At EVS, we manufacture diverse, durable, and top-quality end-effectors for a wide variety of robot functions. Our wealth of experience in robots and their operations guides us in creating end-effector solutions that add value to robot performance. Our products are CE and ISO certified and can be applied in a variety of industries.
We understand that some production processes are unique and require special solutions. In response, we offer customization services to create an end-effector that will meet your requirements and fit your robot. We supply worldwide and have short turn-around times. Our response time for customer inquiries is within 24 hours.
An end-effector is a device that is attached to a robot arm at its wrist to enable it to perform specific functions. Examples include grippers, welding guns, paint guns, and many others. In some instances, they are also referred to as end-of-arm tooling or robot peripherals.
They are detachable and interchangeable, in that, one robot arm can be fitted with different types of end-effectors. Some serve only one specific purpose while others, like grippers, can be used for multiple operations.
The two varieties of robotic welding end-effectors are arc and spot welding torches. They deliver different kinds of welds but work on the same principle.
The function of a collision sensor is to detect an oncoming or an ongoing collision between an end-effector and obstacles in its path. It then relays a stop signal to the robot controller or automatically disengages the robot arm immediately. It protects both the robot and the part being worked on.
A force/torque sensor is installed between the wrist and the end-of-arm tool. It measures the force that a robot arm exerts on a part on the X, Y, Z axes, and the 3 torques around them. It is ideal for situations where the amount of force applied on a part needs to be controlled such as during automotive assembly.
Gripper end-effectors are meant to enable the robot arm to grasp an object or load. There are many types of grippers with each using a different mechanism to achieve the goal. Suction, finger-like grippers, and pliers are some examples of common grippers. Each is suited for different kinds of loads.
Tool changers are also known as couplers or Quick-change devices. They provide a standard base on the robot arm wrist that different end-effectors can fit on. There are manual and automatic designs but both have 2 sides; a master side and a tool side. The master side attaches to the robot while the tool side is where the end-effectors are attached.
Material Removal Tools
Material removal tools are used to shave off unwanted bits from a manufactured part. They can also be used on a solid material like metal or plastic to create certain shapes through drilling or cutting. Examples include trimmers, drills, and deburring tools.
When it comes to end-effectors, there is no one-size-fits-all for any industry as they are more task-specific than industry-specific. For example, grippers can be applied in food and beverage manufacturing, logistics, and countless other industries. It is, therefore, best to choose an end-effector based on the tasks you would like the robot arm to fulfill.
Opting for custom end-effector solutions results in better task to end-effector compatibility. In turn, the rate of productivity is higher and the quality of production is more satisfactory. It also prevents the wastage of time and raw materials that arises from using an unsuitable end-effector.
Features of the Parts
The end-effector design needs to be able to accommodate the features of the parts it is to handle. Some key features include:
Size – grip end-effectors should be able to stretch wider than the outer dimensions of the part to secure it.
Weight – the end-tool needs adequate force to counter the weight of the part but not too much that it causes damage.
Surface type – the surfaces of parts should be protected from tears, scratches, or dents by choosing a conducive end-effector.
Shape – asymmetrical shapes, flat surfaces, or uniquely angled parts need to be weighed against gripper solutions.
Part Stability – parts that degenerate easily may require extra support or gentle grip.
Different end-effectors use different gripping methods such as:
Balloon method – a balloon is inflated inside or around the part to lift it using the support of air. Recommendable for odd shapes and fragile parts that disintegrate easily and need support.
Magnetism – applicable to metallic parts attracted by electromagnetic force.
Vacuuming – a cup or plate uses suction force to lift parts. It is ideal for handling heavy parts with a soft covering like sacks.
Mechanical pinch – actuating fingers flex into or around the part to grip it like a human-hand.
Scooping – the end-effector lifts the part by slipping underneath it and elevating it.
The task determines whether the design of the end-effector is applicable or not. Consider:
Speed – How long it takes an end-effector to load, maneuver, and unload parts affects cycle times. A heavy end-effector also reduces the maximum acceleration of the robot arm.
Precision – weigh the task against the precision an end-effector brings to it. Sorting, for example, requires an adaptable end-effector as there are different sizes of parts to handle.
Safety – some industries like food and beverage have stipulated IP ratings for tools while areas like clean rooms bar the use of end-effectors like vacuums.