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Yes, end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), also known as end effectors, are a vital aspect of your robot system. elliTek offers pre-engineered end-of-arm tooling, as well as customized designs to meet your application requirements.

In one of elliTek's more recent podcasts, we introduce SCHUNK - one of elliTek's partners in automation.

As Brandon says. "SCHUNK takes the cake when it comes to gripping." Watch or listen to learn more.

End of arm tooling (EOAT) is the component that is typically attached to the end of a robotic arm acting as the robot's "wrist". EOAT is what allows the robot to perform specific tasks. This is one of the more important features of your robotic system because it is directly tied to the performance of your robot system and enables the robot to perform a specific task. When designed correctly, your EOAT can improve productivity and efficiency, enhance safety, and increase your ROI.

There are various types of EOAT. To get the most functionality and flexibility out of your robot system, it is essential to choose the proper EOAT for your application. Some things to consider when selecting your EOAT are size, weight, complexity, power consumption, and requirements of your production line.

Here are the most common types of EOAT or end effectors:


Just like the name suggests, grippers are used to grasp objects and move them from one location to another, like a human hand. The applications in which grippers are used include assembly, material handling, palletizing, and pick & place.


There are different gripper styles and the amount of force needed for the part plays a role in selecting the right gripper. The types of grippers are Mechanical, Vacuum, Magnetic, and Adhesive. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Mechanical grippers use "fingers" to move or manipulate objects. Because the force and stroke can be adjusted, mechanical grippers perform tasks with agility and precision. They can have two to four fingers depending on the model. The disadvantage of mechanical grippers is they may require additional space to grasp the object in order to feed it to the machine without colliding into another object.

Vacuum or suction grippers are available in a variety of sizes and material applications. Vacuum grippers are great for tasks that don't need to be precise. Selecting the correct suction cup for your application will make a world of difference between a repeatable grip or frustration. The drawback is that for optimal results, vacuum grippers need a flat, nonporous surface.

Magnetic grippers are powerful and provide excellent strength; however, they have limited material applications in that they are best suited for products containing ferrous (iron) materials. Magnetic grippers are designed for reliable and precise loading and unloading of parts. Their strength and repeatability also make them an ideal choice for applications where the robot arm holds the object while it's being processed.

Adhesive grippers stick to objects instead of holding them. They are normally used to pick up lightweight objects such as fabric. Adhesive grippers can be implemented quickly and don't need external power or compressed air. 


In manufacturing, there are some tools that are utilized much more than others due to the task the robot performs. The common tools used as end effectors are drills, deburring tools, paint guns, and welding torches. For control of the production process, some customers combine the tool with a sensor. There are collision sensors and torque sensors. Both types of sensors can broaden your automation potential. 

Mechanical Gripper
Vacuum Gripper
Magnetic Gripper
Adhesive Gripper


Robot operators can change tooling quickly and easily with a tool changer system. They're designed to add flexibility to your robotic automation process. Robot operators can switch from a drill to a welding torch with just a few movements.

Watch or listen to elliTek's podcast "Industrial Automation - It Doesn't Have To... Inflate" to learn more about Smartshift Robotics innovative tool change systems and robot bases. With Smarshift Robotics, your robot can be easily used for multiple applications increasing your ROI!

EOAT is directly tied to the performance of your robotic automation process. elliTek has the industry experience to find the right robotic tooling for your project at an affordable price. elliTek's Systems Group has pre-engineered, turnkey solutions along with customized application solutions.

Tell us about your application or project. Our engineers will work with you from concept to design to commission and build the robotic system that's best suited for your application.

Learn what specifications should be considered when buying an industrial robot.

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