New long-reach, high-speed food robot offers five-axes flexibility

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 7 March 2008



(2008), "New long-reach, high-speed food robot offers five-axes flexibility", Industrial Robot, Vol. 35 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New long-reach, high-speed food robot offers five-axes flexibility

New long-reach, high-speed food robot offers five-axes flexibility

A new high-speed robot, designed specifically for the food industry, has been introduced by Fanuc Robotics. Suitable for picking of primary and secondary foods, the M-430iA/2F robot (Figure 1) has a long reach of 900mm and five-axes flexibility to accommodate horizontal or vertical product placement positions.

Figure 1 The M-430iA/2F high-speed robot designed by Fanuc for use in the food industry

Fanuc Robotics has used an anthropomorphic arm design to produce a large work envelope that allows the M-430iA/2F to quickly rotate or flip back on itself, if required, to cover an area of up to 1.8m diameter. The arm can be vertically mounted, providing clear access when machine maintenance is required, or base mounted.

Two high-speed heavy duty motors for each of the major axes, joints one, two and three, use Fanuc's dual drive torque, tandem control technology. This allows very high speeds to be achieved by the M-430iA/2F – carrying out the industry standard benchmark test where the arm moves up vertically 25mm, horizontally 300mm and then down 25mm, the new robot achieves 120 cycles per minute (cpm) with a 1kg payload and 100cpm with a 2Kg payload.

The M-430iA/2F has been designed to meet stringent cleanliness requirements and has a smooth exterior surface with no contaminant trap areas – the paint has a high-gloss finish and is resistant to acids and alkaline materials.

Designed for hose down cleaning, the robot is sealed to meet IP 67 standards and double seals on the major axes not only keep fluids out but also ensure that its food grade grease stays within the durable casings. Joints four and five use nylon gears and do not require any lubrication.

The M-430iA/2F's runs with the new intelligent controller – the R-30iA series. The new Fanuc Robotics controller provides enhancements to performance, an increase in the number of robot arms it can control and a fully integrated vision control system.

The R-30iA controller has improved vibration control which allows its motors to have shorter acceleration and deceleration times – essential for high speed food picking operations. Further control enhancements, including high performance constant path, help to speed up programming significantly.

Where vision is required the R-30iA controller helps reduce integration time and cost with its new integrated iRVision system. No additional hardware, other than a camera, is required to integrate vision with the new controller.

The iRVision system manages all image processing on the robot controller and by direct connection to the Fanuc web server provides intuitive setup information. A clear camera image and programming data are displayed on the controller teach pendant making it easier for installation engineers to access information.

Control of up to 40 multiple axes is available with the R-30iA controller and when used in multi-arm mode one controller can control four arms and four auxiliary axes groups.

Further, reducing the additional control hardware common to any installation, the new controller can be completed with its own programmable machine controller (PMC). The PMC has an integrated monitor which allows the user to monitor the PMC ladder in a graphic display for all levels and sub programs that reside in the controller.

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