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1) End effector

An attachment, such as grippers, spraying nozzles, welding tooling, and measuring devices, connected to the mechanical portion of a manipulator, balancers, positioner, or robot.  Generally designed to fit a certain need and or lifting situation but is not restricted to single task.

2) Clamp

A below-the-hook attaching device which, using a jaw-like scissor gripping action, clamps or locks onto a piece of material. This device is attached to the hook of a hoist or the end effector of a manipulator and usually is used to pick up sheets of material such as wood or metal.

3) Manipulator

A stationary (does not mean that nothing moves) movement assist device that is often equipped with end effectors for handling different types of loads. End effectors include all forms of grippers, forks, barrel grabs, etc. Manipulators counteract the weight of the load, rendering it almost weightless by way of hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders, or simply by way of counter weights and the exercising of very limited manual control. Most manipulators require manual actuation and control and are therefore manual assist devices. They are mounted to the floor, wall or ceiling. In some cases, manipulators are mounted to a fixed base plate and the entire unit can be moved via a trolley, cart or frok lift truck.

4) Palletizer

Palletizers are special machines capable of building a complete unit load on a pallet. Although the most common application is for cases, some palletizers can also handle sacks and bags. A less common palletizer application would be for special products such as sheet stock. There are two general methods employed for automatically building a full pallet. One makes use of a fixed position or overhead gantry robot with end effectors suited to the individual loads, such as vacuum lifts or a gripper. The other method employs more complex mechanisms for forming pallet layers off line, one at a time, and then shifting or transferring each successive layer onto the pallet as it is lowered via a lift/lower table.