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FANUC Robotics Demonstrates Intelligent Spot Welding with its R-1000iA/100F “Gakushu” (Learning) Robot at Fabtech 2011

FANUC America Corporation

FANUC Robotics America will demonstrate intelligent spot welding with its R-1000iA/100F “Gakushu” (Learning) Robot during Fabtech 2011, Nov. 14-17, held at McCormick Center in Chicago, booth #5928.
 
The Gakushu Robot’s Learning Vibration Control (LVC) feature improves robot performance by actually learning the characteristics of a specific application path. “With the Gakushu Robot’s LVC feature, the software records the path characteristics. The path is run several times, allowing the Gakushu Robot to optimize the path data to improve cycle time,” said Eric Potter, application engineer, FANUC Robotics America. 
 
At the show, a FANUC R-1000iA/100F Gakushu Robot equipped with the LVC feature and an R-1000iA/100F robot without LVC will apply identical spot welding patterns to opposite sides of a floor pan assembly. The Gakushu Robot shows a significant improvement in cycle time compared to the robot without LVC. 
 
“The Gakushu Robot with LVC provides extremely fast cycle times which optimizes production throughput,” added Potter. 
 
Intelligent R-1000iA Robot
 
The R-1000iA/80F has an 80kg payload, and the R-1000iA/100F has a 100kg payload. Both robots feature a slim design, allowing customers to reduce the overall size of their automation system by using more robots in each work cell, or making work cells with a single robot significantly smaller. The narrow footprint of the R-1000iA also allows for easy access to adjacent robots, fixtures and work pieces. The R-1000iA can be floor or invert mounted, and has a large work envelope. 
  
“The R-1000iA is also more energy efficient than robots with larger payloads,” added Potter.  “Manufacturers using much smaller work cells that require less conveyance equipment, sensors, and control panels will realize an added energy advantage provided by smaller automation systems. This equates to a greener facility using less energy for costly utilities such as lighting, heating, and cooling.”
 
R-1000iA Features and Benefits
 
·        Very small footprint reduces size of automation system.
·        High-density installations allow work to be completed in fewer stations.
·        Single-robot work cells can be designed to fit in tight spaces.
·        High-speed operation minimizes robot cycle times.
·        Simple serial-link configuration with large operating envelope (including rear and downward side).
·        Upright or invert mounting accommodates a wide range of work areas.
·        Substantial wrist load ratings support the latest compact servo weld guns.
·        IP67 rated wrist allows operation in wet conditions.
·        Right sized for 80kg or 100kg applications reduces energy usage.
·        Optional Solution Arm dressout package with internal cable routing for spot welding processes.
·        The latest robot controller offers a variety of intelligent functions including Learning Vibration Control (LVC), iRVision, Force Sensing, ROBOGUIDE, Robot Link, and Collision Guard.
 
Dual Check Safety (DCS) Speed and Position Check Software
 
Prior to the application of safety rated robot software, all safeguarding of the robot needed to be external, and required a safety rated limit switch or cam system, safety rated area scanners, or other devices to limit robot travel or enhance protection. DCS safety rated robot software allows the safety design of the robot system to use the robot itself for some of the safety functions.
 
The most significant benefit of DCS Speed and Position Check is in applications where the travel of the robot needs to be restricted due to floor space or process limits that are less than the full reach of the robot. Restricting the robot motion in Cartesian space means the robot can be restrained to exactly the area in which it works; something that is not possible with the current systems that limit robot motion externally using limit switches.
 
“By moving some of the safety functions to within the robot, customers will realize significant savings in floor space, flexibility in system layout, reduced hardware costs, and improved reliability,” said Claude Dinsmoor, general manager, material handling segment, FANUC Robotics.
 
In addition, safe "zones" can be enabled and disabled from an external source such as a safety PLC (based on the cell design). Designing a system with multiple zones and appropriate guarding means an operator can safely enter and leave the workspace of the robot.
 
“This streamlines the design of robot cells because it prevents the robot from entering the load area when an operator is present,” added Dinsmoor. This type of application is possible with existing technology, but it is typically difficult to setup, expensive to implement, and requires more floor space than a system using DCS.”
 
FANUC Robotics America designs, engineers and manufactures industrial robots and robotic systems for a wide range of applications including arc and spot welding, material handling (machine tending, picking, packing, palletizing), material removal, assembly, paint finishing and dispensing. The company also provides application-specific software, controls, vision products, and complete support services.  After 29 years of success, FANUC Robotics maintains its position as the leading robotics company in the Americas. Over 100,000 FANUC robots are installed in the Americas, and 250,000 worldwide. A subsidiary of FANUC Corporation in Japan, the company is headquartered in Detroit, and has facilities in Chicago; Los Angeles; Charlotte; Cincinnati; Toronto; Aguascalientes, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.   
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