The client is an Automation solution provider for the automotive, medical, computer and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and other industries across North America.


The scope was to design a Dual End of arm tool (EOAT) to pick and place 5 different Power Transfer Units (PTU) from the assembly line to the test line. The client had a very stringent timeline to deliver the entire automated assembly line and test line for the power transfer unit. So, the client was looking for an external design team to design the Dual EOAT.

Why APA? 

APA has around 8 years of experience in the design of automation equipment, welding fixtures, assembly line automation, work stations/work cells, and EOATs. 

Design Challenges involved: 

Designing a common dual EOAT to pick and place 5 different PTUs. Also to ensure the structure not to collide with pallet during pick and place motion of 2 PTUs when handles together simultaneously

Design process :  

  • Designing the EOAT where to hold the component and determining material depending upon the component to be held. Incorporating pins and pneumatic clamps.
  • Performing sizing calculations to select linear guides and linear actuators. 
  • Using a shot pin cylinder to avoid the PTU drop if pneumatic supply stops. 
  • Incorporating different hole positions and hole sizes for assembly process Poka-Yoke. 
  • Designing this dual EOAT as cantilever structure to avoid the collision with the conveyor pallet while picking the PTUs.
  • Checking whether the correct variant PTU is picked by using proximity sensors. 
  • Ensuring there is no collision while the EOAT pick and place the PTUs. 
  • Modifying the design based on the FEA recommendations. 
  • Designing the structure to easily connect/disconnect with Robot’s quick changer. 
  • Preparing assembly drawings and Bill of Materials. 

Value delivered:  

  • Validated the designed structure by FEA to ensure deflection & stress levels are well within the limits 
  • We have performed sizing calculations of long-lead items such as rotary actuators, Linear actuators, shot pin cylinder, etc., and get the confirmation from the respective manufacturers during the initial stage of design completion. This helped to speed up the construction schedule. 
  • APA Engineering is an “On-Demand Extended Design house” for our client. Design cost was just 40 % when compared to onshore. 

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