The role of Industrial manipulators in the industry

Industrial manipulators, serving as advanced material handling equipment, make it safer and easier to lift and carry objects that are heavier and/or have somewhat unconventional shapes. With its strong and flexible arm, the industrial manipulator, a type of ergonomic manipulator equipped with robotic arms, can easily pick, move, and place such objects outside its own center of mass. The ability of the industrial manipulator arm to rotate and tilt in any desired direction also means it can pick objects from places not easily accessible to human labor. Due to these unique design features, industries deploy these automation systems, including pick and place robots, to move objects that exceed human capacity for manual lifting.

What is the function of an industrial manipulator?

Industrial Manipulator by Fine Handling An instance of an industrial manipulator

An industrial manipulator is a machinery equipped with a strong and inflexible steel arm. Its enables intricate pneumatic tilts and rotations, even when dealing with objects that are not balanced at their center of mass. A human operator has control over the machine, allowing for effortless and precise manipulation of the arm to lift, lower and transport various products.

Industrial manipulators are commonly utilized in the following scenarios:

  • When a product is too heavy for manual handling by an individual.
  • When a product needs to be relocated to a spot that is difficult or time-consuming for a person to access, such as a high shelf.
  • When manually moving a product poses a risk of injury to the person involved.
  • When continuous manual handling of products leads to quick fatigue.
  • When there is a requirement to move a large volume of products within a set timeframe.Industrial Manipulator

The capacity of the manipulator to handle objects outside their center of mass becomes increasingly significant when dealing with heavier loads or products that have an irregular shape. Other types of machinery, such as industrial balancers with cables, are not as compatible with products that lack proper balance.


Difference between industrial manipulator and balancer

Air BalancerThe working of industrial manipulators might seem similar to a balancer. However, the two units differ significantly in that the manipulator is more flexible. The FineLift industrial manipulator from Fine Handling, featuring articulated arms in a parallelogram with articulating joints, ensures easy reach for holding the component. With this, the operator can effortlessly move the material to the desired direction.

On the other hand, our twin-rope Air Balancer is a perfect example of cable balancers, acting as a zero gravity balancer, which balances loads up to rated capacity as required using only air-pressure as the power source. The Balancer is ideal for compact installation and quick pick & place operations.

Take a look at the table below to gauge the difference between the two units

Industrial manipulator Balancer
Arm can move in multiple defections Uses wires to only move objects up or down
Built to handle objects with unconventional weight and profile Designed only for lightweight standard objects
Can move objects outside its center of mass Objects have to be centered properly to be lifted without trouble
Is not comprised of wires Fine Handling Air Balancer has two instead of one wire for added safety

Benefits of using an industrial manipulator

Less exertion and improved safety for workers

Apart from bringing ease and speed to the movement of unusually heavy and oddly shaped objects, intelligent industrial manipulator design also contributes to a healthier worker and better workplace. In the design of all industrial pick and place solutions at Fine Handling, we prioritize creating a healthy and efficient workplace, incorporating ergonomic handling and workplace safety equipment.

Repetitive motions in handling simple objects such as boxes can become a troublesome source of back or joint injuries for the workers, over a period of time. It also reduces the productivity of the process. Use of industrial manipulators, a form of ergonomic handling and lift assist devices, not only decreases the amount of aches and fatigue-related injuries in the workplace but also reduces the insurance claims entered because of such injuries or accidents.

Saving on labour costs

Manual pick and place operations often involve a significant number of laborers. This increases accident risks, and entails high costs in the short as well as long term. Lifting manipulator devices, a form of material handling robots, enable one operator to efficiently handle the job. What’s more, pick and place operations have for long been dominated by men due to the heavy lifting work involved. With the lifting industrial manipulator device, women too can perform the same job without any hassle. Mechanizing the heavy lifting process with the industrial manipulator results in less fatigue for human employees. Even as they are able to move a higher volume of goods with increased ease and efficiency.

Selecting a suitable manipulator

The industrial manipulators available in the market are of multiple types and diverse capacities. We offers a range of FineLift industrial manipulators which are compact, modular, portable as well as customized in design. The capacity of Fine’s manipulator lifting devices ranges for our manipulators include 250 kg, 150 kg, and 80 kg. When choosing an industrial manipulator, a firm must consider 4 key factors, keeping in mind the modular structure of these systems.

Properties of material to be moved

This is the prime consideration that impacts your choice of the machine. You should consider not only the weight and shape of the material to be handled but also some of its finer properties. This includes factors such as the sensitivity, perishability, and chemical properties of the object. The speed, direction, and distance at which you have to move the object, and how frequently will the objects need to be moved. To take a few examples, sectors such as food and beverage have specific hygiene requirements. Similarly, handling chemical drums can be a tedious as well as dangerous task, necessitating careful consideration of the packaging and handling of mechanical parts.

Fine Handling’s product line is a versatile one. There are FineLifts available to fit any product weight specifications and size dimensions.

Workspace dimensions

Industrial manipulators have a working radius. Whether to choose a manipulator with a large or a small working radius will depend on the limitations of space in your workplace. When choosing an industrial manipulator, consider typical space factors such as the space available for placing and operating the unit. The width of the aisle, the type of rack and the ceiling height. The working radius of the manipulators also affects their price in that manipulators with a higher working radius will cost more.

FineLift  solutions are available in multiple mounting options so that the unit can comfortably fit into the dimensions of most work areas.

Power supply

The power, ergonomics, accuracy, and speed of the industrial manipulator is determined by the type of power supply it has. Industrial manipulators could be hydraulic, pneumatic, electric, or manual. If you are working in a sensitive environment, pneumatic manipulators are the right option for you.

Types of grippers

Again, depending on the type of objects you are handling, you need to choose the right grippers for the industrial manipulator unit. Fine Handling ensures the selection of appropriate gripping tools. Which including vacuum gripper options, tailored to meet the specific needs of your operations. customizes the grippers to make it application specific, so that your solution will be uniquely crafted to best fit the duties it is expected to perform.

Types of gripper to consider include

  • Vacuum lifter
  • Suction cups
  • Pliers
  • Hooks
  • Magnet
  • Handling crate
  • Chucks

With Fine Handling’s 15+ years of expertise in designing and developing grippers, you get an assured gripping solution. We customize every gripper based on the design of the component, utilizing pneumatic, mechanical, or vacuum power sources. For specific needs, we offer versatile gripping solutions like magnetic grippers or tackles, demonstrating our adaptability.

Leading manufacturer of industrial manipulators in India

Enabling Indian businesses with world-class solutions is at the heart of work at Fine Handling. Designed in a dedicated R&D facility in Pune, our products, including industrial manipulators and systems designed for ergonomic handling, are focused on enhancing the safety and productivity multifold. With more than 30 products and systems, over a decade of experience, and over 1200 installations, Fine Handling works as a total solution provider for all your lifting and handling needs.

To choose user-friendly, efficient, and reliable material handling solutions, drop us a mail at

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