Intelligent gripping system for handling flexible web fabric

Muhammad A. Ayub (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University Technology MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Ruziyati Tajuddin (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University Technology MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Michael R. Jackson (Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough, UK)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Publication date: 27 July 2012



In the garment industry, web lace fabric material must be tensioned and placed at the right position and orientation prior to the cutting process. In order to avoid a bottleneck, the speed of material handling must be relatively fast compared to the laser cutting speed so that the use of a laser for rapid prototyping of two‐dimensional (2D) cutting shapes is feasible. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a novel gripping system for handling flexible web materials.


The manner in which this intelligent material handling system operates will be discussed in this paper. This includes its system configuration, errors that may occur during the web handling operation, and sequential operations of web distortion control. The material handling system uses a machine vision system coupled with a self‐tuning motion control strategy to assist the material handling system in controlling the web tension, adjusting the web deformation parameters and transporting the web materials.


The online image analysis and a novel mechanical design concept, coupled with the motion controller, are the key issues in the mechatronic integration of this intelligent web‐based material handling system.


The paper presents a novel approach to designing and realizing an intelligent gripping system, which has not previously been attempted.



Ayub, M., Tajuddin, R. and Jackson, M. (2012), "Intelligent gripping system for handling flexible web fabric", Assembly Automation, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 276-283.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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