Industrial robots are fast and efficient, but without end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), there’s not much they can do. One type of EOAT is a robot grippers, or automation grippers; they act similar to human fingers in that they help robots pick up and place objects in specific positions.
Because grippers are designed based on the part that is being picked up, there can be many pick-and-place applications in a single manufacturing facility which may utilize over 40 robot grippers, and purchasing all of these grippers can become costly.
JRT, a robot gripper manufacturer, addresses this challenge by offering cost-effective, yet valuable gripper options. In this article, we’ll cover who JRT is, the type of grippers they offer, and why JRT is a name you can trust for both quality and cost-effectiveness.
Who Is JRT?
JRT Ltd. is a robot gripper manufacturer based out of Korea, a country that is known for its innovation and quality. A hallmark of this company is their ability to offer products that are both affordable and high-quality. In fact, a JRT gripper could save you hundreds of dollars per gripper while still giving you the precision that you need.
JRT is also unique as a manufacturer because they don’t exclude any mechanisms like other manufacturers do. For example, JRT’s inventory offers a wide array of mechanism choices, including link/lever, wedge, rack and pinion, dual/direct piston, and cam and roller. There are reasons why you might use one type or another and not all gripper manufacturers make all of these different types.
Simply put, JRT is the only brand on the market that offers the versatility, quality, and affordability that all manufacturers utilizing industrial robots need.
JRT’s Robot Arm Grippers
As we mentioned earlier, robot grippers act as the fingers of the robot itself. A gripper’s primary function is to accurately locate an object, pick it up, and place it in the desired location. JRT manufactures two primary types of robot grippers: pneumatic and electric, which can then be further classified into several subtypes.
These grippers use compressed air and pistons to move two, three, or four centric fingers in either parallel or angular motion. Parallel means the fingers move in a standard open and close motion, while angular means the fingers pivot away from each other. In general, pneumatic grippers can be classified as parallel or angular, as well as the number of fingers it has (e.g. three-fingered parallel pneumatic gripper).
Even with constant innovations to EOAT (end-of-arm tooling), 70% of manufacturers still use pneumatic grippers—and there’s a reason why. Pneumatic grippers are simple. They don’t need to be programmed, and they’re typically less expensive and weight less than electric grippers.
One downside of pneumatic grippers is that you have to create an entire pneumatic system for your robot before you can even use the grippers.
The next gripper category is electric. As its name suggests, electric grippers use an electrical mechanism to open and close the fingers of the robot. Most electric grippers are two-fingered.
Electric grippers require less preparation to install (you don’t have to create a pneumatic system for them.), have force-sensing capabilities, and can be safer to use in unguarded areas when compared to their pneumatic counterparts.
On the downside, they carry heat and are heavier than pneumatic grippers. They also need to be programmed, which is fine for manufacturers who know how to program, but could be a burden for manufacturers who find programming challenging.
For more information about JRT’s grippers, please view our short, seven-minute webinar.
Customizing a Gripper
All robot grippers are customized based on its intended application. The two major customization options are finger and mounting type.
Finger types are designed based on the part. For example, a metal part that is similar in size and shape to a credit card will require a different gripper than a rounded, ball-shaped part.
Additionally, the mounting type will differ based on the industrial robot or cobot that the gripper is being mounted on. You could also consider using a multi-tool mounting plate, which allows you to mount multiple grippers onto a robot at one time.
What to Consider When Selecting a Gripper
When selecting a JRT gripper, it’s important to consider the following factors:
- Stroke Requirements: Stroke refers to the amount of open and close the gripper is capable of. The bigger the range of gripping, small parts to large parts, the more stroke you need.
- Gripper Strength: This is only a consideration for pneumatic grippers. Think about what your robot is picking up and moving. Is it slowly moving a light object, or quickly moving a heavy object? The strength will vary accordingly, and is based on the size of the cylinder. A bigger cylinder has more capacity for air, and is stronger.
- Finger Length: This is also dependent on the object that the robot is moving. Longer finger length means less strength. A shorter finger length means more strength.
- Mounting: There are a variety of mounting configurations to consider, including side wall and face mounting designs.
- Mechanisms: The mechanism is what moves the finger. There are five major types: link/lever, wedge, rack and pinion, dual/direct piston, and cam and roller. Link/lever is inexpensive, but not very strong or accurate—it’s a simple design. It’s suitable for light parts that aren’t being moved aggressively. Wedge is very strong, but doesn’t have a lot of stroke capability. Rack and pinion has a high amount of stroke, but it’s heavier compared to other gripper types. Dual/direct piston is light, strong, and has a low profile. Cam and roller are very thin and suitable for flat grippers.
To further guide you in selecting the right gripper, please use our grip force calculator and coefficient of friction reference chart. Additionally, if you are purchasing and using multiple grippers in your applications, you may want to consider a tool changer system. Read our most recent blog post to learn more about how they work.
Have Questions? Contact Schneider & Company Today
Founded in 1928, Schneider & Company is a manufacturer’s representative and distributor offering a wide range of automation solutions. We’re also an authorized provider of JRT grippers, and can ship grippers to clients in North America within two weeks.
If you have any questions or need help selecting the right type of JRT gripper, schedule a consultation with one of our experts.