Conveyors and other fixed equipment have historically moved large parts
such as car bodies, or truck and heavy industrial equipment frames, through
the production process. In some plants, conveyors extend travel between floors
in order to move the part through each stage of manufacturing. In other facilities,
parts such as oversized sheet metal are stamped, welded, or pressed using
giant hydraulic machines. Although effective, these massive machines can be
dangerous and do not allow for easy part changeover in today's fast-paced,
increasingly demanding environment. In addition, fixed machines can waste
time and expensive floor space. Since manufacturers are looking for ways to
save money, extremely high payload and large reach robots have been introduced
in manufacturing facilities in order to take over some of this difficult but
custom precision work.
Largest Payload Robot
Robots are now available to assist with ultra-high payload body transfer
or equipment applications. A full six-axis articulated, large material handling
robot is more reliable and costs less than fixed automation. The standard
payload capability on a FANUC America M-2000iA
robot is 1200kg with an optional 1350 kg available. In addition to the large
payload, the robot can be customized with special grippers to allow different
body styles to be transferred with the same robot. Replacing fixed, expensive
equipment with high-payload robots is cost effective both in terms of programming
flexibility and efficient use of floor space.
In one application, significant footprint reductions occurred when a
traditional overhead conveyor system that housed six work bays used the FANUC
M-2000iA robot to reduce the work area
to 1.5 robot bays and 2.5 maintenance zone bays. In this case, overhead carriers
and an entire return loop, plus numerous elevated maintenance platforms and
an overhead conveyor, were eliminated. In addition, the new equipment was
cleaner as the original overhead equipment collected substantial dust and
In another application, a FANUC M-2000iA
robot was used to transfer full auto bodies between conveyor systems. The
M-2000iA robot picked up a complete auto
body which, when combined with the end of arm tool, weighs almost 1,500 pounds.
In addition, the center of gravity is almost a full meter out from the faceplate.
The M-2000iA repositions the full auto
body 5.5 meters to the adjacent carrier. This M-2000iA
robotic vehicle transfer is fully programmable, transferring two different
body styles using the same tooling with flexibility to adapt for additional
future body styles. The M-2000iA robot
series is more flexible, reliable and cost effective than custom designed
transfer machines providing customers with increased capability, equipment
availability, uptime, and faster return on investment.
Auto Body Transfer
Applications that not only require a heavy payload but also a long reach
can also be accomplished. The M-2000iA/900L
has the world’s longest horizontal stroke of 8.2 meters or 26 ft and
10.83 inches. It has the world’s longest vertical stroke of 6.2 meters
or 20 ft and 4 inches. This makes it perfectly suited for warehousing and
distribution applications as processes previously employing mostly manual
labor can be streamlined and made more efficient with a large reach robot.
Warehousing and Distribution Applications
In addition to warehousing, robots like the M-2000iA
can perform other applications such as welding, and coating for items such
as molten sand core. Large machine tool processing, roof truss manufacturing,
and other construction piece manufacturing is done easily as parts can be
lifted over the top of the robot arm. Existing facilities can be used to house
the M-2000iA as it can be mounted and operated
on standard 8” industrial floors. In addition, a baseplate has been
designed to simplify installation. The standard M-2000iA
has an IP67-rated wrist with epoxy paint as an option.
M-2000iA Presenting Large Parts to a Machine Tool
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