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Flexible Disk Media Handling with RX Robots

Stäubli Robotics


Faverges (France) - - The demand for increased memory in personal computers continues to explode. In 1997 well over 100,000,000 disk drives will be shipped containing over 350,000,000 individual disks. This volume presents a challenge of efficient product handling and tracking to insure high quality as well as minimum cost. Disk media production requires numerous precise manufacturing steps such as sputtering, texturizing, certification, and servo writing. Each of these steps involves its own process equipment with unique throughput and environmental requirements.

One major disk media manufacturer is creatively approaching this challenge. The solution involves a RX90 Cleanroom robot mounted on a AFS 125 cleanroom track system built by Accu-Fab Systems of Corvallis, Oregon. By using the track, the robot can reach a large array of process equipment and W.I.P. stockers located on both sides of the track. The robot and controller are both mounted on a carriage that rides on the track rails. The power for the system is supplied by a buss bar located in a track's center section, while serial communications from the robot to the factory host control system is via a RF link. This approach allows the track to be as long as required (up to 200 feet) to meet the needs of the individual customer. In operation, the robot transfers cassettes of disks from one process to another quickly and reliably while updating the host controller system of the individually barcoded cassettes' movement. This approach delivers a truly flexible work in process transfer system in a minimum of floor space.

STÄUBLI was chosen for this demanding application for the following reasons:

  • The high speed of the RX insures the throughput of the system.
  • The precision of the RX insures the disks are accurately delivered to the process equipment.
  • The RX controller allows simple and seamless control of the track from the controller backplane.

The concept of the RX robot mounted on a track lends itself to a variety of cleanroom applications. It is proving to be the most efficient way to greatly increase the work envelope of the robot while maintaining the precision of the system.

STÄUBLI is a 100+ year old, 2,400-employee Company with annual revenues of over 700 million Swiss Francs, headquartered in Switzerland. The STÄUBLI Group commitment to customer satisfaction is proven by worldwide office locations offering a 'first class' level of services such as training and maintenance.

In its production facility located in the heart of the French Alps a few miles south of Geneva (Switzerland), STÄUBLI's Robotics Division invests 12 % of its revenues in Research and Development. An innovation and quality strategy lead STÄUBLI to be awarded ISO 9001 for its three activities: textile, connectors and robotics.

For additional information, please contact
Marketing Manager
Stäubli Corporation - Robotics Division
201 Parkway West
Duncan, SC 29334
Tel. 864-433-1980
Fax. 864-486-5497


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