End Of Arm Tooling, or we can also call it the end effector, basically, it is the robot tool center in which the part at the end of a robotic arm interacts with the environment. End of arm tooling are an essential component of robot and these devices vary by applications. While, selecting End Of Arm Tooling parts can sometimes be one of the most difficult aspects of automation, but it becomes easy if the end-users needs are clear and understandable.
However, the most important aspect while selecting End Of Arm Tooling is power sources. Here is the explanation…
The first and the foremost step in choosing End Of Arm Tooling is to select a power source as, EOATs can run either electrically, hydraulically, or pneumatically.
More often than not, pneumatic power sources are used in the packaging industry because of their weight to power ratio. For, they are easily available and they are capable of applying powerful forces at great speeds. Pneumatic power sources can effectively generate force and motion simultaneously. The only drawback pneumatic power sources have is they can lack control and flexibility.
Hydraulic End Of Arm Tooling power sources are able to produce strong clamping forces and can act quickly. For Hydraulic EOAT large compressors are needed to run the fluid in it, and hence the cost goes high.
Electronic power sources are used for applications which require moderate force at a high speed. It is considered the cleanest power source, as it is ideal for handling dust sensitive products with that it offers a greater range of control.
Types of End of Arm Tooling:
Once you have selected a power source, the next thing you need to do is to decide which device will be the best EOAT or end effector for your application. Some of the options include:
Adaptive grippers are mostly used for packaging and handling consumer goods because they have the ability to adjust automatically according to product type. Also, they are ideal for handling parts with holes, as they cannot easily be manipulated by vacuum grippers.
Parallel End Effectors:
Parallel EOATs are perfect for welding applications which involve well defined objects, like boxes.
Vacuum End Effectors:
Vacuum EOATs are the most cost effective and the most popular form of End Of Arm Tooling, can handle most parts and surfaces. These are best for handling products requiring a light touch. Vacuum grippers are much stronger than they appear, they not only are flexible, but also can adjust to reach your desired force.