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Six-Axis Material Handling Robot

Published on Sep 03, 2023


The technology of pneumatics has gained tremendous importance in the field of workplace rationalization and automation from old-fashioned timber works and coal mines to modern machine shops and space robots. Certain characteristics of compressed air have made this medium quite suitable for used in modern manufacturing and production industries. It is therefore important that technicians and engineers should have a good knowledge of pneumatic system, air operated valves and accessories.

A pneumatic system consists of a compressor plant, pipe lines, control valves, drive members and related auxiliary appliances. The air is compressed in an air compressor and from the compressor plant the flow medium is transmitted to the pneumatic cylinder through a well laid pipe line system. To maintain optimum efficiency of pneumatic system, it is of vital importance that pressure drop between generation and consumption of compressed air is kept very low. Pneumatic material handling system is used to move the components from one place to another with a maximum weight of 3.5 kg. It is used in the following places:

 Chemical laboratories

 Welding

 Foundry, etc.


Material handling is a specialized activity for a modern manufacturing concern. It has been estimated that about 60-70% of the cost production is spent in material handling activities.

Need for material handling:

• Reduction of lab our and material cost

• Reduction of overall cost

• Increased production

• Increased storage capacity

• Increased safety

• Reduction in fatigue

• Improved personnel comfort


The experimental setup consists of four cylinders; all are of double acting type. The cylinder1 is used to actuate rack and pinion assembly, piston rod of cylinder 1is connected to rack, which is meshed with the pinion. By operating the cylinder1, rack and pinion turns the whole assembly for 260. By varying the length of the rack the turning angle can be altered. Vertical cylinder or cylinder2 is used to increase the height of the setup.

Six-Axis Material Handling

The height is limited to piston rod length. Horizontal cylinder or cylinder3 is used to increase the arm length, the working area of the arm is limited to length of the piston rod length. Gripper cylinder or cylinder4 is used to actuate the gripper.


 Discharge of work piece

The arm feed has a wide application in low cost automation industries. It can be used in automated assembly lines to pick up the finished product from workstation and place them in bins. It can also be used to pick raw material and place them on the conveyor belts.

 Work clamping

This unit can also be used in clamping. Operation in certain areas of mass production where clamping and an clamping have to be done at high speeds. The application of these units is limited to operations which involved moderate clamping forces.

 Tool Changing Application

When the pneumatic arms are made smaller in size they can be used in automatic tool changes in CNC turning and drilling machines, by attaching tool holding device to the rotary cylinder


 The pneumatic arm is more efficient in the technical field

 Quick response is achieved

 Simple in construction

 Easy to maintain and repair

 Cost of the unit is less when compared to other robotics

 No fire hazard problem due to over loading

 Comparatively the operation cost is less

 The operation of arm is faster because the medium used to operate is air

 Continuous operation is possible without stopping


 While working, the compressed air produces noise therefore a silencer may be used.

 High torque can not be obtained

 Load carrying capacity of this unit is not very high. (<50 N)

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