Collaborative robots are fast, accurate, and safe. However, in order to reap these benefits, one has to ensure that the robot has all the tools that it needs to perform as well as it is designed to. It needs the right software, appropriate programming, and hardware that matches the requirements of the tasks that it is supposed to handle.
One of the most important decisions that you will make, as far as commercial robots are concerned, has to do with choosing a gripper. This is because the gripper that you choose will determine the overall expense of the gripper, the accuracy and dependability of the robot’s performance, and the complexity of the integration process. The following are the reasons why electric grippers are great when it comes to most industrial applications.
Better part flexibility
Most electric grippers are advanced enough to allow you to control the gripper fingers and the way they are positioned. This is thanks to encoded motors. These motors allow for enhanced controls. As a result, you don’t have to worry when it comes to the shape or size of the parts or objects that the gripper has to handle. With the added flexibility that these motors provide, the gripper will be able to pick or handle a wider range of part sizes. This also increases the range of tasks that the gripper can be used for, something that will also increase the versatility of your robot.
Some industrial applications call for extra feedback loops that most grippers cannot relay. For example, in order to increase accuracy and efficiency, a task may call for the robot to know whether a part has been picked up. For these tasks, if you are using some types of grippers, like pneumatic gripper, you may have to install an extra set of sensors to relay this feedback.
Electric grippers have encoders that enable it to detect whether a part has been picked or not. Some even have the capability to efficiently relay this information to the industrial robot. As a result, using an electric gripper that comes with this advanced feature will simplify the relay process. In most cases, it even leads to cost savings and also reduces the overall installation time.
Greater speed and force control
Electric grippers offer more flexibility when it comes to the speed and force of operation. This added flexibility is really important for tasks that involve the handling of parts that are either fragile or which pose a safety risk. Furthermore, since you will have more freedom in determining the gripping speed, you can ensure that there is a safer working environment for your employees. This is because you can program the grippers to slow down when an employee gets close to the robot.
While pneumatic grippers are generally cheaper than electric gripper, they usually require air in order to function. Compressed air from pneumatic systems always carries the risk of contaminating the air that employees breathe. There is also the fact that these grippers need extra hardware, like pneumatic tubes, that can take a significant portion of your plant’s layout.
With an electric gripper, you don’t have to worry about creating space for extra hardware. You also don’t have to worry about air contamination since all they need to operate is electricity. Therefore, if your operation banks on having a clean environment, or if you intend to have employees interfacing with your robot, opting for electric grippers is a no-brainer.
It is important to note that while electric grippers tend to have relatively higher purchase prices, in the long-run, they always lead to cost savings. This is mainly thanks to the simplicity of integrating these grippers, the accuracy that they provide, and the fact that they don’t carry the risk of contaminating the environment, Therefore, if these things are critical to your organization, you should definitely go for electric grippers.