Collaborative robot arms (“cobots”) have leveled the playing field for small and mid-sized manufacturers. For decades, large manufacturers have had the advantage of automation, using traditional industrial robots. But these large, expensive, and complex robots are designed for high volumes and unchanging production processes—unlike the low-volume/high-mix production that is typical for smaller manufacturers.
Collaborative automation has become a versatile, cost-effective, and user-friendly technology that allows businesses of almost any size (and any level of technical expertise) to increase productivity, improve quality, and respond more nimbly to changing customer demands.
But while cobots have become easier to buy and implement, they’re only part of the equation.
The robot itself can’t do any work without end-of-arm tooling (EoAT) such as grippers, sensors, and other automation peripherals.
With new EoAT technology advances, small and mid-sized manufacturers can now automate even more processes, including those that require the delicacy and precision of human fingers along with the repeatability and productivity of a robot.