Flexible Gripping Delivers the Future of Automation Today

Gecko Gripper

Humans are more connected than ever before, and that’s true of industrial automation as well. This age of unparalleled connectivity spurs expectations for faster and more scalable production, but for businesses it’s no longer just about automation itself. Instead, the focus has shifted to collaborative automation, wherein multiple tasks of differing magnitude and difficulty can be automated to achieve greater productivity and cost effectiveness than was previously possible.

Collaborative applications typically involve humans, robots, robot accessories and objects interacting with each other on varying levels to automate various tasks. These characteristics make collaborative applications easily deployable, reducing costs. The objects, of course, are a particularly important component in this work flow, which means that modern industrial automation must be able to accurately sense, identify and manipulate them.  

Breakthrough Gripper Technologies

End effectors, or end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), are the physical interface between the robot and collaborative application. Since these applications demand that objects be handled in extremely flexible and autonomous ways, poorly selected EOAT incapable of meeting those demands can severely limit an application’s collaborative potential, which leads to process delays and harm to the production line.

Modern grippers, however, are up to the challenge. They are designed with state-of-the-art gripping techniques and able to have each step of a gripping task programmed well in advance. Importantly, this means the grippers know the correct angle, precision and force to apply while handling an object before the task even begins.

For instance, force-based gripping technique, which is useful in such applications as packaging and palletising, machine tending and assembly, enables flexible production with minimal downtime. In-built force/torque sensors have integrated force control software and proximity sensors with optical technology that helps grippers detect an object’s location, even when it is not precisely positioned. This technology is well-suited to collaborative applications since the gripper can “see” and “feel” the objects using its built-in force/torque sensing.

Another breakthrough technology, called ‘Gecko,’ utilizes special adhesives to pick and place flat and smooth objects, as well as porous objects. This is a special adhesive technology invented by OnRobot which does not require vacuum or an external air supply. This technology is especially beneficial in the electronics industry with printed circuit boards (PCB). Holes in PCBs make them hard to grip  using vacuum technology.

OnRobot grippers are designed to seamlessly integrate with collaborative applications and are built for easy “plug-and-produce” automation. These grippers can attach to any robot, and end users can control the gripper using the software panel’s embedded programming. This is advantageous for large businesses, as well as for small and midsize enterprises seeking agility and cost-efficiency as their low-volume, high-mix production needs change.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines are expensive, ranging between €80,000 and €1million. Hence, manufacturers are constantly looking at ways to get the most out of these machines. A single gripper is often used in CNC machine tending tasks. This method means the machine is left idle for a long time, having huge cost implications for the business. Instead, manufacturers can use dual grippers to maximise production. OnRobot’s RG2 or RG6 dual grippers boosts machine utilization. While one gripper removes a processed part from the machine, the second picks the next raw part to be loaded into the machine, reducing cycle time, improving efficiency and increasing output.

 

Advanced Intelligence in Modern Tools

The collaborative application determines the EOAT type, and in turn intelligent features in the EOAT arbitrate the automation quality.

For example, if a robot is tasked with picking up a plastic sheet, its grippers will be equipped with pneumatics or vacuum cups. For applications that need a two-finger gripper, the wise choice would be a gripper that is easy to install and program, and is  cost-effective. And, if product mix changes are frequent, a gripper with an adjustable stroke and gripping force would be best.

Advanced EOATs should be able to satisfy these disparate needs and adhere to the end user’s long-term best interests. Average intelligence in robot accessories is no longer sufficient—to create the agile, hyper-connected and collaborative environments envisioned by Industry 4.0, these accessories must have elevated intellect.

A New Era of Automation

The days of large, centralized production are over, and automated processes are too costly to be rebuilt for every modification and design change, especially for SMEs

The new direction in industrial automation is about adding intelligence to end-effectors so that the robot can become smarter. Adopting advanced EOATs with intelligent sensors and inbuilt software will help producers to be more agile, connected and collaborative. They will also open doors to new automation possibilities for businesses. Today businesses need flexible, highly adaptive automation solutions. Therefore, intelligent tools that make automation more collaborative, cost-efficient, scalable and connected should be prioritized. This new curated range of advanced EOAT is finally helping deliver the promise of remote-controlled automation.

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.

Disclosure

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

Processors

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.

Rights                                                                      

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.


 

How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
With the down 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.
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How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications