What is end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT)?
End-of-arm-tooling (EOAT or end effector) refers to a variety of options that are available to industrial robot users to complete industrial applications. Applications ranging from arc welding to material handling require EOAT specially designed to complete the task. Like the name implies, EOAT is installed on the wrist of the robot arm (J6 axis on a FANUC robot; T axis on a Motoman robot).
Common Examples of EOAT
Arc Welding Torch: For industrial applications that include arc welding, an arc welding torch is installed on the wrist of the robot arm. Because of the shape of the torch, the effective horizontal reach of the robotic arm is increased by several millimeters. Motoman and FANUC both manufacture many arc welding robot models. These inlcude FANUC's ArcMate 100 series and Motoman's EA series.
Gripper: Bag, suction, magnetic, and claw grippers are common examples of EOAT used in material handling applications. Bag grippers manipulate materials by closing finger-like effectors around a bag and lifting it from the bottom. Suction grippers use pneumatics to lift rigid and semi-rigid parts. Magnetic grippers can handle large, heavy parts by using electricity to attract the metal part to the magnet on the gripper. Claw grippers often work on a smaller scale, picking and placing parts or loading machines. Many sizes and models of industrial robots can handle grippers, including FANUC's M-410 robot arm and Motoman's UP130 arm.
Spot Welding Gun: A large, cumbersome apparatus containg two electrods at the end handles spot welding tasks. A typical spot welding gun weighs anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds. A large industrial robot arm, such as the Motoman ES165N, usually handles this type of EOAT because it has a higher rated payload capacity.