The trend of collaborative robots is strengthening, and end tools are ushering in growth opportunities


With the rise of the Industry 4.0 model under the Fourth Industrial Revolution, more and more factories and enterprises have begun to upgrade automated production lines, introduce industrial Robots, and combine new technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of Things, cloud computing, and big data to improve factory efficiency. Robot replacement not only solves the problem of manpower and cost, but also achieves higher efficiency and flexibility to help enterprises gain new competitiveness.

The rapid development of the industrial robot industry has also driven the growth of the end-of-tool (EOAT) market. According to the analysis of industry institutions, the transaction of robot end-tools exceeded 2.5 billion US dollars in 2018, and is expected to reach 6.5 billion US dollars by 2025, and will remain 14% compound growth rate. Thanks to the growth of the automation market, the use of end tools as a key part of Robotic solutions in the industry has begun to rise rapidly.

The trend of collaborative robots is strengthening, and end tools are ushering in growth opportunities

Currently, the major players in the market are SCHUNK, Zimmer Group, Festo, ABB, On Robot, ATI, SMC, Schmalz and other well-known manufacturers, and some innovators have also joined, such as Soft Robotics. The competition in the market is becoming more and more intense, forcing manufacturers to develop some products with stronger functions and specific purposes.

Last year, Zimmer Group introduced the GPP GPD5000AL gripper, which guarantees up to 15 million cycles without maintenance, further reducing costs. Similarly, On Robot uses sensors and new material technology to create new grippers, such as vacuum grippers, Gecko grippers, etc. The technology of Gecko grippers is derived from the principle of gecko feet, which can pick and place printed circuit boards and other porous objects. .The trend of collaborative robots is strengthening, and end tools are ushering in growth opportunities

Not long ago, SCHUNK introduced intelligent clamping equipment, mainly for metal cutting applications, which allows detailed monitoring of the production process in real time. In addition, SCHUNK is cooperating with AnotherBrain on an autonomous grasping system, which uses artificial intelligence technology to analyze and judge objects and then carry out active grasping. The new products are expected to be launched on the market next year.

End-to-end tools transform to intelligence

With the continuous breakthrough of artificial intelligence and other technologies, the concept of intelligence has created waves in the field of automation, and also brought new product inspiration. Automation products are beginning to become intelligent, and by integrating advanced sensors, artificial intelligence, and IoT technologies, new levels of capability that were previously unattainable are achieved.

The trend of collaborative robots is strengthening, and end tools are ushering in growth opportunities

Smart gripper is a new direction in the industry, it can collect key data and communicate it to the robot to improve its accuracy and overall performance, and further protect the safety of goods, especially some fragile objects, smart grippers can control the appropriate force to ensure that it can be safely delivered to the operator.

In a complex production line, there are often some parts that have not been sorted and sorted, and the traditional gripper will be incompetent. The use of smart grippers can adapt to various types of object grasping. For example, OnRobot’s RG6 gripper is a flexible and collaborative electric gripper that requires no external cables and can adjust the direction to adapt to different objects.

The trend of collaborative robots is strengthening, and end tools are ushering in growth opportunities

The traditional robotic gripping system may take two weeks to set up all the settings, but the RG6 gripper adopts a plug-and-play method and can be commissioned in about a day, which not only improves production efficiency, but also has higher precision. Instead of having to change grippers when parts change, cobots can memorize dozens of ways to grip parts.

Human-machine collaboration model triggers new opportunities

More and more companies are experiencing the benefits of collaborative robots in various automation scenarios. The advantages of easy installation and debugging, a small amount of programming, and plug-and-play make collaborative robots suitable for more scenarios.

Under the trend of human-robot collaboration, collaborative robots have achieved good growth. Last year, nearly 14,000 cobots were installed globally, and from 2017 to 2018, annual cobot installations grew by 23%. If cobot sales continue to grow, end tooling will double in about a few years, creating an unprecedented EOAT market opportunity.

The trend of collaborative robots is strengthening, and end tools are ushering in growth opportunities

In some cases, manufacturers are using cobots primarily because of repetitive and tedious work at work, and the lack of suitable workers. In addition, manufacturers want to find ways to increase efficiency, which can lead to more product output, even if the run time is reduced by a few seconds. Buying more robots and grippers can create huge benefits.

In the manufacturing industry, those intelligent and simplified automation methods to achieve production tasks will become more and more popular. Manufacturers do not need to spend too much time and money to deploy, and can be applied faster. End tools are part of the automation strategy. , which can greatly improve the productivity.

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