The technological revolution is having a profound impact not only on automotive and pharmaceutical manufacturers but also those in the food and beverage industry. Many food processing and food packaging manufacturers have begun thinking about their own “factory of the future”. For many companies, it's not so much with the robot selection but more so with the plethora of choices for end of arm tooling that's available.
Picking the right robot is as important as picking the right end of arm tool (EOAT). The most difficult application of EOAT is the food and beverage industry. Food manufacturers are among the most resistant to transition towards automating production. Rightly so. The oddly shaped and delicate nature of products and several safety concerns makes it difficult to find the right solution that works. However, with the advancement in food-safe technology you should reconsider.
Food safe machinery is vital in protecting consumers and employees from food borne illness while maintaining consumer confidence in your products. To ensure proper food sanitation laws are met, the Canadian government created several safety regulations which facilities must follow rigorously. Food pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi can be transmitted through improper handling or cleaning procedures running the risk of illness or even death. To avoid these potential issues, the choice of the proper gripper is essential.
3 Most Common Types Of Grippers
Multi-finger grippers are adaptable grippers that have a wide variety of applications. These grippers provide force feedback to the controllers and are able to grasp irregularly shaped objects. The traditional gripper is made with a rigid material such as aluminum, steel or plastics. A Soft Robotics® gripper is made from food-safe material and can pick and place objects in tight spaces with ease. Soft Robotics® gripper has the advantage of conforming to CSA standards. Which makes it perfect for food and beverage applications.
Mgrips are food certified under European safe regulation 21 CFR and EC 1935/2004. Our professional safety technician complies with all CSA (Canadian safety Association) robotics safety standards.
2) Vacuum Grippers
Vacuum cups for end of arm tools are pneumatically powered suction cup grippers that create a low-pressure suction for a wide range of products. This type of gripper is made from rubber or polyurethane material. Vacuum cup grippers are perfect for packaging applications to accurately and quickly picking and placing items.
3) Pneumatic Grippers
The pneumatic gripper is the most popular type of gripper due to its compact size and lightweight construction making it perfect for limited space applications. The pneumatic gripper uses compressed air to pressurize pistons, forcing the gripper to close. When air pressure is released the gripper opens. The simplicity of these types of grippers makes it adaptable for any application.
Where do I go from here?
Understanding the latest industrial technology and safety standards is the first step in automating production. These blog articles aim to educate so that you feel you can make the most informed decision when it comes to automating your facility. You can learn more about the grippers above by contacting a local Proax Technologies office. As well, you can learn more about choosing your robot by reading the Difference Between Traditional Industrial Robot VS Collaborative Robot.
Learn more about other Food and Beverage Solutions