SUHNER ROBOTools include new end effectors for industrial machining

Deploying industrial robots for drilling, grinding, polishing, filing, cutting, and deburring can be time-consuming to get right. New end-of-arm tooling systems in the SUHNER ROBOTools suite are designed to make those processes easier.

Switzerland-based OTTO SUHNER AG said it is already a leader for stationary machining applications. However, practical solutions for moving cutting tools toward the workpiece are often insufficient, it said.

SUHNER said this gap is now being closed by its robot machine-tool program. One option is to bring the workpiece to a standard stationary machining unit. The company, which was founded in 1914, said it now offers the ability to adapt and guide such tools for robots.

SUHNER robotic applications

Robotics applications require a variety of end effectors. Source: SUHNER

As a specialist in automation processes, machining units, handheld power tools, and abrasives, SUHNER has expanded its product range with tools that can be mounted directly to a robot arm for continuous use.

“In short, we have multiplied the capabilities of the robot to now include surface finishing,” stated the company. “The application range is enormous.”

Quick-change systems for EOAT

SUHNER’s automated quick-change system uses standardized connections at the robot arm and the end-of-arm tooling (EOAT). Connections are made quickly and reliably between air and electrical and sensor technology.

The company said it carefully selected proven components to ensure interchange reliability.

SUHNER adds swappable abrasives

Abrasives typically have a short lifecycle. SUHNER said it has added a patented system to quickly dispose and reload abrasives to simplify the process. This allows users to apply different abrasives in sequence to achieve a desired surface finish.

In addition, automated abrasive changes can increase manufacturing flexibility and increase productivity, said the company.

SUHNER applications

Angle grinders and orbital sander. Source: SUHNER

Servo motors drive angle grinders

Today, most robot-guided grinding and polishing machine tools are operated by air, which has limitations in a 24-hour operating environment. Frequent service interruptions and high air consumption add to energy costs, affecting profitability, said SUHNER.

In addition, air-driven tools can drop in speed when under load, which can adversely affect the surface finish, the supplier noted. Depending on surface-quality requirements, the rotation of the grinding or polishing tool often requires clockwise and counterclockwise rotation, which an air-driven tool can’t accomplish.

SUHNER said its newly designed servo-driven tools can meet any of these critical requirements either in standard or orbital design version. Lightweight and powerful servo motors provide high speeds up to 9,500 rpm for continuous operation. It added that all grinding tools are made with an M14 spindle to enable the use of standard, commercially available grinding discs.

“Our flexibility and adaptability make SUHNER your perfect partner for robot applications,” said the company, whose U.S. office is in Rome, Ga. E-mail SUHNER at

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