Tool Changers Provide Strength, Safety, and Effectiveness

May 20, 2016

If your industrial line requires a tool change during your manufacturing process, than you may want to consider a robotic tool changer. A robot tool changer provides flexibility for automation processes to automatically change tools, end-effectors, or other secondary tooling quickly and effectively. ATI Industrial Automation is an industrial leader in robotic end-effectors and robot arm tooling. They have created a Robotic Tool Changer that is a coupling device that locks and unlocks pneumatically.


What is a Robot­ic Tool Changer?

A Robot Tool Chang­er offers the flex­i­bil­i­ty for any auto­mat­ed process to auto­mat­i­cal­ly change tools, end-effec­tors, or oth­er sec­ondary tool­ing and pass var­i­ous util­i­ties. They are also known as a Quick-Change device (QC), auto­mat­ic tool chang­er (ATC), robot tool chang­er, robot cou­pler, or robot­ic connector. 

ATI’s Robot­ic Tool Changer

ATI Indus­tri­al Automa­tion is the world leader in robot­ic end-effec­tors and robot arm tool­ing. They intent­ly lis­ten to the glob­al robot­ic needs, under­stand the robot­ic world, and answered with the Robot­ic Tool Changer. 

ATI’s Robot­ic Tool Chang­er is a cou­pling device, that locks and unlocks pneu­mat­i­cal­ly. It allows a robot to drop-off and pick-up dif­fer­ent end effec­tors, and then pass dif­fer­ent util­i­ties through that tool changer.

The tool chang­er con­sists of a mas­ter plate that is con­nect­ed to the robot; the tool plate is con­nect­ed to the tool­ing. Cou­pling is achieved through a [patent­ed] pre­cise, high strength, stain­less-steel lock­ing device.

When it is time to do a tool change, the robot brings the mas­ter close, but does not touch the tool. The lock­ing mech­a­nism is engaged, this patent­ed. no-touch lock­ing tech­nol­o­gy allows the tool to be pulled up, out of the tool stand, to a locked position.

ATI cre­at­ed a prod­uct stronger than a robot to pro­vide the utmost safe­ty, yet equal­ly as reli­able, to pro­vide even more flex­i­bil­i­ty. The ATI tool chang­ing prod­uct also enables the repeata­bil­i­ty of your robot­’s integri­ty to be main­tained in order for the robot to accom­plish its job.


Robots are extreme­ly pow­er­ful tools, so the key to the tool chang­er was to make it stronger than the robot. This way the robot could not exceed the spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the tool chang­er. ATI suc­ceed­ed with the sys­tem they designed, it throws any safe­ty con­cerns out the window.

Here, you can see the inter­nal lock­ing mech­a­nism of the tool chang­er. When the mas­ter and tool are in the ready to lock dis­tance (as seen in the pic­ture above), the lock­ing balls are forced out­ward dur­ing the first taper, pulling the tool up toward the master. 

The sec­ond taper push­es the lock­ing balls fur­ther out, pulling the tool into a high-strength, locked posi­tion. This secure­ly cou­ples the mas­ter to the tool which pro­vides a high load car­ry­ing capac­i­ty. In addi­tion, there is a fail safe fea­ture that pre­vents the mas­ter from releas­ing the tool in an event of lock-air pres­sure removal. Ulti­mate­ly, ATI’s fail-safe design elim­i­nates the poten­tial prob­lem of a tool release. 

The ATI Robot­ic Tool Chang­er was designed to reli­ably sup­ply com­pa­nies with mil­lions of cycles, at rat­ed loads, and do it all while ensur­ing safety. 


There are a vari­ety of appli­ca­tions and pay­loads that ATI Tool Chang­ers can con­quer as they afford the abil­i­ty to pass util­i­ties such as elec­tri­cal sig­nals, pneu­mat­ic, water, etc.

ATI Tool Chang­ers allow man­u­fac­tur­ers to use more process­es and more tools on a sin­gle robot than before. A robot using a tool chang­er will allow weld­ing to take place for as long as nec­es­sary and then rotate to mate­r­i­al han­dling.

Or per­haps you need to con­duct mate­r­i­al han­dling, and then move the robot over to inspec­tion or mate­r­i­al removal. The beau­ty of the tool chang­er is that it allows go instant flex­i­bil­i­ty and adap­tive appli­ca­tion structures. 

In addi­tion, the prod­uct line ATI pro­duced for the tool chang­ers is very wide; all the mod­u­lar options, sizes, and shapes of the dif­fer­ent tool chang­ers that you need for a project. All tool chang­ers will also have a tool chang­ing stand for pur­chase to pro­vide a dock­ing sta­tion to put the oth­er end effec­tors while anoth­er one is in use.

Cus­tom Tooling:

ATI has a large staff of engi­neers that have cre­at­ed the won­der­ful­ly strong and reli­able prod­ucts so far, and are also help­ing to make prod­ucts exact­ly as cus­tomers have spec­i­fied as they need them. This ulti­mate­ly makes the cus­tomer more pro­duc­tive and gives them con­fi­dence in the prod­uct they are purchasing.

Robots​.com is ready to help dis­cuss your next automa­tion needs. Whether it is the robot, end-effec­tor, or robot­ic tool chang­er that you need, our team of experts prides our­selves in cus­tomer ser­vice and will offer you the best solu­tion for your needs. Con­tact us today online or at 7402514321.

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