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Day 3 Cobots Online Roadshow -Getting to Grips with End-of-Arm-Tooling

End-of-arm tooling for your robot is a critical element in empowering robots to carry out a specific task. A robot without EoAT is of no value to an end user’s production process. Therefore, EoAT is a key component of the automation process, optimizing processes, adding flexibility, increasing output and quality. There are many different types of EoAT available for example grippers, sensors, tool changers etc however, Grippers are the most common type of end effector.

Types of Grippers

The type of task you want your robot to carry out and the type of material being used will determine the type of gripper you will use. There are four types of robotic grippers: vacuum grippers, pneumatic grippers, hydraulic grippers and servo-electric grippers.

Vacuum Grippers

The vacuum gripper uses a rubber or polyurethane suction cup to pick up items and offer a high degree of flexibility. Vacuum grippers work when the difference between atmospheric pressure and the vacuum, or negative pressure, is enough to provide the ability to lift, hold and move parts. These provide good handling if the objects are clean, smooth and flat.

Pneumatic Grippers

Pneumatic grippers work with compressed air which powers a piston or rolling diaphragm attached to a rod to provide motion and actuation. They are compact and lightweight and can easily be incorporated into tight spaces

Hydraulic Grippers

Hydraulic grippers are most often used for applications that require large amounts of force. The power comes from pumps that can provide up to 2000psi making them ideal for handling heavy loads.

Servo-Electric Grippers

In servo-electric grippers, motors control the movement of the jaws using electric input from the robot controller. These grippers are easy to control, highly flexible and allow for different material tolerances when handling parts.

Innovation in Gripper Technology

As the EoAT in the marketplace has become smarter and more sophisticated, it has enabled robots to handle adaptive, higher precision and more intelligent applications that previously were too complex to automate.

One such example of innovation in gripper technology is OnRobot’s Gecko Single Pad Gripper which they launched in February of this year.  This compact gripper requires no cables, electricity, air or programming. This cost-effective plug-and-play adhesive gripper comes in three size, SP1, SP3 and SP5, named after the gripper’s payload in Kilos. It can lift a wide range of flat, smooth, shiny or perforated surfaces. The award-winning Gecko technology doesn’t mark even high-shine surfaces eliminating the need for a cleaning step in manufacturing processes, saving time and improving output.

A Collaborative System

For the cobot to maintain its collaborative status it is important that the system including the EoAT is safe. Designed to a high safety standard, grippers for the collaborative robots are not only safe but also offer intuitive programming through the robot’s teach pendant

Important Characteristics to Consider when choosing End-of-Arm-Tooling

  • Flexible, quick-change tooling eliminating downtime between processes
  • Tooling that is fast, easy to program and deploy using the cobot’s built-in teach environment
  • Tools that can handle parts of varying sizes and shapes and which can adapt to different environments
  • Safe, collaboratively designed tools that make it safe to work alongside humans
  • Flexible tooling that can be used for multiple processes
  • Cost-effective tooling that speeds integration and reduces need for additional equipment

Here at Cobots.ie we have partnered with the best in the business to bring you a large range of End-of-Arm-Tooling. We supply Robotiq, OnRobot, Piab, Schmalz and New Scale Robotics. If you are looking for EoAT and would like to discuss your application with one of our team, please email us at sales@cobots.ie or call us on 021 4633112