Collaborative robot automatic tool changer

Collaborative robot automatic tool changer

May 23, 2019

Universal Robots USA
Automation Toolholding/Workholding

ATI Industrial Automation’s QC-11 automatic tool changer (ATC) is a vital component of many robotic applications and is now certified to work seamlessly with collaborative robots from Universal Robots, joining more than 150 products in the UR+ portfolio featuring plug-and-play solutions for UR cobots that help users get up and running quickly.

The QC-11 enables automatic exchange of robotic end-effectors without any manual intervention. With an ATI ATC, a robot can use multiple end-effectors in a single process. Preceding the QC-11 in the UR+ program are ATI’s Axia80 force/torque sensor and MC-10 manual tool changer. 

The QC-11 is the first automated tool changer developed in the Americas to obtain UR+ certification. It was featured last week at ATI Industrial Automation’s Automation Expo held at the company’s recently expanded and renovated headquarters in Apex, North Carolina. The Expo was a unique opportunity for attendees to see this tool changer in action, witnessing its extremely high strength-to-weight ratio. When coupled, the master and tool weigh less than 0.25kg (0.55 lb), with a combined stack height of 52.4mm (2.06"). The small footprint of the robust QC-11 helps to optimize the robot payload and work envelope while supporting the maximum UR payload of 10kg (22 lb).

ATI’s patented, pneumatically actuated, fail-safe, locking mechanism provides strong, repeatable coupling under the rigors of industrial use. It also ensures that the tooling remains securely attached to the robot – even during a loss of air pressure. The QC-11 features six integrated M5 pneumatic pass-through ports. It allows for an optional, accessory mounted, M8 connector for up to eight pass-thru electrical pin connections. Users can incorporate a compatible pin-and-bushing tool stand for storage of the additional end-of-arm tools as well.