June 15, 2022
FANUC held “The 31st FANUC New Products Open House Show” at its headquarters in Oshino-mura, Yamanashi Prefecture, for three days from May 17 to 19, 2022. In addition to the products announced at the INTERNATIONAL ROBOT EXHIBITION 2022 (iREX2022) in March of this year, there were many new products and technologies that made their debut at the show. There were also proposals combining robots and machine tools, unique to the company, which is also involved in machine tool-related products.
FANUC’s New Products Open House Show was cancelled two years ago due to COVID-19 and was held online last year. This year, it was held at a real venue for the first time in three years. The company’s products, from industrial robots and machine tools to control devices for machine tools, were all exhibited at the show.
From the robotics business, the new “DR-3iB/6 Stainless”, a parallel link type “Delta Robot,” was unveiled together with a greatly expanded lineup of collaborative robots (Cobot). The new delta robot is an all-stainless steel model with a 6 kg payload capacity and an operating range of 1200 mm in diameter.
The DR-3iB/6 Stainless is ideal for handling food products. A demonstration of high-speed handling of chicken meat on trays was given at the exhibition. “The need for automation is high in food factories, where much of the work is still done by hand. The required hygiene level is different for each site, but this all-stainless steel model can meet the needs of sites with strict hygiene requirements,” said Kenichiro Abe, Senior Managing Officer.
The smooth, easy-to-clean design with minimal irregularities allows liquid to flow off easily after cleaning. The joints between parts are covered with fluorine rubber gaskets (sealing material to close gaps) to prevent dirt from accumulating in the gaps. The waterproof and dustproof rating is IP69K, and in addition to being able to be cleaned by pouring liquid on it, DR-3iB/6 Stainless can also be steam-jet cleaned.
The utilization of Fanuc’s industrial PC “iPC” was also highlighted within the show.
The company proposed “Easy Bulk Picking,” in which robots pick based on workpiece design data, and “Palletizing System,” which uses AI to properly identify even closely packed cardboard boxes.
Although bulk picking or AI-based decisions require a heavy computational processing load, the external installation of iPC with a high-performance CPU and large memory capacity enables the smooth operation of advanced functions.
As the company is also a manufacturer of machine tools and their control devices, there were many exhibits combining machine tools and robots.
The system for loading workpieces on a lathe with the Cobot “CRX-10iA/L” attracted one of the most attentions. Usually, loading workpieces onto a machine tool requires precision positioning. This system uses force control to allow loading without problems even if there is some positional or postural gap. When the robot passes a workpiece to the lathe chuck, the robot corrects the posture of the workpiece so that the end surface of the workpiece and the bottom surface of the chuck fit together. The position of the workpiece is also adjusted in line with the action of the chuck jaws closing. Just as in human work, the “CRX-10iA/L can perform proper loading by matching the actual workpiece.
The wire EDM machine “ROBOCUT”, which was renewed last year, and the compact cutting machine “ROBODRILL”, which has reached a total of 300,000 units in shipments, were also on display, proposing a combination of robots and machine tools.
Part of the systems exhibited at the show will also be shown at ROBOT TECHNOLOGY JAPAN, a robot and automation technology exhibition to be held in Aichi Prefecture from June 30, 2022.
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