End-of-arm tooling (EOAT) is one of the most important parts of the robot. It is the part that basically acts like the robot’s hands. These robot grippers serve as the physical interface between the robot arm and the work piece.
There are four types of robotic grippers: vacuum grippers, pneumatic grippers, hydraulic grippers and servo-electric grippers. Manufacturers choose grippers based on the applications and type of material they use.
- Vacuum Grippers: The vacuum gripper has been the standard EOAT in manufacturing because of its high level of flexibility. This type of robot gripper uses a rubber or polyurethane suction cup to pick up items. Some vacuum grippers use a closed-cell foam rubber layer, rather than suction cups, to complete the application.
- Pneumatic Grippers: The pneumatic gripper is popular due to its compact size and light weight. It can easily be incorporated into tight spaces, which can be helpful in the manufacturing industry. Pneumatic robot grippers can either be opened or closed, earning them the nickname “bang bang” actuators, because of the noise created when the metal-on-metal gripper operates.
- Hydraulic Grippers: The hydraulic gripper provides the most strength and is often used for applications that require significant amounts of force. These robotic grippers generate their strength from pumps that can provide up to 2000psi. Although they are strong, hydraulic grippers are messier than other grippers due to the oil used in the pumps. They also may need more maintenance due the gripper being damaged because of the force used during the application.
- Servo-Electric Grippers: The servo-electric gripper appears more and more in industrial settings, due to the fact that it is easy to control. Electronic motors control the movement of the gripper jaws. These grippers are highly flexible and allow for different material tolerances when handling parts. Servo-electric grippers are also cost effective because they are clean and have no air lines.
Choosing the proper gripper is essential to ensuring successful automation applications. When deciding on a robot gripper, consider the application you want the robot to perform and the parts being handled. RobotWorx, an expert in robotic gripper integration for many companies, can help you decide on the right type of robot gripper for you.
For more information, contact RobotWorx today at 740-251-4312.