What is end of arm tooling for robots?

What is end of arm tooling for robots?

If you have ever tapped into the subject of collaborative robotics, then you have most certainly encountered the terms “end of arm tooling” or “EoAT”. 

EoAT – also known as end effectors - are crucial for unleashing the automation potential of collaborative robots. One could even say that there will be no automation advantages without at least one EoAT. 

Though many might credit the robots solely for the optimization benefits without ever mentioning EoAT, it is in fact the EoAT that are the unsung heroes of process automation. In this article, we present the most common EoAT for collaborative robot arms.
 

Types of end of arm tooling for robots

There are many types of EoAT on the market. Below is a list of the most common types of EoAT for collaborative robots.
 

Grippers

Grippers are a very common type of EoAT. They are used for grasping objects and are especially suitable for assembly and pick and place applications.
 

  • Mechanical grippers
    Mechanical grippers are grippers that use mechanical fingers to manipulate objects. Mechanical grippers have a distinctive design that is reminiscent of a crab’s pincers. Mechanical grippers usually come with adjustable force and stroke features, enabling them to perform tasks with human-like precision and dexterity. 

    The number of robot fingers vary depending on the model; however, most mechanical grippers have two to four fingers. The fingers are per default replaceable, allowing you to make the most of your investment.
  • Vacuum grippers
    Vacuum grippers provide gripping through suction cups and are mostly used for handling workpieces with uneven surfaces or irregular shapes. Traditional vacuum grippers utilize external air supply systems which require high maintenance costs. Newer models run on electricity instead, eliminating the heavy costs in addition to improving the work environment due to producing less noise and dust. Our VG10 vacuum gripper falls into the latter category.
  • Adhesive grippers
    These types of grippers grasp objects by sticking to them instead of holding them. Adhesive grippers are typically used to pick up light-weight objects, such as fabrics. However, the reliability of an adhesive gripper will diminish with each successful operation due the adhesive substance losing its quality. Our own Gecko gripper is also a type of adhesive gripper, but instead of relying on adhesive substances to achieve gripping power it utilizes the same forces that allow gecko lizards to climb surfaces effortlessly. This just shows how far robot technology has come since the first industrial robot started working in a General Motors assembly line in 1961.
     

Sensors

Sensors extend your automation possibilities as they provide your robot with a sense of touch. By attaching a sensor to your robot, you grant it the ability to work with fragile objects and perform delicate operations that would otherwise need the finesse of a human hand.
 

  • Collision sensors
    The purpose of this end effector type is to protect human workers as well as the robot itself from being damaged when the robot hits an obstruction during operation. In such cases, the collision sensor either shuts down the robot arm or it resets it to its original position to minimize further damage.
  • Force/torque sensors
    Force/torque sensors provide accurate force and torque measurements, giving you full control of your robot’s movements and freedom to automate even the most complex processes. Some force/torque sensors also come with integrated collision control, eliminating the need for a separate collision sensor.
     

Tools

When it comes to tools as end effectors, the sky is the limit. However, in manufacturing companies, certain tools are more prevalent than others, e.g., shears, drills, welding torches, paint guns, deburring tools etc. Some choose to combine their tool with a sensor to gain optimal control of the production process.
 

Tool changers

Tool changer systems are designed to add flexibility to robotic automation processes by enabling robot operators to change tooling quickly and without hassle. A robotic tool changer facilitates easy and quick change of tools - with just a few clicks, you can, e.g., switch your welding gun out with a spray gun. Newer tool changers are designed to be lightweight as to not unnecessarily impact the payload of the robot arm. Some grippers have built-in tool changers.

As you can see, EoAT are crucial for optimizing processes. Although there is no doubt that robot arms are essential for achieving this goal, neither productivity nor quality will improve unless at least one end EoAT the picture. Thankfully, both robot arms and EoAT nowadays have accessible prices, meaning businesses of any size can get started with automation almost immediately.

 

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
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