Building a Pick and Place Application

Part 1: Getting Started and Factors to Consider
January 12, 2022 by
Building a Pick and Place Application
BlueBay Automation, LLC, J.T. Wood

Developing a pick and place application involves careful consideration of various components, including the selection of the robot and gripper. This guide explores best practices, key considerations, and technical details necessary for successful deployment of a pick-and-place application.

Gripper Selection for Pick and Place Applications

OnRobot, a leading provider of end of arm tooling, offers a broad range of grippers designed specifically for collaborative and light industrial robotic applications. We'll use OnRobot's lineup as a reference due to their comprehensive suite of flexible grippers, quick deployment, and reduced programming time - all ideal for pick-and-place applications.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gripper

Selection of the right gripper, the critical interface between the robot and the task, is paramount. Here are the key factors you should consider:

Workpiece Shape

Workpiece Weight

Workpiece Size

Workpiece Material

Gripper Types and Their Applications

Finger grippers

These are ideal for diverse product ranges due to their programmable gripping forces and widths. RG2 and RG6 two-finger grippers and RG2FT grippers, for delicate parts requiring precise forces, are some excellent examples.

Three-finger grippers

For cylindrical parts, OnRobot’s 3FG15 is an excellent choice with its high gripping force, large stroke range, and adjustable fingers.

Vacuum grippers

OnRobot’s electric vacuum grippers, including VG10, VGC10, and VGP20, offer versatility and reliability, making them perfect for various pick-and-place applications.

Specialized grippers

Certain products require specialized grippers for optimal performance, like MG10 magnetic grippers for ferromagnetic parts and Gecko Single Pad Grippers for flat, smooth, or perforated objects.

Finally, you should decide if your pick and place application requires a single or dual gripper configuration. A dual setup can reduce cycle time, but it also adds complexity to the robot programming.  You can see a video of what a dual gripper from OnRobot looks like in this video showing a packaging application with OnRobot and Universal Robots


In Part 2 of this blog series, we will cover robot selection for pick and place applications, and infeed and outfeed strategies for part positioning and more.  If you would like to get started with automating an application, reach out to our team and we'll be happy to help.  

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Building a Pick and Place Application
BlueBay Automation, LLC, J.T. Wood January 12, 2022
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