter connects the FORMHAND to the FIPALIFTpro tube lifter. The FORMHAND technology is also used on classic industrial robots or cobots. Three different sizes are available here. The smallest gripping module has a diameter of 80 mm and lifts up to 2 kg reliably. Due to its size, it can therefore be ideally integrated into collaborative applications. 

From the idea to the company
The universal gripping pads were developed by the young company FORMHAND Automation GmbH in Braunschweig. FIPA has taken over the exclusive distribution of the FORMHAND in combination with the tube lifter FIPALIFTpro. "Together with FIPA, we want FORMHAND to become a successful product, because FORMHAND and the tube lifter FIPALIFTpro are simply a perfect match", says Holger Kunz, co-founder of the company.

There are virtually no limits to the areas of application. Curved metal sheets are often the greatest challenge in manual handling. The FORMHAND also masters metal sheets with strong curvatures and curves. Whether in the packaging sector, in the picking of cardboard boxes or in luggage logistics: the FORMHAND packs reliably and simplifies the handling of very flexible goods without a flat surface, such as suitcases, bags and backpacks.
 "Some users want to change the gripper quickly because typical automotive cycle rates come into play. Medium-sized companies tend to focus on flexibility. With the new FORMHAND generation, we are trying to cover a wide range of applications and meet the associated requirements", explains Holger Kunz. 

At FIPA, you get everything from just one single source
FIPA stands for the highest level of competence in engineering and project management and is happy to put together a complete solution consisting of a crane, vacuum generation and a tube lifter FIPALIFTpro with the FORMHAND. In addition it is also possible to integrate the new tube lifter/gripper solution into systems with an existing crane. "This innovative adaptable and relevant gripper from FORMHAND is the perfect addition to the FIPA product range. The partnership puts  FORMHAND on the global stage via the FIPA sales network, further strengthening our position as a market leader in vacuum, gripping and lifting technology“, says David Collins, CCO of the FIPA Group. 

The FORMHAND universal gripper at a glance:

  • High gripping force: goods of up to 25 kg can be handled safely and ergonomically
  • Easy integration: no adjustment work required
  • Form-flexible shape fit: due to the granulate filling, the gripping cushion adapts automatically
  • Gentle gripping: the gripping pad nestles gently against surfaces
  • Multifunctional use: saving of additional costs due to special grippers and set-up times

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POWTECH offers concrete solutions for packaging-intensive industries. Industry guide


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