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ATI Provides Tool Changing Solution for Hollow-Wrist Robots

POSTED 04/22/2010

QC-21HM Tool Changer Allows for Routing of Utilities Through its Center

ATI's QC-21HM Tool ChangerMany of today’s standard industrial automation robots require large complex cable and hose bundles around the outside of the robot arm. Much consideration must be made to properly route the bundles around moving parts and robot axes and away from potential environmental threats, such as weld debris. Robot manufacturers are now offering hollow-wrist robots, where the dress package can be routed through the center of the wrist, keeping all cables and hoses internal, shielding the dress package from mechanical influences, and preventing undesirable whiplash motion. Gripper cables can be routed through the hollow wrist, resulting in better access into tight spaces and less problems with broken hoses and cables.

The QC-21HM Tool Changer is a new QC-21 Master that allows for routing air and electrical lines directly through its center. This feature provides direct compatibility with many of the industry's hollow-wrist robots. The QC-21HM is directly compatible with the standard QC-21 Tool assemblies, and has Lock and Unlock sensing integrated into its design for safe Coupling and Uncoupling. Additional Hollow-Wrist Tool Changer models are currently under development and will be available as a standard option.

Product Features Include:

  • All air lines and optional Lock and Unlock sensor connections are made along the Tool Changer center axis, enabling a direct mount to many hollow-wrist robots.
  • Results in a cleaner more direct utility routing through the robot's hollow wrist.
  • QC-21HM Master-side is compatible with all QC-21 Tools.
  • Eight (8) pass-through air connections: (2) are 1/4" push-connect tube fittings, (6) are 1/8" push-connect tube fittings.
  • Lock and Unlock connections are 1/8" push-connect tube fittings.
  • Metric tube size connections are also available.
  • Many optional electrical module cables can also be routed through the center.

In the application photo to the right, the QC-21HM Hollow-Wrist Tool Changer is being used on a bathroom accessories assembly operation with direct mounting to a FANUC M20ia robot. Brett Schmahl (Bemis Manufacturing) states, “There is a lot of high-speed motion and the robot internal wire way provides a great way of cleaning up the end-of-arm tooling wiring and hosing. With a standard Tool Changer, I wouldn't have been able to utilize this space as easily. The Hollow-Wrist Tool Changer is much cleaner and protects all the wires and cables.”

Other size Hollow-Wrist Tool Changers are currently under development and will be available as a standard option.