Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

OnRobot launches advanced new magnetic gripper for robots

OnRobot has launched the MG10, which it describes as “a versatile, high-performance, easy to use magnetic gripper” for material handling, assembly and machine tending applications in manufacturing, automotive and aerospace environments.

Fully compatible with all major robot brands through OnRobot’s One System Solution, the MG10 offers unique adjustable force and grip detection features that provide users with unprecedented levels of control.

Standard magnetic grippers only provide simple on/off functionality. To adjust the force applied, users have to add rubber ‘feet’ to create space between the magnet and the part.

This is a tedious and imprecise process that doesn’t always guarantee perfect results, especially on applications that involve handling thin metal sheets and small metal parts where magnetic grippers often accidentally end up picking more than one sheet or part as the force cannot be adjusted.

Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of OnRobot, says: “Standard magnetic grippers are a real hassle because almost every time your application or workpiece changes, you have to make manual adjustments to compensate for the gripper’s lack of functionality.

“OnRobot’s innovative MG10 gripper eliminates all that thanks to its adjustable force features that enable you to deploy precise material handling applications quickly and easily.”

New features eliminate dropped parts

Unlike standard magnetic grippers, the innovative MG10 comes with built-in grip and sensors for part detection.

For applications that involve handling sheet metal – such as machine tending tasks that require robots to lift sheet metal from a stack, place it into a press brake/press bending machine, and remove it when the machine has completed its work – this functionality ensures smooth, consistent and safe operation.

And if the robot loses power or has to make an e-stop while performing a task, these features ensure that there is no risk of dropping the part being handled.

The new MG10 gripper is ready to take over machine tending, assembly and material handling tasks that were once performed by costly and complex pneumatic grippers.

Iversen says: “While pneumatic systems require an external air supply, cabling and ongoing maintenance, the MG10 is ready to go out of the box, resulting in massively reduced deployment costs compared to its pneumatic counterparts.”

Handles uneven, abrasive or perforated surfaces

The MG10 also provides precise and durable handling of objects with abrasive, uneven or perforated surfaces, making it a perfect fit for a wide variety of applications in the manufacturing, automotive and aerospace sectors.

On top of that, the MG10’s multi-magnet setup ensures that this gripper can handle a wide range of sizes, weights and parts with odd-shaped geometries.

There are many applications, such as multi-stage bending press tasks and handling parts with many holes, where vacuum and finger-type grippers simply don’t have the intelligence and power to succeed.

The MG10 can handle such tasks with ease, whether the workpiece is a metal blank, a punched steel part, or a perforated steel sheet.

Iversen says: “As the manufacturing sector moves towards low volume/high mix production, the ability to move quickly from one application setup to another quickly is more than a ‘nice to have’. It’s essential.

“The MG10 is the only magnetic gripper on the market that’s sufficiently versatile, intelligent and so easy to use that it can be quickly redeployed on tasks from machine tending and palletizing to de-stacking of metal sheets – and all in one no fuss, no nonsense, plug and play package.”

Smarter, collaborative applications

Industrial robots’ annual installations more than tripled between 2010-2019, registering 381,000 units globally. Advances in robot technologies are contributing to the accelerated use of robotics, enabling simpler robot programming and installation, robots mastering difficult tasks and collaborating more with workers.

Asia is the world’s largest industrial robot market. From 2014 to 2019, annual robot installations grew by 13 percent each year. Top applications include handling and assembling while top customer industries include electronics, automotive and metal and machining.

James Taylor, general manager, APAC at OnRobot, says: “We are paving the way forward for a new generation of robots through our intelligent, easy-to-use and flexible tools.

“Collaborative automation is increasingly becoming a critical solution in modern manufacturing and our goal is to ensure companies of all sizes can access it.”

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