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ROBOTIC RESOURCES

FANUC Robotics Receives USDA Acceptance for M-430iA Robot

FANUC America Corporation

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Jul 21, 2008  -- FANUC Robotics America, Inc. today announced that its M-430iA/2F high-speed, food picking robot is the first and only robot to meet the hygiene requirements for meat and poultry processing, and receive equipment acceptance from the United States Department of Agriculture.

"We're extremely proud that the M-430iA is built in accordance with the USDA, AMS hygiene requirements for the materials, design, and fabrication of equipment used in the preparation and packaging of food products," said Sumeet Vispute, product manager, picking, packing, and palletizing, FANUC Robotics America, Inc. "The M-430iA robot has met or exceeded the USDA, AMS criteria as published in the NSF/ANSI/3-A 14159-1 2002 specifications, passed inspection, and earned the right to bear the USDA, AMS Meat and Poultry Accepted Equipment logo."

Designed specifically for food washdown environments, the M-430iA/2F food robot is capable of picking primary food and packaged products at speeds up to 120 cycles per minute on a continuous basis while using visual line tracking. In addition, the compact robot can be mounted in a variety of positions including floor, wall or invert, which maximizes flexibility for tight workspaces.

"The M-430iA is the ideal solution in terms of speed and flexibility, and now the USDA acceptance allows us to help a greater number of food customers meet today's high quality/cleanliness standards," added Vispute.

The M-430iA food robot offers a wide range of benefits, including:
-- A clean design with no food particle retention areas to resist bacteria growth and rust.
-- Hollow arm to avoid air line and electric cable exposure
-- Capable of working with primary (unpackaged) and secondary (packaged) food products.
-- Manufactured with food-grade grease, and USDA-accepted parts
-- Designed with special coating, materials and seals to withstand caustic food industry cleaners and acids used in food plant washdown operations.
-- IP67 rating for the entire robot allows it to withstand the rinsing process after the caustic washdown.
-- Materials used in product contact areas are in accordance with the applicable FDA requirements as stated in 21 CFR, parts 174-189.

"The five-axis M-430iA/2F is the fastest robot ever designed by FANUC Robotics, and sets a new speed record for articulated robots of 120 cycles per minute at a 1 kg payload, and 100 cycles per minute at a 2 kg payload," added Vispute.

In addition to food, the M-430iA/2F intelligent robot is ideal for handling beverages, medical devices, cosmetics, household products, office supplies, and many other consumer products.

Intelligent Software and Sensors Integrated in the M-430iA Robot
FANUC Robotics' PickTool software is designed to simplify setup of high-speed multi-robot picking systems. PickTool divides incoming product so that each robot in the system picks an equal number of products. It can also assign a specific percentage of products for each robot to pick. 

"If more than one type of product is on the conveyor, the programmer simply assigns a percentage value and a part ID to distribute each robot's picking assignments," said Vispute.

In addition, PickTool allows each robot to pick from a certain section of the conveyor. For example, it can assign half of the robots to pick from one side of the conveyor, and the other half of the robots to pick from the opposite side.

Other key benefits of PickTool include:
-- Pick and/or skip any number of selected products
-- Progressively fill trays or cases as they move along the conveyor
-- Automatic redistribution of product to another robot if the assigned robot stops, ensuring that every product is always picked
-- Single point for setup of the entire multi-robot system, making it very easy to use
-- iRVision(R) eliminates the need for a PC during operation

FANUC Robotics' also offers PickPRO, the latest process-specific plug-in to ROBOGUIDE. ROBOGUIDE/PickPRO is an off-line robot simulation software with a FANUC Robotics Virtual Robot Controller and full-featured robot programming.

"PickPRO allows customers to create a multi-robot picking system in the virtual world, making programming extremely user-friendly," added Vispute.

ROBOGUIDE provides engineers the tools needed to develop and test a complete robotic application in a simulation environment without the time and costs associated with developing a prototype work cell. With ROBOGUIDE, users can simulate a robotic process in a 3D environment with the most accurate cycle time information for FANUC robots, compared to any other simulation package available in the industry.

The FANUC iRVision system is a ready-to-use robotic vision package, requiring only a camera and cable - no additional processing hardware. It has a 2D robot guidance tool to accomplish part location, error proofing, and other operations that normally require special sensors or custom fixtures.
FANUC Robotics America, Inc. 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 26 years of success, FANUC Robotics maintains its position as the leading robotics company in the Americas. A subsidiary of FANUC LTD in Japan, the company is headquartered in Detroit, and has facilities in Chicago; Los Angeles; Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio; Toronto; Montreal; Aguascalientes, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Over 200,000 FANUC robots are installed worldwide. Contact FANUC Robotics at www.fanucrobotics.com or by calling 1-800-iQ-ROBOT, option 5.

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