It seems obvious that a robotic arm can’t perform a specific task until an end-of-arm tool (EOAT), sometimes called an end effector, is added. It might seem as simple as buying a tool for the task, but it’s actually a complex decision with several interconnected factors to consider. These are the top five:
For small to medium manufacturers seeking to boost production, create lean facilities, and stay competitive in their markets, automation is an increasingly viable option. Falling equipment prices, small and flexible cobots, and advancing technology are bringing automated manufacturing equipment into smaller facilities. What’s more, “factories that automate boring, low-paying jobs with high turnover not only stay competitive but can elevate workers to more interesting, better-paying jobs,” according to Cutting Tool Engineering.
Automation integrators go by many names. You may have heard them referred to as system, process, or even robot integrators—but each of these terms refers to the same thing. Automation integrators act as your organization's partner when it comes to all things automation. Partnership with an integrator means that adopting new technologies, learning to better leverage existing tools, and solving unique and complex problems can all be made easier and more efficient.
Purchasing custom automation equipment is unlike most other capital equipment expenditures. Capital equipment purchases are often standard “catalog” items that have been researched, developed, optimized and sold over a long period of time. These off-the-shelf products are typically designed to accommodate a wide variety of customers. The purchase experience is predictable: buy, receive, plug in, and use for the lifetime of the equipment.
How would you know if automation could ease some of your manufacturing frustrations? If you recognize any of the following six conditions, your processes could very likely benefit from a custom automation solution.
Manufacturing is an integral part of the American story. We love to hear about the hard-working, proud craftsman of the past who stretched the boundaries of what was thought possible. We see the things they built and are amazed. We appreciate how American manufacturing has evolved over the last century as new opportunities and challenges have come along. And we like to imagine where it will go in the future.