Robotics

Faster start-up with new robot series

2nd August 2018
Alex Lynn

It has been announced that Mitsubishi Electric’s new industrial robot series combines reduced cycle times with scalable safety features and offers versatile connectivity options for easy integration into production systems. 

Companies who want to achieve a more flexible and productive working environment will also benefit from new capabilities created by the implementation of artificial intelligence.

Mitsubishi Electric’s AI technology is adding efficiency to almost every phase of customer process, from design and startup through to operation and maintenance. For example, unscheduled downtime can be avoided by implementing flexible servicing schedules: Live usage data is analysed by a preventive maintenance feature which compares the data to a dynamic model of the robot’s component parts. Service life and maintenance requirements can then be predicted in real time. In addition, the new MELFA FR-robot series offers functions that assist with automatic calibration which enables greater accuracy and shorter startup times.

Increased productivity and profitability for manufacturing companies require the optimisation of available floor space and machine up time. Safety features such as Safe Limited Speed (SLS), Safely-Limited Position (SLP) and Safe Torque Off (STO) achieve this by allowing personnel to work efficiently around robots. The scalable safety options mean that a robot can be optimised for occasional or regular human access. Slowing down in stages rather than making an immediate stop and transitioning from high-speed to low-speed operation and back again quickly allows both the robot and the human to work efficiently without stops, and in a smaller space.

To deliver fast dynamic responses that reduce cycle times and offering productivity improvements, Mitsubishi Electric’s latest servo motion control technologies are used. In addition to the time saved in operation, new MELFA FR robot series is also fast and simple to install offering users intuitive programming and extensive connectivity options. Before use, operators can set-up and test robot movement and interaction virtually using 3D CAD simulation software offered by Mitsubishi Electric’s RT ToolBox3 programming environment.

With a focus on connectivity the new introduction offers a wide range of options from Profinet to CC-Link IE Field gigabit Ethernet. High-speed networking and convenient machine integration provide a seamless connection between robots and IT systems which allows simple and cost-effective integration into existing as well as new systems. In terms of control choices, both SCARA and articulated arm FR series robots are compatible with the latest Mitsubishi Electric controller series (CR800 and MELSEC iQ-R) which further facilitates the installation and integration process.

Complex assembly work or demanding dynamic tasks such as adhesive and sealant application can be handled by a combination of several robots: Mitsubishi Electric’s MELSEC iQ-R programmable controller series includes a platform which can integrate different controller types, such as PLC, CNC or robot, onto a single backplane. Furthermore, this technology offers an integrated anti-collision function which simplifies the coordination of multiple robots.

The MELFA FR robot portfolio addresses a wide range of automation applications by offering both vertically articulated robotic arms and horizontally articulated SCARA robots. Each version employs the familiar double-arm structure securing maximum freedom of movement while delivering stability at high speeds. Depending on the model, the new robots are available with ranges of up to 1,504mm and 2 to 20kg load capacity. The compact design with the option of wall or ceiling mounting allows maximum space utilisation. MELFA FR robots maintain accuracies of up to ±0.01mm.

Oliver Giertz, Product Manager Servo/Motion/ Robots for EMEA region, commented: “The new MELFA FR robot series offers companies the latest advances in managing safety and using AI on the factory floor. When AI is applied to highly adaptable automation products such as FR robots, not only are they easier to use, but also fast and efficient to integrate within production and assembly systems. The result is a collaborative, versatile, safe and reliable solution that can boost productivity and slash production time and costs.“

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