Handling station, electrical: up-to-date with electric drives

Handling station, electrical: up-to-date with electric drives

The Handling station, electrical, is equipped with a flexible two-axis handling device. Workpieces inserted into the holder are detected by an optical diffuse sensor. The handling device picks up the workpieces from there with the aid of a pneumatic gripper. The gripper is equipped with an optical sensor which differentiates between “black” and “non-black” workpieces. The workpieces can be placed on different slides according to this criterion. Other sorting criteria can be defined if the station is combined with other stations. Workpieces can also be transferred to a downstream station.

Good example: Modular handling system from Festo
The Handling station, electrical, utilizes industrial handling components. An electrical linear axis with DC motor allows fast positioning, including to intermediate positions. A flat linear cylinder with end-position detection serves as the lifting cylinder for the Z axis. A modern pneumatic linear gripper is mounted on the lifting cylinder. The optical sensor integrated into the jaw of the gripper recognizes the workpieces.

Project exercise: New requirements – different grippers
The PicAlfa module, electrical, is highly flexible: stroke length, inclination of the axes, arrangement of the end-position sensors and the installation position can all be adjusted. This enables the station to be adapted for a broad range of handling tasks without the use of additional elements – an ideal project for advanced trainees.

The valve terminal in the electric PicAlfa module is equipped with two individual single-solenoid valves. This makes it possible to carry out simple extensions, such as adding a stacking machine.

Technical data

  • Operating pressure 400 kPa (4 bar)
  • Power supply 24 V DC
  • 8 digital inputs
  • 7 digital outputs

Training aims for project work


  • Mechanical set-up of a station


  • Installation of tubing for pneumatic components
  • Pneumatic grippers
  • Pneumatic linear drives


  • Correct wiring of electrical components


  • Correct application of limit switches


  • Programming and application of a PLC
  • Control of a handling device

Drive technology:

  • I/O actuation of drive controllers


  • Commissioning of electrical axes
  • Commissioning of the entire sequence
  • Optimization of cycle time
  • Safety in the event of loss of pneumatic or electrical power

Recommended training media

  • WBT Actuators – DC motor
  • WBT Safety engineering
  • WBT Electropneumatics
  • Mechatronics Assistant
  • Design and simulation program FluidSIM® Pneumatics
  • Textbook Programmable logic controllers, Basic level



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