Robot Automation Basics

The first step in automating a process with a robot is to determine whether the tasks to be performed will require four-axis SCARA or six-axis articulated robot, and what type and size of end effectors, or end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), is needed. For most upstream packaging applications, the end effectors are a mechanical or magnetic gripper, or a vacuum pickup.

The next step is to calculate the payload capacity required, including the weight and the end effectors, as well as the necessary reach, cycle time and repeatability. After a robot is selected, it needs to be integrated into the process.

Robots are usually mounted, either upright or inverted, in an enclosed automation work cell. The robot and any other associated equipment are bolted to the cell’s steel base. The upper walls of the cells are generally made of aluminum-framed, shatterproof clear plastic or see-through, metal mesh screening.

As a safety precaution, opening the cell’s access door automatically switches the robot off. In case the robot is not enclosed in a cell, light curtain or pressure-sensitive floor mats can provide the same type of automatic safety shutoff.

The robot’s computerized controller, which contains the electronic circuits that run the robot, is usually situated on a platform underneath the cell. Programming the robot is accomplished by means of either a teaching pendant-a handheld interface device that communicates with the controller-or by computer. Most robot manufacturers offer user-friendly programming software that does not require specialized engineering skills.

1 comment:

  1. I work with a robotic palletizing company that has some great information on this topic if you would like to read more. They specifically work with palletizing robotics, and have a variety of different end effectors to accomplish a variety of production tacks: Here is a link to their site:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...