There is a massive industrial transformation underway as we move towards the realisation of Industry 4.0. With it comes a raft of new technology, but one of the most striking and obvious to those working in their vicinity is the rise of collaborative robots (cobots). One of the most widely recognised being the Universal Robots URx range.
These cobots primarily collaborate with human operators to assist in the fulfilment of repetitive tasks where it’s not possible, or preferred, to fully automate.
Part of the success of these robots is the simplicity of programming, where traditional industrial robots require detailed programming knowledge, cobots use graphical user interfaces, ‘teach modes’ and smartphone apps.
The collaborative robot itself is not the whole solution though. To do work, you also need an appropriate end effector. There are many options of end effector, and the type will often be determined by the application, but it’s important to make sure that whichever solution is selected can be integrated as easily as the cobot itself can be programmed.
To this end, PHD Inc have developed Pneu-Connect. A cost-effective pneumatic end-effector system providing seamless integration for collaborative robots.
Pneu-Connect connects directly to the tool port on the robot arm making it easy to attach a PHD pneumatic gripper to a Universal Robot (UR) brand cobot. The Pneu-Connect incorporates a built-in pneumatic directional control valve for opening and closing the gripper. A connector is provided on the Pneu-Connect that plugs directly into the UR robot tool port. The Pneu-Connect comes with a “CAP” which is an application specific to the UR collaborative robot. The “CAP” runs inside of the UR control software and provides a graphical interface making the pneumatic gripper easy to use and integrate with the cobot.