Palletising robot has improved accessibility

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 June 2004




(2004), "Palletising robot has improved accessibility", Industrial Robot, Vol. 31 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Palletising robot has improved accessibility

Palletising robot has improved accessibility

Keywords: Robots, Palletising

More and more of conventional dedicated systems for palletising are being replaced by programmable robot-based solutions. The latest of these on offer from robot manufacturer Comau is the new SMART H5, which offers extended reach at 3 m radius and 160 kg payload. It is based on the high volume – and very successful – spot welding arm, meaning that it is made in high volume, making it very competitive. This competitive price edge makes it more affordable for lower volume end-users (Plates 3 and 4).

The arm can be adapted by adding a range of custom gripper tools or “hands” to the end of the arm – these being finger gripper, vacuum, or magnetic operation. The “hand” is directly connected to the ISO flange mounting. The body of the robot is hollow to take any pneumatic and electrical services to the top of the arm – avoiding long piping runs – simply plug into the robot base and tap off at the top of the arm.

Plate 3 Comau's SMART H5 handling robot packing sealed canned products onto standard pallets

Plate 4 Comau's SMART H5 handling robot packing building products onto standard pallets

The drives are AC brushless servo drives, designed to run efficiently at high speed. For the H5 robot 1,100 cycles per hour can be expected [1]. The controller is a PC compatible 32 bit multi- processor, capable of not only controlling the robot but also external ancillary machinery.

The articulated SMART H5 can support 160 kg on the wrist to its nominal reach of 2,390 mm. The robot is also available in “L” (long reach) and “SHELF” (work envelope below robot base – underneath the robot) versions. Repeatability is ±0.3 mm with fast movements, which vary from 110°/s for the first three axes to 230°/s for the hand.

Several of these robots have already been sold – particularly for bagging of sand, aggregate, salt, adhesive and coal. These are normally in quite arduous application conditions located close to the source of the product to reduce transport costs, as a result high-tech robots end up in some very unlikely places such as remote quarry's in “shed” type buildings – but the payback is immense.

Comau are looking to market the arm direct to end-users from their Shrewsbury based robot centre – and dealing through specialised system integrators. In fact, they are actively seeking integrators with new ideas of how to use their range of robots – there is the potential fit of a major producer focussing on Automotive sector and smaller dedicated integrator. Anyone interested for more information should contact Comau direct.

Note1 For the H5 robot we expect 1,100 cycles per hour – based on lift/descend 400 mm and 2,000 mm transfer stroke – but not allowing for any open/close of gripper.

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