Mix an Computerized Screwdriver With a Instrument Changer



Image your product because it strikes down the meeting line. Because it comes into a brand new station, the operator grabs the electrical screwdriver, picks up a screw, and fastens it. The following step wants a decrease torque for a unique sort of screw, so your operator places down the present screwdriver and reaches for one more one. Though this all sounds easy for a human, fastening a number of kinds of screws throughout the similar meeting is a posh automation venture. But it surely doesn’t must be for those who use a device changer. 

What’s a device changer?

A device changer lets the robotic swap between completely different instruments with none operator intervention. It often has two elements: one that’s mounted on the robotic wrist, and one other that’s mounted on the device itself. Each elements match collectively to permit the robotic to “decide up” the device. 

Relying in your software, it’s additionally doable to supply compressed air and energy to your device via the device changer, which reduces the necessity for cable administration. Unused instruments are saved on a assist known as {a magazine}. See our weblog publish on the highest robotic device changers for extra concepts.

Credit score: TripleA robotics

Why would you desire a device changer for screwdriving?

In a great state of affairs, a product would solely want one sort of screw for all its elements. Nonetheless, due to design constraints, you most likely have screws with completely different drive sizes in your meeting and due to this fact require a number of screwdrivers to lock them. So what are your automation choices?

  1. A number of robots that every have their very own screwdriver
    1. Professional: Quick. 
    2. Con: Costly and sophisticated, as a result of you might want to arrange communication between the robots.
  2. One robotic with a number of screwdrivers 
    1. Professional: Inexpensive than choice one.
    2. Con: You possibly can’t use that many alternative instruments. Instrument choice is proscribed by your payload, and sophisticated to program (because you’re consistently switching the orientation of your device heart level). 
  3. One robotic with a bit changer
    1. Professional: Straightforward to program and versatile, so you possibly can add as many screwdriving bits as you want.
    2. Con: Selecting up and placing down a screwdriving bit will increase cycle time. 
  4. One robotic with a device changer
    1. Professional: Straightforward to program and versatile, so you possibly can add as many instruments as you want.
    2. Con: Selecting up and placing down a device will increase cycle time.

Which purposes are device changers good for?

Instrument changers are nice for:

  • Screwdriving purposes with greater than two kinds of screws.
  • Purposes that contain screwdriving and different kinds of instruments like a gripper or glue gun. 
  • Purposes the place cycle time is just not that necessary, since cycle time can be slower attributable to altering and activating instruments.

How do device changers have an effect on cycle time?

Utilizing a device changer will take some valuable cycle time. Right here’s a breakdown of a tool-changing sequence: 

  • Instrument change from empty to geared up. 
  • Energy on + activation. 
  • Journey between the device changer journal and the half.
  • Course of. 
  • Journey between the half and the device changer journal.
  • Instrument change from geared up to empty.

Nonetheless, it’s doable to avoid wasting cycle time utilizing the next tips.

1)  Robotic motion

Place the device changer’s journal as shut as doable to your half so the robotic doesn’t must journey far to modify instruments. Additionally, your waypoints must be in MoveP (see UR eLearning for particulars). 

2) Activate instruments whereas transferring

Don’t await the device to activate earlier than transferring the robotic. Use a thread to run the activation on the similar time, and add some “Wait” nodes to ensure the device is activated earlier than getting used within the course of. 

Within the instance beneath, a variable known as gripperON signifies when to begin the activation sequence.

 Primary program

 Parallel thread 

Robotiq Force Copilot tree structure with the gripperON highlighted

A parallel thread of the Robotiq Force Copilot tree structure with the gripperON highlighted


3) Measure how device change impacts cycle time

You need to use the “Timer” node at completely different moments in your program to measure how lengthy every step takes. This manner, you possibly can observe your progress as you tweak your program and pinpoint which step wants extra work. 


Utilizing a device changer with a number of screwdrivers is the best way to go when your robotic wants to lock a number of kinds of screws throughout the similar meeting. It permits you to sort out this advanced course of in a manner that’s accessible and versatile.

Photo of the Robotiq Screwdriving Solution with its screwdriver taking screw from the screw feeder

A very good place to begin your screw fastening automation venture is to have a look at our screwdriving answer. This offers you an summary of a totally built-in answer that’s straightforward to deploy to your meeting traces. It additionally contains our screwdriving match device the place you possibly can validate your individual wants in your particular setup.

Meet the Screwdriving Solution

Ever considered utilizing a device changer to make your screwdriving course of extra full? Inform us within the feedback beneath or be part of the dialogue on LinkedIn, Twitter, Fb, or the DoF skilled robotics group.