The Benefits of Automatic Tool Changers for Your Robotic Applications (and How to Choose the Right One)

March 19, 2020by RAD0

Tool changers for robotic applications aren’t the bulky and ineffective tools they were in the past. Today, automatic tool changers allow your robots to quickly swap out their end-effectors—including grippers, vacuum tools, and deburring devices—within seconds.

These fail-safe changes decrease downtime that was previously necessary for manually changing tools on the assembly line. Now, you can invest in one end of arm tooling device (EOAT) and use it for a variety of applications. Automatic tool changers use pass-through utilities to transfer power from the robot to the EOAT.

What are some other benefits of a robotic tool changer, and how can you select the right one for your application?

Tool Changers Deliver Versatile Robotic Solutions

Tool changers are versatile enough to support complex applications in automation. They automatically detach and pick up an end-effector with a different device, meaning they can begin doing another task within seconds.

Today’s automation systems need this flexibility and time-saving advantage, especially when manufacturers invest in high-tech equipment that they expect to use for a variety of assembly line processes.

Eliminate unnecessary tooling and increase efficiency by using individual tools that change automatically in seconds. You can accomplish numerous tasks with one investment instead of using multi-tool devices that require separate handling and maintenance.

Increase Uptime and Reliability

Manually changing tooling can take time, but automatic tool changers are designed to switch effortlessly. The tooling consists of a robot and the actual tool, which is attached to the robot via the end-effector.

Having a reliable tool changer for your robot applications is essential, especially in processes where robots collaborate. Tool changers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are typically made from aluminum to keep the tooling light and allow the robot to maintain as much load capacity as possible.

Tool changers allow you to maximize uptime and reduce downtime for your automation applications. Instead of taking the time to manually swap out tools, tools can be quickly changed for necessary maintenance without wasting time or effort.

How to Choose the Right Tool Changer for Your Applications

What should you look for when it comes to the right automatic tool changer for your application? Begin by looking for a fail-safe locking mechanism, which helps avoid interruptions ensure reliability for your processes.

Next, determine the moment capacity of your tool changer to identify the correct one. For example, if moment capacity is low or moderate, you can simply choose a tool changer with a similar payload rating to the robot it’ll be attached to.

However, if moment capacity is high or you need a more precise selection, you can calculate the worst-case moment for your application. To do this, simply:

  • Estimate the center of gravity (CG) for your heaviest EOAT

  • Determine the distance (D) from the center of gravity to the bottom of the tool plate

  • Calculate the weight W) of your heaviest EOAT

  • Multiply the weight (W) by the distance (D) to get an approximate static moment (M)

Once you’ve determined this number, you can choose a tool changer with a moment capacity equal to or greater than the approximate static moment.

Find Out More About Automatic Tool Changers With Us at RAD

Automatic tool changers deliver unmatched efficiency and flexibility for your manufacturing processes. Get the best tool changer for your automation needs with help from our team at RAD. We offer automatic tool changers to fit your moment capacity and provide the most effective tooling for your robots!


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