The Introduction to Grippers 2022

08/03/2022


Collaborative robots
are not only easier to integrate and require less programming, they are a flexible tool that enhances production diversity and versatility. That being said, when it comes to cobot grippers, there are a variety to choose from depending on the task that fits your production needs.

Naturally one would want to maximise the level of efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing capacity. Therefore choosing the right gripper for your needs is essential to the success of manufacturing capabilities.


So what is a gripper?


A gripper is simply a tool that is attached to the wrist of a cobot. A device that allows cobots to pick up objects and hold objects. A gripper enables users/manufacturers to automate crucial manufacturing processes. This may possibly include pick & place and assembly.


The main types of grippers include:

  • Hydraulic grippers,

  • Vacuum grippers,

  • Pneumatic grippers,

  • and Electric grippers.

Other types of grippers include:

  • Angular grippers

  • Parallel grippers

  • Soft grippers

  • Magnetic grippers

  • Palletizer grippers

  • Adaptive gripper

(This is explained in-depth in another article Cobot End of Arm Tooling (EOAT): Most Common Types and Applications)

Advice:


It is advisable that grippers be of smoother edges rather than sharp edges as this would drastically reduce potential harm. This will also affect the collaborative robot risk assessment, which would need to be completed with appropriate measures effective prior.

3 factors in choosing a collaborative robot gripper:


These are some basic guidelines to consider when acquiring a collaborative robot gripper.


1. Cost:


First and foremost, the cost of it. Inclusive of the initial investment of a cobot, the future maintenance costs and implementation costs, the gripper will add onto the total cost of the collaborative robot costs.

In respect to maintenance costs, this include:

  • How often the gripper needs to be maintained and the costs incurred of the respective maintenance.


Advice:


Another cost that needs to be considered is the cost of energy required to power the respective gripper.


2. Application:


Some questions to consider:

  • What are the designated functions and tasks you want the cobot to perform?
  • What does the cobot handle? Hazardous material? Delicate material?


3. Payload-Grip/Speed

An important factor to consider is the maximum payload that a collaborative robot can undertake. For example, if the cobot is operating with the gripper at maximum collaborative robot payload, this will affect operative speed and overall manufacturing rate.

On the other hand, there is another side that needs to be considered. This is choosing the right gripper from a manufacturer.

Here are some simplified tips to ask your choice of gripper manufacturer:

  • Tasks that can be performed

  • The types of grippers that exists

  • Power supply sources

  • Implementation times

  • Communication channels such as whether it requires analog or digital inputs/outputs.

  • Finger/fingertip types

  • Whether the gripper needs to be custom-made

Another note is that some cobots can facilitate multiple grippers. This should be checked with the manufacturer. If this is an option you are currently considering, it is important to know that there will be more factors to consider when proceeding with this option.

An in-depth explanation of this is in How to Choose the Right Collaborative Robot Gripper?. This article will break down the decision process into 5 parts to help you make the best decision possible.

Conclusion:


To sum it up, collaborative robots are a flexible manufacturing tool, as flexible as grippers too. There are many factors to consider when investing in a cobot, especially in a gripper. These are some basic guidelines and considerations to take into account for your automation solution investment.


To learn more about grippers at Qviro.com.


Updated 05/05/2022