Collaborative Machine Tending Saves Time in Manufacturing

machine tending with onrobot dual gripper

Collaborative Machine Tending Saves Time in Manufacturing

Machine tending is the process of feeding materials into CNC machines and other industrial fabrication machines. At the moment, most machine tending is still carried out by people, but robots are beginning to revolutionise this monotonous area of manufacturing.

Why Apply Robotic Machine Tending

To put it simply, robots (or co-bots that work collaboratively alongside humans) can tend machines more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Using innovative end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) attachments affixed to the end of a robotic arm, most of the machine tending process can be automated.

The robotic arm can pick up the materials from a supply position, transport it to the machine and feed it in accurately. The robot integrates with the machine to know when the machining is finished and can remove the finished article.

The main benefits of this industrial automation are:

  • Quality
  • Consistency
  • Speed

The installation of collaborative EAOT attachments is fast and easy and they are highly customizable. The force and stroke size of the grippers can also be adjusted. Due to the efficiency and low overheads,  companies can expect to receive a return on their investments in only a few months.

This collaborative application approach is becoming increasingly popular in all sectors of manufacturing, but it particularly appeals to small and medium-sized manufacturing plants where budgets won’t allow for large-scale production-line robots. Also, the technology is very flexible and the robotic operators need little training, saving both time and money.


Save Time with Dual Grippers

The most important factor when planning to use collaborative robots is to choose the right set of EOAT units. These enable the automated arms to handle various materials and carry out basic tasks such as placing and picking pieces on a CNC machine.

The recommended tools for machine tending are RG2 and RG6 dual grippers. These industrial grippers attach easily to the end of a robotic arm and are designed for various collaborative applications including machine tending, pick and place, packaging and palletizing, and even assembly.

There are several features of OnRobot’s RG2 and RG6 grippers that make them ideal for machine tending:

  • Dual Gripper Option - This means that two pairs of grippers can be applied per arm, effectively doubling the number of products each one can handle. This will cut the time taken up by machine tending by half.
  • Wide Stroke – Variety of width settings, allowing the grippers to handle a variety of material and object sizes.
  • Interchangeable Fingertips – Any 3D-printed fingertip can be used, to handle any form. Any shape that is created in a CNC machine can be handled by these flexible grippers.
  • Adjustable Force – Soft or hard materials can be picked and placed, and the force values are easily adjusted to suit.

All these features are designed to save time as a single gripper (or pair of dual grippers) can be used throughout the operation, without the need to change them.


OnRobot Dual Gripper on Kawasaki Robot

OnRobot Dual Gripper on Kawasaki Robot


Some Real-World Examples of Automated Machine Tending

Swedish aluminium parts manufacturer FT-Production recently installed collaborative applications in their production line to carry out repetitive tasks.

Installations include grippers from OnRobot and robotic arm component from another manufacturer. The owner expects to get a return on his investments in less than nine months as the production line is faster and much more cost effective.

100-year old transmission parts manufacturer, Osvald Jensen, partnered with OnRobot to automate and streamline their manufacturing processes by installing pick and place grips. The Danish company is an early adopter of the technology and started using OnRobot gripper in their daily production in 2015. It received a return on investment in less than 3 months.

To further improve their productivity in a cost-effective way, the company deployed the dual grippers which reduced the production time by almost 80 percent.


The Future of Production Lines

The demand for EOAT is skyrocketing. The global market for EOAT has been valued at $1,580 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $2,740 million by the end of 2025, according to QYResearch. This estimation put the growth rate at a CAGR of 7.1 percent from 2019 to 2025.

This represents a seismic change in manufacturing processes.

To survive in highly competitive markets, manufacturers must scale-up their production quality and quantity. This can easily be achieved by setting up collaborative applications. In small and medium-sized plants where installation costs become a roadblock for automation, these flexible and cost-effective solutions can bring intelligent technologies to the age-old production lines.



Privacy Policy for processing and protecting personal data

This data protection policy applies to OnRobot.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure and document that OnRobot protects personal data in accordance with the rules for processing of personal data. The policy will also contribute to OnRobot providing information about its processing and use of registered personal data.

