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Robotics Tomorrow spoke with New Scale Robotics CEO David Henderson with about small, precision grippers and electronic calipers for cobots. Here’s an excerpt:

Inspection is an essential step in all manufacturing processes that directly adds to product cost and limits capacity. For example, today a person may be manually measuring critical part dimensions on a molded optical component with digital calipers. These measurements are continuous ( in-line ). The values are typed into a computer. After measurement parts are manually sorted according to size. The measurements are used to chart process drift, track yield, and meet customer reporting requirements. The work is tedious, repetitive and prone to error.

“A cobot with a precision gripper automates part picking, measurement, data logging and sorting. The precision gripper is an electronic caliper that combines movement and measurement. The measurements are automatically transferred to a separate computer for charting, tracking and SPC analysis.

The person is now responsible for providing pallets of parts, ready for inspection, and removing inspected and sorted parts. The person’s productivity is multiplied and their skills upgraded to include teaching and operation of the cobot inspection work station. The company increases capacity with fewer new hires and reduces cost.

Automatic measurement and data logging: Precision grippers / calipers on a collaborative robot pick up the part, make precision measurements, and automatically send the data to a PC.

Manual data entry: Taking manual measurements and entering data by hand is tedious, repetitive and error-prone.