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Our Smart-Arms can be used with DC electric tools or auto-shut-off-clutch air tools by controlling power or air supply (via control I/O) to the fastener tool. Typically Smart-Arms are used on fasteners being driven vertical-down. Horizontal coordinates (X & Y) of each fastener are determined by combining Gray Scale outputs from the 2 absolute rotary encoders mounted on our arms. The position feedback is used to control when the tool should be enabled for either electric or pneumatic, in- line or right-angle drivers. No modification to the driver tool is required. In certain applications, with addition of our VPF option for the vertical (Z) axis, error-proofing of horizontally driven fasteners can also be achieved. VPF option is also used for vertical driven fasteners when the assembly involves parts and fasteners on multiple layers. Information needed for integration of our absolute rotary encoders with your PLC or PC control system is outlined on the Specifications page of this website.

By offering our Smart-Arms without controls, ETA caters to machine builders, integrators and their customers looking for a dependable, low-cost alternative to expensive turnkey smart arm systems. And ETA arms come warrantied against excessive wear for a period of 3 years. See Warranty for more details. Unlike other means of tool balance like gas cylinders, springs or spring balancers, our pneumatic cylinders provide smooth flotation for any amount of tooling up to the maximum listed, are easy to adjust for tool weight and have a life cycle of at least 75 million rundowns!

In addition to standard models on the Model Selection page, ETA also offers Custom Smart-Arms and custom tool holders.

With an air powered driver mounted on a PA-Series Smart Arm, your control logic should provide power to our solenoid valve only when positioned on the correct fastener in the correct sequence. The Feedback Signal Kit included with the PA-Series arm will “qualify” the fastener rundown time on air powered drivers, adding an additional element of error-proofing.

If you need a complete Smart Arm system, including controls, we offer control package model SA-GUI-2. This is a full Smart-Arm-Graphical-User-Interface that runs on your standard computer or laptop (PC not included) and offers easy setup using a digital photo or line drawing of your product. This GUI (Graphical User Interface) Software includes numbered fastener position dots that insert into product photo or line drawing with your mouse. The next step is to simply teach the software the actual location of those dots using the ETA Smart Arm. Once the set-up is completed, these numbered dots will change color on the screen as the fastening sequence progresses; completed (green), next to be completed (blue), & not yet completed (yellow). To get started on a new assembly you can take a photo of your product with your smart phone or camera, upload it to the ETA software in your PC and literally in a few minutes have full graphical real-time guidance and enforcement of your fastening operation on your workstation monitor. Torque and/or angle strategies of your DC tool can be specific to each fastener’s location or they can all be the same. Once all of your assembly configurations are set-up, switching between memorized assemblies is a mouse click or a bar code scan. Integration of most brands of USB bar code scanners and/or USB badge scanners is provided for in the SA-GUI-2 software. This SA-GUI-2 package includes the Smart-Arm GUI Software and the Smart-Arm Interface Box which has connections for the Smart-Arm encoders, your DC tool controller and your PC, so that it all becomes a synchronous assembly station.