The policy will be reviewed each year.

Record of the processing of personal data

OnRobot processes personal data about:

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Suppliers

  • Applicants

OnRobot has prepared a record of the processing of personal data. The record provides an overview of the processing for which OnRobot is responsible.

The personal data must be provided in order for OnRobot to enter into employment, customer and supplier contracts.

Purpose and lawfulness of the processing

Personal data are processed and archived in connection with:

  • HR management, including recruitment, hiring, dismissal and payment of salary

  • Master data for customers as well as orders and sales

  • Master data for suppliers as well as requisition forms and purchases

  • Contracts

Processing is legal by the authority specified in the appended record.

OnRobot does not use the personal data for purposes other than those listed. OnRobot does not collect more personal data than necessary to meet the purpose. 

Storage and erasure

OnRobot has introduced the following overall guidelines for storage and erasure of personal data:

  • Personal data are stored in physical folders.

  • Personal data are stored in IT systems and on server drives.

  • Personal data are not stored for longer than necessary to meet the purpose of the processing.

  • Personal data for employees are erased five years after employment has ended, and personal data about applicants are erased after six months.

Data security

Based on the appended risk assessment, OnRobot has implemented security measures to protect personal data:

  • Only employees with a work-related need to access the registered personal data have access to the data, either physically or via IT systems with rights management.

  • All computers are password protected and employees may not disclose their passwords to others.

  • Computers must have firewall and antivirus software installed, which must be updated regularly.

  • Personal data are erased securely in connection with phasing-out and repair of IT equipment.

  • USB flash drives, external hard disks, etc. containing personal data must be stored in a locked drawer or cabinet.

  • Physical folders are placed in a locked office or in locked cabinets.

  • Personal data in physical folders are erased by shredding.

  • All employees must be instructed in what to do with personal data and how to protect personal data.


Website and Cookie

  • The Personal Data Regulation allows you to treat personal data only legally for the purpose for which they have been collected. If you want to use data for purposes other than the original, you must always have the consent of the registrant.

  • Upon receipt of a business card from a customer you have his consent. If you write his information you need his signature on this paper to have a formal requirement for consent if you want to use his information. Then the customer allows OnRobot to use his data for purposes other than communication, upcoming promotions, product updates or further news including upcoming promotions, product updates and further news.

  • According to the Cookie Act, OnRobot must have the user’s consent to use this software on the user’s equipment. On The company’s intranet or similar closed group, the rules in the E-data protection directive do not apply.


Personal data about employees may be disclosed to public authorities such as the Danish Customs and Tax Administration and pension companies.


OnRobot only uses processors if they are able to provide the required guarantees that they will implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to comply with personal data law. All processors must sign a processor agreement before processing commences.


OnRobot safeguards the rights of data subjects, including the right to access, withdrawal of consent, rectification and erasure and will inform the data subjects of OnRobot’s processing of personal data. Data subjects are also entitled to appeal to the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Personal data breach

In case of personal data breach, OnRobot will report the breach to the Danish Data Protection Agency as soon as possible and within 72 hours. The manager is responsible for this reporting taking place. The report will outline the breach, the groups of persons affected and the impact the breach may have on these persons and how OnRobot has remedied or intends to remedy the breach. If the breach entails a high risk for the persons about whom OnRobot processes personal data, OnRobot will also notify these persons. OnRobot s will document any personal data breach on an access-controlled drive.

Erasure of data

The customer should assess when personal data need to be erased by asking the question:

When is it no longer necessary to store the personal data?

OnRobot follows the practice of the Danish Data Protection Agency:

Applications Are erased after 6 months in connection with job interviews. Unsolicited applications are erased immediately.
Employee data Are erased 5 years after termination of employment.
CCTV surveillance Is erased after 30 days.
Telephone conversations Are erased immediately or after up to 3 months.
Accounting records Must be stored for 5 years from the end of the financial year.


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How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
With the dawn of smarter, more adaptive tooling, robots can now function with greater speed, strength, safety and precision, accomplishing a wide range of tasks, while maximizing ROI. Learn more on how you can enable faster production at lower costs by downloading our free eBook.
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
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