The Gripper Chronicles
Research Shows Need for Smart Grippers to Skyrocket
Need for smart grippers is announcing itself as end users employ cobots in an ever-expanding diversity of jobs
Who are the players?
What are they playing for?
EDITOR’S NOTE: The reason that we debuted The Gripper Chronicles over a year ago was, quite simply, that gripper tech and its market looked ready to blossom. And indeed, it has, with the best yet to come.
New gripper analysis
Market analyst, Monalisa Rath, has put together an outstanding look at the gripper ecosystem in her in-depth assembly of key market research. Parts of her report are presented here in today’s gripper column, but much more can be gleaned by following these links to her blog and research materials.
- The rise of smart, collaborative robotic EOAT
- Robotic End of Arm Tools (EOAT) Market Forecast, Trend Analysis & Competition Tracking – Global Market Insights 2018 to 2028
With the diversity of jobs that grippers are being called upon to perform, it’s showing itself to be self-evident that some sort of resident intelligence and computing power will be necessary—and very soon—for most every gripper.
Rath’s research readily displays this evolution taking place already. Some gripper manufacturers are well aware how imminent the need is and are taking action. Many are not. One thing is for sure, the need for smart grippers is announcing itself, and The Gripper Chronicles is watching it unfold.
Adoption of End-of-arm Tooling Surges as Robots Become an Industrial Staple for Multi-tasking & Quick Changeovers
Use of robots in the industrial space has taken off significantly, as end-user demand for multi-tasking and instant changeovers has intensified over the years.
Robots are penetrating into multiple industrial ecosystems, often operating alongside humans, in the form of collaborative robots (otherwise known as cobots). With the increasing deployment of robots, industrial ecosystems are also seeking effective robotic end of arm tooling (EOAT) to equip the robots with desired functionalities.
Multiple varieties of robotic end of arm tooling (EOAT), including force-torque sensors, welding torches, grippers, collision sensors, tool changers, material removal tools, and more, are witnessing skyrocketing demand for diverse applications. In short, the nature of the target application determines the EOAT type to be used.
Currently, pneumatic EOATs have gained notable traction, as they are easy to integrate and can hold a substantial amount of power in a small space. Grippers remain highly-favored by the end-use industries, as pick and place applications continue to be imperative for successful automation.
More cobots means more grippers
With end users constantly under pressure for increased productivity and reduction of operating costs, the demand for cobots is ramping up worldwide, but most especially in Asia Pacific (APAC).
Loup Ventures Research found “cobots represented 3 percent of the total market in 2016, but by 2025 cobots will grow to 34 percent of the market.”
Consequently, grippers need to follow the cobot upswing. The business end of every robot and cobot–the gripper–will need to ramp up to meet the many diverse ways that cobots are beginning to be employed: force-torque sensors, welding torches, vacuum grippers, collision sensors, tool changers, material removal tools, just to name a few.
The current industry forecast of gripper sales for 2019 hitting $2 billion may adjust drastically upwards, given the skyrocketing demand forecast for cobots.
Robotic End of Arm Tools (EOAT) Market Outlook: Key Insights
- Sales of robotic end of arm tools witnessed growth at a rate of over 8% from 2013 to 2017. In line with growing demand for industrial robots, robotic end of arm tool sales are set to witness sheer proliferation.
- Adoption of robotic end of arm tools for material handling is likely to grow at a CAGR of over 5% in 2019. Material handling segment is estimated to account for over 34% value share in 2028, emerging as the most-profitable process line.
- APEJ will continue to be the largest market for robotic end of arm tools (EOAT), as industrial ecosystems across developing countries of the region are vying to stay at the forefront of ‘Industry 4.0’.
- Japan will emerge as the fastest-growing market for robotic end of arm tools (EOAT), as majority of the industrial units in Japan invest in automation and integration of robotic technology into their production frameworks.
- Robotic end of arm tools (EOAT) have been gaining traction as primary equipment for seamless interaction with parts & components at the end of a robotic arm.
- Robotic end of arm tools (EOAT) are being increasingly deployed for offering specific functionalities to robots and accommodating multiple processes in one go.
- Rising use of grippers, a key robotic end of arm tool (EOAT) type, in material handling is underpinning the market growth.
- Reduction of part damage remains a chief aspect fueling adoption of various types of grippers in material handling, including pneumatic grippers, servo-electric grippers, vacuum grippers, and hydraulic grippers.
- Advances in robotic technologies and growing end-user demand for higher productivity levels will bolster demand for robotic end of arm tools (EOAT) as a viable proposition across a wide-range of automated applications.
- Robotic end of arm tools prove to be cost-saving and also aid in boosting ROI benefits for automation equipment- two of the highly-valued aspects across end-use industries.
- Various end-use industries are embracing robotic end of arm tools (EOAT) to offer greater flexibility to their existing robot lines, which ensures multi-tasking by robots by simultaneously amplifying the overall performance levels.