End of Arm Tooling, also known as EOAT, or 'grippers', are used to allow a robot to collect plastic components, for example, from an injection moulding tool. Simple designs may only have a frame or plate fitted with suction cups, but more complex units can incorporate gate (sprue) cutters, or specialist devices such as those relating to in-mould labelling, insert moulding etc. In some cases, as well as designing and building bespoke solutions, companies can supply specialist ‘kits’, this allowing you to construct simple solutions yourself.
Sprue Pickers,also sometimes known as Swing Arm Robots are typically used to collect the sprue or runner system from the face of an injection mould tool. This may be to prevent the sprue from entering the parts container, or it may be that the sprue cannot be automatically ejected from the tool. Once collected, the sprue is ‘swung’ clear of the tooling area, before being dropped into a separate container or a small granulator.
Beam Take Out Robots, also known as Cartesian or Three Axis robots, are used for part removal and deposition. They have a range of movement that allows a component to be removed from a tooling face and transferred to a conveyor belt, or perhaps a jig or fixture. Units typically have full servo control, meaning that they are accurate to a fraction of a millimetre. These robots can also be used for processes such as insert moulding and in-mould labelling.
Side Entry Robots enter a tool from the side rather than from above, (as is the case with Beam Take Out Robots), and operate at much higher speeds than other types of robot. They are typically used in conjunction with high speed, thin walled injection moulding applications.
Industrial (6-Axis) Robots have a much higher range of movement than other robot types, and are also extremely accurate. They are most commonly floor mounted, and are able to transfer a moulded part from the machine to a work station, or series of stations, before depositing the part on a conveyor or into dedicated packaging.
Automation Systems are a complete ‘turnkey’ solution that will allow a component to be processed through a number of stages. The System may include one or more robots, but also items such as trimming, de-gating or testing stations, vision inspection systems, labelling stations, packaging stations etc.