After choosing the right robot, a qualified engineer must determine the ideal gripper for process automation. If you are dealing with not so delicate products, you will have various options to choose from. However, if you are dealing with overly delicate products finding the appropriate robot gripper can be challenging.
Manufacturing customized robot grippers can be costly, and you cannot be guaranteed their effectiveness, especially when you use sub-par quality components. Say, you’re building a gripper, you will need to get the right Hydraulic Supplies, wiring components, silicone-rubber material, and more. Further, programming a custom-made robot gripper can be resource-consuming as you would have to ensure that the right pressure level is employed at the right elevation and direction. Today, the robotics industry has evolved, and assembling robots is now an easy process. Let’s discuss robot gripper models and applications you should beware of.
Understanding Robot Grippers
A robot gripper is an electrical or mechanical EOAT (End of Arm Tooling) device that facilitates control of objects. A gripper can also be defined as a device’s controllable hand that picks and dispenses parts that are moved through automation.
Robot grippers come in different sizes and types, specially designed to grasp a vast range of materials and parts. Many robot grippers come with accurate mounting areas for attaching custom-build finger tooling and facilitating precise affixing of the robot gripper.
Grippers are powered by electricity, vacuum, or compressed air. Understanding the commonly available robot grippers helps you choose the suitable one for your application.
Common Robotic Grippers
- Two-Jaw Parallel Motion Gripper
The two-jaw parallel motion gripper is simple, and you can use it in various applications. Hydraulic, electric, and pneumatic versions are available in varied forces, sizes, strong ranges, and weights. Generally, these robot grippers come in handy when picking parts or objects at dual parallel flat areas. They can pick apart either by the gripper’s opening or closing motion.
Two jaw angular robot grippers that feature 90-degree fulcrum fingers are also available. These grippers (two jaw angular) can pull back and provide additional clearance that is ideal for some applications.
- Bellow Gripper
The bellow gripper is used to pick cylindrical parts and surfaces. This device gets into contact with the object through an elastomer bladder. It’s magnified using compressed air, which triggers it to enlarge and pick the part. The bladder deflates once the air is discharged and discharges the part.
- Three-Jaw Robot Gripper
The three-jaw robot gripper is available in angular and parallel versions. It is usually used to grip cylindrically-surfaced parts and objects. This gripper features three jaws, each at 120 degrees aside. It moves jointly and places the object at the center while gripping it securely. This gripper can pick parts with its closing or opening motion.
- Expanding and Collet Mandrel Grippers
This gripper picks cylindrical surfaces by leveraging a wedge shape and a linear motion to close and open metallic fingers to facilitate picking the I.D. or O.D part.
- O-Ring Grippers
This gripper is designed to grasp O-ring seals, and it operates as a parallel three-jaw gripper. It comes with between eight and six fingers that expand radially and grasp the O-ring’s internal part. Once expanded, a machine can place the O-ring in a groove at the cylindrical shaft’s end.
- Adaptive and Multiple Finger Grippers
These grippers are new in the market. They are designed to allow robots to grasp a vast range of objects that were impossible to pick in the past. These grippers can provide controllers with force feedback and pick irregularly soft, shaped, or spherical parts.
- Needle Grippers
Needle grippers are a rare version that grasps woven or porous sheet materials like textiles. They do so with the help of numerous sharp needles that penetrates the surface.
Vacuum Cup Arrays or Vacuum Cup, Electrostatic Force, and Electromagnet Grippers
Automation project engineers can use these grippers to pick and release objects or parts seamlessly.
A robot gripper is ideal regardless of your application. By choosing the right gripper, you provide the required strength on fragile objects and protect them from damage. Use this guide to choose the suitable robot gripper for your applications.