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Magnetic Robot End Effector: Top 5 Pros and Cons

Catherine Bernier
by Catherine Bernier on Jul 5, 2014 10:23:00 AM

There are different types of robot end effectors. The most common are pneumatic grippers, because they are simple and low cost. Nowadays, a new player has entered the game and it is the electric gripper. This kind of gripper allows the user to control precisely the speed and position of the end effector. Suction cups are even more simple gripping devices since they use vacuum to lift flat objects. Then comes the magnetic gripper. This gripper is often forgotten in grippers lists, so we decided to expose you to its characteristics.

Magnetic end effector types

magnetid-end effector-robotiq-gripper

Electromagnets

Grippers using electromagnets are generally powered by DC power for handling material. This type of magnetic end effector is easy to control because the attraction can be turned off by shutting down the current. This can also help to remove the magnetism of the handled part.

Permanent Magnets

These kinds of end effectors do not need power to operate. They are always on. In order to separate the piece from the magnet, a push-off pin is included on the end effector. The permanent magnet offers an advantage when it comes to safety, since the gripper remains on even if a blackout occurs. Moreover, there is no possibility of generating sparks during production since no electric current is required.

Top 5 advantages

  • It only needs one surface to grab the object.

  • The grasping speed is fast.

  • It is flexible since it does not need different designs for different parts.

  • It can grip parts with holes which is not possible with vacuum grippers.

  • It requires minimal maintenance.

Top 5 disadvantages

  • When moved quickly, the part can slip out of the end effector.

  • Just a little oil on the surface can reduce the strength of the end effector.

  • Machining chips can stay on the gripper when unloading the piece.

  • Handled parts can stay magnetised.

  • It can only be used with ferromagnetic material.

magnetic-end effector-gripper-robotiq
Different end effectors exist to fit any application in the industry. Manufactures just have to find the best fit for their needs, in order to do the job efficiently with the best ROI.

Related article : How To Choose The Right Robotic Gripper For Your Application

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Catherine Bernier
Written by Catherine Bernier
Catherine is an Application Engineer here at Robotiq. Drawing from her expertise with manufacturing processes, production management and business management in general, her main focus is helping her clients find the solutions that will best serve their needs. If you have any questions about Robotiq's products and how they can serve your application, get in touch with her at c.bernier@robotiq.com.
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