Frequently Asked Questions about Robotics

In our FAQ you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about cobots/lightweight robots and gripping technology. If you have any further questions, please contact us directly – we will be happy to help!

GENERAL

What is a Cobot?

Cobots are industrial robots that have special sensors that enable them to work together with humans. In contrast to conventional industrial robots, collisions can be detected. In addition, Cobots are usually very light, which minimizes the forces involved in a potential collision.

Depending on the application, it is even possible to completely omit protective fences or other additional safety sensors. The human being and the robot can thus move together in the working area.

For which applications are Cobots suitable

Cobots are particularly suitable for monotonous, repetitive and potentially stressful, unpleasant or dangerous work, which can be carried out with short cycle times. The cobots handle a weight of up to 16 kg.

Cobots are particularly advantageous when there are process steps in which the operator must be in the working area of the robot or when an economical, easy-to-operate robotic solution is required that enables a quick teaching of the handling process.

Do I need special knowledge to be able to operate the cobot or vacuum generator?

Profound programming knowledge or comprehensive know-how in automation technology is not required. It should be considered that a basic introduction to programming the robot and the design and execution of automated handling tasks in the production environment are available.

For the continuous operation of a robot system, the applicable rules, safety standards and regulations must also be observed when using cobots. This includes a comprehensive risk assessment of each system. Our vacuum generators and gripper systems are designed to help you comply with applicable regulations and minimize potential Hazards.


GRIPPERS & THEIR SELECTION

What are the components of a gripping solution for a cobot?

A gripper consists of several components. In our gripper solutions, these components are, for example, vacuum generators and vacuum suction cups. One of the core components are the vacuum generators. These are used in vacuum technology to set up individual vacuum systems and provide the necessary vacuum for the workpiece to be handled.

The actual gripping takes place via the suction cups or suction surface. This is made of a flexible material which adapts optimally to the workpiece surface and thus ensures maximum sealing to the workpiece. Vacuum generators and suction cups are supplemented with valves, sensors and other parameterization aids. This allows the gripper to be optimally controlled and operated. Finally, connecting elements ensure a simple and fast connection between gripper and robot. The grippers can be individually designed for the application in order to achieve optimum handling results.

How do I select the right gripper for me?

Schmalz offers a wide range of pre-configured and individual gripper solutions for a wide variety of applications. Our selection guide or our experts will help you select your System.

Our experienced sales team will support you in designing the right gripper or robot set for your requirements. We will be happy to work with you to find the right gripper solution, drawing on our many years of experience and in-depth know-how.

 

What is the maximum weight of the workpiece?

This depends on the nature and properties of the workpiece to be handled. The speeds and accelerations that occur during the handling process also play an important role here. Schmalz offers gripper solutions for every individual application; our special cobot grippers can handle up to 35 kg. If you have any questions about our grippers and robot sets, our sales department will be happy to answer them.

Are the different products compatible with each other?

We at Schmalz have a compatible modular system and therefore our products can be combined and matched with each other. If you have any questions, please contact our sales department – we’re looking forward to helping you.


OPERATION OF THE GRIPPERS

How do I set up the gripper on the robot?

Schmalz offers predefined robot sets. These sets contain everything needed to implement the gripper on the robot. Depending on the robot type, the sets are used with the corresponding software module. If further Schmalz products are required, they can be easily assembled or extended according to the modular principle.

In addition to manual parameterization of the products via push buttons, the grippers also come with an NFC interface. The data is set via NFC interfaces and the operating instructions or error messages can be read out on the smartphone in the “Schmalz ControlRoom” app.

Depending on the robot type, we also offer grippers with a bus interface. This means that the gripper can also be set up via the robot controller. The cobots are then taught the movement by hand guidance. The robot is usually ready for operation in less than an hour.

What do I have to consider when installing the gripper?

During commissioning, care must be taken to ensure that the gripper is properly mounted on the robot. A quick start guide and/or operating instructions are enclosed with the gripper for this purpose, describing proper installation. These instructions can also be downloaded directly at the individual component on our website.

Which apps are required for the NFC functions?

The “Schmalz ControlRoom” app is required for the NFC function. The app is available for users of Android devices in Google Play Store. It can be used to read data and messages from intelligent Schmalz components. An extension of the app is required for parameterization via the mobile device. This can be purchased via In-App purchase.