Robotic Palletizing 101: How to Choose the Right End-of-Arm Tooling
This is the fifth article in the Robotic Palletizing 101 series, written and published as a direct answer to the rising tide of new companies considering robotic palletizing solutions in their warehouses, distribution centers, or manufacturing operations. So far we’ve covered what robotic palletizing is and why it’s important, provided and overview of the key benefits of robotic palletizing solutions, discussed how to determine when automation is right for you, and identified the differences between the different types of robotic palletizers. This article will discuss the wide variety of EOATs (End-of-arm tooling) currently available.
What is an EOAT?
End-of-arm tooling refers to the equipment or mechanism that physically interfaces with whatever component, part, or material is being manipulated by a robotic arm. To put it simply, the EOAT gives the robot functionality and as such is one of the most critical components of the entire robotic palletizing solution. An example of this would be the multi-section suction gripper used by Carter Intralogistics’ Mixed-case Robotic Palletizing solutions.
What kind of EOATs are available?
To say there are a wide variety of EOATs available in the entire robotics world would be understatement. The applications for robotics are endless and as such, the equipment used for those robots to execute those applications are equally endless. These include things like grippers, saws, welding torches, force-torque sensors, collision sensors, material removal tools, and more. They can be powered by electricity, hydraulics, mechanically or pneumatically.
How to select the right EOAT:
Selecting the right EOAT is dependent on the application. In robotic palletizing solutions, this decision is most typically determined by a) what materials are being palletized and b) the variation in shapes, sizes, and weights in those materials. For instance, if all the materials being palletized are closed boxes weighing around as much as the average human could lift, a suction gripper EOAT like the one pictured above would be perfect. If all the materials being palletized are irregular, consider using an EOAT with different gripper zones to more accurately pick up and place both small and large packages. If the packages being palletized are boxes or totes with unsecured lids, the EOAT will have to have a mechanism able of lifting the package from the bottom. At the end of the day, integrators that specialize in robotic palletizing help companies find the best EOAT for whatever application is needed and working with them to determine this is always the right idea.
Carter Intralogistics has a history of helping companies take their first steps into robotic palletizing and we are happy to answer questions or concerns you may have about incorporating robotic palletizing into your operation. If you’re interested in our mixed-case palletizing solutions and software, read the data sheet. If you have a project in mind, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Our team will get in touch with you.