Robots lightweight for pick-and-place tasks

Louise Davis

Mitsubishi Electric’s popular MELFA range of compact SCARA and articulated arm robots has been effectively extended by the introduction of new Delta style robots from well-known manufacturer Codian Robotics. Employing high precision servo motion technology and easy to use software from Mitsubishi Electric the new range is fast, precise and user friendly. Ideal for lightweight pick-and-place tasks, each robot can work autonomously using servo control or be integrated seamlessly into a Mitsubishi Electric automation environment.

This solution has been developed as a result of the e-F@ctory Alliance partnership, an initiative of Mitsubishi Electric where companies work together to create best in class automation solutions. As members of the alliance, Codian Robotics and Mitsubishi Electric are providing a more extensive combination of robot technology and control options to machine builders and robot integrators within the group and to the market in general.

Manufacturing and packaging industries are incredibly competitive and this translates into demands for higher speeds and high reliability to combat extremely tight margins on machinery and production lines. When low weight items are being assembled, processed and packaged the construction of the production lines is often equally lightweight. When introducing a robot to this environment it is an advantage to be able to save weight in construction and also reduce moving mass in the manipulator.

This is why Codian Robotics’ delta robots are constructed using materials such as carbon fibre, titanium, anodised aluminium, 316 stainless steel and plastics. In combination with advanced servo driven movement this makes them ideal for typical 3-axis top-loading packaging applications and push-fit assembly.

There is also a waterproof model available made of hygienically approved materials which is ideal for wash-down environments such as food & beverage, cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. The overhead pick-and-place range complements the well-known articulated arm robots offered by Mitsubishi Electric that can also be used to satisfy more complex manipulation requirements.

Integration flexibility is a key driver in this type of application where customers and integrators both want to save money and achieve higher reliability by making the robot integration faster and easier. In offering a high speed pick-and-place solution built on Mitsubishi Electric servo technology,the robots produced by Codian Robotics will integrate seamlessly with a Mitsubishi Electric PLC for fast integration and reliable operation.

This can be achieved directly with the Mitsubishi Electric Robot Controller or with the motion solution, adding flexibility and convenience. Use of Mitsubishi Electric’s robot controllers extends this concept further. The units are modular and can be used in standalone mode, or mounted directly onto the back plane of a Mitsubishi Electric iQ Platform controller to provide a fully integrated control system with a simple plug and play operation.

Programming is also made more convenient since Delta robots from Codian Robotics can be programmed using Mitsubishi Electric’s easy MELFA Basic Robot programming tool, via the Simple Motion module or System Q motion controller on Mitsubishi Electric PLCs. Mitsubishi Electric servo motors and MR-J4 Servo controllers are used, so compatibility with other products via the fast Mitsubishi Electric network SSCETNETIII/H is effectively built-in.

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