End-of-arm tooling supplier OnRobot has launched a compact, single-pad version of its Gecko no-mark adhesive gripper. The new Gecko Single Pad (SP) gripper brings the same capability to new automation applications with small footprints and lower payload.
The Gecko SP is available in three sizes; SP1, SP3 and SP5 named after the gripper’s payload in kilos, featuring the ability to lift a wide range of flat, smooth, shiny or perforated surfaces.
Because the technology does not mark even high-shine surfaces, it eliminates the need for a cleaning step in manufacturing processes, saving time and improving output. And like its larger sibling, the Gecko SP can grip even perforated workpieces such as printed circuit boards, aluminum mesh or head gaskets.
The Gecko gripper technology uses millions of micro-scaled fibrillar stalks that adhere to a surface using powerful van der Waals forces — the same way that geckos climb.
The technology requires no compressed air or external power, saving costs and maintenance, and can be implemented quickly and easily through OnRobot’s One-System Solution platform with little or no programming on any major collaborative or light industrial robot arm for greater production flexibility.
From 2017 to 2018, the annual installations of collaborative robots (cobots), robots designed to perform tasks in the same workspace as people, grew by 23 percent with almost 14,000 units installed in 2018 according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).
IFR concluded that drivers for this adoption include more intelligent components or EoAT such as smart grippers. As cobot sales continue to rise, the number of installed units will likely double in approximately three years, creating an unprecedented EoAT market opportunity.
This will also prompt EoAT use beyond traditional sectors; namely automotive and electronics, and into a variety of industries, notably food and beverage, healthcare and retail.
“The new Gecko SP gripper is a great addition to OnRobot’s expanding product portfolio, which is poised to capture a significant share of the rapidly growing global EoAT market,” said James Taylor, GM, APAC at OnRobot.
“This trend is similar in Southeast Asia as the region’s industrial automation and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.8 percent from 2019 to 2025, reaching US$4.97 billion by 2025. This growth is supported by government initiatives, growing adoption from manufacturing and the advent of Industry 4.0,” he added.
Singapore commanded the largest share of the region’s industrial automation & process control market in 2019, followed by Vietnam and Thailand. This was attributed to the country’s high per capita income in the region with the manufacturing industry as a major contributor.
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