Industrial vs. Collaborative Applications: End-of Arm Tooling Makes the Difference

rg6 arm gripper end of arm tool

Industrial Vs. Collaborative Robots: End-of Arm Tooling Makes the Difference 

When you’re ready to automate your manufacturing processes, one of the first questions you’ll face is whether to use traditional industrial robots or collaborative robots (often called cobots). While there are many differences, it’s important to remember that robots are only part of the equation. The robot itself can’t do any work without end-of-arm tooling (EoAT) such as grippers or sensors. If you’re looking into collaborative automation, EoAT is the key to optimizing your processes and growing your business with greater flexibility, higher output, and improved quality.  

Let’s look at the differences. 

Industrial robots are typically large, fixed equipment designed for high-volume, extremely high-accuracy, and high-speed production. Because of the speed of the robot’s arm movement, industrial robots can present safety risks to human workers, so they usually require safety measures such as a cage to keep humans out of the robot’s work envelope. The integration of the robot and its safety caging can drive costs up substantially, as can the need for professional services to program these complex robots and integrate them with other production equipment and machines. These characteristics make traditional robots best-suited for production processes that will continue unchanged for years, where return on investment (ROI) can also take years.  

For traditional industrial applications, EoAT will often be highly specific for the task. Because human workers are kept out of the work envelope, the tool doesn’t need to be designed for collaborative safety, and since the application will be programmed by an integrator, simplicity isn’t required. 

Collaborative robots are ideal for manufacturers with low-volume, high-mix production or who need to safely automate processes alongside human workers. That might include automating a repetitive task and handing a part off to a human for inspection or to complete a complex assembly process. Cobots typically have lower upfront costs and are easy to program with no previous experience, so they offer fast ROI. They are small and lightweight enough that they can be easily moved and redeployed to automate different processes throughout a manufacturing facility. These versatile, cost-effective, and user-friendly tools allow businesses of almost any size (and any level of technical expertise) to increase productivity, improve quality, and respond more nimbly to changing customer demands. 

The EoAT becomes a critical element of getting the most out of your collaborative robot. These tools are designed for safety around human worker and to be easy to program through the robot’s teach pendant. They’re cost-effective, highly flexible, and easy to change for different processes to support fast ROI and quick results. 

If you’re leaning toward collaborative robotics, it’s important to consider EoAT to make sure you optimize your investment and gain the full advantages of your cobot. 

The Impact of EoAT on Traditional vs Collaborative Applications

Traditional Applications 

Collaborative Applications 

Collaborative EoAT Requirements  

Big batches, little variability 

Ideal for large companies that manufacture high volumes of the same products for long periods 

Low-volume, high-mix 

Designed for low-volume, high-mix production, where the robot is often redeployed for new processes 

Easy to change 

Flexible, quick-change tooling to eliminate downtime between various processes 

Complex deployment 

Requires extensive programming skills and takes days or weeks to set up 

Fast and easy deployment 

Easy to deploy with simple programming that even inexperienced users can set up within minutes 

Easy to program 

Tooling that is fast and easy to program and deploy using the cobot’s built-in teach environment 

Requires constancy 

Programmed for unchanging environment and the same movement with minimal need to adapt  

Adapts to environment 

Flexible to adapt to changing environment and workpieces to be handled 

Adaptable 

Tools that easily adapt to varying sizes, shapes, and conditions of workpieces and the environment 

Not safe without guarding 

Typically requires safety guarding to keep human workers out of the robot’s work cell 

Collaborative and safe 

After risk assessment, humans can work alongside robot in collaborative applications 

Designed for safety 

Safe, collaboratively designed tools that simplify interaction with humans 

Focus on the robot 

Repeats the same actions for years, with unchanging tool that is integrated for a specific process 

Focus on the EoAT 

As robot arm becomes a commodity, focus shifts to EoAT to increase robot utilization  

Flexible 

Flexible tooling that can be used for multiple processes 

Big investment, longer ROI 

Expensive robots, system integration, and operator training requires large upfront investment and takes longer for ROI 

Lower upfront cost, faster ROI 

Competitive pricing, in-house integration, and ease-of-use minimize up-front costs and speed integration, uptime, and ROI  

Fast integration 

Cost-effective tooling that speeds integration and reduces need for additional equipment 

 

To learn more about how EoAT can help you automate quickly and successfully to grow your business, download our free ebook below.

 

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 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.
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How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications