Applications of electromagnets in industrial robotics

Electromagnets in industrial robotics are very commonly used, especially in the last decade. They are often mounted on robotic tools used to lift ferromagnetic materials, such as steel sheets or scrap metal. Another commonly used industrial component is the inductive proximity sensor, which is used to detect if a metal object is close to the sensor.

These two components are sometimes used together and sometimes as parts of robotic tools, where the sensor is used to detect the object that the electromagnet will lift. This configuration gives the combined tool a distinct advantage over a similar tool, but without sensors, in that it can compensate for changes in its environment. It can be used, for example, to compensate for individual tolerances when working with a large number of objects.

When we talk about the abundance of electromagnets in industrial robotics, we mean that they are present in robotic arms used in a factory environment for manufacturing applications. Traditional industrial robots can be classified according to different criteria, such as the type of movement (degrees of freedom), an application (manufacturing process), an architecture (serial or parallel) and a brand. Then, there is also a new qualifier for industrial robots that may or may not be collaborative.

What kind of robots have electromagnets in them?

Electromagnets are in all of the industrial robots mentioned above and there is a wide variety of them. For example, a painting robot will require a small payload of electromagnets but a large range of motion and will be explosion-proof. On the other hand, an assembly robot will have a small work space but it will be very precise and fast, so it requires more attention in working loads with electromagnets. Depending on the target application, the industrial robot will not only have a specific type of movement, but also the use of electromagnets in industrial robotics is used in different ways.

But one important thing to keep in mind is that, in addition to electromagnets, in robotics there is also the use of permanent magnets because of their difference with electromagnets, especially to secure components in the ground. In this way, the industry saves energy consumption and receives more strength at the time of underwriting for issues related to size and weight.

In some cases, electromagnets in industrial robotics are used to control industry remotely, but this requires a large magnet, which consumes a considerable amount of energy, so it is not as common, at least not as much as the use of electromagnets in robotic arms.

Advantages of using electromagnets in industrial robotics

Among the advantages that the use of electromagnets has in industrial robotics, it is worth highlighting the fact that the applications can be switched on and off, according to the needs.

The coils of electromagnets are generally made of copper wire, because copper is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Other applications of electromagnets in industrial robotics

Electromagnets in industrial robotics also have the following applications:

An electric bell. The electromagnets make the hammer vibrate from side to side, ringing the bell.

  • An electric lock. When answering an incoming phone, the door can be unlocked from an upstairs floor. An electromagnet pulls the bolt to open it. Turn it off and the bolt will come out backwards.

  • A crane. A crane and a lifting magnet can lift tons of steel without hooks and ropes, which is very similar to the function they have in industrial robots.

  • A surgeon's tool. An eye surgeon may remove pieces of steel from a patient's eye with an electromagnet, increasing the current until it pulls enough to gently remove the metal.

  • Microsurgery. The researchers are working on electromagnets that can move micro- robots around the body to perform the surgery without opening the patient.

At IMA we offer our customers different types of magnets, whether neodymium, ferrite, samarium, alnico or plastic, but also some models of electromagnets, among which we highlight the circular, rectangular and drive electromagnets.

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