Robot Integration - Pick and Place

The rise of the EOAT

How does End of Arm Tooling fit within robotic integration

When engineers integrate industrial robots into a manufacturing facility, the benefits are vast, and the increased productivity is widespread. Gains in production time, usage of labor efficiently and downtime becomes deterred. It’s important to note that while industrial robots would be considered for integration their ability to handle large loads and work overtime are just the tip of the spear. The end effectors attached to an industrial robots wrists, also known as End of Arm Tooling (EOAT), provide the basis for application success.

It’s important to note that when attaching an EOAT to an industrial robot the project must take into account the number of axes. The importance comes into play when robots need to reach any point on a plane. For this to occur there must be two axes available on the robot. A level higher at three axes affords the ability to reach any point in space. Finally, full control of an EOAT requires three or more axes of an industrial robot to process the ability for application completion.

The rise of End of Arm Tooling

The Robotics Industries Association (RIA) lays out the need for this crucial component at the forefront of an article about the latest trends in intelligent robot end-of-arm tooling.”The role of robot end-of-arm tooling has never been more important. With robot users demanding more versatility in their processes, manufacturers are under pressure to deliver flexible, intelligent end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) that adds value to the overall system. From servo grippers and hybrid tooling to advanced tool changers and control modules, today’s EOAT is not only easier to implement and simpler to use, but it’s also down right smart.”

“The role of robot end-of-arm tooling has never been more important. With robot users demanding more versatility in their processes, manufacturers are under pressure to deliver flexible, intelligent end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) that adds value to the overall system. From servo grippers and hybrid tooling, to advanced tool changers and control modules, today’s EOAT is not only easier to implement and easier to use, it’s down right smart.”

The article mainly points to not only the importance of this vital part but that without an adequately designed tool to navigate and manage complex applications, robotic integration is not complete. It’s important to consider the different types of applications that a robotic integration project would be needed. EOAT will handle applications such as pick and place, welding, deburring, material use, loading and unloading tasks. In most cases, only one EOAT would be needed to jumpstart any of the applications above.

End of Arm Tooling Trends

Popular EOAT’s include grippers that are essential tools within any robotic set-up. The RIA article on the latest trends included a section on a servomotor bag gripper, which allowed for the on-the-fly adjustments for bags of different sizes. Another trend highlighted was the use a modular vacuum gripper. The application called for movement and placement of brick pavers which the gripper, made of largely engineered foam, handled with ease.

ICR’s robotics division possesses an extensive knowledge base and experience developing application specific EOATs. The various robotic integration projects completed by the ICR team have not only wowed customers but also have showed impressive ingenuity. We have posted a few videos featuring our EOATs within different applications. Let us know if a project is on the horizon and an ICR robotics specialist will consult.

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