Cobots have made it possible for small companies to increase their overall productivity. They have enabled small businesses to cut their costs, adapt to changing market demands, and enjoy margins of scale without necessarily dedicating huge capital outlays on infrastructure. They have simply made it possible for them to enjoy all the automation advantages that bigger companies once enjoyed.
However, in order to get the most out of a collaborative robot, a business has to make sure that they choose the right cobot for their specific processes. One of the most important decisions that any business can make when deploying their cobots is which grippers to use.
If a business’s processes are simple and if its products are consistent of the same size and shape, pneumatic grippers are most likely the best grippers to use. The following are the main reasons why you should definitely consider using pneumatic grippers.
Unlike electronic grippers, pneumatic grippers do not have a lot of sophistication. They do not have extra motors that are designed to allow for adjustments in speed or strength. They normally do not feature advanced tactile sensors designed for adjusting pressure for force control.
Since they are rather straightforward, they are relatively cheaper. They are simple since they are designed to simply close and open. This makes them perfect for functions that require simply picking up things and then placing them in a different area.
Therefore, if your processes do not require subtle adjustments in force, and if the objects that you are dealing with do not vary significantly in terms of shape and size, there is no need to go for complicated grippers. A simple pneumatic system can provide you with increased efficiency, accuracy and safety without necessarily needing you to spend a lot of money.
If you are a small business, ensuring that your costs are as low as possible is good for both profitability and flexibility. Going for pneumatic grippers will, therefore, provide your business with the competitive advantage that it needs to thrive in a competitive environment.
Large grip force range
Compared to other grippers, pneumatic grippers offer the best range of force. This is because other grippers are limited inherently by their structure and technologies.
For example, electric grippers are limited by the capacity of their motors. The structure of the grippers and other sensors also play a significant role in determining how much force these grippers generate.
On the other hand, increasing the force of pneumatic grippers is quite easy. All that you need to do is to increase the input pressure. And if you are handling sensitive items or materials, you can also adjust this pressure. Using lower pressure can also make it safer to use the cobot in cases where human beings are in the vicinity.
This versatility ensures that you can use the grippers to do different types of tasks without spending a lot of time and money in trying to customize the gripper.
Easy to implement custom fingers
Changing the fingers of a pneumatic gripper is quite easy. In fact, it is even possible for one to create the fingers by simply using a 3D printer. This, in addition to the fact that modern technologies make it easy for users to integrate both the gripper arms and fingers, removes most of the advanced need for expertise that other gripper solutions tend to require.
By using a simple pneumatic gripper, you remove most of the complications that come with customizing a robot. This makes for a stress-free process that is easy for your employees to embrace. This simplicity also reduces the time needed to train employees to use and customize the cobots.
It is important to note that while these grippers have a lot of advantages, they are great for as long as the robot does not need to handle a wide range of tasks. Therefore, if your processes require the cobot to handle different shapes and sizes of products or materials, then a pneumatic system may not be the best solution.